2011 Dodge Charger R/T 5.7L V8 HEMI from North America

Summary:

Fast and comfortable

Faults:

When I got the car, the dealer I bought it from had replaced the thermostat, but did not fill the radiator fluid and it overheated on the way home. Had to add water to the radiator, and pay to get the car checked out, and ultimately pay to flush the radiator fluid once I was sure that was the problem. The dealer would not even take my phone calls; the second I said my name, they would hang up on me after I bought the car, so I was expecting a blown head gasket initially.

Also, I noticed the backup sensors did not work when I picked the car up. The dealer refused to fix it with the reasoning I could bring it to my local Dodge dealer and they would fix it no charge under warranty, even though there is a $100 deductible. Replacing both bad sensors cost something like $60 if I recall; not even enough to meet the deductible.

Cleaning snow off of it in the winter, I took the windshield washer fluid nozzle off. Completely my fault, but this piece was surprisingly expensive for what it is.

The cruise control works intermittently. There is a fault in the computer, bad sensor or a short in a wire, and I haven't got it checked out yet (error message when I try to turn it says FCW sensor, but the FCW sensor seems to be working).

General Comments:

Despite a few minor issues, I could not see myself driving anything else. I can count on one hand the number of cars I can fit in and are comfortable, and the Charger is one of them. My boys are much more comfortable in the Charger than they were in my prior vehicle, and it also offers adequate trunk space, another rare find in cars of today. The official stats say the trunk is 16.5 cubic feet, however that number may be rather conservative as I will say I can fit at least twice as many groceries in the trunk as I could from my prior vehicle, a 2010 Cadillac CTS that's listed as having over 13 cubic feet.

My favorite feature on the car is that it lets me plug in a SD card with music on it with a 16GB limit for the 2011 model year.

The 5.7 HEMI is a great compromise between mileage and power. It certainly has enough power to pass other cars on a two-lane highway, even if they decide they want to drag race you at the last second, and I still get a combined 20-22 MPG while passing 5-6 people daily on my way to work.

I also really like the ride on the car. Coming from a Cadillac CTS, which I found rides very modern, and was way too stiff for the rough Massachusetts roads where driving is like playing Frogger with potholes, the Charger glides over frost heaves and potholes that I failed to avoid in a much less jarring manner. It rides similar to my first car, a 1981 Buick Century, which I consider to be a good thing.

My particular model is all wheel drive. On clear roads, the vehicle operates as RWD 100% of the time. On snow or ice, the second it detects any wheel spin (which is long before I even notice it), it routes power to the front wheels. I live on a rather steep hill, and have had no issues with all the snow we had this past winter.

My complaints about the car (all minor):

The stock Alpine speakers should be better. From what I gather, the head unit is fine, but the speakers are junk -- replacing them should go a long way, which I'll get around to eventually.

The 5 speed transmission shifts like my early 80s Buicks -- fairly rough by today's standards. Also, the way the gearing works, it can pick up speed fairly quickly before certain upshifts. The newer 8 speed should be an improvement in both areas as well as in terms of gas mileage, although the 5 speed certainly isn't a deal breaker for me by any means.

It steers like my early 80s Buicks -- fairly loose. The steering is the only thing I really miss about the CTS, although the steering does seem appropriate for the suspension.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2015

2nd Aug 2015, 20:33

I was way too generous with the reliability. It should be 5/10. Right after this review, my dashboard yet again lit right up and several things stopped working, like cruise control and all wheel drive. Mostly electrical issues, but the AWD seems to be a possible bad transfer case -- when it is at least 70 degrees out and the car has been driven a while, the AWD system shuts itself down.

It's a really nice car, but it's also a money pit. If you are shopping Chargers, I would recommend getting a basic model that does not have adaptive cruise control (when that breaks, it also doesn't let you use regular cruise) and a backup camera and keep it basic. Then you can avoid a monthly electrical issue, or as it may be a 3-4 one month, none for the next 6 months and then 8 more the next.

The Dodge certified warranty is completely useless as well. They charge a $100 deductible, and can also charge you for diagnosis as well (just to pull your codes = 1 hour labor). And as many of these problems are intermittent, it may end up working by the time the dealer looks at it, and there's another hour of labor you have to pay for. What a nightmare! Dodge dealers seem to be unable to fix issues that don't throw codes as well. Since most of these issues and up are around $100 for the dealer to fix it when they are able to, I'm better off using one of my local indie shops who will charge me a small fraction the price and won't bother charging me a diagnosis fee.

The AWD issue I gather is not normal on these cars, the drivetrain normally is reliable from my research. But the electrical issues... Chrysler should be ashamed!

2011 Dodge Charger MOPAR 11 5.7 Hemi from North America

Summary:

Excellent car, I would recommend and buy again!

Faults:

Main computer failed at 3000 miles.

Rear control arm weld broke in half at 1200 miles.

Fog lights leaked water inside them.

Safety recall for the engine timing chain that could fail.

General Comments:

My Charger is a Limited Edition, MOPAR 11. It is a numbered car, #499 out of 700 in the USA. It has been a very good and comfortable car so far. Great performance and acceleration from the 5.7 liter 370HP HEMI engine and 5 speed automatic transmission. 0-60 in just 6 seconds!

I am a middle aged male, and I purchased this car due to first of all, its AWESOME LOOKS!!! I wanted a large comfortable muscle car, not a small Corvette, Camaro, Mustang or even the beloved Challenger. I contemplated the Challenger, but after driving them both, the Charger was the clear winner for me. I got way more "BANG" for my buck with the Charger. Plus I "opted" for the MOPAR 11 instead of the R/T Max.

I have only a couple of complaints.

1. The car's left rear control arm broke at the welded point while my wife was driving. She told me that the rear end suddenly started to sway out of control and the traction control light came on and started flashing on the dash. She said that she hit the brakes and the car swung around and did a 180 turn, backwards into on-coming traffic! The left rear wheel came to rest on the curb, scratching it. Dodge would not "warranty" the repair! I would have to get a metallurgist and pay them big money to "prove" it was a defect and not bad driving! I just paid reluctantly for the repair and walked away, very unhappy with Dodge!

2. The car left me and my wife stranded 250 miles out of town on a weekend trip. The car suddenly without warning showed a low battery light on. Before I could make it to the local dealership on a late Friday afternoon, the car would not start. It would crank over strong but not start. After several days at the dealer, it was determined that the main computer had shorted out. It was replaced and I have not had any other problems with it since.

I have had a couple of other repairs that are small in nature.

Overall, I love my Charger. I get compliments all the time, still 3 years later! The car smells, runs and still drives like brand new. I would highly recommend the Dodge Charger and I would buy a new one. I just understand that everything that is manufactured can break or fail at some point or another, so defects happen. Fix them and MOVE ON!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2014

27th Nov 2014, 21:08

Sounds to me like you really love this "Christine" of a Dodge. If I bought a brand new car, and a weld broke causing loss of control, and the main computer fried in less than 20,000 miles leaving me stranded, I would give this heap back to the dealer for a new one. But men are fools for cars. As long as they look good, we'll take all the horrible crap they dish out (until we get a certain age and wise-up). It's really bad when you spend your own money fixing a broken weld (which was a manufacturer defect and should've been covered by the warranty) on a brand new car. You got some mad love for this Dodge. Good luck!

16th Jul 2015, 17:49

Like anything else, it happens, but it's not normal. You repair it and move on, and if that's too hard, then don't own a car, because there's always a chance something like that might happen.

16th Jul 2015, 17:58

I have had my 2011 R/T for a year now, with a few minor issues. I couldn't see myself driving anything else made today though. It rides like my older Buicks (very smoothly and comfortably), but has significantly more power. I need 4 doors as I have kids, so the Charger is the only 4 door muscle car. Also my legs hit the dash or my head hits the roof on most cars today, but I can sit in the Charger comfortably.

I traded my 2010 Cadillac CTS in for my Charger R/T. The only thing that doesn't beat the CTS is the steering (which feels like one of my early 80s Buicks) and the dash doesn't look nearly as nice, but it has far fewer creaks, which more than makes up for it. I even get better MPG than I did on that CTS's weak V6 with absolutely no low end power -- about 50% improvement to be exact!