ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For 2015, Dodge has given its Charger full-size sedan a thorough going-over.
Its always-brash exterior styling retains its basic overall shape, while the front features a couple of new grille designs, depending on model, and the rear sports a dramatic, full-width LED taillight display.
But other than the creation of an outrageous, 707-horsepower V-8 in the aptly named SRT Hellcat hyper-performance model, the biggest changes are found inside the cabin. Here is a totally up-to-date redesign, albeit with a few retro nods to muscle-car days, such as the automatic transmission’s T-handle shifter and metal accents rimming various components such as the gauge cluster and touchscreen binnacle and climate controls.
A slew of soft-touch materials lends an inviting aura to the comfortable surroundings, and even the lowest-level Chargers offer a healthy array of standard goodies including keyless entry/ignition; automatic headlights; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; six-way power driver’s seat; dual-zone AC; and a split-fold rear seat.
A jump up to the SXT level expands that list with 18-inch wheels (19-inchers and bigger brakes with optional all-wheel drive like our test car); heated front seats and side mirrors; remote-start ignition; foglights; dual-zone automatic HVAC; an easy-to-navigate 8.4-inch touchscreen interface with smartphone apps responding to voice commands; satellite radio; and an excellent upgraded audio system. That’s an awful lot of content, and that doesn’t include the series of available option packages.
The SXT’s seats are quite comfortable and supportive with surprisingly sporty front-bucket bolstering, for a family sedan. Stretch-out room is old-school generous front and rear.
Our tester’s V-6 delivered a decent dose of propulsion, even with the AWD’s added weight. The big sedan handles adeptly with little body lean through corners, abetted by direct and responsive steering.
On the highway, the Charger lopes along quietly with a well-damped solidity. In fact, the overall impression of the car is one of tight, careful assembly.
Full-size sedans, once the kings of American roads, are increasingly rare. But if that’s your desire, Dodge is perfectly willing to fill it.