Large car; Built in Canada
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $13,400 – $19,800*


2011 Dodge Charger Front


2011 Dodge Charger Rear


2011 Dodge Charger Interior


2011 Dodge Charger Rear-2


2011 Dodge Charger Front-2

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Front-seat space
Cons:
  • Fuel economy (V8)
  • Front-side visibility

Vast passenger room, available all-wheel drive (expanded in 2012), and solid construction make the substantially updated Charger a reasonable choice among large sedans. Some testers have been disappointed with V6 power, but it should serve most buyers just fine. The R/T’s V8 provides more-than-adequate power. For better or worse, all Chargers boast an aggressive, athletic attitude that no other large car can match. Naturally, the SRT8 takes that assessment up a notch, combining blistering performance with sedan practicality.

Overview

Dodge gave its Charger a substantial revamp for 2011, including freshened styling and a new V6 engine. This large sedan lent its basic design to the Chrysler 300. For 2011, Charger came in SE and R/T trim levels, each with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive was offered on the R/T sedan. SE models got a new 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, which replaced V6s of 2.7- and 3.5-liter displacement. The R/T retained its 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. All Chargers used a five-speed automatic transmission.

Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and front side airbags. Leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats were optional. A sport suspension was standard on the R/T, and a performance suspension was available for both the SE and R/T. The R/T’s available Super Track Pak included uprated brakes and a unique performance suspension. That option was ordered in conjunction with the Road and Track Performance Package, which included specific exhaust tuning, 20-inch summer performance tires, and unique trim. A navigation system with rearview camera was optional. Chargers competed against such large sedans as the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Genesis, and Toyota Avalon.

Yearly Updates

2012 Charger
Biggest news for the 2012 Dodge Charger was the revival of the ultra-high-performance Charger SRT8, packing a 6.4-liter V8 engine that whipped up 470 horsepower. Also, all-wheel drive became available for V6-powered Chargers. A new eight-speed automatic transmission replaced the former five-speed unit for certain V6 models. Standard on the new SXT version, it was optional for the SE sedan. R/T and SRT8 sedans used the five-speed automatic. A navigation system was standard on the SRT8 and optional for SXT and R/T sedans.
2013 Charger
Charger largely stood pat for 2013, though Dodge offered two variants of the high-output SRT8, rather than one.
2014 Charger
A new Redline Package for 2014 added special wheels and a 300-horsepower version of 3.6-liter V6. Otherwise, Charger was little changed.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Charger SE models had a 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, while the R/T contained a 5.7-liter V8 that generated 370 horsepower. In 2012, Charger added the ultra-high-performance Charger SRT8, packing a 6.4-liter V8 engine that whipped up 470 horsepower. For 2014, a Redline Package included a 300-horsepower version of the 3.6-liter V6. All 2011 Chargers used a five-speed automatic transmission, but certain V6 models switched to an eight-speed automatic for 2012. All-wheel drive had been available on 2011 R/T models, but that option expanded in 2012. Otherwise, Chargers are rear-wheel drive.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6
Engine HP 292
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

18/27

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6
Engine HP 292-300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic

19/31

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7
Engine HP 370
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 395
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

16/25

22.2

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.4
Engine HP 470
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 470
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

14/23

Road Test

Performance ranges from adequate to sublime. Dodge’s V6 has enough power to adequately move this heavy sedan. The eight-speed automatic transmission added for 2012 shifts quickly and smoothly through the gears, and works well with the V6. An R/T, as tested with the optional Road and Track package, has ready power from any speed. Highway passing maneuvers are a breeze, and the five-speed transmission shifts smoothly and crisply. As expected, the SRT8 is even more potent. Acceleration from any speed is simply ferocious, with the five-speed automatic’s quick kickdown contributing to impressive highway passing power.

Consumer Guide has had no opportunity to measure fuel economy. The V6 engine uses regular-grade gas. Dodge recommends mid-grade 89-octane for the 5.7-liter V8, though it will also run on regular. Premium fuel is required for the SRT8’s 6.4-liter V8.

SXT and R/T sedans are generally smooth and composed on the road, but rippled pavement can trigger annoying jiggling. Some minor float and wallow is noticeable over uneven surfaces. An SRT8 delivers a more rigid ride, but it’s still reasonably compliant over rough roads. Note that Sport mode in the SRT8’s adaptive suspension makes the ride noticeably stiffer.

Charger SXTs and R/Ts are stable at highway speeds, with linear, solid-feeling steering and a planted feel. They’re not nimble in quick directional changes, but they have fine balance and grip in turns. Brakes have ample stopping power, but some drivers might complain of long pedal travel. A test R/T negotiated rainy roads without undue slip. The SRT8’s sport suspension and wider tires provide slightly improved steering response and cornering grip, but they aren’t enough to make this two-ton sedan feel truly nimble.

In an SXT, the V6 sounds a bit raspy during full-throttle acceleration, but it isn’t bothersome. Besides, it quiets nicely at highway speed. The R/T’s V8 makes a throaty full-throttle growl but is quiet enough in gentle cruising. Wind rush and tire roar are evident at highway speeds, but not intrusive. The SRT8 is similar, though a two-stage muffler system gives the exhaust a more prominent, sporty note during full-throttle acceleration.

Main gauges are large and easy to read. Most controls are clearly marked and within easy reach, though some are mounted a bit too low to adjust easily while driving. The SRT8 includes a set of “virtual gauges” that the driver can display, which includes data such as oil temperature and 0-60 mph acceleration times.

Charger interiors improved considerably for 2011, compared to earlier versions, with a convincingly upscale yet very sporty ambiance. Styling highlights include a handsome textured aluminum-look dash insert, racy gauge graphics, and contrast stitching on the seats and door panels. SRT8 sedans include unique upholstery and “engine turned” dashboard trim that conveys a sportier look.

Front seats are spacious, with ample headroom and legroom. The Road and Track Package’s generously-sized sport seats have prominent side bolsters and suede upholstery to hold occupants in place during aggressive cornering. Thick front roof pillars obscure the view to the front corners. The R/T’s decklid spoiler intrudes slightly on the view out the rear window. The SRT8 has sport bucket seats with grippy fabric and heavier bolstering. They’re quite comfortable and more supportive in rapid changes of direction, but they slightly impede entry and exit.

Getting into and out of the backseat is easy, and there’s great room for two. Legroom and foot space are plentiful, even with front seats lowered and pushed well back. Head clearance is tight for 6-footers, however. The rear bench is long-haul comfortable, but a middle rider must straddle the bulky driveline hump.

Charger’s trunk is usefully sized and shaped, but a relatively small opening complicates loading bulky objects. Split-folding 60/40 rear seatbacks enhance versatility, though they don’t lie completely flat.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Dodge Charger with Road/Track Package

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 64

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.2 199.9 75 58.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.4 19.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 36.6 41.8 40.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Dodge Charger 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Oil leak
Description: The oil filter housing could leak oil. (2012)
Audio system
Description: Some audio devices (iPod, iPhone, MP3 players, etc.) may not work or may skip or drop out requiring a software update of the vehicle’s hands free module. (2011)
Audio system
Description: The audio may quit working because the amplifier stops communicating on the controller area (CAN) network require a software update. (2011-12)
Timing belt
Description: Timing chain can break resulting in severe engine damage. (2011-12)

Recall History

2011 Charger police vehicle
Description: Low beam headlamps on some vehicles could fail due to overheated bulb harness connector.
2011-14 Charger
Description: The side impact sensor may overly sensitive and deploy seat airbags and curtain side airbags unexpectedly.
2011-14 Charger with 3.6-liter engine
Description: The alternator could fail and stall the engine.
2011-2012 Charger
Description: Vehicle may lose ABS/ESC system function due to overheated power distribution center, which could lead to loss of vehicle control.
2011-2012 Charger
Description: Improperly sized terminal crimps on the seat side-airbag wiring harness may cause a malfunction and illuminate the airbag warning light. Airbag may not operate as intended during a crash.
2012 Charger with 3.6-liter engine
Description: Due to debris inside engine block, engine may experience connecting rod bearing failure, which may lead to engine seizure and could increase risk of a crash.
2012 Charger SRT8
Description: Tire pressure monitoring system may not warn driver until pressure reaches 22 psi, rather than the required 24 psi.
2012 Charger with 3.6-liter engine
Description: Connecting rod bearing failure could lead to engine seizure.
2013 Charger AWD
Description: The transmission output shaft could fracture resulting in loss of power.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.