2016 Dodge Charger STX Plus AWD: It’s about the flava, baby!

16 Jun 2016 | 1,442 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Looking for some "Flava" in your next big American family sedan? Let us suggest the 2016 Dodge Charger SXT Plus AWD--it's a solid, well-built, impeccably made full sized sedan  that, despite playing little brother to the hellishly fast Dodge Charger Hellcat, can really step out briskly and do so while getting pretty decent mileage. First, let me put something to rest about this car and FiatChrysler products in general. You probably have heard that Chrysler Fiat is having quality control issues. That just has not been an issue with our Dodge Charger. In fact I will go even further and say that none of the quality issues you've heard about have been seen on any Chryslers, Dodges,  Jeeps and Fiats we've driven.I really don't know where the problems are. I didn't see them. The quality of materials has generally been above average, and we have not experienced any flaws or loose parts, except some balkiness by the company's eight speed automatic transmissions. Interiors are done with interesting and innovative designs and themes--especially true with the Jeep Renegade. All of those kudos certainly apply to the Dodge Charger SXT Plus we drove. [caption id="attachment_8249" align="alignnone" width="675"]2016 Dodge Charger R/T Road & Track 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Road & Track[/caption]   Our Charger SXT Plus was equipped with all wheel drive, something that is just about a necessity in my neck of the woods in Pittsburgh and is available only in Subaru's Legacy, the Charger and the Chrysler 300  in this segment. Other standard equipment included anti lock four wheel disc performance brakes, rain brake support, ready Alert Braking, all speed traction control, theft deterrent system, UConnect 8.4 , one of the best infotainment/navigation/climate control systems anywhere; dual climate control system; power brakes, steering, door locks and mirrors, six premium speakeers with a more than decent audio system, and a lot of other standard features. Standard safety standard features include hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring display, automatic headlamps, Safety Key Theft deterrent system, advanced multi-stage air bags, supplemental front seat mounted airbags, supplemental side curtain front and rear airbags, all-speed traction control and electronic stability control. Optional equipment included a Driver Confidence group package with items like navigation and backup camera, a Rallye Group package that includes performance tires, a 300 horsepower, 3.6 liter V-6, Rallye badge, the R/T Appearance Package, and other goodies;, All Wheel Drive Plus Package with leather seating, bi-function HID projector headlamps, ventilated front seats, Park Sense rear assist and Park View rear backup camera; heated steering wheel, power heated memory mirrors, and other items. This Charger costs $1,750 more than the average new car over five years with the average new car.  Annual fuel costs are $2,150, based on 15,000miles a year in a five ear period with $3.00 a gallon gasoline. The car uses 4.87 gallons to travel 100 miles. Performance wise, it's about a seven second ride to 60, not bad for a car at this size and weight. Getting behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger SXT Plus is a pleasant trip back in time, to the old days when a car like this would rule the roads. Controls are contemporary, easy to understand,  and the modern yet nostalgic looking gauges will take you back to the days of the rule of the American full sized car.  Needless to say, this is a very comfortable and roomy car with plenty of spread out space , nd a cavernous trunk to boot. There's a pleasant sound coming from the exhaust system when you drive this car--another throwback to "back in the day." The handling is sheer footed, confidence inspiring and without a lot of drama coming from body lean and roll. Another kudo--and Chrysler has heard this one before from me, but it bears repeating.  Uconnect is by far the best touchscreen infotainment system you can order, with controls so easy to use they seem almost ridiculously easy.  I think I connected to BlueTooth, adjusted the climate control and hit up Nav in about fifteen seconds....And the system is intuitive, too. No fiddling around trying to find the right thing and get comfortable. Try as I might, I could not find one niggling problem with the Charger. Of course, the best part of this car is that it still has "flava." Let the other copy cats go their way with their knife edges, swoops and dips  and their way too familiar four door coupe styling go their way--and you know which  large cars I'm talking about, I'm sure.  Dodge keeps going it's' cool, All-American thunderous way---long may the car and the make thrive. P.S.  Looooove the Dodge Brothers ad campaign for personality and brand image.  Now that's what I'm talkin' bout!    

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