Developed as a muscle car for the first time in 1966, the Charger has been around for several decades. But which is the best year Dodge Charger in today’s times?
Since its inception, the Charger has been known to deliver exceptional power and a rugged muscular drive. Even with the modern cars switching to hybrid and electrical technology, Dodge Chargers come equipped with V6 and V8 engines keeping performance their top priority.
2017 is the best year for Dodge Charger as it comes with several modern features, a sleeker and more aggressive look. It also offers a wide range of trims and options which cater to everyone from families to power-hungry car enthusiasts. The car also provides impressive durability and reliability.
The Charger can be thought of as a rare breed in modern times. It offers a spacious cabin, a powerful engine, and impressive looks. The V6 is a reliable choice if you want to use it as a family sedan, and the V8 will outshine most other four-door sedans with its performance if you are into speed.
Car experts and most drivers who have used this car recommend it to others. The Charger delivers excellent comfort, style, value for money, and reliability. Thanks to its performance and reliability, it is also one of the most famous pursuit cars used by the Police.
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2017 Dodge Charger
The 2017 Charger is a beauty with brains and pumped-up muscles. The car blends performance with technology and style. You are likely to be surprised by the power and performance this vehicle offers without compromising on comfort or utility.
The car is available in a variety of trims and with different powertrains. A V6 powers the SE and SXT variants, and for the power-hungry enthusiasts, there are V8 powered R/T, SRT392, and the SRT Hellcat.
With rear-wheel drive as standard on most variants and only powerful V6 and V8 engines available as options, the Dodge Charger is a muscle car at heart with the body and dimensions of a large sedan.
The Charger has maintained a unique and muscular look since the ‘60s. The 2017 model flaunts a modern look with large wheels, a short hood, a small boot, and has ample space for the cabin in the middle. The grille, which features a huge plus sign, has become standard on almost all Dodges.
Dodge refreshed the look of the Charger in 2015. Except for the roof and rear doors,every body panel was reshaped to give the car a slimmer look and a more aggressive stance. Even though the dimensions of the body remain similar, the innovative creases and curves make the newer Charger looks more compact than its predecessor.
From the side, the 2017 Chargers carry the same look as its predecessors. The high beltline and bulky fenders make the Charger easily identifiable. However, the rear fenders appear to have undergone liposuction as they are sleeker and suit well to the car.
The black grille and headlamps with daytime running lights running along the edges will remind you of the Storm Trooper. All Charger variants exhibit their own style; however, the R/T balances well between style and aggression.
The continuous LED outline gives the car a unique look at the rear. Some find the tail light shaped like a vintage telephone receiver when looked at from a distance. The bumper is well integrated and houses the dual exhausts gracefully.
Step inside, and the first thing you notice is that the high beltline limits outward visibility. However, the cabin is very spacious, with ample headroom. The seats are highly bolstered, spacious, and comfortable; their racing style theme is hard to miss.
Overall, the interior of the Charger is designed similar to other vehicles in the Jeep and Dodge lineup. The surfaces are smooth and contrasted by matte metallic accents with plenty of soft-touch material. The instrument cluster is equipped with a seven-inch screen, and it houses an 8.4-inch screen on most variants.
There is no such thing as a low-performance Charger. There are only two options on the 2017 Charger; one is powerful, and the other is very powerful. The performance this car delivers is much more than what anyone can conclude from the car’s muscular appearance.
The basic variants, SE and SXT, are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine, producing 292 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. There was an option of adding a Rallye Group upgrade to the SXT, which includes a modified exhaust, a cold air intake, and a few tweaks to the software. The numbers get pushed up to 300 hp and 264 lb.-ft of torque with the upgrade. These are the numbers for the tamed version of the Charger, and it only becomes wild from here.
Three V8 variants are available for the 2017 Dodge Charger; fast, faster, and, well, insane. The fast variant is the R/T, powered by a 5.7-liter V8, producing 370 hp and 395 lb.-ft of torque. The SRT 392 and R/T Scat Pack have a 6.4-liter V8 under the hood, making 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.
The hands-down winner of the performance lineup is the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. This beast is powered by a 6.2-liter V8, aspirated by an inter-cooled supercharger. The powertrain on this machine can produce a whopping 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. The Hellcat can hit 60 mph from a stop in just 3.7 seconds and features a thrilling top-speed 204 mph, given that you find roads to allow the vehicle to stretch its legs without hitting a speed trap.
All Chargers use an eight-speed automatic transmission, which is responsive and smooth with shifts, even when coupled with the Hellcat’s power. The All-wheel drive option is only available on the SE and SXT variants, while all Chargers come with rear-wheel drive as standard.
Even the V6 feels responsive and powerful. If you are looking for an everyday car faster than the rest, the V6 works perfectly fine. With the V8, however, driving on highways will allow for a more relaxed passing throttle, and you will hardly ever hear the engine’s full roar.
There is no sloppy handling Charger. The V6 variants offer a comfortable ride, but the suspension gets stiffer to provide additional grip and traction as the power is raked up. The Hellcat has the stiffest of all suspensions in the lineup. But if you are buying a 707-horsepower vehicle, you are surely not expecting it to ride like a luxury touring car and know well what you are putting yourself into.
Quality and Comfort
The Charger is equipped with a simple yet technologically advanced interior. There is a huge gap between the prices of the base SE and the top-of-the-line SRT Hellcat, and each variant feels a good value for the price tag.
The variants SE, SXT, and R/T, feature a checkered cloth upholstery, 8.4-inch infotainment, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.
The ride on all Chargers is supremely quiet. However, the V8 has a unique roar to show its presence under the hood. Charger buyers usually love this sound, so they look forward to it.
The Charger is quite roomy inside, thanks to its large wheelbase. You can ride around with three adults seated in the back for longer trips comfortably. Some critics complain about the quality of the materials used inside the cabin. But most Charger buyers are mostly paying for pace and space and are not too picky about material quality. For the few picky buyers, the top variants offer better material and finish to the interior.
There are a lot of standard safety features equipped on the 2017 Dodge Charger, including:
- Eight airbags around the cabin, including frontal, knee, and side-impact airbags
- Anti Lock brakes and traction control
- Daytime running lights
- Parking assistance with rearview camera
- Tire pressure warning system
- Optional blind-spot monitor
- Optional lane departure warning system
- Optional front crash prevention system with braking control
- Optional adaptive cruise control
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the 2017 Charger as five-star for safety performance. The car gets four stars for frontal crash and five stars for side-impact and rollover resistance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards the 2017 Dodge Charger with a “Good” rating for crashworthiness except for frontal, driver side-impact, for which the vehicle receives an average “Marginal” score. The optional systems like lane departure and crash prevention get “Superior” ratings from the testing organization.
With a wide range of variants and engines, there is a Charger for every kind of Dodge Charger lover. The Charger lineup starts at the basic SE and moves through SXT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392, and ends at the power-packed SRT Hellcat.
The SE is not too bland, but it is not lavish either. It offers alloy wheels and some power accessories like the power-adjustable driver seat. There is also a touchscreen audio system, but it features a screen smaller than other trims.
The SXT is next in line, and it features the standard 8.4-inch infotainment system with software updates for 2017. It also has heated seats, a remote start function, 18-inch alloys, and an improved audio system. Some SXTs came equipped with the Technology Group package. This package supplies the SXT with:
- Xenon HID headlights
- Memory option for the power-operated driver seat
- Heated steering wheel
- Leather trim and upholstery
- Collision prevention system
- Rearview camera
The SE and SXT are also available with an all-wheel-drive option, not found on the higher trims.
For those looking for real performance, all trims above the SE and SXT are equipped with V8s, which deliver excellent power.
The R/T is equipped with a sport suspension and rides on performance tires. Add on the Scat Pack, and you get Bilstein dampers four-piston Brembo brakes to go with the SRT-tuned V8. This variant gives the Charger the signature muscle car feels without dating it back in technology and features.
Next up the line is the SRT 392, which offers luxuries like a power-adjustable passenger seat, a heated rear seat, navigation with traffic updates, and Travellink from Sirius XM.
The top-of-the-line SRT Hellcat is equipped with a lot of features in addition to the performance-oriented engine. Some of the features found on the Hellcat are:
- Variable driving modes allow the driver to switch between Eco, Default, Track, and Sport modes. These modes change the throttle response, transmission shifting pattern, traction control, and tweak suspension settings.
- The Hellcat comes with two key fobs; black and red. Operate it with the black one, and the engine power is limited to 500 hp. But put the red one to use, and the Hellcat shows how much of a performer it truly is.
- There is also a valet mode, which will keep the valet from taking joy rides on the very tempting powerhouse.
- A Harman Kardon 18-speaker audio system with 900-watt output
- The car is equipped with heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel with a flat bottom, and heated rear seats.
The SRT 392 and Hellcat are equipped with loud exhaust systems to add thrill to the driving experience. They also have multiple software add-ons to ensure the best 0-60 mph times. However, since both these variants come riding on summer performance tires, they are not suited for harsh weather and require all-season or winter tires if they are to be used in cold areas.
There are many customization options available for the Charger, and you can use them to ensure that your Charger looks like no one else’s.
The performance of the Dodge Charger comes at the expense of fuel economy. With every step up towards higher power, the car also steps down in fuel economy. The most noticeable of these steps is the move from V6 to V8.
But stick around with the V6 and rear-wheel drive, and you get fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg in the city, an impressive 30 mpg on highways, and 23 mpg with combined driving. Add on the all-wheel option, and the numbers change to 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
The V8s need much more regular unleaded fuel to quench their thirst. For the R/T, the numbers stand at 16 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. The top SRT Hellcat with 707 horsepower delivers 13 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on highways, and 16 mpg for combined driving.
Price Range of 2017 Dodge Charger
Most 2017 Chargers are priced between $20,000 and $40,000, with the average price around $30,000. The SRT 392 variant can be priced anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000, and the Hellcat stands between $46,000 and $70,000.
It is important to understand that the price variations can be due to numerous factors like location, mileage, optional add-ons, and vehicle condition.
Running Costs of 2017 Dodge Charger
The estimated annual cost of a Dodge Charger stands at around $6,000, including fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance costs. This figure translates to an estimated $30,000 for five years, slightly higher than rivals.
About The Author
Working as a restoration tech on exclusively Mopar offerings of the late 60’s and early 70’s honed the skills to build what I consider the most prestigious make of American cars of that era. The iconic slant six, behemoth 426 Hemi and everything in between shaped my view on the automotive world. I’ve translated those skills towards vehicles that “everyman” has access to enjoy and Mopar influence still plays a significant role.Read More About Tyler Herndon