2011 Dodge Charger

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Key Specs
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2011 Dodge Charger. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    19-20 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    292-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 (flexible; E85)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Aggressive styling
  • Smooth-shifting automatic (V-6 model)
  • Interior quality
  • Better visibility
  • Comfortable backseat for adults

The Bad

  • Despite RWD layout, not especially dynamic
  • V-6 lacks low-end oomph
  • Front seats are too spongy

Notable Features of the 2011 Dodge Charger

  • Redesigned for 2011
  • V-6 or V-8 power
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Newly optional 8.4-inch touch-screen
  • Choice of three suspensions

2011 Dodge Charger Road Test

Mike Hanley

The Dodge Charger is the eccentric uncle among large family sedans. It's a rear-wheel-drive muscle car with an available Hemi V-8 engine, and the updates it gets for 2011 don't change that. In some ways, they accentuate its personality.

The Charger has always been an aggressive-looking car, but the redesigned 2011 model raises the sedan's meanness factor. It starts up front with a restyled grille that has a lot more tension in its design — Dodge designer Mark Trostle described it as "Superman's chest" — and contributes to the furrowed look of the headlights. Much of the sheet metal is new as well, with hood and door scallops that are more visually striking.

Perhaps the biggest change is to the rear, which gets full-width illumination when the headlights are on. It helps make the Charger as distinctive from the rear as it is from the front.

Although a 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive remain options, the base engine is Chrysler's new 292-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, and that's the engine I tested in an SE Rallye Plus trim level.

One of the things I've noticed while driving different Chrysler models with this V-6 is the engine feels strongest higher in the rpm range. It takes a little while for the power to build. Once you rev it, though, it pulls pretty well — even in a big car like the Charger. Our test car's curb weight was nearly 4,000 pounds.

The V-6 teams with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it&ap...

The Dodge Charger is the eccentric uncle among large family sedans. It's a rear-wheel-drive muscle car with an available Hemi V-8 engine, and the updates it gets for 2011 don't change that. In some ways, they accentuate its personality.

The Charger has always been an aggressive-looking car, but the redesigned 2011 model raises the sedan's meanness factor. It starts up front with a restyled grille that has a lot more tension in its design — Dodge designer Mark Trostle described it as "Superman's chest" — and contributes to the furrowed look of the headlights. Much of the sheet metal is new as well, with hood and door scallops that are more visually striking.

Perhaps the biggest change is to the rear, which gets full-width illumination when the headlights are on. It helps make the Charger as distinctive from the rear as it is from the front.

Although a 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive remain options, the base engine is Chrysler's new 292-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, and that's the engine I tested in an SE Rallye Plus trim level.

One of the things I've noticed while driving different Chrysler models with this V-6 is the engine feels strongest higher in the rpm range. It takes a little while for the power to build. Once you rev it, though, it pulls pretty well — even in a big car like the Charger. Our test car's curb weight was nearly 4,000 pounds.

The V-6 teams with a five-speed automatic transmission, and it's a smooth-shifting unit. Just as important, it kicks down quickly when you need to extract more power from the V-6 for passing. Another editor who tested the V-8-powered R/T trim noted that car's civility in normal driving — along with its substantial amount of reserve power.

Three suspensions are offered: Touring, Performance and Super Track Pak. Our SE Rallye Plus model had the midlevel Performance setup, and it was fairly sensitive to road imperfections.

Despite the Charger's rear-wheel-drive layout, it has never felt as dynamic and tossable as the dearly departed Pontiac G8. The Charger feels like a big car, and it's more at home cruising than carving corners. The steering tuning reinforces this, as there's plenty of power assistance so it only takes light effort to turn the wheel, which provides some feedback.

The Charger has had one of Dodge's better interiors of recent memory, and the changes for 2011 are still welcome. From the tall dashboard to the steering wheel to the newly available 8.4-inch touch-screen, much has been updated. One welcome change is that the leading edge of the roof has been shifted rearward a little, making it easier to see stoplights when you're first in line. While I wouldn't say the Charger's new interior surpasses the Ford Taurus' cabin, which is pretty good, it definitely matches it.

The Charger's front bucket seats, which were finished in leather in our test car, are quite soft. They're a little too spongy for my tastes and didn't do much to keep me in place when cornering quickly; I easily slid over the limp side bolsters.

Like before, the Charger has a relatively large backseat to accommodate adult passengers. The rear seat has the same soft cushioning as the front buckets. Dodge says the new quarter windows improve visibility for rear passengers, but the fast roofline means taller passengers' views out the side windows are still limited.

Even though a rear-wheel-drive-based car like the Charger should offer livelier handling, I commend Dodge for sticking with the drivetrain layout and the available V-8, as well as upping the car's already aggressive styling.

Send Mike an email  



2011 Charger Video

Cars.com's Joe Bruzek walks you through the 2011 Dodge Charger Rallye Plus.

Latest 2011 Charger Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

very good car to own

by kay from wilkes barre on June 28, 2018

great car, a good car to own, makes everyone turn around when i drive by, i feel like a king whenever i am in the car. Read full review

(5.0)

Very reliable so far

by carnutt from Syracuse, New York on June 21, 2018

The car was just what I was looking for. It is very sporty looking and also a 4 door. It has plenty of power and is very comfortable to drive. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2011 Dodge Charger currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2011 Dodge Charger Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Dodge

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, Carfax vehicle history report, rental car and 24-hour towing, and first day rental

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7 years/100,000 mile warranty on all certified vehicles
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 125 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Charger received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker