2012 Dodge Charger
Starting MSRP $25,595–$45,925
There aren't many full-size family sedans like the Charger. It's a rear-wheel-drive muscle car with an available V-8 engine. The Charger was redesigned last year with more aggressive exterior styling, a revised interior and a new base V-6. There are more changes for 2012 including a newly available eight-speed automatic and the return of the SRT8 model with a monstrous 470-horespower, 6.4-liter V-8. The Charger competes with the Ford Taurus.
(Skip to details on the: Charger SRT8)
New for 2012
The V-6-powered Charger now offers an available eight-speed automatic transmission that helps push highway gas mileage as high as 31 mpg. Also available are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters that include a Sport mode to hold gears longer and shift quicker.
Chrysler has also updated its Uconnect Touch multimedia systems, which can now read aloud incoming text messages, process voice commands directed at the navigation system, re-route around heavy traffic and control a connected iPod. A full-color onboard computer is newly standard.
Buyers who want their V-6 Charger to stand out from the crowd can opt for the new Blacktop Package, which gives the car a black grille and black 20-inch aluminum wheels. It also includes a performance-tuned suspension. Inside, there are unique sport seats finished in black premium cloth or leather upholstery, the Uconnect Touch 8.4 multimedia system and an Alpine premium stereo. It's offered in Silver Metallic, Tungsten Metallic and, of course, Pitch Black.
The Charger always has been an aggressive-looking car, and the 2012 model is styled to intimidate. It all starts in front with a grille that has a lot of tension in its design — Dodge designer Mark Trostle described it as "Superman's chest" — and that contributes to the furrowed look of the headlights. Last year's updates also gave the Charger hood and door scallops that provide visual interest and add to the sedan's muscle-car feel.
One of the Charger's signature elements is its rear-end styling. It incorporates full-width illumination when the headlights are on and helps make the Charger as distinctive from the rear as it is from the front. Additional exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels; 18-, 19- or 20-inch rims optional
- Standard halogen headlights; high-intensity-discharge headlights optional
- Standard dual chrome exhaust tips
- Standard LED taillights
- Optional fog lights
- Optional heated side mirrors
- Standard acoustic windshield and front side glass for reduced noise
- Optional power sunroof
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers
The Charger has one of Dodge's better interiors. From the tall dashboard to the steering wheel to the available 8.4-inch touch-screen system, much was updated last year. The roof's leading edge was also shifted rearward a little, making it easier to see stoplights when you're first in line.
The Charger has a relatively large backseat that's accommodating for adult passengers and features a 60/40-split folding backrest. Dodge claims visibility for rear passengers is better, thanks to new quarter windows, but the roofline means taller passengers' views out the side windows are limited. Additional interior features include:
- Standard cloth upholstery; leather optional
- Standard dual-zone manual air conditioning; optional dual-zone automatic air conditioning
- Standard cruise control; adaptive cruise control optional
- Standard 4.3-inch touch-screen CD stereo with USB and MP3 ports
- Optional 8.4-inch touch-screen system with SD card reader
- Optional Garmin-based navigation system
- Optional Alpine premium audio
- Optional heated and cooled cupholders
- Optional front and rear heated seats
- Optional ventilated front seats
- Optional leather-wrapped heated steering wheel
- Optional Bluetooth connectivity
Under the Hood
The base engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 that's rated at 292 horsepower. The optional 370-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 features cylinder deactivation to save fuel under a light load. Mechanical features include:
- Both engines can run on regular gas
- Standard five-speed automatic transmission; eight-speed automatic available for V-6 models
- Rear-wheel drive standard; all-wheel drive optional
- Three suspensions available: Touring, Performance and Super Track Pak
- R/T Road & Track Package includes a 3.06 rear axle ratio and performance calibration for the engine and transmission
Safety features include:
- Standard antilock brakes
- Standard side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard driver-side knee airbag
- Standard stability system
- Optional power-adjustable pedals with memory
- Optional blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection
- Optional collision warning system
- Optional rear parking sensors
- Optional backup camera
Dodge's power-monster muscle sedan is back for the 2012 model year, and it's powered by a 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 that teams with a five-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. The Charger SRT8 can rocket to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and has a top speed of 175 mph, according to Dodge. Brembo-brand brakes bring this big sedan to a halt. Charger SRT8 exterior styling features include side skirts, a menacing black grille and split-five-spoke 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with black-painted accents.
Inside, there are heated and ventilated front seats with aggressive bolstering that are finished in leather. An SRT flat-bottom heated leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard.
The cabin also comes standard with a full-color information center with modes for zero-to-60-mph, one-eighth-mile and quarter-mile acceleration; 60-to-zero-mph braking distance; and g-force readings. A standard 8.4-inch touch-screen multimedia system incorporates Chrysler's Uconnect hands-free system and Garmin-based navigation. The screen can also show performance data like the information center. There's also a standard Harman Kardon premium stereo. Back to top
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