The Dodge Charger may be a muscle car, but that doesn’t stop Consumer Reports from recommending it as a well-rounded large sedan. Besides the powerful engine options and the roominess it comes with, CR liked a lot about this model, but there are two vehicles it liked a bit more.
What does Consumer Reports think of the 2022 Dodge Charger?
The Dodge Charger currently lands third in the large car category, as the Consumer Reports list shows. Powering it up is a 5.7-liter Hemi 8-cylinder engine that generates 370 hp and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. As for acceleration time, CR managed to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
Braking performance on this model wasn’t too bad, with 128 feet of stopping distance on a dry track. For wet surfaces, it managed to come to a stop at 141 feet. Fuel economy ratings didn’t do it any favors. The Charger managed to get 20 mpg overall, but with the optional 6-cylinder, it increased to 22 mpg, which is better but not by much.
You won’t get as many standard features as the other models, which is a drawback. It does come with daytime running lights, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and a rearview camera.
Other cons of note are the outdated flap-style door handles on the outside, poor visibility due to thick pillars, and no all-wheel drivetrain available for the V8 model. Pricing for this version begins at $32,500, according to Consumer Reports.
Why did CR think the Toyota Avalon and the Chrysler 300 were better?
The Toyota Avalon and the Chrysler 300 scored higher than the Dodge Charger. Chrysler’s 300 model runs slower on acceleration, reaching 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, while the Avalon was worse at 8.3 seconds. The 300 version runs on a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 292 hp. The Toyota Avalon that CR tested ran on a hybrid setup.
Fuel economy for the Chrysler 300 rated 22 mpg overall with its V6 model and 20 mpg combined with the optional V8 engine. The Toyota Avalon fared much better due to its hybrid powertrain. CR got 42 mpg overall, which is pretty good for a vehicle that starts at $36,825.
Regarding braking performance, neither model came close to the Charger on dry surfaces. The 300 stopped within 137 feet, while the Avalon managed to do it a mere 2 feet shorter. Wet surfaces, though, saw some different figures. The Chrysler 300 stopped at 142 feet, and the Avalon stopped 3 feet shorter.
As for drawbacks, neither model had many items CR didn’t like. The Toyota Avalon, the number one rated in the site’s large car category, has a lower stance, which the reviewers felt was hard to get in and out of. It also gets pretty expensive if you want to fully equip it with its many luxury features.
With the 300 model, Consumer Reports didn’t care that you had to spend quite a bit more for its optional safety equipment. Also, its cargo space is relatively small for what you would expect with a large car. The price for the standard model begins at $31,770.
Which large car was the worst in the category?
One large car fell short and landed in the last position on the list, and that’s the Nissan Maxima, according to Consumer Reports. However, it isn’t all that far behind, as the score given to it is only off by one point from the Dodge Charger’s rating, and CR still recommends it. Pricing for this version starts at $37,840.
This model runs on a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 300 hp and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. With that combination, the Maxima can pull an acceleration time of 6.5 seconds on a 0 to 60 mph run, which is 0.4 seconds slower than the Charger.
When it comes to fuel economy, it beats the Dodge muscle car. Overall, the Maxima gets 25 mpg, with 36 mpg on the highway. Regarding braking performance, you can expect relatively the same stopping distances, with the Charger coming to a complete stop in only 4 feet less on dry surfaces. Both managed 141 feet for wet roads.
With the 2022 version of the Nissan Maxima, you get a nice list of standard features, like anti-lock brakes, adaptive cruise control, rear occupant alert, daytime running lights, and electronic stability control, to name a few. There was also quite a list of items that CR felt were strikes against the car. They didn’t care for the cramped driver’s space with less headroom than it should have had, less-than-stellar visibility, poor agility with the car’s handling, and heavy steering when parking.
Consumer Reports recommends all four large cars, but the Avalon and the 300 models scored slightly higher than the Charger and Maxima. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean Dodge doesn’t have plenty of benefits to offer with its muscle car.