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With today’s emphasis on efficiency and safety, a rear-wheel drive passenger sedan is an oddity, but this was not the case during the heyday of American muscle cars in the 60s and 70s. While nostalgia may have been a big factor in all of the excitement when Dodge released the Dodge Charger again in 2006 after a two decade hiatus.
Since then, very few large passenger cars have been able to match its careful balance between a spacious comfort vehicle and a powerful muscle car. This winning combination makes the Charger an excellent choice for a variety of different drivers, from amateur racers to police officers and family drivers who are looking to have a little more fun behind the wheel.
The current Dodge Charger has changed a little from the original 2006 re-release model, being fully redesigned in 2011 and refreshed again for 2015. Since then, Dodge has kept the updates relatively minor, though the 2018 Dodge Charger has a slightly reshuffled trim structure and an additional set of standard features for its low-end versions.
Speaking of different trim levels, the Dodge Charger comes with a full kaleidoscope of them. With a model range that runs the gamut from an inexpensive sporty passenger sedan to the most powerful sedan for sale in the United States today, narrowing down your search for the right Charger can be a difficult task.This guide goes over all of the many different Charger trim levels, letting you know the equipment that each model adds and the key differences you need to keep in mind during your selection process.
Compare the 2018 Charger SXT vs SXT Plus Trims. What is the difference?
With the removal of the old SE model, the base model of the Charger is now the SXT. Fairly inexpensive compared to other large sedans, the SXT still offers a fair bit of nice features for drivers. The basics like power doors and windows, air conditioning, and 17-inch alloy wheels are all standard. The SXT also includes a power driver’s seat, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, push-button start with a remote starter and keyless entry, and a Uconnect 4 infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The model comes with rear-wheel drive, an automatic transmission, and a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 as its engine. The only options available on the SXT model are an interior appearance package by Mopar and the Blacktop exterior appearance package that includes 20-inch wheels.
The SXT Plus adds a number of standard features to the SXT, as well as a much larger pool of optional equipment. It includes a larger 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, LED fog lights, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, and a six-speaker sound system by Alpine. It offers the same Blacktop and interior appearance packages, but also comes with a number of other options packages.
The Beats Audio Group replaces the Alpine speakers with a 10-speaker system by Beats, while the Driver Confidence Group adds heated side mirrors with courtesy lights and blind spot monitors with cross path detection. The driver’s side mirror is also auto-dimming. A navigation system and a power sunroof are also both available as separate options.
But the biggest packages for the SXT Plus is the Super Track Pack, which improves both the car’s performance and its features. The engine is up-tuned to 300 horsepower, and is connected to a hood scoop with an air intake. It also features upgraded brakes, tires, suspension, and traction control, as well as 20-inch wheels. The package also comes with a number of unique exterior accents, and adds leather-covered sport seats to the interior.In terms of features and price, the SXT and the SXT Plus are both fairly balanced models. The SXT offers a lot of nice equipment for the money, but the SXT Plus adds enough to the base model to justify its modest $1,500 price increase. The SXT Plus does have the added benefit of a few more options, and the Super Track Pack especially can be a good way to make the Charger perform better without spending too much money on engine upgrades for the higher trim levels. It is also more upgradeable and more widely available. But if only relatively basic features interest you, the base SXT is also a strong and economical choice.
Compare the 2018 Dodge Charger SXT Plus vs GT Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The Dodge Charger GT offers a unique feature that it only shares with one other model in the lineup - all-wheel drive. That is a standard feature on the GT, together with all of the SXT Plus standard features. On top of those, the GT adds 19-inch wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, and a spoiler. Its 3.6-liter V-6 engine is also tuned up to produce 300 horsepower.
The GT offers all of the same packages and options that the SXT Plus does, aside from the Super Track Pack package. This makes sense, as it already includes most of the Track Pack’s key features such as the stronger engine tune, the larger wheels, and the rear spoiler.
Most rivals to the Charger offer all-wheel drive on all or some of their models, so it is inevitable that Dodge does the same to remain competitive.
Compare the Charger GT vs SXT Plus - Leather Trims. What is the difference?
To no big surprise, the SXT Plus - Leather trim level is very similar to the SXT Plus, with the addition of premium Nappa leather upholstery. It also includes 20-inch wheels, high intensity discharge headlights, seat and mirror memory for the driver, a heated steering wheel, and both heated and cooled front seats. It does not include the all-wheel drive or the more powerful engine tune from the GT, but it is available with all of the same options and packages as the SXT Plus, including the Super Track Pack package.
It also offers a number of its own options, including a Technology Package that bundles together advanced brake assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. A black roof is also an optional feature for this model in addition to the carried over SXT Plus options.
Aside from the leather interior and the available safety options, this is a very similar model to the regular SXT Plus, while being close in price to the also-similar GT model. The choice between the two comes down to preference between safety and comfort.
Compare the Charger SXT Plus - Leather vs R/T Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The R/T is the first of the Chargers with upgraded engines. The R/T is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with 370 horsepower, and comes with an electronically controlled exhaust and a sport suspension system, as well as adaptive cruise control and performance tires riding on 20-inch wheels. Its set of standard features and options is practically the same as the SXT Plus, though the optional Plus Group brings it up to SXT Plus - Leather standards, including Nappa and Alcantara sport seats.
The R/T also offers the same set of optional packages as the SXT Plus as well, though the Super Track Pack offers only a visual effect due to the stronger engine. There is also a special Premium package that combines some popular options such as the Beats audio, the Driver Confidence Group and the Plus Group, as well as adding some extras such as heated rear seats and full speed automatic braking.The R/T is a good entry-level performance model for the Charger that can still pretend to be a regular family car most of the time. While its 370 horsepower is easily more than most cars in the segment and it is still priced relatively conservatively and is not likely to feel too powerful or out of control for daily drives. It offers pretty much the full range of the Charger optional features as well, so it could be a nice model to check out for drivers that want a good balance of comfort and power without breaking the bank.
Compare the 2018 Charger SXT Plus - Leather vs GT Plus Trims. What is the difference?
The GT Plus is basically the SXT Plus - Leather model, combined with the all-wheel drive functionality of the GT. Like the base GT, it uses the V-6 engine tuned up to 300 horsepower, and comes with all-wheel drive standard. A Nappa leather interior with heated and ventilated front seats is standard here, as are high-intensity discharge headlights and blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alerts. Both the navigation and the interior appearance packages make a comeback for this model, as does the black roof.
Other options include the Technology Group from the SXT Plus - Leather, and the Sun and Sound Group that bundles the Beats speakers together with the sunroof. There is also a GT Performance Package that adds a spoiler, a sport seat made of Nappa and Alcantara, special 19-inch wheels, and a power-adjustable steering column.As the top-end all-wheel drive model, this one is specifically designed for both comfort and safety. The only drawbacks of this model, which includes almost all of the comfort and technology features that the Charger has to offer, are its price point and its lack of a stronger engine option. If the base engine is good enough for you though, and you like the added safety of all-wheel drive and the comfort of leather seating, this is the perfect model to settle on.
Compare the 2018 Dodge Charger R/T vs Daytona Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The more upscale version of the R/T Charger, the Daytona comes with the same set of basic mechanics features, while adding a few of its own comfort and performance upgrades. It also used the HEMI V-8 engine, but augments it with a cold-air intake and lightweight aluminium wheels.
It also comes with an aerodynamic performance styling kit, and leather seats made with Nappa and Alcantara that feature heating, ventilation, and suede inserts. The Driver Confidence Group, the Technology Group, the Interior Appearance package, navigation, and sunroof are all available options on this model that have already been described previously. A new optional upgrade that the Daytona offers is the Harman/Kardon upgraded audio with 19 speakers, a subwoofer, and an amplifier.
The Daytona is basically a slight improvement on the R/T trim level. It is nicer on the inside, and offers a few performance options that make it a slightly faster racer when moving in a straight line. It also has a few more extra comfort options, and the Harman/Kardon audio is a great choice.
Compare the 2018 Charger R/T vs R/T Scat Pack Trims. What is the difference?
The R/T Scat Pack is the same R/T model as before, just with a few less comfort options and a larger engine. The power on this model comes from the 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V-8. This larger HEMI necessitates some other performance upgrades, such as Brembo brakes and a spoiler. Unlike the R/T, this model is not available with the Plus or Premium Packages, though it still offers the Beats, Technology, Driver Confidence, and Interior Appearance groups. Also available is the Dynamics Package, which upgrades the car’s brakes to performance Brembos, tires to performance Pirellis, and wheels to 20-inch low-gloss alloys.As the entry-level model in the 6.4-liter HEMI club, the R/T Scat Pack is the cheap option in that segment at just shy of $40,000 for the base model. The two upmarket versions of the Charger with the 485-horsepower engine are much more expensive, making this one perfect for buyers who value performance over comfort. If the extra 115 horsepower are not as important to you as the leather interior though, the regular R/T or the Daytona are both better choices.
Compare the Charger R/T Scat Pack vs Daytona 392 Trims. What is the difference?
The Daytona 392 model is exactly identical to the regular Daytona, aside from using the 6.4-liter HEMI engine. It adds the cold air intake, the premium leather seats, and all of the visual and performance exterior and interior modifications of the Daytona. It also includes the contents of the R/T Scat Pack Dynamics Package, including the Pirelli tires and the high-performance models of the Brembo brakes. In terms of available options, it offers all of the same ones as the regular Daytona.A slightly nicer 392 Charger, this one comes with all of the nice comfort features of the high-end chargers at a hefty price increase over the bare-bones R/T Scat Pack model. If you want the 485 horsepower and have the money to spend, it is certainly a worthwhile upgrade as it makes the cabin of the Charger look and feel much closer to the car’s price point.
Compare the 2018 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 vs SRT 392 Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The top performance model featuring the 6.4-liter engine, the SRT 392 spares no expensive when it comes to either comfort or performance. It includes the navigation package, and has its own SRT-branded Laguna leather upholstery throughout. It also adds a three-mode adaptive suspension system made by Bilstein, and a number of performance software upgrades such as launch control and performance tracking options.
A nice touch is a valet mode, which limits the power of the engine when you need to hand off the keys to someone else. The SRT 392 includes most of the optional features from other models, so the only major upgrade packages are the Technology Package and the Harman/Kardon audio. A sunroof and a black painted roof are also available.This is the model for the performance enthusiasts. It is fast, it is powerful, and it is filled to the brim with technology designed to help you make it go even faster. The nice comfort features and the stylish design are simply part of the package given the model’s $50,000 price tag.
Compare the 2018 Charger SRT 392 vs SRT Hellcat Trims. What is the difference?
The SRT Hellcat was until recently the most powerful mass-market production vehicle sold, until it was displaced by Dodge’s own Demon. At 707 horsepower, it is a monster on the track, and most drivers will only be using a fraction of that power during normal driving. It has all of the same features as the SRT 392, with a few additions necessitated by the sheer power of its 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8.The hood is equipped with massive air intakes connected to dual heat extractors to keep the engine from melting. There are also two key fobs to the car, one of which limits the output to 500 horsepower. If you need the most powerful car below supercar status, then the SRT Hellcat Charger is the one. Given the power involved, the $68,000 starting price is definitely a bargain.
Which Trim Level to Choose?
When taken apart, the trim lineup of the 2018 Dodge Charger is relatively straightforward, especially once separated into its mass-market and performance parts. The three SXT and the two GT trims make up the mass market segment, with the SXT models having rear-wheel drive and the GT models using all-wheel drive.
They are then sorted by their features, with the SXT as the entry-level model, the SXT Plus and the GT as mid-range, and the SXT Plus - Leather and GT Plus models being the leather-clad high end of the range.
The performance models are split into their engine choices - the 5.7-liter HEMI, the 392 HEMI, or the Hellcat. If you want one of the first two engines, you then choose between a less-expensive R/T model or the more comfortable Daytona. The best performance comes from the SRT models, which are available with either the 392 HEMI or the Hellcat HEMI.
Split up like that, choosing your next 2018 Dodge Charger with the right equipment will be a lot easier than resisting the urge to put all of that power to use.
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