2021 Dodge Charger

Review, Pricing, and Specs

Starting at
6.5 / 10
2021 dodge charger front
6.5 / 10


The 2021 Dodge Charger recalls the days when most full-size sedans had rear-wheel drive and rumbly V-8 engines. But the big Dodge sedan also caters to modern society with popular options such as all-wheel drive and contemporary technology. The latter consists of extensive driver assists as well as an excellent infotainment system. Of course, the Charger's broad appeal also stems from its cool appearance packages, alluring performance equipment, and largely affordable pricing. While its interior suffers from some low-quality materials, and models rolling on the largest wheels have a harsher ride, its roomy cabin and large trunk essentially make it a practical muscle car. Sure, there's nothing too muscular about the standard V-6, but either of the optional Hemi V-8s have the sound and power to tug at our heartstrings.

What's New for 2021?

For 2021, the Charger lineup receives the smallest of updates. The GT AWD model now comes standard with 20-inch wheels, which are also newly optional on the SXT AWD.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We think the Charger R/T, with its 370-hp 5.7-liter V-8, has the perfect mix of power and features. Those who want all-wheel drive are limited to the V-6 versions. The bigger 485-hp V-8 that comes with the Scat Pack makes accelerating great again but costs about $5000 more than the R/T. Along with a standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, our choice includes a throbbing dual-mode exhaust, a leather-wrapped performance steering wheel, and 20-inch rims. We'd also add the Driver Convenience Group (blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, heated exterior mirrors, and upgraded headlights) and the Performance Handling Group (20-inch wheels with all-season performance tires, Brembo brakes, and sport-tuned suspension).

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Charger channels its NASCAR roots with big V-8 power and rowdy sounds. However, not every Charger has a mighty Hemi V-8 under the hood—what a pity—but they do all share an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. In contrast, the V-6 is subdued but does add the availability of all-wheel drive. Dodge doesn't build a Charger with a manual gearbox, but it would be so much cooler if it did. The standard V-6 is no slouch, yet it lacks the giddy-up of front-drivers such as the Nissan Maxima. The more powerful versions excel at the strip, where the 485-hp Charger R/T Scat Pack posted an impressive 3.8-second sprint to 60 mph. The 370-hp Charger has enough ponies to outrun most family sedans. The bright (Green Go) Charger we paraded around town had a quiet and composed ride. Its large 20-inch wheels were relaxed on most surfaces, but obstacles such as railroad crossings and potholes disrupted its composure. The big-bodied sedan was remarkably balanced when cornering, too. Although the V-6 version we tested had nearly identical cornering grip, the Daytona's hefty horsepower advantage amplified the fun. The electrically assisted power steering contributes to the Charger's purposeful control, but its feedback is too heavy and slow to be engaging. We've tested several Chargers for emergency braking, and the best results came from the high-performance models with upgraded brakes and stickier summer performance tires.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The Charger is a big, heavy car with a healthy appetite for fuel. Although it has below-average EPA estimates in the city, it has fairly competitive highway ratings. While we haven't tested the 5.7-liter V-8 on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we have tested the V-6 with all-wheel drive and the larger 485-hp V-8. Surprisingly, both engines were within 1 mpg of each other, with the six earning 26 mpg on the highway and the eight earning 25 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Charger's interior is highly functional yet the opposite of luxurious, with more rubberized materials than the set of an adult film. Apart from excellent rear-seat legroom, its passenger space is slightly below average. The cabin's simplistic design is classic muscle car, but options are plentiful. Although its trunk volume is similar to those of most rivals, the Charger was able to fit an extra carry-on box than its rivals. It held 18 total with the rear seat stowed, beating the Maxima and the fastback-hatchback Kia Stinger by three. Its center console features plenty of spots for small items and a slot alongside the shifter that is perfect for storing your smartphone.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Every Challenger has a version of the excellent Uconnect infotainment system. That means standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of a 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Although the system we tested elicited good response times, some optional controls can only be accessed via the touchscreen; a Wi-Fi hotspot also is unavailable.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The 2021 Charger earned a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it wasn't named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Dodge sedan does offer a host of driver-assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking. However, these features cost extra, and base models are excluded from the most advanced options. Key safety features include:

  • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Available forward-collision warning

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    Dodge provides an average limited and powertrain warranty set that aligns with the Maxima's coverage, but the Kia Cadenza has a significantly longer powertrain warranty and the Toyota Avalon offers complimentary maintenance.

    • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
    • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
    • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



      VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

      PRICE AS TESTED: $41,325 (base price: $34,340)

      ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

      Displacement: 220 cu in, 3604 cc
      Power: 300 hp @ 6350 rpm
      Torque: 264 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

      TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

      Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
      Brakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/12.6-in vented disc
      Tires: Michelin Primacy MXM4, 235/55R-19 101H M+S

      Wheelbase: 120.2 in
      Length: 198.4 in
      Width: 75.0 in Height: 58.2 in
      Passenger volume: 102 cu ft
      Trunk volume: 17 cu ft
      Curb weight: 4281 lb

      Zero to 60 mph: 6.4 sec
      Zero to 100 mph: 16.6 sec
      Zero to 130 mph: 35.0 sec
      Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.8 sec
      Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.1 sec
      Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
      Standing ¼-mile: 14.9 sec @ 95 mph
      Top speed (governor limited): 132 mph
      Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
      Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.79 g

      Observed: 20 mpg
      75-mph highway driving: 26 mpg
      Highway range: 480 mi

      Combined/city/highway: 21/18/27 mpg


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