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2012 Dodge Charger (SE, SXT, R/T) Review


Building on the success of the all-new Charger introduced in 2011, the 2012 Dodge Charger is now the first domestic sport sedan to feature an eight-speed automatic transmission – delivering a best-in-class 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway.

2012 Dodge Charger photo

“The new eight-speed transmission takes the Dodge Charger, which was already at the head of its class, and puts it in a league of its own, with the ultimate combination of 292 horsepower and best-in-class 31 mpg,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand — Chrysler Group LLC. “Our Charger customers don’t have to compromise as they can get the fuel efficiency of a mid-size car in a full-size sedan with distinctive styling only available from Dodge.”

2012 Dodge Charger photo

This state-of-the-art ZF eight-speed automatic transmission will be available on rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger models equipped with the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering 292 horsepower along with improved performance and class-leading fuel efficiency with respect to:

Best-in-class highway fuel economy (31 mpg highway)
Best-in-class V-6 AWD fuel economy (18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway)
Best-in-class combined fuel economy (23 mpg with RWD, 21 mpg with AWD)
Unsurpassed city fuel economy (19 mpg city RWD, 18 mpg AWD)
Overall unsurpassed fuel economy in its class (19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with RWD)

2012 Dodge Charger photo

Dodge Charger with the all-new eight-speed automatic now delivers best-in-class mid-size V-6 fuel efficiency, but does so with the roominess of a full-size, and the style only Charger can deliver.

For 2012, the Dodge Charger lineup has been simplified to include SE, SXT and R/T models, as well as the high-performance SRT8. These models also offer technology, performance and value-packed feature packages to help customers equip their Dodge Charger to their exact vehicle needs.

2012 Dodge Charger photo

Segment-first eight-speed automatic transmission
Once limited to premium import vehicles costing twice as much, the new segment-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission expands the world-class power and fuel efficiency of the 2012 Dodge Charger SE (optional), Charger SXT and Charger SXT Plus. Combined with the award-winning 292 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, the results are quicker acceleration, seamless shifts and improved fuel efficiency.

For an even more engaging driving experience, the 2012 Dodge Charger now introduces new paddle shifters with “Sport” shift mode, standard on the Dodge Charger SXT and SXT Plus equipped with the Rallye Appearance Group or Blacktop package. With “Sport” mode, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use the all-new die-cast steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and view gear election through an all-new full-color EVIC centered in the Dodge Charger’s instrument cluster.

Delivering up to a 17 percent fuel economy improvement compared with the previous generation six-cylinder Dodge Charger AWD, the new 2012 Dodge Charger SXT and SXT Plus AWD combine the new eight-speed automatic transmission, fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and the segment’s most advanced AWD system for maximum all-weather traction and efficiency.

2012 Dodge Charger photo

Dodge Charger’s AWD system features a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve real-world fuel economy. No other major automotive manufacturer offers the combination of these two independent technologies. Dodge Charger’s innovative AWD system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and AWD with no driver intervention. When all-wheel drive is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

New touring-tuned AWD suspension
With the introduction of AWD on the new Pentastar V-6 powered 2012 Charger, Dodge engineers took the new second-generation architecture further with the addition of hydrobushings for even more precise all-weather handling and world-class refinement.

Compared to the previous generation, 2012 Dodge Charger models with AWD feature a 0.5-inch (13 mm) tighter tire-to-fender fitment, a 0.15-inch (4 mm) lowered overall ride height and larger 19-inch wheels with wider P235/55R19 all-season performance tires.

2012 Dodge Charger photo

New Charger Blacktop package delivers even more performance and sinister styling
Delivering even more street-cred and sinister attitude to the 2012 Dodge Charger SXT and SXT Plus, the new 2012 Charger Blacktop features a “blacked out” appearance, performance-tuned suspension and state-of-the-art infotainment system.

The Blacktop Package includes unique Pitch Black-painted “split crosshair” grille with Pitch Black matching grille surround, Pitch Black-painted 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels, 20-inch all-season performance tires and performance-tuned suspension architecture. Inside, unique sport seats provide extra lateral support for performance driving needs.

The 2012 Dodge Charger Blacktop Package features the aluminum 3.6-liter Pentastar engine delivering 292 horsepower through the all-new segment-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission. For even more spirited driving with performance feel, the driver can utilize all-new die-cast steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters to manually select the desired gear.

The Company’s state-of-the-art Uconnect® Touch 8.4 provides Dodge Charger Blacktop passengers with the segment’s largest touchscreen display (8.4-inch) and next-generation mobile infotainment, connectivity and multimedia features. Surrounding passengers with audiophile-quality sound is an Alpine® premium audio system with nine speakers, 8-inch subwoofer and a 506-watt 12-channel digital signal processing (DSP) amplifier for 7.1 Matrix surround sound.

The Dodge Charger Blacktop Package will be available in Bright Silver Metallic, Tungsten Metallic and — for a complete monotone appearance — all-new Pitch Black exterior paint colors, with black premium cloth or Nappa leather seating.

New driver-focused appointments added to 2012 Dodge Charger R/T Road & Track package
Designed for hard-core enthusiasts who crave even more performance from their 370 horsepower HEMI® V-8 powered Dodge Charger R/T with Fuel Saver multi-displacement technology, the R/T Road & Track package now adds even more cockpit convenience features, including heated and ventilated performance seats with larger side bolsters to give even more confidence during aggressive handling maneuvers. The addition of driver’s seat memory, power-adjustable pedals and steering column with memory combine to provide the driver with additional comfort and convenience.

Further adding to the engaging driving experience are new die-cast zinc steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Additional equipment on the Dodge Charger R/T Road & Track includes a black honeycomb-style grille with matte surround and heritage “R/T” badge, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, 20-inch all-season performance tires, rear differential with 3.06 axle ratio, performance engine and transmission calibration, and high-speed engine controller.

Uconnect Touch — the segment’s largest touchscreen infotainment system — now adds handsfree texting and SIRIUS Traffic to its segment-exclusive Garmin® navigation

The Dodge Charger’s Uconnect Touch system has been upgraded for 2012, adding hands-free texting, voice commands for Garmin navigation, SIRIUS Traffic and even full iPod® control features to expand on the system’s world-class infotainment, connectivity and convenience technologies.



For the Dodge brand, safety is a priority and the upgraded Uconnect Touch (available with 4.3-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreens) with handsfree texting keep Charger passengers even more connected through voice commands. With a compatible Bluetooth® phone, Uconnect Touch enables text-to-speech for incoming text messages, and provides the driver with ‘canned’ speech-to-text responses for outgoing messages.

With the segment’s largest touchscreen display at 8.4-inches, the easy to use Uconnect Touch 8.4N with integrated Garmin navigation is even better with the addition of voice recognition and SIRIUS Traffic. With natural voice commands, the Uconnect Touch 8.4N enables Dodge Charger passengers to input street addresses and navigate to points of interest. And with the addition of SIRIUS Traffic, real-time traffic monitoring notifies the driver or enables the Garmin navigation to re-route due to congested throughways.

For 2012, the Charger lineup has been renamed for an even more consistent Dodge product portfolio focused on performance and value. The Dodge Charger SE and SXT models feature the lightweight, 292 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine for up to 31 mpg highway (with eight-speed transmission). With the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine under the hood, the 2012 Charger R/T delivers 370 horsepower and up to 25 mpg highway with innovative four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology. Dodge Charger models also offer up technology, performance and value-packed feature packages to help customers equip their sports car to their exact needs.

Charger SE: Starting at an impressive $25,495 MSRP, the Charger SE offers more standard equipment than any of its direct standard full-size competitors, but does so at a mid-size price. The SE is well-equipped for the individual looking for comfort, handling, iconic styling and extraordinary value. This vehicle features the 3.6-liter 292 horsepower Pentastar V-6, 17-inch aluminum wheels, signature taillamps with 164 LED’s, integrated dual exhaust, capless fuel fill, active front head restraints, seven airbags, acoustic windshield and front side glass, 4.3-inch touchscreen media center, electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), Brake Assist, Rain Brake Support, Keyless Enter-N-Go with push-button start, power driver’s seat and much more.

Charger SXT: The Charger SXT is for professionals who want even more connectivity, comfort and convenience features. Charger SXT adds the all-new eight-speed automatic transmission for up to 31 mpg highway. Also included on the Charger SXT’s standard equipment list: fog lamps, Uconnect Touch 8.4 with an 8.4-inch touchscreen (late availability), Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth®, automatic-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather-wrapped shift knob, automatic dual-zone climate control with individual driver/passenger settings, front overhead console with LED dome lamp, HomeLink universal transceiver, Alpine premium audio system with six speakers and 276-watt 8-channel amplifier, 12-way power driver and front-passenger seats, including four-way power lumbar, heated front seats and heated power-adjustable mirrors.

Charger SXT Plus: For drivers who want six-cylinder efficiency with premium technologies, refinement and details, this Dodge Charger includes the features of the Charger SXT and adds premium leather seating, heated/cooled cup holders, vehicle security alarm, LED-illuminated front-row overhead lighting, LED-illuminated footwells, and 18-inch five-spoke chrome-clad aluminum wheels.

Charger R/T: With its legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, performance-tuned suspension with larger performance disc brakes and standard Uconnect Touch 8.4, the Dodge Charger R/T is designed for the customer who demands V-8 power, rail-like handling and state-of-the-art technology. And starting at just $29,995 MSRP, the Charger is the most affordable V-8 sedan in America. The R/T features 370 track-tearing horsepower and 395 lb.-ft. of torque, four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology and a proven five-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick that delivers up to 25 mpg highway. In addition to the standard equipment on the Dodge Charger SXT, the Charger R/T model includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, performance-tuned suspension and exhaust, performance brake package, high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and performance seats.

Charger R/T Plus: For customers who want added curb appeal with interior comfort, convenience and technology features, this Dodge Charger R/T package adds on to the Charger R/T’s standard equipment list with 18-inch five-spoke chrome-clad aluminum wheels, premium leather seating, 12-way power front-passenger seat with 4-way power lumbar, heated/cooled cup holders, vehicle security alarm, LED-illuminated, front-row overhead lighting and LED-illuminated footwells.
Charger R/T Road & Track: Designed for hard-core enthusiasts who demand more performance and heritage from their Dodge Charger R/T, this Road & Track package includes the features of the R/T Plus and adds a black honeycomb-style grille with matte black surround and heritage “R/T” badge, body-color deck-lid mounted spoiler, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, 20-inch all-season performance tires, rear differential with 3.06 axle ratio, die-cast zinc steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, heated and ventilated performance seats with larger side bolsters, driver’s seat memory, power-adjustable pedals and steering column with memory, performance engine and transmission calibration and high-speed engine controller.

2012 Dodge Charger photo

Charger R/T Max: For customers who want performance, state-of-the-art technology and maximum comfort and convenience features from their Dodge Charger R/T, this package includes all of the standard features of the R/T Plus and adds 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, 20-inch all-season performance tires, Uconnect Touch 8.4N with Garmin® navigation, SIRIUS Travel Link, adaptive-cruise control (ACC) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, ParkSense® rear park assist, ParkView® rear backup camera, Alpine® premium audio system with nine speakers and 506-watt 12-channel DSP amplifier for 7.1 Matrix surround sound, SmartBeam® headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable heated mirrors with memory and courtesy lamps, heated steering wheel with power tilt, telescoping and memory.

The 2012 Dodge Charger is built at Chrysler Group LLC’s Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and arrives at Dodge dealerships in the fall of 2011.

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