Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus AWD (Review)

With a choice of V6 and V8 engines, as well as seven trim levels to suit your style or budget, the Charger impresses by the way it drives like a smaller car, and unlike conventionally styled rivals such as the Chevrolet Impala and the Toyota Avalon, it draws attention and compliments from people of all ages.

Our 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus tester was painted in arrest-me red, the perfect colour for displaying the car’s athletic looks. The angry face, the hood and door creases as well as the full-width taillights with LED illumination create a strong visual impact. As well, you’ll see obvious styling cues that remind us of the 1968-1970 Charger.

Bluetooth phone and streaming audio is included in the 2013 Dodge Charger SXT Plus as well as satellite radio, a USB port and a navigation system. And you still get big, rubber-wrapped volume, tuning and climate control fan speed knobs for quick adjusting; not particularly stylish, but highly functional.In addition, the dashboard’s design and finish isn’t mind-blowing, yet it doesn’t look cheap either. Chrysler has reduced the number of assembly bits and pieces, and the result is less dash squeaks and a cleaner look.

Up front, the seats are very comfortable and there is plenty of room. In back, two adults will be at ease, although headroom isn’t all that generous, and the transmission tunnel prevents a middle occupant from getting comfortable. In a car this big, there should be more space back there, although the Ford Taurus is no better. On the other hand, the 467-litre trunk is pretty big and includes grocery bag hooks.Kudos to Chrysler’s Uconnect 8.4N infotainment system. The touchscreen responds instantly to the slightest tap of a finger, while the big icons and buttons make it easy to use while driving. I’d take this system over Ford’s MyTouch interface any day.

Our test car also benefits from an 8-speed automatic transmission, which provides smooth and quick gear changes. It also keeps the V6 humming along on the highway; at 100 km/h, the Pentastar spins at only 1,500 rpm. Fuel economy is decent at best around town, and gets better on the open road. We averaged 11.7L/100km in this AWD Charger.

Speaking of all-wheel drive, the system favours the rear wheels, disconnecting the front axle under normal driving conditions. It’s a $2,200 option on SXT, SXT Plus and R/T trims.The 2013 Dodge Charger is also easy to drive and park, despite its size, thanks to a decent turning radius and good outward visibility. The steering is nicely weighted for both parking-lot speeds and higher velocities, while the suspension easily soaks up the nastiest cracks, bumps and potholes. The car feels refined beyond its asking price.

1 comment:

  1. the 2013 Dodge Charger and why not since stands high above the large sedan competition in handling and performance with an option for all-wheel drive as well, the Washington Times said.
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