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2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

Old 01-05-2007, 06:21 PM
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Default 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review



2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD
WITH CAREY RUSS 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD

Despite its nostalgic name, "Hemi" power, and fastback roofline, the current Dodge Charger is anything but a retro car. Introduced forty years after the nameplate's first use in 1966, today's Charger is the first four-door to bear the name. "Bummer," those in the target market - 40- to 60-year old middle- to upper-middle-class men - would have said back then, but large two-door "personal cars" in the style of the classic Chargers of the 1966 to 74 era are, if not extinct, currently deep in hiding.
However, the newest Charger does have the right engine layout, with the engine - a V6 or V8 - in front driving the rear wheels - or, for 2007, all four wheels. It has a pedigree, too, being the third Chrysler Group car to be based on the previous-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform, after the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300. It's far more poised and refined than any of the classic Chargers. If it won't best them in a drag race - and with modern rubber and a 0-60 time of six seconds, it just might - it will certainly run and hide on a twisty road or track.
By today's standards, the 2007 Charger is a large car, and it is categorized by the EPA as such. It has a three-inch longer wheelbase than its 1966 ancestor - which was considered a medium-sized car - and is almost an inch longer. Its four-inch greater height is hidden by its styling, which owes little to nostalgia. Yes, today's Charger is heavier than those of the past, thanks to contemporary safety and comfort requirements.
Perhaps the biggest differences are under the hood. Where the originals had V8s ranging in size from 318 cubic inches to the legendary and almighty 426 cid "Hemi", the 2007 Charger comes with V6 power in its entry-level models. A 2.7-liter, 190-horsepower twin-cam V6 has been added to the lineup this year, in addition to the 3.5-liter, 250-hp SOHC unit. V8 power is available, in the form of Chrysler Group's new HEMI(r), with 340 horses out of its 5.7 liters (or 345 cubic inches for traditionalists). The 2.7 V6 drives through a four-speed automatic, but both the 3.5 V6 and HEMI put the power through a five-speed automatic with "Autostick" manual-shift mode.
My local Dodge dealer looks to be doing great business, as I see several new Chargers every time I drive through town. After a week with a new all-wheel drive R/T HEMI, I'm not at all surprised. The new Charger has plenty of character, with no lack of power, but it's also comfortable and roomy - even for rear-seat passengers - and can return very decent mileage with a light right foot thanks to the HEMI's Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which deactivated four cylinders when not needed. When needed, there's copious torque and fine classic Mopar V8 music. Equipped like my test car, the `07 Charger is more a power cruiser than a muscle car, but there is nothing wrong with that. Diehard muscle car aficionados can go a step further than the R/T, even with the available performance option packs, or get the 425-horse SRT8. Dodge has a Charger for everyone.
APPEARANCE: Clever styling - the newest Charger doesn't look big but it is, by today's sedan standards. It also is no copy or even derivative of a previous Charger. Its fastback roofline, the sharp crease to the fenders, and the hump over the rear wheel are about the only direct connections to classic Charger styling cues, and they are anything but direct copies. The new trademark Dodge crosshair grille and hooded, plastic-faired headlights give it an assertive look from the front, enhanced by the prominent bumper. A side view reveals its more practical aspects, as the hood is only moderately long and the passenger cabin dominates the car's lines. A high trunk helps both aerodynamics and luggage space.
COMFORT: If it doesn't look large outside, the new Charger certainly is inside.
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:49 AM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

what does autostick actually mean?
is like a manual but with no clutch?
or is it tiptronic?

i read about cars that have it all the time but they never actually tell me what it is
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:10 AM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

the autosticks used in various models differ from each other quite a bit. many of them, such as the previous 300M, while having the option of controlling the gears, had an "over ride" system...so if you revved the car too high, it would shift on its own. however, with my stratus, i have an autostick, and i have full control over it. you can shift before youre even moving. you can ride around with the rpm's bouncing off of the rev limiter.

i seem to recall that the new autosticks in the LX cars DOES over ride if you get too high in the RPMs.
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:18 AM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

Well, now this is just me thinking out loud but, the Charger and the 300 are just flat UGLY cars. If they were giving them away I would not have one in my garage, but that's just me thinking out loud.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

so is the autostick shifting in a W formation? or is it just up and down like tiptronic?
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:06 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

ORIGINAL: erz5005

so is the autostick shifting in a W formation? or is it just up and down like tiptronic?
It is like a tiptronic in the Charger. You put the shifter in the position for drive, then you push it to the right when you want to upshift, then to the left when you want to down shift. The one in the LX cars are less obendient than the ones in the 300M/Intrepid. In the LH cars (300M/Intrepid), when you want to use the autostick, you put it in the farthest back position behind drive that is only meant for autostick mode. In the LX cars Charger and 300, the drive and autostick are in the same position from what I remember.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

ok

so it is just tiptronic

i find that they are not any more fun than the regular automatic

manual is the way to go
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: 2007 Dodge Charger R/T AWD Review

That's pretty much the case. I prefer manuals myself but an autostick is nice to have sometimes.
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