Friday, July 13, 2012
2012 Dodge Charger test drive review. Would Bo and Luke approve?
As new Chargers go, this one was about as bland as they come. Of course, even as a base model, the Charger comes with a nice array of features. 17-inch, five-spoke wheels are standard, as is the touch-screen stereo with CD and mp3 connector. The silver paint didn’t do much to spice things up though.
You would think that would make the Charger seem like a real kick in the pants compared to my Impala. You would be wrong. Much of the difference is in the torque ratings. The Charger knocks out 260 lb/ft at 4,800-rpm. The old Chevy is good for 330 lb/ft. All that torque, paired with the soundtrack that only a V8 can offer, and the Charger just seems disappointing.
Naturally, the appeal to this powertrain setup is fuel mileage. This SE model with the standard 5-speed automatic transmission is good for an EPA estimated 18-mpg in the city, 27-mpg on the highway. There was a big green “ECO” light on the dash that lit up when you let up on the accelerator. I guess that’s to train you to drive better. Of course, my big old Impala was rated at 17/26, which is pretty accurate in my experience, so take that as you will.
My favorite retro touch is the taillights. The shape is unmistakable classic Charger, but the LEDs are cool and modern. I wish the same thought could have gone into the front-end treatment instead of this rehash of the played-out cross-hatch Dodge grille.
I didn’t even think you’d sit through a slideshow of it, so I did sort of a comparo with a die-cast General Lee and relevant bobble heads. You can see all that below.
A better version of the slideshow is at this link. Yee haw!