Return of the American Muscle Sedan
Progeny of the ill-fated Daimler-Chrysler merger, the Dodge Charger came to be in 2005 as a throwback to classic muscle nostalgia in a full-size sedan body. With retro looks, paint schemes and a throwback for a name, the Charger was more than just a pretender thanks to models like the R/T, R/T Daytona and SRT8.
Two V6 engines were offered in the 2006-2010 Charger, a 2.7-liter making 178 hp and a 3.5-liter generating 250 hp. The smaller V6 was restricted to fleet sales during the first year, but became the base engine from 2007 onwards. Two V8s were also offered: a 5.7-liter HEMI producing 340-372 hp depending on trim and year as well as the larger 6.1-liter HEMI V8 with an awesome 425 hp. Depending on the engine, a four or five-speed automatic was standard along with rear-wheel drive. The 3.5-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 could also be had with all-wheel drive.
The five main trim packages during the 2006-2010 Charger’s run were SE, SXT, R/T, Daytona R/T and SRT8. There were also the SXT AWD and R/T AWD sub-trims.
- Styling – Dodge Charger owners love the aggressive presence of their cars and are particularly fond of the front end treatment.
- HEMI – More than just a marketing tool, those that opted for either of the V8 engines love the sound and acceleration from this engine.
- Infotainment – Many users love the easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment unit and larger touchscreen. Others also appreciate the sound quality from the optional Beats audio system.
- The Dodge Charger is prone to wear out front-end ball joints and tie rod ends. A relatively inexpensive repair to perform, a close eye should still be kept on these items.
- Owners with V8 powered cars have experienced an issue that allows the fuel tank to overfill and causes the car to stall at low speeds. A recall has since been issued for this problem by Chrysler.
- Owners of the 3.5-liter V6 have also experienced their own issue with an engine tick that is fixable, but prominent.
Before You Buy
Do your due diligence and ensure that all recalls have been performed for the particular model year of interest. As well, check the ownership history of the car. Many Chargers are an ex-fleet vehicle that signifies they may have endured excessive wear and tear. SE and SE-XT models in particular could be former daily rentals and both V6 and V8 Chargers may have seen duty as police cars or taxi cabs. Finally, also get an inspection done on the engine and front suspension components to ensure everything is in proper mechanical shape.
Best Bang for Your Buck
It really depends on what you are looking for in a car. If it is a safe, reliable family car than the 2010 Charger SXT is the best bet. Depreciation has shrunk the price gap between the SE and SXT models making the SXT the obvious choice as it gets the 3.5-liter V6, more content and optional all-wheel drive. We suggest the 2010 model as it came with standard side curtain airbags that helped improved the 2006-2009 Charger’s lackluster side impact safety ratings.
If it is more of a performance sedan you are after, look into a 2009-2010 Charger R/T. These years saw power from the 5.7-liter V8 get bumped to a healthier 368 hp. Or, for something even more special and powerful, look for a good condition 2007 Charger SRT8.
Regardless of which trim you are interested in, avoid 2006 Chargers as it experienced many first-model-year issues and has received more NHTSA complaints than the other four years combined.
Recall and Crash Test Database
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