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2021 Dodge Charger: Don’t Mess With Success

The Dodge Charger is back for 2021 with more power for its Hellcat trims, new wheels for others, and the same stylish exterior. See if it’s right for you!

What’s New for the 2021 Dodge Charger

The 2021 Dodge Charger gets a few fairly small updates and one new trim level. The Charger SXT can add optional 20-inch wheels that are now standard on the Charger GT. In addition, the very top of the range has been taken over by the Charger Hellcat Redeye with 797 horsepower. The previous range-topping Hellcat gets 10 additional horsepower over last year for a total of 717.

2021 Dodge Charger – media.stellantisnorthamerica.com |  Shop 2021 Dodge Charger on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $32,720

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

RWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

19 City / 30 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Who doesn’t love power

Fabulous styling

Outstanding handling

Power corrupts

Some tech aging poorly

Cheap materials scattered throughout

Can we get some real shift paddles?

2021 Dodge Charger Specs

Trims & Pricing

SXT - $32,720
GT - $34,995
R/T - $40,720
Scat Pack - $45,045
Hellcat - $75,820

2021 Dodge Charger Powertrain

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger 5.7L V8 - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

The best thing about driving the 2021 Dodge Charger is that no matter which engine you get, they’re all pretty good. The base V6 gets almost no attention, and that’s sad because it’s a lovely little gem. With nearly 300 horsepower, it’s more than quick enough to emulate it’s more burly brethren. The eight-speed automatic is also lighting fast to react when called upon.

Perhaps the most overlooked motor of the bunch is the 5.7-liter V8 found in the R/T. It’s sincerely punchy and engaging. Unlike the trim levels above it, you can wrap it out on the highway without serious fear that you’ll be well above 150 mph in just a few moments. That said, the Scat Pack features one of the best bargains in performance on the market with its 6.4L HEMI V8 that makes 485 horsepower and adds a host of sportier advancements and options.

Then there’s the Hellcat and the Hellcat Redeye. Both carry the 6.2L HEMI V8 engine, but the base Charger Hellcat puts out 717 horsepower, while the Redeye turns up the output to 797 horsepower. A lot can be said about the performance of both, so let me just say this. We’re at a point in time where electric vehicles like the Model S can best these two brutes pretty easily. Despite that, the emotional response the 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat can elicit when putting down the pedal is volumes more entertaining.

Handling is good throughout the Dodge Charger range. That’s another hidden secret of this American sedan. It’s pretty fun in the bends. Steering feedback could be sharper, but we’re not about to start nit picking. The brakes are also great, though keep in mind that the Scat Pack and above require special parts. So don’t expect to be doing your own brake jobs at home.

2021 Dodge Charger Fuel Economy & MPG

Shockingly, the 2021 Dodge Charger gets 30 miles per gallon. Of course, you’ll need the V6 for that. Oh, and you’ll need to be on the highway. Combined with city, the V6 Charger averages a 23 mpg rating. Every other trim gets worse numbers. And the Charger Hellcat you ask? 15 mpg… combined…

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Every seat inside the 2021 Dodge Charger is comfortable for adults. The front is especially nice thanks to thick supportive cushioning and great adjustability. Drivers should have no problem finding a position that’s comfortable for hours on end. The climate control is accurate and fast. It’s above average when it comes to splitting temperatures too. It’ll do a great job of producing warmth on one side while cooling the other. The materials throughout the interior are hit or miss. Some feel and look great, while others are noticeably cheap.

Forward visibility is very good inside the Charger. Towards the rear, the roof and c-pillar come together to make for a blind spot. Of course, for those who angle their wing mirrors correctly, that issue is alleviated. If there’s something to complain about, it’s the steering wheel controls. There are a bevy of options and that’s fine, but they take some getting used to. In addition, the “paddle-shifters” only take up the top half of the wheel. The section directly below them houses buttons and rocker switches that control media functions. It isn’t the best positioning, as drivers that go to pull the paddle to change gears typically also end up switching radio stations. There’s no reason Dodge couldn’t have just made the paddle full size. It wouldn’t even have required changing the media switchgear.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

UConnect as an infotainment interface is among the best in the business. It’s fast, it’s functional, and it’s featureful. Both the 7-inch and 8.4-inch infotainment screens for the 2021 Dodge Charger are fine, but they’re quickly becoming undersized. The base sound system is alright, though not particularly noteworthy. A premium 19-speaker system is available, but it doesn’t seem any more clear or crisp than the base option. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard features and a Wi-Fi hotspot is an available option too. Overall we’d give the Charger a barely passing grade when it comes to interior tech. It’s up to date for the most part, but not really special in any way.

Safety Features

The 2021 Dodge Charger might be on an older platform, but it’s still rated five stars in crash tests completed by the NHTSA. It was not selected as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS though. The Charger also doesn’t come with any advanced driver assistance technology, with those features like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring being available options.

2021 Dodge Charger Trims & Pricing

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger SXT - Carsforsale.com

SXT – $32,720

The base 2021 Dodge Charger comes with a 290 horsepower V6 and rear-wheel-drive. It also gets 17-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a 7-inch infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and remote start. All-wheel-drive is optional on the SXT and the GT. All Chargers use the same eight-speed automatic.

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger GT - Carsforsale.com

GT – $34,995

Bump up to the GT and new 20-inch wheels become standard. In addition, you’ll get LED fog lights, a functional hood scoop, a larger 8.4-inch infotainment system, sports suspension, and an upgraded audio system. 

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger R/T - Carsforsale.com

R/T – $45,045

The R/T or the “Road and Track” gets its own unique 20-inch wheels, an active sports exhaust, and a 5.7-liter V8 making 370 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack - media.stellantisnorthamerica.com

SCAT PACK – $45,045

An even larger 6.4-liter V8 with 485 horsepower sits under the hood of the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack. It also gets sportier front seats with a heating function, launch control, a limited slip differential, Brembo brakes, and configurable performance driving modes. The Scat Pack also opens up the Widebody option.

2021 Dodge Charger
2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat - Carsforsale.com

HELLCAT – $75,820

Jump to the top of the range and you’ll get a 717 horsepower V8. The Hellcat also adds ventilation to the front seats, an adaptive suspension, even bigger brakes than the ones found on the Scat Pack, heated second row seats, and more aggressive exterior styling. The Hellcat Redeye has the same standard features, but adds a 220 mph speedometer, a bunch of Redeye badging, and 80 more horsepower.

Warranties

All 2021 Dodge Chargers come with 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage and 3 years or 36,000 miles of limited warranty coverage. That’s bare minimum to average for the market lags behind some brands like Kia with its Stinger GT2 sports sedan.

What we think

2021 Dodge Charger

2021 Dodge Charger – media.stellantisnorthamerica.com |  Shop 2021 Dodge Charger on Carsforsale.com

There’s a good reason that Dodge hasn’t really updated the Charger in a long while. It’s still selling like hotcakes. That’s because it’s a dapper sedan with good driving dynamics, good technology, and legendary power. The 2021 Dodge Charger continues to carry on as a dynamic and powerful sedan, with Dodge hopefully only making it better from here.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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