Me, with my sledgehammer palate, I feel like the Hellcat is the better choice. But the Hellcat starts at $79,840 – this starts at $55,995. That’s around 15 sets of the 275/40R 20-inch tires worth of price difference, which means at least three-and-a-half minutes of doughnuts and skids (on your private, closed-course skidpad, of course).
Apart from the speedo, which reads to 340 km/h in the Hellcat and only 300 km/h (pfft – so lame) in the Charger, the interiors are virtually identical. The Hellcat gets cooler seats, but the 392 we tested was fitted with awesome red seatbelts. The Hellcat has some other minor trim additions on the interior and a standard sunroof plus 19-speaker audio system. The Harman/Kardon audio kit is available as a $1,500 option anyway, and the power sunroof is $1,395.
You could tick every box on the option list and still be $18,985 shy of the starting price for the Hellcat while only missing out on the red Hellcat logo, 222 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Oh, and the prestige of owning a HELLCAT!
But $18,985 is a lot of money. You could buy yourself a second car for that. Or 60 track days. Or about 380 drag nights at your local public drag strip.
So for many people with larger brains and smaller egos than myself will rightly find this to be the Goldilocks Charger.
For the sake of fuel economy you get Dodge’s Fuel Saver Multi-Displacement System which deactivates four cylinders when you don’t need them. This means an official fuel rating of 15.7/9.5/12.9 L/100 km city/highway/combined – which is pretty stunning for a massive sedan with this sort of cockpit volume and performance. Even more amazing, I saw 12.8 L in the 3.6L V6 AWD Charger late last year. In this? 11.4. Eleven. Point. Four. That’s wild. Truly wild given how much fun I had.
Again, this edition of Charger is just so well-rounded.
The ride and comfort levels are excellent. The long wheelbase and sizeable 1,998 kg curb weight work in tandem to keep the harsher bumps out of the cockpit and, most importantly, out of your backside. The high-performance suspension is equipped with a noticeable adaptive damping system that feels communicative and poised in Track or Sport mode but pliable and Toronto-pothole-ready in Comfort mode.
The Charger in these upper echelon trims boasts an impressive list of driver comfort goodies. Including a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats all standard.