Updating A Throwback: The 2015 Dodge Charger SXT

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Dodge Charger SXT
The 2015 Dodge Charger.
This is the kind of car that some will tell you is not supposed to exist anymore, that there is supposedly no more market for. Politically incorrect, unapologetically American.  The anti-Prius.

And yet, it not only lives, it thrives. And now it has been refreshed and renewed.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Dodge Charger
2015 Dodge Charger.
Ironies abound in the 2015 Dodge Charger.  At a time when Ford and Chevrolet have made their big sedans as palatable as possible to European-influenced tastes and are finding it hard to crack the sales charts, this car, made by an arguably European company (Fiat-Chrysler), is as old-school American as it gets and does very good business, though a good portion of that is to rental fleets and government motor pools.

Four doors, rear-wheel drive, styling that shouts "muscle car" even when equipped with a base V6, possessed of the same basic form and styling cues of the 707-horsepower Charger Hellcat.  All of which is based on the same body that has carried the Charger name for more than a decade, but which has had a remake that gives it new appeal.

The Charger we drove for a week was the second-from-base SXT, which differentiates itself from the base SE by offering the unavailable-on-SE navigation and rear back-up camera group and Driver Confidence Group as options and making the unobtainable-on-SE heated front seats, six-speaker audio and remote start system standard equipment.

Base price is a very reasonable $29,995. The base V6 mentioned earlier is by no means underpowered at 292 horsepower. It's more than enough.  And for a large sedan, handling is nimble.

The interior has had a re-do as well, as Fiat-Chrysler continues to fix what was the most glaring deficit of Chrysler/Dodge products under the previous ownership.

The test vehicle had one option package, but it comes at zero extra cost:  Customer Preferred Package 28H upgrades the standard six-speed automatic to an eight-speed unit and throws in a front license plate bracket they would not charge you for anyway.

With the 8-speed, the bite of the power is lessened somewhat.  The EPA city estimate is a so-so 19 miles per gallon, but the highway figure of 31 is fairly impressive, given the punch of the engine.

With $995 destination charge, the as-tested price came to $30,990.  Given the power and room alone, it qualifies as good old-fashioned American value.

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