2020 Dodge Charger

2020 Dodge Charger Test Drive Review: Outmuscling The Competition

With a 50-year heritage, the Dodge Charger continues to be a popular mainstay in the American market as the best-selling full-size sedan, and for good reason. Steadfastly sticking to its design philosophy as a classic muscle car, the Charger retains its rear-wheel drivetrain and potent V8 engine options while more contemporary rivals like the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon opt for front-wheel drivetrains and V6 engines. V6 power is standard in the Charger but for those who value power above all else, Dodge offers its HEMI V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque while still retaining practicality for daily family use. There are more luxurious sedans out there with nicer interiors, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one with more all-American character.

To see why the Charger remains the best-seller in its segment, Dodge sent us the HEMI-powered Scat Pack model with the widebody package. The Scat Pack name dates back to the late 1960s and was originally used to describe a trio of Dodge vehicles that could all complete the quarter-mile in under 14 seconds. With a quoted time of 12.4 seconds, this new Charger Scat Pack Widebody certainly qualifies.

2020 Dodge Charger Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Charger?

Following the success of the Charger Hellcat Widebody, the same treatment is being offered for the Scat Pack. This package includes unique front and rear bumpers, wider fenders housing wider tires, and three-mode adaptive Bilstein dampers. New wheel designs and equipment packages are also available across the range, while both the Performance Handling Group and Dynamics Package have been updated. The Carbon/Suede Interior Package is available to the R/T and Scat Pack, too, helping to make the interior feel a bit more high quality. For 2020, the exterior color palette has been expanded with two new options: Frostbite and Hellraisin.

Pros and Cons

  • Available 485-hp V8 engine
  • Rear-wheel drivetrain is an appealing peculiarity
  • Available all-wheel-drive
  • Spacious rear seats and trunk
  • Usable infotainment suite
  • Affordable price tag
  • Muscle car styling
  • No available manual transmission
  • Interior uses a lot of low-quality materials
  • Lacks standard driver-assistance features
  • Headroom is lacking
  • V8 models are thirsty

Best Deals on Charger

2020 Dodge Charger Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SXT
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$29,995
GT
3.6-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$31,995
R/T
5.7-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$36,495
Scat Pack
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$40,495
Scat Pack Widebody
6.4-liter V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$40,495

Charger Exterior

While it may not be as flashy as its bold engine line-up might suggest, the Dodge Charger is still a handsome four-door sedan, and the only muscle car that fits this description. The base-model SXT rides on 17-inch wheels and comes equipped with automatic halogen headlights with LED accents, along with LED daytime running lights. With the all-wheel drivetrain, the SXT gets the same 19-inch wheels as upper trims, as well as LED fog lights, a performance hood with a scoop, and a rear spoiler. The sleek headlights can be upgraded to HID variants, while the standard gloss-black grille changes appearance slightly on the upper trims. A power sunroof is available on every model for $1,295. Opting for the Charger Widebody dials up the car's menacing looks with a more aggressive front fascia and overall stance.

2020 Dodge Charger Forward View CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger View Out Back CarBuzz
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Dimensions

The Charger is one of the larger sedans on the road, standing proud at 198.4 inches long in its base form, while the upper trim levels gain a few inches to max out at 200.8 inches. Regardless of overall length, all Chargers get the same 120-inch wheelbase. Not accounting for the mirrors, the sedan has a width of 75 inches, while it stands around 57.8 inches tall. With multiple engines and drivetrains available, the Dodge's weight can range anywhere from 3,957 lbs to 4,373 lbs.

  • Length 198.4 in
  • Wheelbase 120.0 in
  • Height 57.8 in
  • Max Width 75.0 in
  • Front Width 63.4 in
  • Rear Width 63.8 in

Exterior Colors

The four-door muscle car can be dressed in any of eleven colors. There are no premium paints, though, and every option is available to each trim level without restriction. Carryover colors from last year include Pitch Black, Granit, Triple Nickel, Indigo Blue, Octane Red, TorRed, Go Mango, F8 Green, and White Knuckle, while new colors for 2020 comprise Hellraisin and Frostbite.

  • F8 Green
  • Go Mango
  • Granite Pearlcoat
  • Indigo Blue
  • Octane Red Pearlcoat
  • Pitch Black Clearcoat
  • Torred Clearcoat
  • Triple Nickel Clearcoat
  • White Knuckle Clearcoat
  • Frostbite, Late Availability
  • B5 Blue Pearl

Charger Performance

With three available engines, the Charger has varying levels of performance. The lower-tier SXT and GT each get the less impressive V6 powertrain, albeit in slightly different states of tune - 292-300 hp and 260-264 lb-ft. While it's not as lively as the available V8s, the standard powertrain still manages to move the sedan with quite a bit of quickness. It is also the only engine that can be paired with an all-wheel drivetrain.

The first of the two V8s, a 5.7-liter HEMI, develops 370 hp and 395 lb-ft. It comes mated to the same smooth eight-speed automatic transmission as the rest of the range, with no access to a manual gearbox. With so much power under the hood, only high-performance luxury sedans are likely to keep up with the R/T, and even they will have to put in some effort.

Topping out the range is a 6.4-liter V8, the standard engine on the Scat Pack. Pumping out an impressive 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, this powertrain launches the large sedan forward with considerable zest, and sounds like Vin Diesel growling about "FAMILY" when pushed to perform. The 0-60 mph sprint is a quick affair for the capable V8, which needs only between four and 4.5 seconds. Regardless of powertrain or drivetrain, the Charger is rated to tow only 1,000 lbs.

2020 Dodge Charger Rear-Facing View CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Gear Lever CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

The weakest of the three available engines is a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 292 hp and 260 lb-ft for the rear wheels or 300 hp and 264 lb-ft for all four wheels. But, calling the engine weak doesn't really feel accurate. Getting around town is not an issue for this V6, even when pushing a 4,000-pound sedan. Merging on the highway should be easy enough, but the SXT and GT won't be able to pass quick vehicles without some effort.

The R/T gets a more capable powertrain in the form of a 5.7-liter V8 that directs 370 hp and 395 lb-ft to the rear wheels. This engine is on par with some of the higher-end family sedans on the market. Acceleration is quick, even when already on the move, so passing on the highway requires little effort.

Reserved for the top-tier Scat Pack, the 6.4-liter V8 engine develops a whopping 485 hp and 475 lb-ft. Once again, only rear-wheel-drive is available. Keeping this beast tame around town requires some restraint, but when letting loose on the highway, the Charger literally charges past the competition.

All three engines come mated to the same capable eight-speed automatic gearbox, with no available manual. While only the SXT has access to an all-wheel drivetrain right now, the GT will be getting the same later in the year.

  • Engines
    3.6-liter V6 Gas, 5.7-liter V8 Gas, 6.4-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

While it may be designed to maintain a certain level of practicality and daily-driver appeal, the Charger is far from a boring family sedan. The V6-powered models are more in line with more mainstream sedans like the Nissan Maxima, but it's when you upgrade to the V8 models that the real fun begins.

Like an old school muscle car, the HEMI V8 rumbles in the background as you drive along, reminding the drive that they are at the helm of a true performance vehicle. Plant your foot into the accelerator and that low rumble becomes a deafening growl. Unlike the supercharged Hellcat model, putting down power in the Scat Pack Widebody does not feel like an impossible task (thank the wider 305 tires for that). Yes, the Scat Pack can light up the rear tires with ease but if you show a bit of restraint, it should be able to match the Hellcat off the line.

Some critics like to say that the Charger can't take corners but this isn't strictly accurate. Dodge says the Scat Pack Widebody can pull .98g on a skidpad, which actually best's the Hellcat's .96g figure. The steering isn't as communicative as some performance sedans from Europe but it is far from vague. Changing the drive modes from Auto to Track adds a ton of weight to the steering, stiffens up the suspension, and reminds the traction control to allow more wheel slip. Even in Track Mode, the Charger's suspension never beats up its occupants but larger bumps do become more apparent.

Road noise is consistent but muted thanks to the well-insulated cabin, and the powerful V8 engines drown out most external noise when accelerating, but those who don't love the growl may find it annoying after some time. Dodge's cylinder deactivation technology is pretty seamless but those with acute hearing will be able to tell when the HEMI is running on only four cylinders.

Charger Gas Mileage

Fuel consumption varies quite a bit across the Charger range, with each of the three engines offering different levels of performance and efficiency. The SXT and GT come equipped with the standard V6 engine, albeit in two different states of tune, depending on the drivetrain. In their rear-wheel guise, each model gets an EPA-estimated 19/30/23 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles, while the all-wheel drivetrain sees these figures drop to 18/27/22 mpg. The first V8 engine, equipped to the R/T, gets 16/25/19 mpg, while the stronger V8 on the Scat Pack gets 15/24/18 mpg. The Scat Pack's V8 is also the only engine that runs on premium gasoline. Every model gets an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, though, with the most efficient Charger being able to cover 425 miles before needing to refuel. Even with cylinder deactivation on the 6.4-liter HEMI, we struggled to match the EPA's 18-mpg average figure. That being said, our fuel economy of 16 mpg was around four mpg better than we managed in a Hellcat.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/30 mpg
* 2020 Dodge Charger SXT RWD

Charger Interior

There are seating appointments for up to five within the Charger. Those up front are spoiled for space, with a fair amount of headroom and plenty of legroom. Taller passengers in the rear may find the sloping roof problematic, but at least they won't have to worry about their legs fitting. The sloping roof combines with quite thick C-pillars to produce large blind spots, and forward visibility isn't that great, either. Getting in and out requires some muscle, as the doors are quite heavy, and rear passengers will need to bend over quite a bit to slide in. The driver gets a six-way power sport seat as standard, but this is upgraded to eight directions with power lumbar on the upper trims, with available performance seats. Heating functions can be optioned onto both front and rear seats and front seats offer available ventilation.

2020 Dodge Charger Dashboard CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Steering Wheel Controls CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Armrest CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

There are seating appointments for up to five within the Charger. Those up front are spoiled for space, with a fair amount of headroom and plenty of legroom. Taller passengers in the rear may find the sloping roof problematic, but at least they won't have to worry about their legs fitting. The sloping roof combines with quite thick C-pillars to produce large blind spots, and forward visibility isn't that great, either. Getting in and out requires some muscle, as the doors are quite heavy, and rear passengers will need to bend over quite a bit to slide in. The driver gets a six-way power sport seat as standard, but this is upgraded to eight directions with power lumbar on the upper trims, with available performance seats. Heating functions can be optioned onto both front and rear seats and front seats offer available ventilation.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.8 in
  • Front Head Room 38.6 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.6 in

Interior Colors and Materials

While the interior of the Charger is relatively comfortable, it certainly isn't that pleasing to the eye. The styling is bland and uninspired, while the choice of materials is downright shabby with some surfaces feeling like they can be ripped apart with a fair amount of hand prying. There is plenty of hard plastic and rubber on display, even in high-traffic areas, and every model comes with cloth upholstery as standard. This is upgraded to premium cloth on the upper trims, but the only color choice is Black. If you're willing to spend an additional $2,700, you can swap the cloth out for Nappa/Alcantara upholstery available in plain Black, Red and Black, or Caramel with Black accents. It may be worth it to look at the Carbon/Suede Interior package, which adds genuine carbon fiber interior trim and a suede headliner, to give the Charger a slightly higher-class feel and appearance.

Charger Trunk and Cargo Space

The overall spaciousness of the interior extends to the trunk. Behind the rear seats, 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space is offered. This isn't particularly impressive for the segment, but it's plenty of space for daily errand-running. The floor of the trunk is a bit high, and it narrows quite a bit toward the rear. The back seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split to free up a little extra space, allowing the Charger to store up to 16 carry-ons.

There isn't much in the way of small-item storage around the cabin, though. There is a standard passenger-side glove compartment, and a relatively spacious center armrest cubby. There aren't any storage trays or bins around the center stack, but a pair of cupholders are hidden beneath a sliding lid. The front door pockets are decently sized and have a separate pocket for water bottles.

2020 Dodge Charger Rear Passenger Seats CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Rear Seat Down CarBuzz
2020 Dodge Charger Trunk Space CarBuzz
  • Trunk Volume
    16.5 ft³

Charger Infotainment and Features

Features

The majority of the Charger's standard features are present even on the base-level SXT. These include manual dual-zone climate control, remote keyless entry and engine start, a six-way power driver's seat, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and two 12-volt power outlets. The all-wheel-drive version of the SXT gets automatic dual-zone climate control, instead, as well as an eight-way power driver's seat with four-way lumbar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and upgraded premium cloth upholstery. The GT replaces the sport seats with performance seats and adds bright pedals. On the top-tier Scat Pack, the front seats get heating. Features available as part of the packages include Nappa leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a power sunroof.

Infotainment

Dodge gives the Charger a great Uconnect infotainment suite that comprises a seven-inch touchscreen on the base model with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and SiriusXM paired with a basic six-speaker sound system. Two USB ports are standard along with an auxiliary audio input jack. The all-wheel-drive SXT gets the larger 8.4-inch touchscreen as well as HD Radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker Alpine sound system. A nine-speaker Alpine or 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system are available as part of packages or standalone options, as is navigation. Surprisingly, we preferred the sound of the Alpine system in our Scat Pack Charger compared to the Harmon Kardon system we tested in the Hellcat. To our ears, it packed a better punch at higher volumes.

Charger Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power awards the Dodge a pretty good overall dependability rating of 80 out of 100. However, the sedan has been subjected to a handful of recalls. In 2019, three issues were brought to light: the front tires may be damaged, the sun visors may lack airbag warning information, and the driver warnings may not illuminate correctly. New purchases are covered by pretty standard warranties, with the limited warranty valid for 36,000 miles/36 months, while the powertrain and roadside assistance plans are covered for 60,000 miles/60 months.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

Charger Safety

The Charger enjoys quite good overall safety ratings, with the NHTSA awarding it a five-star general rating. Similarly, the IIHS gives the Charger a rating of Good in three out of four crash tests, while small overlap front driver-side gets a rating of only Moderate.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

All basic mechanical safety features come standard on every Dodge Charger trim, including ABS, stability and traction control, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Every model also comes with a rearview camera and rear sonar. However, the advanced driver-assistance features are all locked behind the optional package groups. Through these, buyers can get access to blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision avoidance.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Dodge Charger a good car?

There are very few sedans on the market that offer the pure, unadulterated Americana as the Dodge Charger. By focusing less on luxury and comfort and more on driver enjoyment, Dodge has managed to capture a piece of the market that has been virtually ignored by other automakers. With three capable engines, including a wonderful 6.4-liter HEMI V8, the Charger is a performance bargain amongst its competitors.

This affordability and abundance of performance do come at the expense of significant cost-cutting in the interior. The cabin of the Charger feels rental-grade all the way up to the Scat Pack model but it is, at least, very spacious and the performance seats are comfortable and supportive. The standard list of features doesn't impress either, with the majority of tech and driver-assistance features requiring you to tack on some pricey packages. Once you do opt for these features though, the Charger does technically match more luxurious sedan on bells and whistles. Dodge also receives bonus points for its infotainment suite, which is quite comprehensive and extremely user-friendly.

The Charger, even in Scat Pack form, functions well as a daily driver for those who still want a bit of excitement thanks to its functional trunk and spacious rear seats. And the kids will certainly appreciate the added street cred that comes from arriving at school to the fanfare of a roaring V8 engine. There are more practical and premium large sedans out there, but the Dodge Charger is a great car for those who want a bit more character from their commuter.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Dodge Charger?

While you may expect the potent engines available under the hood of the Dodge Charger to come with a much more expensive vehicle, the entry-level SXT actually starts just below $30k at $29,895, although opting for the available all-wheel drivetrain will push this up to $33,595. Utilizing the same engine as the base model, the GT only increases the price tag to $31,895, but there will be an all-wheel-drive version available later in the year. The R/T gets the first of two available V8 engines, and asks for an investment of $36,395, while the stronger engine on the Scat Pack pushes the price up another $3,600. These prices exclude tax, licensing, registration, and Dodge's hefty $1,495 destination charge.

2020 Dodge Charger Models

There are a total of four trims within the Dodge Charger range, not counting the high-performance Hellcat. The SXT and GT share the same 3.6-liter V6 engine. Paired with the rear-wheel drivetrain, the V6 develops 292 hp and 260 lb-ft. The SXT already has access to the all-wheel drivetrain, while the GT, which increases outputs to 300 hp and 264 lb-ft, will get access to the AWD setup later this year. The R/T gets the 5.7-liter V8 with 370 hp and 395 lb-ft, while the Scat Pack gets a 6.4-liter V8 with 485 hp and 475 lb-ft. Every engine comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the V8s can only be paired with a rear-wheel drivetrain.

The primary difference between the models is their powertrains. Standard equipment on the SXT includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic halogen headlights, and LED daytime running lights. The interior comes upholstered in cloth, with a six-way power driver's seat, and manual dual-zone climate control. Remote keyless entry and ignition, and cruise control round out the conveniences. The infotainment suite consists of a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system with AM/FM Radio and SiriusXM. A pair of USB ports are situated up front, along with two 12-volt power outlets. A rearview camera and rear sonar are the only advanced safety features.

Equipping the SXT with the all-wheel drivetrain actually alters the features list quite a bit. The 17-inch wheels are upgraded to 19-inch variants, and LED fog lights are added. It also gets an upgraded suspension, performance brakes, and a Sport Mode drive selection. The upholstery is upgraded to premium cloth, and climate control gets automated functions. Additional features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-way power driver's seat with four-way lumbar, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen that supports HD Radio and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, paired with an upgraded six-speaker Alpine sound system.

The GT will also get access to both drivetrains, but in its current RWD form it enhances the SXT's offering with 20-inch alloy wheels, performance seats, and bright pedals. The R/T makes no significant changes to this features list aside from the new engine. The Scat Pack, once again, gets a stronger engine, but it also receives a high-performance suspension, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, heavy-duty engine cooling, launch control and assist, as well as heated front seats.

See All 2020 Dodge Charger Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

While the Charger doesn't really change much between the various trim levels, there are plenty of ways to customize your purchase. The Plus Group ($1,995 - $2,895) can be specced onto every trim level, with the price decreasing depending on what features the trim already has. The package includes 20-inch Satin Carbon finish wheels, a sport suspension, heated front sport seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, HD Radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, automatic dual-zone climate control, blind-spot indicators, and a six-speaker Alpine sound system. The Driver Convenience Group ($1,295) adds HID headlights, blind-spot indicators, LED fog lights, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, while the Technology Group ($1,895) comprises adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist, automatic dual-zone climate control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, forward collision avoidance, and rain-sense wipers.

🚗What Dodge Charger Model Should I Buy?

All four trim levels offer comparable levels of practicality, with a decent amount of passenger space and a pretty capacious trunk. There are also only minimal differences in the features lists between each trim, so it really comes down to which engine you want under the hood. As a muscle car, the Dodge Charger is all about power, and that's what buyers look for, so we'd suggest going with the only model that offers the kind of whiplash-inducing power that speed freaks lust after - the Scat Pack. The V8 under the top-tier model's hood throws out close to 500 hp and lb-ft, so you won't be left wanting for speed, although you may be left breathless. The top model also gets all the standard features available to the Charger, as well as superior Brembo brakes and a performance suspension. To top it all off, no optional packages are withheld from the Scat Pack, and it gets exclusive access to the Widebody Package if you really want to show off your muscles.

Check out other Dodge Charger Styles

2020 Dodge Charger Comparisons

Dodge Challenger R/T Dodge
Chrysler 300 Chrysler
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Dodge Charger292 hp19/30 mpg$29,995
Dodge Challenger R/T 375 hp15/23 mpg$34,995
Chrysler 300 292 hp19/30 mpg$30,040

2020 Dodge Charger vs Dodge Challenger R/T

Both the Charger and Challenger have been around since the '70s, and even back then, the primary difference between the two has been aesthetics. Both muscle cars share the same platform and the same choice of engines, but the Challenger looks more like how we envision a traditional muscle car due to its coupe design. This does impact, ever so slightly, on certain interior dimensions, with the Challenger offering quite a bit less rear legroom, and a slightly smaller trunk. In terms of features, the two vehicles are identically specced across their respective trim levels. What will determine your choice here is your priorities. Do you want the slightly better practicality of the sedan-style Charger, or the imposing curb appeal of the coupe-style Challenger?

See Dodge Challenger R/T Review

2020 Dodge Charger vs Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 shares a platform with the Dodge Charger as they both fall under the FCA banner. As such, they each get to choose from the same available engines, although those under the hood of the Chrysler are tuned slightly differently. What really sets the two sedans apart is their styling and target market. The Chrysler is more focused on luxury with more distinct trim levels that offer specific package options, as opposed to just different engine options. The Charger has better overall power and performance since it gets access to the 485-hp V8 that the Chrysler can't equip. But the Chrysler's upper trims come upholstered in leather with heated and ventilated front seats, climate-controlled cupholders, and a generally more upscale interior. Yet again, priorities will determine the better choice here. Those who want a decent level of power but refuse to compromise on luxury will opt for the Chrysler 300, but if you're willing to settle for just muscle and practicality, the Charger should suffice.

See Chrysler 300 Review

Dodge Charger Popular Comparisons

2020 Dodge Charger Video Reviews

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