Let’s face it, you want the 707 horsepower Dodge Charger Hellcat. I mean, who wouldn’t? That kind of horsepower isn’t just fun, it’s intoxicating.
There’s just on minor problem, the Hellcat’s $63,995 stating price is way out of your league. You can’t even go half of that distance.
Well, have I got a deal for you. For just $29,995, how about a 2015 Charger SXT? You see, Dodge has eight different Chargers you can buy. They start with the base SE model and work their way up to the Hellcat. With each step you get more goodies, which usually include more horsepower.
The SXT is the second rung on the Charger ladder. Same engine as the SE, but with a few extras. It’s easy to talk about what you won’t get by stopping at the SXT, but let’s talk about what you will get to drive away.
We’ll start with the engine. Up front is a 3.6 liter V6 that is good for 292 horsepower. I can already see some of you out there rolling your eyes at the thought of a V6. Trust me, you’ll never know that it’s missing two cylinders. For $2,000 more you can move up to the R/T and its 370 5.7 liter HEMI V8. That would be great, but don’t forget you’re on a budget. You’ve already paid a little extra for the SXT. Besides, 292 horsepower means the Charger is no slouch. 250 to 300 horsepower is the sweet spot for cars these days, and the charger’s base engine is pretty close to the top of that range. It pulls well from a stop and has good mid-stride acceleration. You’ll get 19 mpg in the city with the potential for 31 on the highway. I only averaged 21.3 for my week, but if you have a lot of freeway driving, you could do a lot better. It does not need premium fuel.
The next reason to buy the SXT is the looks. The Charger is not just another cookie-cutter formulaic full-sized sedan. It has a style that stands out. This is the third generation of the modern car. The 2015 model brings some minor styling changes. It’s a nice update without losing the Charger lines. The grill is the most obvious. It’s not nearly as heavy-looking as it appeared in 2014. The whole front end has a nice wrap-around blended feel compared to the three-piece look of previous models. If you’re tired of the modern evolution of Charger styling that first appeared in 2004, then it’s time to move along. But if you think the minor changes have kept the Charger styling fresh, dive right in.
The interior has been restyled as well. The dashboard has a new look similar to update given to the 2015 Challenger. I can’t say it thrills me, but a lot of reviews seem to like it. The SXT has the 8.4 inch touchscreen with Uconnect. I think it’s worth the money. Chrysler has the best display interface in the business these days, and you’ll think you’re driving around in a more expensive car for the money just by looking at the Uconnect screen. It also has a nice display with plenty of information between the tach and the speedo. My test car didn’t have navigation, but even though I like the Chrysler version, it’s no big loss. The only thing I wish it did have is a backup camera. This is a big car and an extra eye in the back would be nice. You can add it as part of the Driver Confidence package for $1,095. If the budget won’t stretch that far, you can do without, but it’s definitely something to consider. The controls below the center display were simple, but that’s good. It doesn’t have a cluttered look. I like the way Chrysler has the volume and channel switching buttons on the back of the steering wheel. Easy to reach and nicely out-of-the-way so it doesn’t clutter up the front. My test car didn’t have a leather interior, but I liked the cloth. The material had a nice feel while looking sturdy and easy to clean. The seats were comfortable and I think they’ll especially work well for big and tall drivers.
The Charger isn’t trying to pretend to be a luxury car. It’s not trying to be a performance car. It’s simply doing a great job of owning its niche: a four door family sedan with plenty of room and much better than adequate power. Sure, you can lust over the Hellcat. But if you have to settle for something less expensive, the 2015 Charger SXT isn’t a bad place to land.