The Dodge Charger is one of those iconic cars whose legacy has carried it through decades of new production. Gaining fame as a muscle car in the 1960s, the Charger is now in its 7th generation. It still has a great reputation among fans, but experts like U.S. News don’t think it’s a very reliable car.
The Dodge Charger has unique styling and several powerful engine choices that make it a blast to drive. Although it’s one of the cheapest large sedans available, a low reliability rating could mean more visits to the mechanic. Despite that, is the Dodge Charger still good enough to buy?
What experts say about the 2021 Dodge Charger
J.D. Power gave the 2021 Dodge Charger two out of five in terms of reliability. That’s the worst score a car can get, which caused U.S. News to give the car a low rating overall. While it’s the worst vehicle in the large car segment, it still has some appealing qualities.
The Dodge Charger’s standard engine is already quite powerful, making 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Scat Pack trim has a 485-hp V8, while the SRT Hellcat’s supercharged V8 can make 717 hp. New for 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye has the same engine, but it can make an incredible 797 hp.
The bigger engines give the vehicle more agility, as well as that satisfying exhaust note. No matter which motor it has, every Dodge Charger is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Sadly, there’s no manual option, but there are some performance packages available to make things more exciting.
These bundles include things like larger wheels, a flat-bottom steering wheel, Brembo brakes, and a sports suspension. R/T and Scat Pack models also have exclusive access to an adaptive air suspension. Just proceed around the track with caution, as the most powerful trims don’t come with some key safety features.
Thoughts from Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports hasn’t tested the latest model of the Dodge Charger. It has an average score for 2020, but there’s no data about potential problem areas. The last time CR gave the Dodge Charger a reliability rating was in 2016, where it got the same score. According to CR’s survey data, the most common problems were related to the Charger’s suspension and paint job.
The 2020 Dodge Charger still got a high rating for owner satisfaction, plus a great score on its road test. CR was impressed with the Charger’s Hemi V8, noting that the transmission provides smooth and accurate shifts. Testers also praised the vehicle for its comfortable seats, serene ride quality, and user-friendly infotainment system.
Testers only had a few gripes about the car, mostly related to some retro design choices. CR also didn’t like that AWD isn’t available on all trims. Given that the Dodge Charger is largely unchanged for 2021, the new model will likely also do well on CR’s road test.
Is the 2021 Dodge Charger reliable?
While critics and experts can do their best to rate a car’s reliability, these scores might not be accurate. Their data is collected from surveys from a small selection of owners, so it’s definitely not a completely accurate picture. Knowing a new car’s predicted reliability can give drivers extra peace of mind, but it’s still just an informed guess.
The best way to prepare for potential issues on the Dodge Charger is to research it before you buy. Turn to websites like Car Complaints to see the most common issues that Charger owners face. Taking your car to regular service appointments and making critical repairs early can also help your vehicle last longer.