Safety: Is the 2022 Dodge Charger a Deathtrap?

Dodge’s big muscle sedan is a bit more than a one-trick drag car. Beyond the wild and crazy library of loud, angry V8s, the Charger is a comfortable sedan with some safety credentials. However, not every agency awarded the Dodge Charger top marks for crash protection. Is the big Dodge Charger a deathtrap? Or is it only safe by some standards? 

Is the 2022 Dodge Charger safe? 

In a question of safety, is the Dodge Charger, like this Charger Daytona, a deathtrap
A two tone Dodge Charger at an auto show | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Charger is a safe sedan. Charger owners can rest assured that the nationally recognized agency awarded the sedan a five-star rating for crash protection. However, five stars overall do not mean it scored top marks in every category. In fact, the 2022 Charger scored four stars in quite a few crash protection categories. 

The NHTSA grades vehicles based on frontal, side, and rollover protections with specific scores for locations like driver side and passenger side. The Dodge muscle sedan scored five stars with a few holdouts in most categories. It scored four stars in the overall frontal crash criteria, as well as frontal crash protection for the driver and passenger. Also, it scored four stars in the side crash driver category. However, the muscle car scored five stars in every other segment, culminating with a five-star overall rating. 

Is the 2022 Charger a Top Safety Pick? 

Simply put, no, the 2022 Charger is not a Top Safety Pick. Another agency responsible for awarding safety ratings is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Rather than award stars like the NHTSA, the IIHS labels protection with terms like ‘marginal’ or ‘good’ and then awards overall safety pick. That overall safety rating could be a perfect Top Safety Pick+ or a Top Safety Pick

Unfortunately, the Dodge Charger did not secure a Top Safety Pick rating like the 2022 Toyota Avalon. The IIHS grades a bit differently than the NHTSA. The IIHS evaluates frontal, side, rear, and roof crush criteria with allowances for overlap in the front. In the case of the Dodge muscle car, the IIHS didn’t agree with the NHTSA. 

The 2022 Charger scored a good rating on front moderate overlap protection and just marginal in front small overlap specific to the driver’s side. However, the muscle car grabbed good ratings in side crash, rear crash, and roof crush evaluations. 

What kind of safety technology does the 2022 Charger have?

In a question of safety, is the Dodge Charger, like this purple Charger, a deathtrap?
A purple Dodge Charger’s rear section | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

Although a base model Dodge Charger SXT is a bit of a spartan affair, shoppers can option the brute with a suite of driver aids. First, the sedan has optional forward collision warning (FCW), lane departure warning (LDW), blind-spot warning (BSW), and rear cross traffic warning (RCTW). Fortunately, the Charger isn’t entirely analog, as industry standards like anti-lock brakes (ABS) and tractional control are on every car. 

Should you avoid a Dodge Charger? 

No, the Dodge Charger is not a deathtrap. Furthermore, Consumer Reports recommends the sedan for sedan shoppers in the market this year. It does, however, receive lower safety ratings than some of its immediate competitors. If safety is your number one concern, you might consider a different larger sedan like the Toyota Avalon. Scroll down to read more about how the Charger stacks up against competition like the 2022 Nissan Maxima


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