America acclimated to be the acreage of big rear-wheel drive sedans, coupes and wagons with V8 power. That isn’t the case anymore. But it’s allotment of what makes the accustomed Dodge Charger so unique; it’s one of the aftermost large, unapologetically old academy V8 sedans larboard on the market.
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I mean, accept you noticed that in 2013, there absolutely aren’t that abounding American cars with V8 engines anymore? The V8 didn’t become irrelevant, it aloof accelerating into an upmarket, performance-oriented role for bodies accommodating to booty the ammunition abridgement hit to get big ability on cars like the Camaro SS, the Mustang GT, the Cadillac CTS-V, and the Corvette. Of course, the V8 continues to soldier on in trucks and ample SUVs, but they’ve become adequately attenuate in cars.
So how does a huge auto with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 called afterwards a acclaimed beef car break accordant in this apple of shrinking cars and shrinking engines? By growing up while still arena to its strengths, that’s how.
(Full disclosure: Chrysler was affectionate abundant to accommodate me a 2013 Dodge Charger R/T Daytona for the additional leg of my cruise through Texas. I affirm I did not use it to impersonate any badge officers, admitting I was tempted to.)
It turns out that the Charger is now affectionate of like that guy who was a raucous, hard-drinkin’, bar-fightin’ sumbitch in his aerial academy years who now has a family, a acceptable job in the tech industry, and a abode in the suburbs. (We’ll avoid his beginning appearance in college.) Oh, he can still alpha bits the way he acclimated to, aloof not as much, and in a far added affable way.
Maybe alike too civilized. We’ll get aback to that in a bit.
For anniversary two of my Texas cruise I had in my ascendancy a 2013 Dodge Charger R/T Daytona, an ostentatious, ablaze blue, NASCAR-inspired, bound copy booty on their big sedan. I took it on a 6-hour cruise from San Antonio to Marfa — a tiny boondocks in the aerial arid of West Texas abounding with adorable restaurants, art galleries and different oddities like Prada Marfa, the Marfa Lights and that Playboy bronze anybody hates — and again aback to Austin, which took addition 6.5 hours.
As you can see, Ralph Gilles is stoked on the new Dodge Charger Daytona, a nameplate that is back…
I’ve done this drive abounding times, about with my fiancee in her CVT-equipped Nissan Sentra, and that is absolutely as fun as it sounds. The expedition into the Texas arid is a alluringly admirable one abounding with aerial dispatch banned and afar and afar of straightaways, so I had consistently capital to do it in a adequate car with a ton of power. I assuredly got that adventitious with the Charger.
To acknowledgment your aboriginal question, no, this is not an SRT8. The Daytona is a appropriate amalgamation on the R/T copy Charger, which meant its 5.7-liter (or 345 cubic inches; we’re talking American beef here, spiral the metric system!) Hemi came with 370 application and 395 pound-feet of torque. It will fly beyond the arid aloof fine, acknowledge you actual much.
The Charger accustomed to be an outstanding accompaniment for this continued alley trip. There’s aloof article acutely ambrosial about active a big, able car beyond continued distances.
And this is absolutely a big car. The Hemi-equipped Charger weighs in at 4,253 pounds and is 16.5 anxiety long. Amid is arty size, its huge agent and the actuality that it’s a badge car, it’s absolutely adamantine not to feel like a absolute badass aback you cruise about in it.
However, admitting its acceptable ability figures, blatant dejected acrylic and racing-inspired name, the Charger Daytona is not the stonking, face-melting, tire-annihilating exercise in American beef car balance that I anticipation it would be. Instead, it was absolutely a bit tamer and alike buttoned bottomward than I expected, but it still arranged a ton of ability and was a lot of fun to cruise in.
What it doesn’t backpack is ammunition efficiency. Alike with butt deactivation and about alone artery driving, I alone averaged about 18 mpg on my cruise out to Marfa, and the Charger’s 19-gallon catchbasin bulk about $80 to ample up on Texas’ cool bargain gas. With advanced use of the cruise control, I managed 20.5 on the acknowledgment trip.
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Oh well. It’s not like anyone cross-shops the Charger with the Prius.
Exterior – 8/10
I adulation the way the Charger looks. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s masculine, it’s intimidating, and it’s American as all hell. The aboriginal LX-platform Charger looked alarming aback it debuted way aback in 2005, and its 2010 amend fabricated it attending alike better. Highlights for me accommodate its aggressive-looking grille, huge headlamps, wide, low appearance and coupe-like lines. Kudos to Dodge for not calling it a “coupe,” clashing assertive manufacturers from Europe who shall abide nameless.
The Daytona copy is about as attenuate as the firebombing of Dresden. It comes in a attractive dejected blush with a matte atramentous roof, spoiler, and antagonism stripes on the hood, as able-bodied as the words “Daytona” emblazoned on anniversary side. The huge, 20-inch bristles batten auto attending alarming too. The accomplished amalgamation absolutely stands out.
Interior – 7/10
The aboriginal affair you apprehension about the Charger’s autogenous is its arduous admeasurement about to added sedans. It’s huge in there. I accept apprenticed SUVs with beneath autogenous room, and I accept lived in apartments that acquainted abate than the Charger’s trunk. Rear arch allowance is a bit bound acknowledgment to the appearance of its roof, but the draft of the car is ample and comfortable.
Post-bailout Chrysler has gone through a lot of hoops to advance the interiors of their cars, and it shows here. Besides the swath of adamantine artificial on the dash, the Charger’s autogenous is abounding of solid-feeling, affection materials. Opting for the Daytona amalgamation gets you some abundant seats with nice bolsters, covering lining, dejected bond and yet added “Daytona” logos. The able-bodied council caster is a amusement to use as well.
Acceleration – 7/10
The Charger may be big, but its Hemi abiding knows how to hustle. (That’s affectionate of the point, isn’t it?) The 370 horses and 395 pound-feet of torque get the car from aught to 60 mph in a little over bristles seconds. Texas-legal artery speeds of 80 mph appear about instantly after, and the torquey agent lets you draft accomplished aloof about anyone with absurd ease. You get the faculty that this car can absolutely go as fast as you appetite it to go.
It’s got power, but the way it displayed that ability affectionate of afraid me. The Charger R/T never accelerates in a maniacal, tire-smoking appearance like you ability expect. Instead, dispatch builds steadily and abundantly until you’re canoeing area you appetite to be. There’s actual little ball complex here, which seemed abnormal accustomed the car’s heritage, color, and race-inspired name. It accelerates added like a able affluence auto than a beef car.
Braking – 6/10
The Charger’s brakes do aloof fine, acknowledge you actual much. They accept a lot of weight to stop and they do it with confidence, although they don’t absolutely angle out all that much. They never acquainted absolutely like achievement car brakes that could stop on a dime, but they never slouched either. No complaints in this department.
Ride – 7/10
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The Charger’s ride affection fabricated me animated I didn’t do this cruise in the Fiat 500 Abarth. The big auto manages to be adequate after actuality too bendable and affluence car-cushy. You’re not absolutely abandoned from every bang in the road, but it never abuses you, either.
It is accessible to drive the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio like a normal, alive person. It is possible…
Handling – 6/10
Solid. That’s the best way I can call the Charger’s handling. By arduous advantage of its size, the car isn’t a bend carver, and it has a fair bulk of anatomy roll, but it never acquainted apart or unpredictable. It takes quick turns with aplomb, although accepting the rear end out wasn’t as accessible as I would accept thought.
Kudos actuality goes to the Charger’s council rack. It has a nice weight to it, and it transmits a abundant bulk of alley feel to the driver. It was a nice antitoxin to the too light, too aloof council systems that affliction new cars, and it works able-bodied here.
Gearbox – 5/10
Sadly, I don’t accept abounding nice things to say about the automated transmission, the alone gearbox accessible on the R/T. It gets a 5 because that’s how abounding apparatus it has, and I feel like I’m actuality acceptable here. A bigger gearbox would apparently do a lot for this car’s poor ammunition economy.
Like a few added apparatus on the LX platform, this is a Mercedes part, but one that dates aback to the 1990s and feels it. The Hemi cars don’t yet accept Chrysler’s newer eight-speed auto so we’re ashore with this pile. (That chiral is advancing soon, thankfully.) Neither upshifts nor downshifts appear with any faculty of urgency, and it generally bliss berserk aback dispatch is requested.
Requesting accessory changes in the chiral approach still agency fluctuant the stick larboard to go bottomward a accessory and appropriate to go up a gear. Not up and down, but larboard and right. Chrysler’s cars accept acclimated this blueprint for years, but I don’t anticipate it makes abundant sense.
Audio – 6/10
Aside from the gearbox, this was my bigger disappointment with the Charger. The Hemi agent has a absurd sound. The botheration is that Chrysler doesn’t assume to appetite to let you apprehend it.
The car is aloof too abuse quiet. At low speeds and during artery cruising, it’s abutting to amalgam levels of silent. Get on the gas a bit and you alpha to apprehend the Hemi’s abysmal baritone rumble, but aloof faintly. Alone aback you angle on the gas pedal do you assuredly apprehend the abounding symphony, and alike again it’s too muted. There is no bankrupt agenda account noting.
Look at this car, Jalops. Attending at its blush and its name and the admeasurement of its engine. Wouldn’t you appetite a little added noise, a little added rumble, a little added thunder? Area is the complete of that muscle? It’s too affable in this department.
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I bumped it up to a 6 because of the Beats By Dre audio arrangement my car came able with, which was excellent. It gave a deep, abounding complete with a ton of bass and was consistently a amusement to accept to. I’d barter it all for added Hemi noise, though.
Toys – 8/10
My Daytona was hardly some bare-bones beef car. It came absolutely loaded with a huge array of toys, including a sunroof, alien keyless start, acrimonious and cooled advanced seats, acrimonious and cooled cupholders, an accomplished advancement camera with night vision, dark atom detection, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and accessory radio. It has aloof about aggregate you could potentially appetite on a car, and again some.
I acquisition Chrysler’s UConnect to be one of the bigger infotainment systems on the market. It’s fast, responsive, and intuitive, with big blow awning icons that are accessible to locate and operate. It additionally has bombastic buttons for some features, and added would be nice as well, but overall, it works fantastically.
Value – 7/10
A abject archetypal Charger R/T can be had for aloof beneath $30,000. (There’s additionally the abject archetypal with the 3.6-liter, 292 application V6, but the V8 is the agent to get on this car.) My absolutely loaded Charger R/T with the Daytona amalgamation came in $41,650.
I initially anticipation that amount was too aerial for a Charger, but back it’s so well-equipped at that point, it’s adamantine to altercate with. The alone absolute affair actuality is that this amount puts you aural a few thousand dollars’ ambit of the 470 application SRT8, and that one is apparently account splurging for.
Once I accustomed that it wasn’t the Mayor of Burnout City (Population: Two Smoldering Rear Tires) but rather a solid, powerful, comfortable, beautiful and high-tech ample auto with a able-bodied engine, it absolutely grew on me. Besides the transmission, the ammunition abridgement and the abridgement of agent noise, I had few issues with it, but I anticipate it could angle to be a little edgier.
As I said earlier, big American sedans with V8s are few and far amid these days. What the Charger needs to anguish about is the accessible 2014 Chevrolet SS, which has a added able V8 and costs about the same. I’ll be attractive advanced to that showdown.
Got a atom beneath $45,000 that’s afire a aperture in your pocket? Again Chevrolet has an…
2013 Dodge Charger R/T Daytona
Engine: 5.7-liter artlessly aspirated V8Power: 370 HP at 5250 RPM/395 LB-FT at 4200 RPMTransmission: Five-speed automatic0-60 Time: 5.2 secondsTop Speed: Not ListedDrivetrain: Rear-Wheel DriveCurb Weight: 4,253 lbs.Seating: 5 peopleMPG: 16 city/25 highwayMSRP: $29,995 base/$41,650 as tested
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