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Typically, when you pay more for a vehicle, whether it be in the form of added packages or higher trim levels, you expect more. And for the most part, this sentiment applies to the 2021 Dodge Charger.

But in one key aspect of this impressive muscle car, the more you pay, the less you get. Before you buy your new Charger, you may want to consider the costs associated with better trims and weigh it against the decreased fuel economy as you go.

Higher Dodge Charger trim levels bring significant upgrades

Every 2021 Dodge Charger will come equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard. But there are all-wheel drive options and six distinct trim levels from which to choose, based on the prowess you need your Charger to have.

At the base level, you can have plenty of fun with the SXT, GT, and R/T trims. But if you need even more muscle and luxury, you can scale up to the Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Hellcat Redeye trims.

As you might expect, the higher the trim, the higher the price. And with the beefier engine configurations, the higher you go, the worse the fuel efficiency ratings are, according to Dodge’s website.

What you’ll be compromising in fuel economy

Because the 2021 Dodge Charger comes with five different engine configurations, you should also expect to compromise a little fuel economy. You can pay less in MSRP at the GT ($31,995), and SXT ($29,995) trims for the smaller 3.6-liter V6 engines.

Highway fuel efficiency for these trims is estimated to be 30 mpg. Bumping up to the R/T trim will increase your engine to a 5.7-liter V8 and your price to $36,495. Subsequently, your highway MPG drops to 25, too.

If fuel economy matters, here’s what you should know

The bigger the engine, the more fun you might have with aggressive power and performance. But you’ll see a more significant drop in fuel efficiency at these higher trim levels, as well. The Scat Pack trim harnesses an impressive 6.4-liter V8 engine and comes with a $40,495-$46,495 price tag, depending on your selection of the wide-body variation. Your highway mpg, however, drops to an estimated 24.

Go big with the SRT Hellcat for a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and get the muscle of 717 horses and 650 lb-ft of torque. Even more aggressive is the Hellcat Redeye, engaging 797 horses and 707 lb-ft of torque. You’ll be paying almost $70,000 for either of these and only get an estimated 12 mpg on the highway.

Dodge Charger buyers may not care about MPGs

Let’s be honest, though. If you’re interested in buying a 2021 Dodge Charger, are you really concerned about fuel economy? Sure, it’s nice to have a reasonable MPG rating. But you’re probably buying the Charger because you want impressive power, top-notch performance, and the iconic muscle.

You wouldn’t buy an economy car and expect it to have tow ratings, either. The 2021 Dodge Charger isn’t claiming to be something it’s not. It knows it’s a muscle car, and its number one priority is being fast and eager to chomp pavement.

As you consider which 2021 Dodge Charger configuration is right for you, you’ll need to measure up the engine sizes and MSRPs. You may want the most muscle for your budget.

Just know, the more you spend on trims and applicable packages, the less you’ll get in fuel efficiency. And you might be alright with that. After all, you are buying a Dodge Charger and not a hybrid car. When you hit the gas pedal, you want a roaring engine that isn’t typically compatible with really great MPG ratings.


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