- Broad engine lineup with powerful V8s.
- Spacious interior.
- Easy-to-use controls.
- V6 models are available with all-wheel-drive.
- Interior materials feel dated.
- Styling impedes access and visibility.
- V8-equipped models drink lots of fuel.
- Common driver assistance features are options on all models.
Vehicle Type: Four-door, five-seat full-size sedan.
Price Range: From $31,490, including a $1,495 destination charge, and rises to $73,590.
Powertrain: The base setup is a 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive.
A 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 with eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
A 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8.
A 485-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8.
A 707-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in Hellcat and Demon models.
See more 2020 Dodge Charger photos here.
The 2020 Dodge Charger is part large sedan, part muscle car, and part throwback. It’s a bit of an oddball in today’s new car market; its rear-wheel-drive platform and available V8 engines run counter to the trend of sedans offering turbocharged four-cylinder engines or hybrid setups.
The Charger also runs counter to the trend of sedans being discontinued in favor of car-based crossovers.
It also overlaps somewhat with higher-end versions of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. High-performance SRT models also compete with performance sedans from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
For 2020, the Scat Pack is now available as a Widebody, using bigger wheel arches and a revised grille, wider tires, upgraded shock absorbers and springs, and a retuned suspension over the standard Scat Pack.
Hellcat models are now only available as Widebody models now. All other Charger models get new exterior paint choices, trim packages, and minor equipment changes.
The 2020 Charger is available in six trim levels.
Overall Score: 7/10
Safety Features: 6/10
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 Charger five stars in overall crash testing, its highest rating. The Charger did well in most crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but it scored only a ‘Marginal’ rating in the small overlap front crash test on the driver’s side, one rating from the worst. Most new vehicles do better in that test.
All of the Charger’s headlights were also given the lowest ‘Poor’ rating, although its crash avoidance scored the highest Superior with optional driver assistance technology.
It’s the optional driver assistance technology that stings a bit, considering how expensive highly optioned Charger models can be. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, active lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and other systems are available across the Charger lineup, but these features are typically lumped into expensive option packages. Competing sedans have at least some of these features as standard equipment.
Charger models start around $31,000 and are well-equipped, with dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power driver’s seat, and keyless entry and start. Adding all-wheel-drive to V6 models isn’t particularly expensive, either, and gives the Charger an advantage over nearly all other similarly priced sedans.
Some costly option packages that include desirable features such as the driver assistance technology and navigation, among other items, force the price much closer to $40,000.
It’s hard to beat the Charger’s price, given its horsepower. V8 models start below $40,000 and come with a few more niceties than the V6 models. The R/T model with a few choice options comes in right around $40,000, and only muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and the related Dodge Challenger compete with the Charger on performance.
Plus, the Charger has the advantage of having four doors and a spacious back seat.
Even the $73,000 Hellcat doesn’t have much competition at its price with its 707 horsepower.
Tech Features: 7/10
Every Charger model gets a touchscreen using Fiat Chrysler’s excellent UConnect infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus two USB ports.
The base SXT model comes standard with a seven-inch screen, with the 8.4-inch version offered as an option, while all other models get the larger screen. Built-in navigation is available on all models and comes bundled with SiriusXM Travel Link and traffic services and a five-year subscription. The UConnect system is helped with large icons and quick responses, thanks to a recent processor upgrade. But there are also physical knobs and buttons for commonly used audio and climate control functions, something some rivals don’t manage to do.
Apart from the infotainment system and optional driver assistance systems, the Charger doesn’t have much in the way of extravagant technology features. V6 models have an optional 9-speaker Alpine audio system, while V8 models can add a 19-speaker Harman/Kardon system. Memory settings for the driver’s seat, exterior mirrors, and radio presets are also available, as are ventilated front seats on high-end models. The Scat Pack and Hellcat models come with Performance Pages, which can keep statistics on track runs.
The Charger comes standard with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space, both of which are competitive among midsize and large sedans — only the Nissan Maxima trails in both categories. There isn’t a ski pass-through, however, which makes it harder to fit long items and two passengers in the rear seat at the same time. The hatchback designs of the Kia Stinger and VW Arteon also make it easier to load bulky items instead of trying to fit large boxes in the Charger’s trunk.
The Charger is a long vehicle, but rear-seat headroom and legroom aren’t as usable as it is in an Avalon or even an Accord because of a large hump in the floor and the sloping roof design. It’s far from cramped, but a Kia Cadenza is far more comfortable for rear-seat passengers.
Styling & Design: 7/10
There are numerous appearance packages for all Charger models, ranging from different paint and wheel combinations, hood scoops and stripes, painted brake calipers, and interior trim. It’s a bewildering list of options, but it makes it easy to personalize the car depending on taste. Some of the choices are a better value than others, however.
The dashboard is well laid out, and materials are satisfactory at the base $30,000 price tag. But the standard cloth upholstery doesn’t feel particularly rich, and there are plenty of plastics that don’t feel like high-quality pieces. It’s mostly well constructed, however.
There are enough places for cups and phones and other items, and the large front seats hold drivers in place well, even if they can feel overstuffed. Higher-end models offer upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim to elevate the atmosphere, but it only goes so far. And thick pillars make it trickier than it should be to see out of the Charger, which is troublesome not only on the track but in everyday driving around town.
Driving Experience: 7/10
No Charger model lacks power, but the V6 models appear merely adequate compared to the three V8 engines offered. Still, the Charger has more standard power than any midsize sedan’s upgraded engine, save for the Camry’s V6. It offers barely less than a Toyota Avalon or Nissan Maxima, too. And all models get a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is an option, too, which is something that’s only available on hybrid Avalon models and a relative rarity among mainstream sedans.
All of the V8 models offer a surplus of power, with the 707-horsepower Hellcat able to leave $100,000 German luxury sedans in the dust.
Each model offers different suspension settings, ranging from comfortable to harsh, and the large 20-inch wheels don’t do anything to make the ride more supple, nor does the adaptive suspension dampers that are optional on the R/T and Scat Pack, and standard on the Scat Pack Widebody and Hellcat. Handling is a mixed bag, too, because it’s commendable for such a large car, but more compact sport sedans are more agile and responsive as well.
But at highway speeds and with less aggressive tire and suspension settings, the Charger is a comfortable long-distance cruiser. The effortless power makes for relaxed driving, while noise is mostly kept to a minimum unless the driver is overzealous with the accelerator pedal. A Toyota Avalon or Chrysler 300 may be quieter and more relaxed, but the Charger is one of the closest things around to a traditional large American sedan when it comes to freeway cruising.
Fuel Efficiency: 6/10
The Charger with the V6 and rear-wheel-drive is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 19 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 23 combined. Adding all-wheel-drive drops that rating to 18 city, 27 highway, and 21 combined. R/T models with their V8 are rated at 16 city, 25 highway, and 19 combined, while the 6.4-liter equipped Scat Pack models drop slightly to 15 city, 24 highway, and 18 combined. The SRT Hellcat model is rated at 12 city, 21 highway, and 15 combined and succumbs to a $2,100 Gas Guzzler Tax.
What’s it Going to Cost Me?
The 2020 Dodge Charger starts from $31,490 MSRP, including the $1,495 destination charge fee. The most expensive Charger model starts from $73,590.
The Charger SXT starts from $31,490 MSRP. Standard features include the 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel-drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, 8-way power driver’s seat with power adjustable lumbar support, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, two 12-volt outlets, two USB ports, keyless entry with push-button start, rear parking sensors, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
All-wheel-drive is an option, as is a power sunroof, and a 9-speaker Alpine audio system.
The Driver Convenience Group includes high-intensity headlamps, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, heated exterior mirrors, auto-dimming driver’s side exterior mirror, and outside courtesy lamps. The Technology Package further adds full-speed automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a humidity sensor.
The Plus Group includes 20-inch wheels, an upgraded audio system, 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, 8.4-inch touchscreen with optional built-in navigation, auto-dimming driver’s side exterior mirror, heated exterior mirror, blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front and rear seats, power front passenger’s seat, power-adjustable steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a sports suspension.
A Navigation Group includes the 8.4-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, and a 5-year subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link and traffic services. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated exterior mirrors.
The Blacktop Package adds 20-inch black-painted wheels and black trim on the vehicle’s exterior.
The Charger GT starts from $33,490 MSRP. It adds to the SXT an upgraded V6 with 300 horsepower, revised bumper styling and front fascia, performance-grade suspension, sports front seats, sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, 20-inch wheels, rear spoiler, and the 8.4-inch touchscreen. All-wheel-drive is an option, as is a gloss black roof, power sunroof, and Alpine audio system.
The Performance Handling Group adds different 20-inch wheels, black brake calipers, Brembo performance brakes, a high-performance suspension, and a revised steering wheel.
The Plus Group, Blacktop Package, Cold Weather Package, Technology Group, and Navigation package are also optional.
The Charger R/T starts from $37,990 MSRP. It adds the 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine with an active exhaust system to the GT’s standard features.
The R/T can be equipped with the Driver Convenience, Plus, Technology, Navigation, Blacktop, Performance Handling, and Cold Weather equipment packages as on the GT, as well as be equipped with a power sunroof or gloss black roof. A 19-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system is also optional, as is an interior trim package with real carbon fiber accents and a suede headliner.
A limited-edition Daytona Edition package adds special 20-inch wheels, auto-dimming driver’s side exterior mirror, black rear spoiler, leather and Alcantara upholstered seats, LED interior lighting, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, illuminated rear cupholders, power front seats, power-adjustable steering wheel, dashtop stitching, memory settings for the driver’s seat, exterior mirrors and radio presets, and a cold air intake system.
The Charger Scat Pack starts from $41,990 MSRP. It adds to the R/T a 485-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 engine, Brembo performance brakes front and rear, performance settings that include launch control, launch assistant, and line lock systems, SRT Performance Pages to show lap times and other speed statistics, heated front seats, heated sports leather-wrapped steering wheel, and granite-colored 20-inch wheels.
Available packages include the Plus, Technology, Navigation, Driver Convenience, and Daytona Edition as on the R/T.
The Dynamics Package adds black brake calipers, upgraded Brembo brakes, and different 20-inch wheels. Adaptive suspension dampers, a power sunroof, gloss-black roof, and Harman/Kardon audio system are available as standalone options.
The Charger Scat Pack Widebody starts from $47,990 MSRP. It includes an additional 3.5 inches of body width with wider wheel arches and fenders, wider 20-inch wheels and tires, upgraded suspension with adaptive dampers, customizable power steering weight, upgraded springs and shock absorbers, six-piston Brembo front brakes, and a revised front fascia.
The Plus, Driver Confidence, Technology, Navigation, and Carbon/Suede packages are optional. A power sunroof and Harman/Kardon audio system are standalone options.
The SRT Hellcat Widebody is the top of the Charger line. It starts from $73,590 MSRP and adds to the Scat Pack Widebody a 707-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8, Competition Suspension, functional air scoops, blind-spot monitoring, auto-dimming mirrors, LED interior lighting, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, and Nappa leather upholstery.
A power sunroof, Harman/Kardon audio system, different 20-inch wheels, and different color brake calipers are options, as are Alcantara-covered seats, the Carbon/Suede package and the Navigation Group.
See more 2020 Dodge Charger photos here.