Dodge Charger 7th Generation 2011-2022 Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Charger 7th Gen

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7th Generation Dodge Charger: What Owners Say

  • The 7th-gen Charger has always been an affordable way to have fun.
  • Design-wise, it's so obviously meant to be a muscle car. In short, it stands out in a crowd of humdrum Japanese sedans.
  • Enough room for the family, and a massive trunk.
  • Available AWD means people in cold-weather states can have fun too.
  • Low-quality interior.
  • None of the available engines are especially frugal.
  • It lacks sophistication.

Charger 7th Generation Facelift

The seventh-generation Dodge Charger's mid-cycle facelift arrived in 2015 and as you'll see below, it was quite a substantial one. The 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 were carried over. From 2015 onwards, all models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The ride and handling depend entirely on the model you opt for. All Chargers are forgiving enough to live with daily. It's built on the same platform as the Chrysler 300C, which, in turn, is based on the Mercedes-Benz W210 E-Class, dating back to 1995. It has been updated along the way, but it's fundamentally the same design. Dodge also took the opportunity to update the various available suspension systems and the brakes.

2015-2022 Charger 7th Gen Facelift Front Changes

Dodge changed the front end entirely, getting rid of the large headlights 1, protruding snout, and high, bluff front end. At the time, automotive design was moving in a sleeker direction and the 7th-gen Dodge Charger caught on early. The far thinner new grille 2 is flanked by two equally slimmed-down headlights - now incorporating signature horizontal LED DRL strips - with a secondary air intake in the lower bumper 3, as before. This lower air intake is either smoothly integrated between two outer grilles in a V-format bumper or a large, aggressive, upturned maw, depending on which model you go for. On some trims, the V motif is in contrasting gloss black and extends from the grille all the way down to the front spoiler. Where fitted, the fog lights are arranged in horizontal strips on either side of the lower air dam and are no longer round as before 4. The headlights are now contained entirely within a large, integrated bumper/nose cone. Both pre- and post-facelift models have differing power bulges on the hood, with high-performance models gaining an air scoop 5.

2015-2022 Charger 7th Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The overall design of the rear remains broadly similar but adapted for the modern world. The taillights that run the width of the rear are now a lot slimmer and still pay homage to the first-generation Charger; it's part of what makes the car so appealing 1. The entire assembly is outlined in a red LED strip. It's less of a family sedan and more muscle car, with the new bumper housing a flatter, wider number-plate cutout 2. As you go up the range, the more aggressive the tailpipes get 3. Ensuring that the rear keeps to the sleeker theme, the spoiler options across the range are slightly less aggressive 4.

2015-2022 Charger 7th Gen Facelift Side Changes

The facelifted model retains the same swooping design element that stretches from the middle of the front doors to the rear 1. Dodge also designed a selection of contemporary alloys to go with the post-facelift car's new exterior 2. Chrome still plays a big role, but you could get more stylish twin-spoke options as well. The changes to the front and rear are clearly noticeable in profile, with the cutline between the front bumper and fender having moved well back to above the front wheel arch to accommodate the new nose cone, and the new headlights clearly visible in the more pointed nose 3.

The larger rear bumper now meets the revised taillights halfway, with the cutline between it and the rear fender no longer horizontal, but swooping down at an angle from the center of the taillight to the wheel arch. The side marker lights have been relocated and now mirror each other at the opposite ends of the front and rear wheel arches; previously, the front one was integrated in the headlight cluster and the rear one sat in the side of the rear bumper 4. The overall effect is far neater and a lot more modern.

2015-2022 Charger 7th Gen Facelift Interior Changes

If you ever wonder why Chargers are so cheap, get inside one. Both the pre- and post-facelift models have practical interiors, but the material quality is poor. If you look at the inside of the pre-facelift model, you'll note that everything you could expect is there, and you even get some nice chrome accents to make it look expensive. But then you touch and interact with the controls and realize that it's all just a facade. The shifter looks like a heavy, quality item, but the reality is that it's just a hollow piece of plastic and it feels horrible as you move it down to Drive. The steering wheel also feels cheap, and it's almost impossible to find one that's still reasonably intact.

With the facelift, the Dodge Charger 7th generation moved over to a new driver-oriented interior with a much better static gear lever 1. The layout of the buttons on the new steering wheels is more logical, and the perforated leather on high-end models feels more upper class 2. Speaking of the steering wheel, we prefer the simpler new logo framed by a thin chrome border. The placement and layout of the climate control/air-conditioning is also better, swapping places with the audio controls; the latter are now above the former - and the CD slot is gone 3. The infotainment system on pre-2017 models is poor. A year after the facelift, Dodge finally included the Uconnect system as standard, though not all models had all the system's features as standard. Entry-level models have a seven-inch touchscreen, while high-end models are equipped with an 8.4-inch infotainment system 4. The facelift comes with a restyled gauge cluster with the round fuel and temperature gauges removed from the bottoms of the speedometer and tachometer and now part of the new 7.0-inch digital driver-information display between the two main gauges 5.

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The Dodge Charger is available with three old-school naturally aspirated engines. All of these engines offer decent performance, even though they're hardly at the forefront of engine technology. The entry-level engine is the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar, producing 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. In the GT model, introduced to the updated 2015 model year range, it produces 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque, but you simply can't tell the difference. For those who live in colder climates, the V6 is the only realistic engine option as it's the only model Dodge offered with the optional AWD system. So it's either the V6, or a set of snow tires and a healthy dose of self-confidence.

The next step up is the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, dating back to the original 300C. Despite its large displacement, it produces an underwhelming 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. It is immensely charming, however. It sounds exactly like a muscle car engine should, but doesn't necessarily provide the sort of forward thrust you'd expect from such a large V8. The monster in the range is the 6.4-liter Hemi V8. It was only available in the SRT8, but from 2016 it was offered as part of the standard line-up. This engine produces 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, which is good enough for a 0-60 mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds.

In terms of transmissions, you want to skip the 2011 model year. Dodge equipped all models with the outdated W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. For 2012, the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission became optionally available on the AWD V6 Charger only and from 2015, it was standardized across the lineup. The eight-speed could, however, not be combined with the V8 and AWD, so only the V6 was available with the AWD drivetrain from 2015.

3.6-liter V6 DOHC Pentastar
292/300 hp | 260/264 lb-ft
Horsepower
292/300 hp
Torque
260/264 lb-ft
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic transmission

The Charger is one of the first cars to introduce Chrysler's Pentastar powertrain which comprises an aluminum block and heads with 24 valves, dual-overhead camshafts, and multipoint fuel injection. Over the 11 years of the current-generation Charger's life, it is available in the SE, SXT, SXT+, SXT Rallye Edition, and the GT. It is generally perceived as a reliable engine option but it has had some mechanical hiccups since its implementation. The first three production years exhibited a few cylinder-head failures, and problems with cam followers and rocker arms do crop up now and again.

In its base state, the powertrain produces 292 hp and 260 lb-ft but with the introduction of the GT trim in 2015, it benefits from a few extra horses as a result of a different exhaust. The main thing to keep in mind is to avoid the 2011 model's five-speed automatic transmission. The Pentastar V6 is a peaky engine, delivering maximum power at 6,350 rpm and maximum torque at 4,800 rpm. The five-speed just doesn't have enough ratios to make the most out of the engine, while the eight-speed automatic which was optionally available from 2012 has a nice even spread of ratios, more effectively squeezing that last bit of juice from the rev-happy V6's torque curve. The availability of the eight-speed auto coincides with the introduction of optional AWD on the V6, a feature only available with this new transmission.

5.7-liter V8 OHV Hemi
370/388 hp | 395/413 lb-ft
Horsepower
370/388 hp
Torque
395/413 lb-ft
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic transmission

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is an aged powertrain as it was introduced for the Ram trucks in 2003. Its first sedan application was to the 300C but before making its way into the Charger, Chrysler fitted variable camshaft timing, revised the cylinder heads to increase flow, and fitted a new passive intake manifold.

It produces only 370 hp at 5,250 rpm. The torque is more impressive, with 395 lb-ft available from 4,200 rpm. It's more suited to a large luxury sedan or SUV. A V8 soundtrack is one of the hallmarks of a muscle car, and so the 5.7 Hemi V8 remains a popular choice. This engine was offered in a choice of RWD or AWD from the start. The ample torque means it'll chug along happily with the five-speed automatic, but the 2015+ eight-speed is sportier and smoother. The limited-edition 2015 Mopar '15 performance kit ups the 5.7's output from 370 hp/395 lb-ft to 388 hp/413 lb-ft thanks to a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust. Despite some occasional valve-gear and multi-displacement system (MDS) problems, the Hemi 5.7 is robust and reliable.

6.4-liter V8 OHV Hemi
470/485 hp | 470/475 lb-ft
Horsepower
470/485 hp
Torque
470/475 lb-ft
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic transmission

Before the facelift, the 6.4-liter V8 was only available in the SRT8 trim. In the pre-facelift SRT8, it produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque but is only available with the older five-speed automatic transmission. We review the SRT models separately. The post-facelift 2015+ 6.4 produces 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque in the R/T Scat Pack and is mated to the newer eight-speed automatic transmission. As a muscle-car engine, the 6.4-liter is brilliant. It's more rev-happy than the 5.7-liter and produces a lot more power. Oddly, it's also quite good at low speed. While the maximum torque is only available at 4,100 rpm, a big portion of it is available from just above idle. It feels epic just idling along with the big lump up front burbling angrily at the world. In terms of reliability, all the 5.7 Hemi's comments apply here as well.

7th Gen Dodge Charger Real MPG

Considering that the Charger employs powertrains that are fairly aged, it's not the most fuel-efficient vehicle available in the large sedan segment. The most efficient engine option that you'll have access to is the smaller 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar with the rear-wheel drive and eight-speed torque converter automatic setup which has an EPA-estimated 19/30/23 mpg city/highway/combined. The heaviest of the batch is the 5.7-liter Hemi-powered example with the all-wheel-drive system and five-speed auto which manages 15/23/18 mpg. This is followed closely by the 6.4-liter rear-wheel-drive model, achieving 15/25/18 mpg. The EPA also provides real-world figures by sourcing data from existing and previous owners of the Charger. As per these claims, the V6 with the five-speed auto translates a more preferable range of 28.3 to 29 mpg which bests the eight-speed auto's 20.1 to 26.7 mpg range. The least efficient mill is the flagship 6.4-liter that returns with a 16 to 18.7 mpg range. This particular means of sourcing data is not controlled by the EPA so they should not be treated as an official result but rather a possible guideline.

EPA MPG (city/highway/combined)Real-World Combined MPG*
3.6 V6 RWD five-speed auto (2011-2014)18/27/2128.3-29
3.6 V6 RWD eight-speed auto (2012-2021)19/30/2320.1-26.7
3.6 V6 AWD eight-speed auto (2012-2021)18/27/2124.6
5.7 V8 RWD five-speed auto (2011-2014)15/24/1816.8-19.4
5.7 V8 AWD five-speed auto (2011-2014)15/23/1819.5
5.7 V8 RWD eight-speed auto (2015-2021)16/25/1920.3
6.4 V8 RWD eight-speed auto (2015-2021)15/25/1816-18.7

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.

Safety

Throughout its impressive lifespan, the Charger never received advanced safety features as standard. It's yet another reason why Dodge could afford to sell it so cheaply. During this time, some advanced features were included as options, such as forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. For 2014, rear parking sensors became optionally available on base trims but made standard on top trims. From 2018, they became standard across the board. On the 2015+ facelifted Charger, a backup camera is standard on top trims and optional on lower ones; this, too, became standard on all trims from 2018. More available options included lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist. The traditional safety features were all there from the start - every model has seven airbags, active headrests, automatic headlights, traction and stability control, and ABS.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

Overall Rating::
(5/5)
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating::
(4/5)
Side Crash Rating::
(5/5)
Rollover Rating::
(5/5)

2011-2022 Dodge Charger Trims

Dodge went a bit overboard with the number of trim levels available throughout the years. The 2011 MY is a case in point. It was technically the new 7th-generation Charger, but also not. It was an in-between model with the new V6 engine but equipped with an old gearbox. Dodge only really swapped to the new range later in 2012, dropping the previous model designations.

Thankfully, the range became easier to understand as unpopular models dropped away and the range was streamlined. The 2015 model year saw big changes, with the eight-speed transmission becoming standard across the board, the loss of AWD on V8 trims in addition to various new available standard safety features. For 2017, all models with the 8.4-inch infotainment system (thus SXT and higher) get a faster and more powerful Uconnect system, a high-resolution screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The active exhaust becomes standard on all 5.7s too.

For 2018, a backup camera and rear parking sensors are standard on all trims, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All 2019 GT and R/T trims gain several chassis improvements, including a new final drive, performance suspension, and retuned power steering.

It's worth keeping an eye out for the various limited trims Dodge offered throughout the years. The trims below represent the standard line-up throughout the years. In addition to these, Dodge offered 100th Anniversary models in 2014 and Daytona 340 and 392 Editions in 2017. The changes were mostly visual but worth looking at if you want something a bit more special.

Here are some of the most noteworthy special editions:

  • 2011 Mopar. This special edition is based on the 370-hp 5.7-liter R/T with the Super Trac Pak added, encompassing items such as heavy-duty brakes, sports suspension, a 3.91:1 final drive, and three-mode track-calibrated stability control. It also has Pitch Black paintwork and a Mopar Blue stripe on the driver's side of the car. Inside you'll find Katzkin leather upholstery with Mopar Blue piping and striping, a matching steering wheel, and a piston-grip shifter for the five-speed auto 'box. Only 1,500 units were made.
  • 2012-2013 Blacktop. Available in either R/T or R/T Plus formats for 2013, the Blacktop was offered in a choice of six colors and has a color-coded trunk spoiler and gloss-black treatment for the 20-inch alloy wheels and grille. Inside, it has paddle shifters, a Sport driving mode, a 3.06:1 final drive, and a ten-speaker, 552-watt Beats audio system. The Blacktop package was also offered on 2012-2013 V6s, with power increased from 292 to 300 hp thanks to a performance exhaust.
  • 2013 & 2017 Daytona. The 2013 Daytona revives a name first seen in 1969 and it's available in R/T or R/T Road & Track formats. It is available in five colors and has a satin-black crosshair grille, a Daytona hood graphic, an R/T rear spoiler, Daytona decals on the rear quarter panels, 20-inch alloys, and a roof wrap. It also has a Daytona Blue engine cover, a 3.06:1 final drive, and performance suspension and steering. Inside, the Road & Track has heated and ventilated Nappa leather-and-suede sports seats with Daytona Blue piping and stitching; similar seats in cloth are fitted to the normal R/T, which has a lower specification level. Only 3,000 units were made. This trim returned for 2017 with either the 5.7- or 6.4-liter V8 - the former the Daytona 340 and the latter the Daytona 392 - in vivid new paint colors and with different striping, along with some other changes. The 2017 model is essentially an R/T or R/T Road & Track with the Customer Preferred Package 29S added.
  • 2014 R/T 100th Anniversary Edition. This edition was available for either the SXT Plus V6 or R/T Plus V8 trims and commemorated Dodge's centenary. These models get a choice of eight paint colors, five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels, a Granite Crystal grille (but a red R/T heritage grille on the R/T Plus), "Dodge Est. 1914" fender badging, Foundry Black or Molten Red Nappa-leather sports seats, many bespoke interior finishes and highlights, and a 552-watt Beats audio system.
  • 2015 Mopar '15. For 2015, Mopar made only 50 copies of this performance kit available for the R/T, which adds street-legal upgrades such as the Scat Pack Performance Stage 1 kit, alloy pedals, a front strut-tower brace, and an increase in outputs by 18 hp and 18 lb-ft thanks to a cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust system. There are also model-specific badging and graphics, logos, and sill guards.
  • 2016 Blacktop edition. Available on the SXT and R/T trims, the Blacktop edition returned for 2016 and adds to these trims performance tires, sport suspension, and black-out treatment for the 20-inch alloy wheels, badging, rear spoiler, and a bespoke fascia panel. Inside, the gauge-cluster bezels are black too and there is a performance steering wheel and premium floor mats.
  • 2020 Stars & Stripes Edition. This special package is available on the GT RWD, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and Scat Pack trims, and is available in nine colors. It salutes the US armed forces with various military-inspired touches such as satin black and silver center body stripe, black 20-inch alloys, American flag fender decals in satin black, and bronze calipers for the four-piston Brembo brakes on the Scat Pack models.
SE
2011-2022
Engine
3.6-liter V6
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD and available AWD

The SE is the entry-level offering for the Charger for the most part of this generation's lifespan. It runs on 17-inch alloy wheels. It has the basic amenities, including dual-zone manual air-conditioning, cruise control, a manually tilting/telescoping steering column, power door locks and windows, keyless entry and ignition, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split rear seat, remote start, a trip computer, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat. The SE is also the only model in the range to offer the 4.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with an auxiliary input jack, iPod interface, CD player, and six speakers. Basic Bluetooth and USB connectivity were optional extras. The five-speed automatic transmission is standard and the eight-speed automatic was an optional extra on this model from the 2012 to 2014 model years, so keep that in mind when shopping around. For the 2015 facelift, the steering wheel is trimmed in leather, the infotainment screen is slightly larger at five inches, and AWD is optional, fitted with 19-inch alloys and bigger brakes.

SXT
2012-2017
Engine
3.6-liter V6
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD and available AWD

The SXT joined the lineup in 2012. Over and above the SE's kit, it adds as standard the eight-speed automatic transmission, fog lights, 19-inch alloys on the AWD model, heated side mirrors, heated front cloth sports seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, and more available optional packages. It was essentially a blank canvas, giving prospective customers the option of adding as much as they wanted to. These options included convenience, appearance, and navigation packages. The facelifted 2015 SXT gets LED fog lights and for 2016, the Super Track Pack is available on the SXT, so some cars might have been optioned with this. Following the demise of the SE, the SXT is the 2018 Charger's base model and reverts to a seven-inch infotainment screen, but with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2019 SXT gets optional AWD for the first time.

The SXT Plus is an interesting model, but it failed to sell. Dodge built it for three years from 2012 to 2014, and once again in 2018. It has heated/ventilated front seats, perforated leather upholstery, heated rear seats, LED ambient interior lighting, more electrical adjustment for the front seats, and access to packages such as the Blacktop and Rallye Appearance Group packages.

R/T
2011-2014 and 2018
Engine
5.7-liter V8
Transmission
Five-/eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD/AWD

The big selling point here is the 5.7-liter V8. While not all that fast by modern standards, it provides a noticeable improvement in performance over the V6. As for standard features, it adds to the SXT power adjustment for the front passenger seat as well, in addition to an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a six-speaker premium Alpine audio system. It also has a sportier exhaust system, 18-inch alloys (19 inches on the AWD model), performance suspension, xenon headlights, fog lights, a rear spoiler on the RWD model only, and larger brakes. There are two versions of the R/T: Max and Plus. Like the SXT Plus, the RT Plus includes heated and ventilated seats, plus a few other luxury items. The Max adds absolutely everything, including a heated steering wheel. The 2019 R/T gets the Hellcat's side skirts, power-dome hood, and aggressive front-end styling.

R/T Road & Track
2011-2016
Engine
5.7-liter V8
Transmission
Eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD

The R/T Road & Track, available from launch up until 2016 follows up on the basic spec of the R/T and adds a limited-slip differential, better brakes, rear parking sensors, an electrically tilting/telescoping and heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, an electrically adjustable passenger seat, heated rear seats, launch control, performance-tuned power steering, three-mode stability control, Super Track Pack suspension tuning, and Dodge Performance Pages, which allows fine-tuning of the engine, suspension, and steering.

R/T Scat Pack
2015-2022
Engine
6.4-liter V8
Transmission
Eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual
Drivetrain
RWD

The RT Scat Pack was the first model to introduce the high-output 485-hp 6.4-liter V8 to the standard range, moving away from the SRT8. To keep it affordable, it has mostly the same spec level as the R/T Road & Track, plus larger Brembo performance brakes with six-piston front calipers, an active exhaust system, bi-xenon headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, three-mode power steering, alloy-trimmed pedals, Scat Pack styling, and a limited-slip differential. It does lose a few R/T Road & Track features, such as the leather seats, seat ventilation, and powered steering-column adjustment. The 2018 model has red Brembo brake calipers and the 2019 model has a new grille with dual air inlets, launch control, line-lock, and new badging. For the 2020-2022 model, the Widebody package is available, equipping the wide fender flares and braking system of the Hellcat, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel, new bumpers, 305/35 tires on all four corners, three-mode adaptive Bilstein dampers, 35-percent harder springs, thicker anti-roll bars, and six-piston Brembo brakes. The 2022 models get a standard anti-theft alarm.

GT
2018 - 2022
Engine
3.6-liter V6
Transmission
Eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
AWD

The GT is the 2018 replacement for the SXT Plus, offering a top-spec model with the V6 engine. It's available exclusively in AWD format. As standard, it comes with the higher output 300 hp/264 lb-ft V6 engine, a performance suspension, LED fog lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, and an 8.4-inch infotainment screen with Dodge Performance Pages built-in. The 2019 GT is a trim level in its own right and no longer AWD, but it does get performance suspension, a different final drive, retuned power steering, and the Hellcat's side skirts, front end, and power-dome hood. For 2021 AWD returns to the GT as an option; this derivative also gets 20-inch alloys.

Seventh Generation Dodge Charger Sedan Features

SESXTGTR/TR/T Road & TrackR/T Scat Pack
Back-Up CameraN/AN/AN/ASSS
Bluetooth ConnectionSSSSSS
Leather SeatsaN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Apple CarPlay (Only Post-Facelift)SSSSSS
Keyless EntrySSSSSS
Keyless StartSSSSSS
HD RadioSSSSSS
Alloy WheelsSSSSSS
SunroofN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

Interior, Trim And Practicality

Dodge

The Dodge Charger is infamous for having a low-quality interior. In order to sell a muscle car for cheap, Dodge had to implement some form of cost-cutting. In this case, it's not hard to see where the money was saved. The dark plastics are hard and shiny, and Dodge uses faux metal trim to break the darkness up a bit. Another cost-saving tactic is the upholstery. Even the top Scat Pack gets cloth seats, with Nappa leather being an optional extra. It's worth keeping an eye out for a used model equipped with this option when shopping around. While the quality was below par, the ergonomics were spot-on. The major controls are angled toward the driver, making them easy to reach and operate.

Space for front passengers is plenty, but the sloping roofline results in less headroom in the rear. You can put a six-footer back there, but they'll likely start complaining after a few minutes.

Sedans of this size usually have 11 to 12 cubic foot trunks, but the Charger has an impressive 16.5 cubes. That's enough for the weekly shopping, though you'll have to pack carefully if you want to take the family away for the weekend. It's also worth noting that the shape of the trunk is odd. The trunk narrows significantly towards the rear bench seatbacks to make room for the wheel wells. So even though the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, the narrow gateway between the trunk and cabin limits the practicality.

TrimSESXTGTR/TR/T Road & TrackR/T Scat Pack
Black clothSSSSSS
Nappa leatherOOOOOO

7th Generation Dodge Charger Maintenance and Cost

There are roughly 2,400 Dodge dealers scattered across the country and even more service centers with enough know-how to work on any of the three engines. Parts are always readily available. A basic oil change service is needed every 10,000 miles and it can cost anywhere from $100 to $170. A major service is required every 30,000 miles, in which case you can expect to pay roughly $600. From 100,000 miles and upwards, the car needs to be inspected for normal wear and tear. In most cases, you can expect at least a coolant flush, replacement of the spark plugs, and brake linings. Including parts and labor, you're looking at $1,500.

2011-2022 Dodge Charger Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

Gas engines: 5.6L (5.9 quarts) for 3.6 V6, 6.6L (7 quarts) for 5.7 NA, and 6.4 NA.

Recommended oil viscosity: 5W-30 synthetic for 3.6 and 5.7, 0W-40 for 6.4

Average price: $68-$77

How often to change: 6,000-8,000 miles

Sparkplugs

NA V6

Part code: SP149125AF

Average price: $134 for six

2011-2013 NA 5.7 V8

Part code: SPLZFR5C11

Average price: $138 for 16

2014-2022 NA 5.7 V8

Part code: SP143877AB

Average price: $288 for 16

6.4 NA V8

Part code: SP149212AC

Average price: $272 for 16

Air Filter

2011-2022 3.6 NA V6, 5.7 NA V8, and 6.4 NA V8:

OEM part number: 04861746AB

Average Price: $57

Battery

All models

The Dodge Charger doesn't have any fancy Stop/Start systems, so it doesn't require a deep-cycle battery. Thanks to Mopar, you can order the standard battery for all models easily enough.

Part number: BBH8A001AA

Type: Standard Mopar car battery

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years

Average price: $280

Dodge Charger 7th Gen Tires

Thanks to the various trims, packages, and special editions, it's difficult to pin down a standard tire size. We do know the four basic sizes, however. You could have 17-inch, 18-inch, or two 20-inch wheels, one of which is significantly wider on the Widebody.

215/65R17
All-season:
$548 to $736 per set
235/55R18
All-season:
$683-$988 per set
235/55R18
All-season:
$812-$1,108 per set
305/35R20 (Widebody)
All-season:
$912-$1,564 per set

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

There were many 2011-2022 Dodge Charger recalls. The 2011 Dodge Charger recall list includes two airbag recalls, an alternator recall, loss of low beams, and the loss of ABS/ESC system due to an overheated PDC. The headlight electrical issues were especially dangerous, not just for the driver but for other road users as well. The 2011 alternator recall and RT alternator recalls were limited to the 3.6 V6 and 5.7-liter RT models. After many owners reported alternator problems, Dodge decided to recall more than 400,000 vehicles for an alternator inspection and a possible replacement. 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 models all received an alternator recall. The airbag recall was also issued for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 models.

The 2013 and 2014 Dodge Charger transmission recall was the most notable one that year, in addition to the continuing problems mentioned above. Owners reported transmission problems, which were traced back to a transmission output shaft that may fracture.

Being the most popular models in the range, the SE and SXT recall was the biggest at the time. All models came with cruise control as standard, and it could not be canceled in some cars. These cars only required a software update. The 2015 and 2016 Dodge Charger driveshaft recall was only relevant to the AWD "Pursuit" V8 police vehicle. The front driveshaft joint could seize, causing the shaft to detach. The 2015 recall list also included front driveshaft bolts, a damaged fuel hose, and radio software security vulnerabilities. The Dodge Charger was recalled because of its lights as well. Owners reported 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Charger headlight problems. Dodge first picked up on the problem in 2014. It only affects models with halogen headlights, which means it's one of the few shared SE and RT problems. Basically, a sub-harness overheats, which causes the dims to go out. If your car isn't covered by the recall, it will cost you around $450 to replace the wiring harness.

An overheated power distribution center (PDC) can cause ABS and other electrical problems. In extreme cases, the car completely loses the ABS and traction control systems, which isn't that great in a high-performance car. A recall was issued and the 120,000 cars affected by this problem were meant to be fixed. In 2018, the police car had a radio recall, or rather a problem with the 8.4-inch infotainment screen and the rearview camera. When stealth mode was engaged, the rearview camera would not show. The final round of serious recalls took place in 2020/2021, at which point Dodge had sorted most of the Charger's problems. This time it was for inadequate windshield bonding, which could result in the windshield detaching from the car in an accident.

Since the Dodge Charger was such a problematic car, you might want to familiarize yourself with the common error codes along with the model years you'll most likely encounter them.

  • The 2011 Dodge Charge engine code P0132 indicates a problem with the O2 oxygen sensor. It could be a broken wire, high fuel temperature, or a short in the heater circuit.
  • The 2011 Code P0420 concerns the catalytic converter.
  • The 2011 Code P0455 means the car has detected a large leak in the EVAP system.
  • The 2011 RT P303 code is an indication that one of the cylinders is faulty. In this case, it's cylinder three.
  • The 2011 P0128 code indicates a faulty thermostat.
  • The 2011 SE code P0456 is for a small leak in the EVAP system.
  • The 2012 code P0440 is a complete EVAP system malfunction.
  • The 2012 code P0019 is an indication that there's a misalignment between the cam and crank position.
  • The P0126 code for the 2012 Charger indicates insufficient coolant temperature.
  • The 2013 P0300 code is cause for concern, as it indicates a misfire.
  • Code P0520 indicates high oil pressure in the 2013 Dodge Charger.
  • The 2014 P0520 code is connected to a sensor that monitors the oil pressure switch.
  • The 2014 Dodge Charger P0128 code is related to the coolant thermostat. It indicates that the coolant temperature is below the thermostat regulating temperature.
  • The 2014 Dodge Charger SXT code P0520 is also related to oil pressure in the V6 engine.
  • The 2015 Dodge Charger P0462 is related to the fuel level sensor.
  • Code P0430 on the 2015 Dodge Charger indicates that the catalytic converter is not functioning properly.
  • The 2016 Dodge Charger P0219 code means the tachometer or revolutions per minute has gone above the predetermined limit.
  • Code P0455 on the 2016 Dodge Charger indicates a large EVAP system leak.
  • The 2017 Dodge Charger engine code P0441 is also related to the EVAP system. This time it's for incorrect purge flow.

7th Gen Charger Common Problems

Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 Engine Problems

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is regarded as a robust engine and some have them have been recorded racking up to half a million miles. Its problems are quite well-known by now. Early 2011-2013 versions of this engine suffered from occasional cylinder-head failure at the number-two cylinder due to valve seats overheating, but Chrysler issued an extended warranty and these should all have been fixed by now. Trouble with valve gear occurs as well and this seems to be a theme with Chrysler engines; it's not common, but cam followers, rocker arms, and hydraulic lifters can fail and such failures are brought on more rapidly by lax maintenance and deferred oil changes. Oil pumps can expire too, but they usually do so gradually and not catastrophically, warning you by illuminating the low-oil-pressure light first. You also need to keep an eye on the cooling system, especially after 100,000 miles, as there have been some Pentastar engine water pump problems. The pumps sometimes start failing internally at this mileage. In common with many engines, the oil-filter housing can also become leaky with age.

Mileage: Faulty rocker arms, cam followers, and hydraulic lifters can fail at any age or mileage. The cooling system may start to cause problems from 100,000 miles if not well maintained. Oil-filter housings don't normally start leaking before 50,000 miles.

Cost: Valve-gear damage can be expensive and while faulty cam followers and rocker arms cost around $1,000 to replace, failing to do so will damage the camshafts, upping the bill to well over $2,000. Cooling-system problems can usually be fixed for $200 to $800; the radiator costs up to $800 to replace by itself. Replacing the oil-filter housing might set you back up to $700.

How to spot: Virtually all valve-gear problems - faulty rocker arms, cam followers, hydraulic lifters - make ticking sounds when the engine is running. Walk away if a Pentastar does not idle smoothly and quietly; there should be no ticking or rattling. Oil and coolant leaks should leave evidence on the floor and/or engine parts on which they leak and the latter also causes overheating. A failing oil pump will trigger the low oil-pressure warning first.

Hemi V8 Engine Problems (5.7 and 6.4)

The modern incarnation of the classic Hemi engine has been around since 2003 and it's a tough engine, but the ever-present Chrysler valve-gear issues can also rear their heads here, with lifter followers seizing and rocker arms failing, as well as the odd hydraulic lifter expiring. Ignoring these problems can cause damage to the camshaft, necessitating its replacement too. Once again, frequent oil changes help avoid such problems. Postponed oil changes open a Pandora's box of possible problems, causing sludge and oil starvation that in turn bring on the demise of the valve-gear components. It has been speculated that the multi-displacement system (MDS) that always switches off the same four cylinders may be responsible for some of the valve-gear-lubrication problems, but this is still up in the air. What we do know is that MDS solenoids can fail, causing inconsistent engine performance and response. On the 5.7 in particular, exhaust-manifold bolts that fail seem to be relatively common and this is apparently not age-related, as they sometimes fail early, under warranty. Some of the valve-gear problems can cause misfires, but so can failing ignition coils or any of the 16 spark plugs - remember that the Hemi has two per cylinder.

Mileage: Exhaust-manifold bolts can fail at any mileage. Valve-gear problems don't usually rear their heads before 50,000 miles at the earliest.

Cost: Replacing both the lifter followers and a damaged camshaft is expensive and comes to $1,500 in parts, before labor.

How to spot: All the valve-gear issues, as well as the exhaust-manifold bolts elicit ticking sounds when the engine is running. Added to that may be an illuminated Check Engine light, misfires, and a loss of power. A Hemi should idle quietly without any ticking.

Alternator Failure

2011 and 2012 Chargers' engines stalling due to alternator failure was one of the Dodge Charger's most common electric problems. Dodge issued several recalls over the years. This also led to a few starter problems. Most alternator problems were fixed under recall, so check if the work has been done. This problem seems to affect mostly 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 Chargers.

Mileage: Around 50,000 to 70,000 miles

Cost: $0 via the recall and $650-$700 if you have to pay for its replacement

How to spot: An alternator problem is easy to spot. The most likely scenario is the car simply not starting or not charging the battery. Switch as many features as you can during the test drive and see how the car reacts. Dodge fixed this problem for free, so you should be able to pick it up in the service record.

Power Steering Problems

The electrohydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion power steering problems on 2011-2014 Chargers have to do mostly with the electric motor driving the hydraulic pump overtaxing the alternator, causing the motor to lose power and power assistance to stop functioning. It can even affect the alternator's operation and cause it to fail, which in turn causes general electric failure and the loss of critical systems while driving, such as ABS and stability control, as well as causing an engine stall. Because they appear to be related, this section should be read in conjunction with the previous one on alternator failure, since the power steering appears to contribute to alternator failure in many cases. Steering problems may still occur outside the scope of the recall for this issue.

Mileage: As low as 30,000 miles, as high as 140,000 miles.

Cost: $1,700 to replace the power-steering pump.

How to spot: This problem likely won't be easy to spot but power-steering failure is usually associated with inconsistent steering feel and an increase in steering effort, dramatically so if the failure is sudden. Make sure power assistance is even and ample when turning, with no groaning or grinding noises.

Gas-Tank Leaks

2011 Chargers seem to suffer gas-tank leaks and the only fix is to replace the gas tank. This could be hazardous and pose a fire risk, so if there is a gas smell or visible leak under the vehicle, don't delay dealing with it.

Mileage: Around 82,000 miles on average

Cost: Around $1,000 to replace the gas tank

How to spot: Visible gas leaks, a gas smell, poor fuel consumption. Keep in mind that gas is volatile and evaporates quickly, so gas leaks don't always leave visible traces.

Transmission Problems

There are many reported transmission, shifter, and acceleration problems. Owners complained about a hard shift from first to second, and back down from second to first. The facelifted model's eight-speed electronic shifter came with its own problems. The design of the shifter caused confusion, leading to cars rolling forward and backward if the parking brake wasn't engaged. Dodge never issued a transmission recall for the Charger. Most shifting problems can be solved with a transmission control module (TCM) software update, as the transmissions themselves are reliable if looked after.

Mileage: N/A

Cost: Around $3,500 for a transmission replacement. Dodge will charge around $150 to diagnose a faulty TCM and up to $1,200 to replace it, but cheaper aftermarket TCMs cost between $160 and $300.

How to spot: On the test drive, accelerate swiftly to see how it handles a quick shift from first to second. It should feel effortless and brisk. Shifting down should feel exactly the same. Test the gearbox in as many settings as you possibly can to see whether it does what it should. If you feel any sort of hesitation and clunkiness, walk away.

Door Panels

The Charger's door panel problems started a lawsuit that's still pending. In short, the door panels start warping and lifting away from the frame. At the time of writing, no recall has been issued. It's impossible to calculate the cost of replacement, since some models only have this problem with the front doors, while others have problems with all four doors.

Mileage: N/A

Cost: Unknown.

How to spot: This is easy enough to spot. Open the doors and inspect the door panels closely for any sign of detaching. Slam the door once or twice to see if it stays in place.

Less Common Problems

This might not sound great, but the good news is that all the recall problems should have been fixed for free, so just check a vehicle's VIN on the NHTSA website to see whether the work has been done. Besides the recalls and the above list of problems, there were a few other problems. There were some 2015 Dodge Charger sunroof problems where the glass shattered of its own accord, costing a steep $2,600 to replace. Some 2012 Chargers suffer shuddering brake rotors that should be replaced, as skimming or resurfacing them is usually only a temporary fix. A few 2014 Chargers leaked oil from the oil-cooler housing, requiring the oil cooler to be replaced at a cost of around $800.

You'll find thousands of complaints on forums if you go looking. Some of these are simply the result of poor maintenance, but we do include problems we deem worthy to look out for, even if they weren't widely reported. Owners reported fuel pump problems for 2011, 2013, and 2018 models. There were also 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Chargers that had air-conditioning - or AC - problems; the ventilation system might blow hot or cold air uncommanded and the problem can often be traced to a heater blend door unit that has to be replaced. Several owners reported Charger radio problems in 2013, 2016, and 2019 models, including bad reception and complete failure of the Uconnect 4.3 and Uconnect 8.4. Luckily, other peripheral systems appear to hold up well, and door-handle and keyless-entry problems are rare.

Which One To Avoid

We'd avoid all the pre-facelift models for two reasons; the most recalls were issued before the 2015 facelift, and the older five-speed gearbox isn't as nice as the eight-speed. The facelifted model also looks better and comes with more features as standard. Some might bemoan the fact that the base cars' V6 engine does not offer the performance and aural qualities that befit a muscle car that should have a V8 engine, so the V6 might not be for them. It's a double whammy if you live in a cold-weather state and you want both a V8 and AWD - this combination is only available in the best-avoided pre-facelift model with the old five-speed transmission.

Which One To Buy

The V6 models were quite popular, but if you're going to have a muscle car you might as well do it properly and go right to the Scat Pack models with the 6.4-liter V8. If you can get a Widebody, even better. The adjustable Bilsteins suspension makes a big difference, as do the larger Brembo brakes. The Dodge Charger has always been about offering loads of power at an affordable price, and that's even more true when it comes to the used model. In terms of the model year, 2016+ models are the most trouble-free of all.

7th Gen Dodge Charger Verdict

The 7th-generation Dodge Charger comes with many warnings and things to look out for. If you ignore the pre-facelift models and do your homework properly, you could end up with a mint muscle car on the cheap. Just ensure that all the recall work was done, and keep a close eye on the common problems. The Charger wasn't well put together when it first came out, but as the years progressed the recalls became fewer. That's why we'd go for a properly built post-facelift model, anywhere from 2016 upwards.

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