By Cars.com EditorsMay 12, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2010 Dodge Charger R/T AWD. It competes with the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala.
<v Announcer>Cars.com: Auto Review. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. The Dodge Charger's getting to be a bit of an oldie.
It's now in its fifth year on the market, the current generation, and even in a Chrysler lineup, that's generally pretty long in the tooth, that's pretty old, but it still offers something that a lot of its full-size competitors don't and available V8 engine and rear wheel drive. It's kind of too bad that you have to sacrifice a few things to get those. The Chargers face, a pretty familiar site these days with Dodge's crosshair grill and sort of a forward leaning stance. It's simple. It's not very ornate, but I still think it looks pretty masculine and pretty authoritative. Maybe the sort of car Mr. T, or that old guy who does all the Dos Equis ads might drive. Not after he'd been drinking a lot of Dos Equis, of course. If you haven't been inside the Charger or its sister vehicle, the Chrysler 300, the first thing you'll notice getting in is that there's some visibility issues right away. The sort of squashed, low roof-line and the high doors mean that these windows and windshield are really low, so you'll pull up the intersections and maybe you have to crane your neck forward to see when the light turns green. Probably not a good thing on that front, but again, that's all part of the styling. Then there's the drive train; pretty much the reason anybody might buy a car like this. Our test car is an all-wheel drive Charger RT, which means it as a Chrysler's 5.7 liter Hemi V8. That's got 368 horsepower, 395 pounds feet of torque and combined with a responsive, five-speed automatic transmission, the Charger's pretty quick. Handling isn't too bad, either. Chrysler talks about these cars' good weight distribution, and that shows when you're taking on-ramps real hard, The steering has lots of power assist, although there are some lumpy pockets of sort of unexplained stiffness at parking lot speeds. Our test car has a touring suspension and though it's not the most controlled over bumps, it does lend some pretty good ride comfort. There's a good amount of body roll in corners, and if that's too much, a road and track performance group offers a stiffer suspension. Of course that'll affect ride comfort, so check it out; see what you think. The truck has a little over 16 cubic feet of cargo volume. Should be enough to pile a few suitcases in here and get some friends to the airport. I certainly was able to. It beats the Toyota Avalon's 14.4 cubic feet, but if you're really looking to pile those golf bags high, you're going to want to think about something like a Chevy Impala or a Ford Taurus. Respectively, those have about 19 or 20 cubic feet. There are two V sixes, as well, as a V8 SRT version of the Charger. Performance runs the gamut from modest to pretty blistering with the SRT. Gas mileage across the board isn't really class-leading and reliability could also stand to improve a little bit, but I got to say, the RT with the V8 starts at a little over $30,000, but that kind of money, it's pretty hard to find a big car like this with a big V8. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.