The 2022 Dodge Charger has the distinction of being the only V-8-powered sedan that starts under $40,000. While the Chrysler 300 also offers a V-8 with a rear-wheel-drive layout, it’s fancier and pricier. The Charger is less refined, with questionable interior quality and an overly firm ride that gets worse on the optional 20-inch wheels. As with the Dodge Challenger coupe, it has a standard V-6 and available all-wheel drive. However, the most exciting Charger has a vociferous Hemi V-8 under the hood, either a 370-hp 5.7-liter or a 485-hp 6.4-liter. The latter is reserved for the Scat Pack model, which isn’t as aggro as the separately reviewed 700-plus-hp Charger SRT Hellcat, but it is the sportiest non-SRT model and offers a distinctive widebody appearance. Although not everyone will appreciate the 2022 Charger, anyone who wants a throwback sedan with countless nostalgic character will.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, Dodge makes only small changes to the Charger lineup. The Driver Convenience Group package now includes a deluxe security alarm, which should come in handy in the event that anyone tries to boost (read: steal) an owner’s prized ride. The alarm is also now standard on Scat Pack models, too.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Charger R/T, with its 370-hp 5.7-liter V-8, has the perfect mix of power and features. Those who want all-wheel drive are limited to the V-6 versions. The bigger 485-hp V-8 that comes with the Scat Pack makes accelerating great again but costs about $5000 more than the R/T. Along with a standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, our choice includes a throbbing dual-mode exhaust, a leather-wrapped performance steering wheel, and 20-inch rims. We’d also add the Driver Convenience Group (blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, heated exterior mirrors, and upgraded headlights) and the Performance Handling Group (20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires, Brembo brakes, and sport-tuned suspension).
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Charger channels its NASCAR roots with big V-8 power and rowdy sounds. However, not every Charger has a mighty Hemi V-8 under the hood—what a pity—but they do all share an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. In contrast, the V-6 is subdued but does add the availability of all-wheel drive. Dodge doesn’t build a Charger with a manual gearbox, but it would be so much cooler if it did. The standard V-6 is no slouch, yet it lacks the giddy-up of front-drivers such as the Nissan Maxima. The more powerful versions excel at the strip, where the 485-hp Charger R/T Scat Pack posted an impressive 3.8-second sprint to 60 mph. The 370-hp Charger has enough ponies to outrun most family sedans. The bright (Green Go) Charger we paraded around town had a quiet and composed ride. Its large 20-inch wheels were relaxed on most surfaces, but obstacles such as railroad crossings and potholes disrupted its composure. The big-bodied sedan was remarkably balanced when cornering, too. Although the V-6 version we tested had nearly identical cornering grip, the Daytona’s hefty horsepower advantage amplified the fun. The electrically assisted power steering contributes to the Charger’s purposeful control, but its feedback is too heavy and slow to be engaging. We’ve tested several Chargers for emergency braking, and the best results came from the high-performance models with upgraded brakes and stickier summer performance tires.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Charger is a big, heavy car with a healthy appetite for fuel. Although it has below-average EPA estimates in the city, it has fairly competitive highway ratings. While we haven’t tested the 5.7-liter V-8 on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we have tested the V-6 with all-wheel drive and the larger 485-hp V-8. Surprisingly, both engines were within 1 mpg of each other, with the six earning 26 mpg on the highway and the eight earning 25 mpg. For more information about the Charger’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Charger’s interior is highly functional yet the opposite of luxurious, with more rubberized materials than the set of an adult film. Apart from excellent rear-seat legroom, its passenger space is slightly below average. The cabin’s simplistic design is classic muscle car, but options are plentiful. Although its trunk volume is similar to those of most rivals, the Charger was able to fit an extra carry-on box than its rivals. It held 18 total with the rear seat stowed, beating the Maxima and the fastback-hatchback Kia Stinger by three. Its center console features plenty of spots for small items and a slot alongside the shifter that is perfect for storing your smartphone.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Challenger has a version of the excellent Uconnect infotainment system. That means standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of a 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Although the system we tested elicited good response times, some optional controls can only be accessed via the touchscreen; a Wi-Fi hotspot also is unavailable.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The big Dodge sedan does offer a host of driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking. However, those features cost extra, and base models are excluded from the most advanced options. For more information about the Charger’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available forward-collision warning
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Dodge provides an average limited and powertrain warranty set that aligns with the Maxima’s coverage, but the Kia Cadenza has a significantly longer powertrain warranty and the Toyota Avalon offers complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance