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2015 Dodge Charger SE AWD First Impression

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Offered in a number of guises ranging from V6 to Hemi V8s, the Charger range offers something for everyone, yet the 2015 lineup is by far the most impressive we’ve seen. So much so, that it includes the world’s quickest/fastest/most powerful production sedan: the SRT Hellcat! 

What is a Dodge Charger?
The Dodge Charger name has been around since 1966 when it was first used on a two-door muscle car. The Charger was sadly dropped just 12 years later, shortly after the fuel crisis hit the U.S. The badge briefly reappeared in 1983 as a short-lived (slightly unworthy) sub-compact, and then in 2006 as a new retro wave took place in the industry and the Charger returned to us with gusto sporting a couple of extra doors. 
Buyers soon warmed to the sporty-yet-practical four-door retro classic, and sales have been fairly solid ever since.

2015 Dodge Charger Price & Specs
The 2015 Charger is available in nine key models: SE, SE AWD, SXT, SXT AWD, R/T, R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat 
Leading the charge is the well-equipped SE model at just $32,495, but like I said there’s “something for everyone” so here’s the pricing for the rest of the lineup.

  • Dodge Charger SE AWD      $34,695
  • Dodge Charger SXT     $35,595
  • Dodge Charger SXT AWD    $37,795
  • Dodge Charger R/T       $39,495
  • Dodge Charger R/T Road & Track           $41,495  
  • Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack    $46,495 
  • Dodge Charger SRT 392       $50,495 
  • Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT 
  • $64,495  

(All models now feature the superb TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission with manual shifting mode.) 

Driving the 2015 Dodge Charger
I drove most models, including the HELLCAT, during the recent press launch in Virginia. However, the very first model I experienced was the V6 SE AWD (which will probably be a volume seller here in Canada), so it’s this model I’ll concentrate on.

The Charger SE AWD carries the well-proven 3.5L Pentastar V6, producing 292 hp & 260 lb-ft of torque. When coupled to its fabulous 8-speed automatic transmission, this enables the V6 SE to deliver a best-in-class highway fuel economy figure of just 7.7L/100km (V6 SE RWD). 

Adding all-wheel-drive to the mix (which, for the first time, is now available on the entry-level SE) simply ups this by 0.9 to 8.6L/100km, which also makes the Charger an AWD-segment leader in fuel efficiency. Much of this is due to the Charger featuring the segment’s most advanced AWD system that offers a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle disconnect technologies. Put simply, it works extremely well and delivers impressive fuel economy numbers for such a large vehicle, especially when you consider that the Pentastar V6 is happy and content to run on regular gas.
All V6 Charger models now feature electric power steering. With three modes to choose from (Normal, Comfort, Sport), this makes what is a rather large and hefty vehicle feel quite agile. A small thing, but this makes a huge difference to the overall feel of the Dodge Charger!
 
Inside & Out of the new 2015 Dodge Charger
Just about every exterior panel on the Charger has been redesigned for 2015. In fact, the only panels left untouched are the roof and the rear doors. However, the overall big bad boy look is still there. This redesign creates a presence on the road just as the outgoing model did, and yet it somehow manages to look slightly classier while doing so.
The interior follows this line, and anyone who hasn’t peeked inside a Chrysler/Dodge product of late needs to do so. Interiors that used to (a few years back) be the butt of automotive jokes are now the envy of many Chrysler/Dodge competitors. 

With this new wave of Chrysler/Dodge products, we’re not just witnessing a massive leap in quality, but also a huge step up in overall value for money. Take the standard fitment LED daytime running lights for example; while other competitors often only fit these to their mid-range models (hoping to entice buyers to move up the range), Dodge includes this striking-looking (and extremely popular) feature across its entire Charger lineup. 

Bang-for-the-buck doesn’t end there: standard equipment on the entry-level SE includes dual-zone air conditioning; a 7” in-cluster display; Bluetooth with streaming audio; Uconnect 5.0 with 5” touchscreen display; leather-wrapped steering wheel & gear shift; tilt/telescopic steering; 17” rims (19” on the AWD); auto bi-functional halogen projector headlamps; keyless Enter ‘n’ Go; and the SE even comes with heated washer nozzles. Obviously, I can’t include every standard feature, but that’s just a few of the niceties buyers can expect when they purchase an entry-level SE at just $32, 495. 

Comparing the new 2015 Dodge Charger
Sure, there are competitors, but few can be looked upon as true competition. Some suggest the Toyota Avalon, Chevy Impala, and the Nisan Maxima. The Kia Cadenza, Buick LaCrosse, and Ford Taurus also often get mentioned, but if you’re truly seeking a muscular-looking sporty 4-door (apart from perhaps the Taurus) its only real competition comes from within… the Chrysler 300. 

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    2015 Dodge Charger
    dodge charger 2015
    2015 Dodge Charger
    Review this Vehicle
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