2011-2014 Dodge Charger: The muscle (family) car

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Hemi Charger

2015 Dodge Charger

The 2011 Dodge Charger brought more classic late-1960s Dodge Charger styling cues to the family/muscle car; it kept its unibody construction, rear wheel drive (with optional all wheel drive), and choice of V6 or V8 engines, all hooked up to automatic transmissions.

Exciting powertrain changes took place at the top and bottom: the base engine gained 42 horsepower with a new 292 horsepower V6, and was hooked up (starting with the 2012 model year) to a fast-shifting 8-speed automatic. That meant it could be rated at 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway — yet zoom from 0 to 60 in a mere 6.6 seconds. [Dodge Charger and other reviews and test drives] The SRT Hemi had an impressive boost, too: 45 hp, 50 lb-ft, and 1 mpg city (4 mpg highway) thanks to cylinder deactivation — cutting off four cylinders when they weren’t needed. The 5.7 Hemi had the same feature; the old 6.1 V8 used in 2010 did not.

2012 charger sport

The Dodge Charger SRT8, with 470 horsepower from its 6.4 liter V8, and the Dodge Charger Fast Five Edition, Dodge Charger Blacktop, and Mopar ’11 Charger all had different looks and features. The 2012 Dodge Charger Blacktop, sold in SXT or SXT Plus form, could be ordered in black, tungsten, or bright silver; it had sport seats (cloth or leather), 20-inch gloss-black aluminum wheels, a gloss black grille, 506-watt stereo with 9 speakers including subwoofer, paddle shifters, and sport mode (which changes transmission shift points).

 2010 V62011 V62012+ V6 2010 V82011 V8 2010 SRT82012 SRT8
Horsepower250292292-300370370425470
Torque250260260398395420470
Liters3.53.63.65.75.76.16.4
EPA MPG17/2518/2721/3116/2516/2513/1914/23
Pref. Octane87 878789899191

Base Hemi gas mileage was boosted slightly (not enough to alter EPA numbers) by cutting all fuel to the engine when it wasn’t needed — around 5% - 8% of the time the Charger was moving, according to Police Fleet Manager.

2011 Charger sedan - car interior

Compared with the 2010 Charger, the 2011-14 had better aerodynamics, with a lower hood line, faster windshield, raked headlights, tighter wheel openings, lower sill, and flat underbody. Insiders told us that the front suspension was changed as much as they reasonably could, to lighten and liven up the steering feel and handling. The springs and struts were also retuned, for the same reason; the 2011-14 Charger felt considerably lighter than the first generation, though it wasn’t.

The aluminum hood gained dual “scallops,” and the side had 1968-influenced horizontal “coke bottle” or “double-diamond” styling. A new taillamp design used 164 LEDs to form a “racetrack” graphic, also inspired by the ’68s.

dodge charger

Dodge Charger engineers tuned the cabin for sound quality rather than sound level; the car had dual-pane acoustic windshield and front-door side glass, body-cavity silencing foam, under-flush roll-framed doors with triple seals, and acoustic wheel-well liners, garnering among the best sound quality in mainstream large cars.

On AWD cars, 19-inch wheels were standard, with an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect system that improve fuel economy by up to 5%. When all-wheel drive was not required, the system automatically disconnected the front axle (using a clutch); in cold weather, it started out in all wheel drive until it detected the absence of wheel slip.

red seats

The 2011 Dodge Charger’s interior materials were upgraded; a new thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel had better grip and four color combinations all had soft touch surfaces. Law and Order wrote that Chrysler changed the seats dramatically, benchmarking the Lexus LS460:

...most seats start out with a stamped steel seat bottom. To that, different layers, thicknesses and densities of foam are added. That means seat comfort comes only from the foam layers. The most comfortable seats, however, start out as a tube frame with a nylon web seat the bottom. And that is what the new Charger has.

The 2011 Dodge Charger had the webbing covered with a layer of firm foam, then a layer of memory foam.

2011 charger transmission

Safety and security features included standard Keyless Enter-N-Go and stability control, with segment-exclusive Ready-alert Braking and Rainy Day Brake Support; new options included adaptive-cruise control with forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross path detection, and a back-up camera with grid lines.

Charger team women

While slightly less powerful than the same engine in the 2011 Dodge Challenger, the Pentastar V6 was far more powerful and quieter than the 250 horsepower 3.5 liter, with better gas mileage; and had better acceleration than most of the “original” Dodge Charger V8 cars could provide.

Problems with this generation of the Charger included interior rattles, head failure on a small number of V6 cars which was addressed fairly quickly, and a moderately high failure rate (covered by warranty) on UConnect modules.

The Charger was made at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario, alongside the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Challenger, and Lancia Thema.

NASCAR Charger

For 2013, the Charger gained a black roof option, with cold air induction and tuned exhaust on Rallye and Blacktop V6 cars, raising output to 300 hp. Navigation system graphics were upgraded. New colors were Billet Metallic, Granite Crystal Pearl, Jazz Blue, Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl, Copperhead Metallic, and Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl. Dodge Charger Daytona returned. The Dodge Charger Sport had the 300-hp V6, spoiler, 19-inch wheels, black grille, spoiler, paddle shifters, Sport mode, Beats Audio, and special leather on Plus.

The 2014 Charger Redline had 20-inch black chrome wheels with a red lip, Beats audio, and a V-6 with sport mode, cold-air induction, and tuned exhaust, raising output to 300 horsepower. New colors were Header Orange, TorRed, and Plum Crazy.

2011 Charger/Challenger Tour Launch Photos • 2012 Charger Redline

2011-14 Dodge Charger specifications

Some compatible SD cards
Kingston SD4 16GB; 32 GB Class 4
SDHC PNY SDHC 16GB
Panasonic RP-SDW32GJ1K 32GB
TOSHIBA SD-E016G4 Class 4
PQ1 Japan BMRSD-2G 32GB

The model lineup was, in 2011, including destination:

  • Dodge Charger SE / SXT, starting at $25,995
  • Dodge Charger SE / SXT Rallye and Rallye Plus: Rallye added 18 inch polished wheels, 8.4 inch screen, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, remote start, fog lamps; Plus added leather, power passenger seat, heated rear seats. Rallye, $28,245; Rallye Plus, $29,995.
  • Charger R/T and R/T Road & Track: 5.7 Hemi, HID headlights, rear spoiler; Road & Track had unique grille, 20-inch wheels, spoiler, performance exhaust. R/T was $30,995 RWD. The R/T Plus added $2,000, AWD added $2,150, Road and Track added $3,000, and Max Package added $5,000.
  • Dodge Charger R/T AWD added 19 inch twin-spoke wheels, and active transfer case with front axle disconnect for better gas mileage
  • Dodge Charger SRT8 added, among other things, the 6.4 liter Hemi V8 and was later the basis for the “same engine, lower trim” Super Bee.
  • Pursuit was a fleet version with many changes — see our Dodge Charger police pursuit car page
 2010 Dodge Charger2011 Dodge Charger
0-60 (V6 / Hemi)8.9/6.06.6 / 6.24
(5 spd V6: 8.6)
Mileage (V6/V8)17/25; 16/2518/27; 16/25
Mileage (SRT8)13/1914/23
Wheelbase120"120.2"
Length200.1"199.9”
Width74.5"75.0"
Height58.2"58.7
Track63"63.0
Weight3,800 (V6) - 4,031 (V8)4,065 V6 / 4,290 5.7
Weight distribution53/47 (V6), 54/46 (V8) 
Interior volume104 cubic feet (120.2 EPA)104.8 c.f. (120.2 EPA)
Cargo volume16.2 cubic feet (460L)16 c.f. (EPA)
Head room38.7 (983)38.6
Front leg room41.841.8
Front shoulder room59.359.5
Front hip room56.256.2
Rear head room36.236.7
Rear leg room40.240.1
Rear knee clearance4.5n/a
Rear shoulder room57.657.9
Rear hip room55.556.1

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