NEW FOR 2008:

– Refreshed interior, including full-length centre console, instrument panel and cluster design, and door trim panels with padded armrests
– New interior Dark Slate Grey colour
– Available front seat-side airbags, illuminated cupholders and map pockets, remote starter, six-CD/MP3 stereo, Boston Acoustics surround sound system, MyGIG hard-drive entertainment system, high intensity discharge headlamps, iPod interface with UConnect models
– Standard tire pressure monitor warning lamp, TIP start

The Dodge Charger, a cousin to the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300, undergoes enhancements for 2008, including a refreshed interior with more soft-touch surfaces. The Charger is available as the SE, SXT and R/T in rear- or all-wheel drive, and as the Daytona R/T and SRT8.

Four engines are available: a 2.7-litre V6 in the SE, a 3.5-litre V6 in the SXT (and optional on the SE), a 5.7-litre Hemi with multi-cylinder displacement in the R/T and Daytona, and a 6.1-litre Hemi in the SRT8. The 2.7 and 3.5 use a four-speed automatic in rear-wheel configuration; in all-wheel, they use a five-speed automatic with Auto/Stick manual mode that is also used on the 5.7 and 6.1 engines.

Features on the SE include 17-inch steel wheels, manual air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, power locks with keyless entry, floor mats, power mirrors, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, cloth seats, engine immobilizer, cruise control, tilt and telescopic column, power windows and variable intermittent wipers. All-wheel drive models add 18-inch aluminum wheels.

The SXT adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, heated mirrors, bodyside moulding, eight-way power driver’s seat, automatic headlamps, and 60/40 folding rear bench seat.

The R/T adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, performance brakes, automatic dual-zone climate control, heated leather seats, eight-way power passenger seat, SIRIUS satellite radio, leather-wrapped wheel, and touring suspension.

The Daytona adds 20-inch aluminum chrome-clad wheels, front seat side airbags, painted engine cover, front fascia spoiler, high-performance exhaust, vinyl-faced seats with suede microfibre inserts, black trunk lid, performance suspension with load levelling and height control, and performance tires. The Daytona’s 5.7-litre engine also makes an additional 10 hp over the regular R/T, bringing it to 350 hp.

The SRT8 builds on the R/T with 20-inch chrome-clad forged aluminum wheels, manual air conditioning, Brembo brakes, reconfigurable electronic vehicle information centre with wheel-mounted controls, garage door opener, illuminated front cup holders and map pockets, leather-faced bolstered bucket seats with suede microfibre inserts and SRT8 embroidery, front fascia spoiler, leather-wrapped wheel with carbon fibre-style inserts, performance-tuned suspension, temperature display, compass, and tire pressure monitoring display.

While it has two more doors than its more vintage namesake, the Charger is solid transportation: roomy, with a wide range of engine options, and with a choice of drivelines, including rear-wheel, which is difficult to find at this price range.

The 5.7-litre Hemi features the company’s multi-displacement system (MDS), which seamlessly deactivates half the cylinders under light load; the 6.1-litre does not have it, and is full power all the time. The understated styling is handsome, and the interior improvements make the Charger an even more comfortable choice for long-distance driving.

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