There are two types of sedan buyers. The first is the buyer who wants something with a practical, fuel efficient powertrain but with enough standard safety and comfort features to get them from Point A to Point B and then some. Then, you have the buyer who craves power, wide wheels that accompany a wide body kit, and a top speed of well over 200 miles per hour. The 2021 Dodge Charger caters to both of those buyers.
Each of the Charger's six trim levels (the SXT, the second-up GT, the mid-tier R/T, the sportier Scat Pack, the super-powerful SRT Hellcat, and the line-topping SRT Hellcat Redeye) are so vastly different from one another that it is hard to envision them even being part of the same line-up. But here they are. The entry-level Charger trims come with a standard V6 engine and rear-wheel drive (RWD) while all-wheel drive (AWD) is an option. The top-of-the-line supercharged V8 engine produces a mind-blowing 797 horsepower and 'wows' buyers with Dodge's superb visual acumen. It's all about stunning colors and eye-catching graphics. Within that range, you get plenty of optional packages and - of course - powertrain options that cater to various whims.
The Charger is meant to go fast. On the 6.4-L engine (which you can get in the Scat Pack trim level), you can zip from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The braking performance is superior as well, making panic stops from 60 mph in just 102 feet. Normal brake modulation should inspire some driver confidence as well. Despite a lack of engagement while rounding through corners, the Charger remains firmly planted, although you might feel that the gas pedal is a bit too sensitive upon take-off.
Comfort is hit-and-miss inside of the Charger. You will feel bumps inside of the cabins of the Scat Pack and high trim levels, but the lower trims have more finely tuned suspensions that dispatch these bumps more easily. That being said, the interior itself is designed for comfort. The front seats are bolstered well and come with plenty of lumbar support, especially as you go up in trim levels. Even the rear seats come with padding that can hold up for quite a few hours.
So, which trim level should you invest your hard-earned money in? Is one of them a better blend of power and practicality than the others? Honestly, it is going to be hard to go wrong with any 2021 Dodge Charger trim level, but we do have one in mind that we think presents the best deal. Pay attention as we assess each trim level's features, and stick around until the end so you can learn which Charger will give you the most bang for your buck.
Compare the 2021 Dodge Charger SXT vs GT - What is the Difference?
Even the 2021 Dodge Charger's base SXT trim level packs a lot of fun into one neat little package. The SXT starts you off with a 3.6-L V6 engine that generates 292 hp, comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and has RWD equipped. That's certainly nothing to scoff at for a base powertrain. It gets an EPA estimated 23 mpg combined (with 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway) on an 18.5 gallon fuel tank.
As far as entertainment features go, the set-up is fairly standard: an AM/FM radio with Satellite, digital memory control that is external, voice activate controls, and a 6-speaker sound system. You do not have any options for a CD player on this trim level. There are audio controls mounted onto the steering wheel for easy access. Speed sensitive volume control is standard, as is wireless phone connectivity.
Other standard interior features include a respectable array of creature comforts. The SXT has manual air conditioning, dual zone air conditioning, power door locks with an unlocking system that has two stages, remote keyless entry via the key fob that works on every one of the doors, windshield wipers that are variable intermittent, express up/down on both front power windows, cruise control (with controls mounted to the steering wheel), illuminated front beverage holders, two rear beverage holders, a full floor console, dual front illuminated vanity mirrors on the sun shades, and a manually tilting and telescoping steering wheel.
The SXT is a five-seater that has an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with 4-way power lumbar support and a 4-way manually adjustable front passenger seat. The rear seat is a 60/40-split folding bench. Seats are upholstered in cloth, and the door trim insert is vinyl. The steering wheel has a leather and metallic-looking design.
As far as safety features go, the base SXT trim has your fairly typical list: the ParkView rear back-up camera, the ParkSense Rear Park Assist System, Brake Assist, Stability Control, and Traction Control. If you want more advanced driver aids, you have to upgrade to get them.
Also, we can't forget to mention what the SXT offers on the outside. The SXT has halogen beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and remote-activated perimeter lights. The front grille is done in black, and the side mirrors are power operated. Both bumpers are painted in the selected body color.
How does the GT differ? It does still have the same 3.6-L V6 powertrain equipped. But the GT looks a bit different, so we'll start from the outside and work our way in. For starters, the GT equips LED fog lights on the front fascia for extra visibility when you need it. The side mirrors gain standard heating. Also, you get upgraded to the larger 20-inch wheels. The hood scoop gives the GT its own unique shape and is also quite functional in design. To top that all off, the suspension gets upgraded to a sport-tuned one.
Inside of the GT, you will not find too many changes. The most notable ones are the upgraded sound system and the 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen display.
Compare the 2021 Dodge Charger GT vs RT - What is the Difference?
The RT essentially takes away the GT's V6 and drops in a 5.7-L V8 engine that generates 370 hp and is paired with the same 8-speed automatic and standard RWD drivetrain (with AWD still available as an option). It does drop the EPA estimate down to 20 mpg combined (with 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway). An active exhaust and stylish and unique 20-inch wheels get added to the exterior of the RT.
Compare the 2021 Dodge Charger RT vs Scat Pack. What is the difference?
The Scat Pack shakes things up with its 6.4-L V8 engine, which generates a hefty power output of 485 hp. Again, RWD is standard while AWD is optional, and the 8-speed automatic is equipped. The RWD's EPA estimates do get sucked down slightly to 19 mpg combined (with 15 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway), but that is clearly not that far from what you get on the RT.
Also included with the Scat Pack are specially designed 20-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, launch control, performance drive modes, a high-performance suspension, high-performance brakes, aggressively-styled sport seats, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. You can also opt for the Widebody kit on the Scat Pack, but you don't have to get it if you don't want to.
Compare the 2021 Dodge Charger Scat Pack vs SRT Hellcat Trim. - What is the Difference?
The SRT Hellcat ups the ante with regard to both performance and luxury. This trim level has the standard Widebody kit, so just bear that in mind as it makes for a difference in size and aerodynamics. The SRT Hellcat is powered by a 6.2-L V8 engine that puts out 717 hp - a huge leap over the Scat Pack, to be sure. EPA estimates take a hit though, diving down to 16 mpg combined (12 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway), but that's to be expected for a high-performance sedan like this wild beast.
Other additions to the SRT Hellcat include unique 20-inch wheels, flared fenders, upgraded ultra-high performance brakes, high-performance tires, power-adjustable steering, an adaptive suspension, much more aggressively styled bodywork, leather trim in the interior, memory settings for the driver's seat, heated second-row outboard seats, and ventilation for the front seats.
Compare the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat vs SRT Hellcat Redeye. What is the difference?
The SRT Hellcat Redeye is the line-topper of all line-toppers. Dodge pushes the 800-hp mark with a powertrain that makes it to 797 hp (and 707 lb-ft of torque, which is also no joke). The Redeye has a 15 percent stronger driveshaft and 20 percent stronger axles in order to endure all of this power. This fierce feline can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, which has to be some sort of record. It is even quicker than the outgoing 2020 Hellcat Redeye, which was superbly fast. Just bear in mind that you will find the same features inside of both Hellcats; it is essentially the mechanical elements that differ between these two beasts.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Whew, what a line-up, right?! Choosing between them is tough since each trim level is so distinct. However, the one that we feel really holds its own is the Scat Pack. The 6.4-L engine is powerful enough to satisfy many buyers despite the V8 being absolutely top-notch. Still, if you want to most value, the Scat Pack has it. You can opt for the wide body treatment on this trim level, which we think you might want to go for. We would also recommend adding on the Driver Confidence and Navigation and Travel Packages since they offer a lot of helpful features.
We do have to say, we really love the Hellcats. Both the Hellcat and the Redeye are superbly designed and are meant to be enjoyed by those who crave power. However, for the average buyer, they can be a little too 'out-there'. Not that that's a bad thing, but they are expensive, both in the short-term and in the long-run when you are spending a lot of money on filling up at the pump. Practicality starts to lose its balance with the increase in power with both Hellcat models. But, if you are dead set on getting yourself the most high-performance sedan on the market, then the SRT Hellcat Redeye will give you some serious bragging rights.
But the Scat Pack gives you plenty of bragging rights for a reasonable price and while keeping you at a respectable fuel economy for this type of vehicle. You get a ton of standard features wrapped into a super cool looking package, and the amount of power you get from the V8 is exciting enough for the average driver.
• Compare the 2020 Dodge Charger Trim Levels