The 2013 Dodge Charger: Calm, cool and composed

The 2013 Dodge Charger is a large sedan with unsurpassed style and speed. Photo: New Dodge Charger may be just what you're looking for Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, April 16, 2013 — Folks just love the 2013 Dodge Charger and why not since it falls into the large sedan category with performance standouts, pushing it high above the competition in handling, performance and an option for all-wheel drive as well.

New on the 2013, the Dodge Charger SRT8 has a launch control addition and there is also the exceptional adaptive suspension dampers and navigation system option.

The competition in this market sits come from the Ford Taurus, but hardly at all since let’s face it, the Charger has no competition with its top-of-the-line performance, which most would agree is unmatched.

With five trim options, this full-size sedan offers the SE, SXT, R/T, SRT8 and SRT8 Super Bee trims. On the basic SE expect 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone manual climate control, a six-way power driver seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, the 4.3-inch touchscreen interface, and steering wheel controls.

Inside the Dodge Charger Photo: R. Dandridge

There is also what is called the Connectivity Group and that will add Bluetooth audio and phone connect as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and auto-dimming rearview mirror. There is also the possibility of going for the eight-speed automatic transmission on this trim as well.

For the SXT trim add to the SE an eight-speed transmission, heated mirrors, fog lamps, remote ignition, heated front seats, eight-way power driver seat, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface. If you get the SXT trim with all-wheel drive, you also get standard 19-inch wheels.

For the SXT Plus package, it’s 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, and LED ambient illumination.

For this there is a Rallye Appearance Group with a power upgrade for the V6, including 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, performance tires and sport-tuned suspension. There is also a Blacktop package that adds painted wheels and a blacked-out grille.

This year too, the SXT trim options include the Navigation Group with a navigation system and back-up camera or the Driver Confidence Group with a blind-spot warning system, back-up camera, rain-sensing wipers, and xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control. There is also the Driver Convenience Group for this trim that has heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings and power-adjustable pedals and steering wheel.

On the R/T trim you get the standards from the SXT and a V8 engine, 18-inch wheels, performance tires, the sport-tuned suspension as on the Rallye, xenon headlights, and sportier front seats.

For extra package options there is the R/T Plus with a V8-powered Charger and the Charger R/T Road & Track package has a R/T Plus with a black grille, 20-inch alloy wheels, performance calibration under the hood, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column and pedals with memory.

Finally, the Super Track Pak comes with the Charger’s Road & Track package with 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, performance steering, upgraded brakes and a three-mode adjustable stability control. The R/T Max package offers everything from the Navigation, Plus, Driver Convenience and Driver Confidence packages and will also give you the Adaptive Cruise Control group standards with adaptive cruise control that has a forward-collision warning and a heated steering wheel.

The SRT8 high-performance model goes for a bigger V8 engine, 20-inch wheels, a brake upgrade and rear spoiler. On this trim you will also get the R/T goodies and a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, the navigation system, and a rearview camera.

The SRT8 Super Bee is a step below the SRT8 in luxury but with a cheaper price tag. Expect a smaller touchscreen too and like the name, the Super Bee offers yellow or black paint accented with Super Bee emblems and graphics as well as a unique grille and interior additions like striped cloth seats with Super Bee logos on the front headrests.

Under the hood, the 2013 Dodge Charger SE and SXT have a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With the Rallye Appearance Group and the Blacktop package, including engine and exhaust enhancements, there is 300 horsepower and 264 pound feet of torque.

Standard on the SE is a five-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is also standard, but the SXT can come with all-wheel drive. The 2013 Dodge Charger R/T has a 5.7-liter V8 with 370 horsepower and 395 pound feet of torque. Standard on this trim is the five-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, but you can opt for all-wheel drive except with the Road & Track package.

The Charger SRT8 has a 6.4-liter V8 engine offering 470 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque. On this one you get the five-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive standard.

For safety features the Charger has added all the right things with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front seat side, driver-side knee and side curtain airbags as well as active front head restraints. There are also the additional safety options that include blind spot warning, a rear cross-path warning system, rearview camera and a forward collision warning system with adaptive cruise control.

A sporty car, the interior is not sacrificed for this mood and the styling still offers nice materials with the touchscreen interface, which you get standard except on the SE. With easy to read and well-marked buttons and a menu and navigation system, it is all easy to understand and use.

The larger of the sedans, the Charger is a nice size for all passengers and the driver, but since it is a sporty vehicle too, the roof has a slanting line that can cause some discomfort for a really tall passenger sitting in the back seat.

The trunk size is 15.4-cubic-foot and there is the 60/40-split-folding rear seat back that also allows for more room when needed.

Driving the 2013 Dodge Charger is fun and the eight-speed automatic will put a smile on your face as you take the curves easily and with a varoom that means folks will see you coming. Notice the suspension as well and for those who opt for rear-wheel drive, it’s easier steering with a smooth ride that keeps it together no matter the challenge. 

Should You Need to Know: Government crash tests report that the 2013 Dodge Charger has a five-star rating for crash protection.

Miles Per Gallon: The Charger SE offers 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. For the SRT8 expect 14 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: Depending on the 2013 Dodge Charger you opt for prices begin as low as $23,995.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from www.historypress.net and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.


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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.

 

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