Car Review: 2017 Dodge Charger Scat Pack

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Dodge Charger Scat pack
Dodge Charger Scat pack

To call the 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack a classic muscle car is both totally right and totally wrong at the same time.

22017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
2017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Back in the 60s Detroit automakers took all kinds of sedans and stuffed big engines under the hood. They had figured out that car owners like to go fast, and horsepower was the key. Fast forward to 2017 and that’s basically what you get with the Charger R/T Scat Pack. Under the hood is a 6.4 liter V8 that pumps out 485 horsepower.

Now, just take a moment to think about that number. The base Charger has a V6 that delivers 292 horsepower. Frankly, that’s all most people will ever need. So what’s it like when you throw on nearly 200 more horses? Let’s just say it’s enough fun to get you into a lot of trouble from your local law enforcement.

2017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
Sure the styling is getting dated, but at least it is different!

During the week I had my test car, Phoenix had a few of its rare rainy days. To be honest, I had to be careful launching from a dead stop. It way too easy to hit the throttle and start sliding as the rear wheels tried to hook up. I know that can be trouble with any car in the rain, but 485 horsepower made accelerating especially entertaining.

If you’re looking for great mileage, move along. Around town this Charger is rated at 15 MPG, while it should get about 25 MPG on the highway. The combined number is 18 MPG, which is exactly what I got during my test week. Not really great, until you factor in how much fun you had during that tank of gas.

So why is it totally not a classic muscle car? The 1960s sedans with big blocks were great in a straight line, but stopping and turning was always an adventure. Not so with the Charger R/T Scat Pack. It has big Brembo disc brakes with Bilstein sport suspension. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a sports car. But it has the tools necessary to do keep you out of trouble after you’ve done your best time in the quarter-mile.

2017 Dodge Charger R/T Interio
Interior is roomy and the Uconnect display is great.

Speaking of which, you need to check out the performance pages on the Charger’s Uconnect system. That’s the display interface which does all the usual stuff like control the audio, phone and navigation. Frankly, Chyrysler’s Uconnect is the best interface in the car business today. It just works great. Throw in the performance pages, and it’s even better. There are timer pages so you can track your best quarter-mile time (mine was 13.1 seconds) or how fast you get from 0-60 (4.8 seconds in my case). You can measure g-forces or watch how many of the 485 horses are being used at any one moment.

I always give Chrysler credit for not building cookie-cutter cars. They don’t look anything like what the rest of the car companies are building. Having said that, some of their designs are getting a little old. The Charger got a mild refresh last year and still looks nice, but I’m starting to wonder where they will go from here.

2017 Dodge Charger R/T Interior
The Scat Pack can scoot!

Base price on the Charger R/T Scat Pack is $39,995. Throw in a $995 destination charge and my test car stickered at $40,990. Frankly, that’s a lot of bang for your buck without any fancy options.

Sure, you can spend bigger bucks and get more power, but why? 485 horses will satisfy just about any adrenaline junkie. So if all you want is a thrill every time you hit the accelerator pedal, then you’ll be hard pressed to find a better package than the 2017 Charger R/T Scat Pack.

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