2016 Dodge Charger

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American cars are all but extinct.2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Not American brands. GM and Ford are still making cars. But they are very different kinds of cars now. Mostly, they are front-wheel-drive in layout, “sensible” in in demeanor and powered by a four … with perhaps a six available optionally.

Forget a V8.

An exception to this rule is the Dodge Charger. It is a true Roller, like they used to make ‘em.

Bigness (and heaviness) are elements of this, but the recipe is not yet complete.

The Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon are also big cars, but they are lacking something…'16 Charger burnout

What sets the Charger apart is that it’s rear-wheel-drive, a layout that is now more commonly found at foreign car dealerships.

And it’s available with a V8.

Which is no easy thing to find at a Ford or GM store these days.

Particularly in a sedan.

And, for about what the imports want for a decently equipped front-wheel-driver with a V6, like the Avalon. And for much less than Chevy is asking ($46,575) for its not-as-quick SS, which is one of the handful of RWD/V8 sedans left.

But, gather ye rosebuds while ye may.'16 Charger touchscreen

The Charger is popular with buyers but not with Uncle. Its best-case gas mileage (with the V6) is 23 MPG “combined” (Uncle’s term) which is 10-plus MPG below the current 35.5 MPG figure decreed by Uncle for this model year and not even in the ballpark for the figures that go into effect over the next several years, cresting at an impossible 54.5 MPG (not even the Prius hybrid gets there) that will be the mandatory minimum by model year 2025.

It is Uncle’s fuel economy fatwas that have exterminated almost all the once-common/mass-market big sedans with big engines, relegating the breed to low-volume/big-price models from import brands like Benz, BMW and Lexus.

The Charger, like an aging Thomas Jefferson in the summer of 1826, still survives… but for how much longer?

WHAT IT IS

A big ol’ American sedan.

Rear-wheel-drive layout (AWD optional with the V6) and available with a big – and bigger – V8s.

No  other American brand currently sells anything like it for anything close to the price. If you want something similar, you’ll have to go expensive (Chevy SS) or German. Or Japanese.

Or, Korean (Hyundai).'16 Charger composite

Base price is $27,995 for a rear-drive V6-powered SE; the same car with the optionally available AWD system stickers for $30,245.

Next up the ladder is the SXT trim, which goes for $29,995 (RWD) and $31,995 (w/AWD). SXTs can also be upgraded with a new Rallye package that ups the horsepower of the V6, adds 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters for the eight-speed automatic transmission. There is also a Super Track Pack, newly available with the V6, which includes an even more aggressive suspension with Bilstein shocks, a performance axle ratio, upgraded brakes and a very cool suite of apps called Performance Pages that dials up info about 0-60 and 1/4 mile ET, lap times as well as scrollable LCD gauges.

It’s basically everything that comes in the R/T except for the 5.7 liter Hemi V8.'16 Charger 5.7 V8

If you want the Hemi, you’ll want the R/T – which starts $33,895.

If you want the bigger Hemi (6.4 liters), you’ll want the R/T Scat Pack, which stickers for  $39,995. In addition to extra engine, you’ll also get Launch Control and bunch of other politically incorrect goodies, too.    

Apex predators are the SRT 392 and Hellcat versions of the Charger – the latter with a stupefying 707 supercharged horsepower, the former with a still very much Shock and Awe 485 horsepower… plus “active” exhaust, even better Brembo brakes and a driver-selectable, three-mode adaptive suspension.

These sticker for $50,995 and $65,945 respectively.'16 Super Track

In terms of size/room/price, you might want to cross-shop the Toyota Avalon and the Chevy Impala, but they’re very different cars under the skin.

The next-closest thing to the Challenger is probably – of all things – a Hyundai.

The Genesis sedan is about the same size overall (though it has much less backseat legroom) is rear-drive, offers AWD (with the V6) and can be ordered with a V8, too.

But, the Hyundai might as well be a Lexus or BMW given its base price of $38,750 – which is about $10k higher than the Charger’s base price. And while it’s powerful and quick, it’s more a luxury car than a muscle car – which is what the Charger really is, its four doors notwithstanding.   

The Chevy SS is muscular (6.2 V8) but its base price (pushing $47k) is $7k higher than the much stronger, much quicker Charger R/T Scat Pack.

WHAT’S NEW

The Super Track Pack for the V6 SXT is new (it used to be for V8 R/T Chargers only). It’s a way to get 80 percent of the R/T… for about 80 percent of the R/T’s MSRP.

SRT 392 and Hellcat models get an upgraded/leather interior and HD radio as part of their standard equipment roster.

R/T (and SXT) trims can be ordered with a Blacktop appearance package – which includes (wait for it) special black exterior paint, gloss black 20-inch wheels and black interior trim.Mad Max

WHAT’S GOOD

What was it Mad Max said about the last of the V8 Interceptors?

A beast – and a beauty, too.

Five inches more back seat legroom (and $10k less to start) than the Genesis, the next-closest (kinda-sorta) thing to it.   

Huge trunk; both back seats fold down (and pass through) to make the space even huger.

Superb (and super-large, 8.4-inch) LCD touchscreen – standard in all except the base SE trim.

An almost too-good-to-be-true MSRP.'16 Charger manual pic

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

Even though the Charger and Challenger are the same car, excepting the difference in number of doors and some styling, you can’t get the Challenger’s available manual transmission in the Charger … notwithstanding how awesome that would be.

UNDER THE HOOD

The Charger’s engine lineup is basically the same as the Challenger’s.

Standard in the lower trims (SE and SXT) is a 3.6 liter V6, making 292 hp – unless you order the optional Rallye package, which includes a lower-restriction exhaust, more efficient air intake and a recalibrated ECU, which together up the rated output to 300 hp. You can also up the performance of this engine by going with the new Super Track Pack, which gives you the hp uptick, a lower (3.07 vs. the otherwise standard 2.62) final drive ratio and a 145 MPH top speed (cars without the package are electronically limited to less than that).'16 Charger V6 pic

As in the Challenger, this engine is paired only with an eight-speed automatic.

However – and unlike the Challenger – you can go rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.

R/T Chargers are – like the R/T Challenger – V8 powered.

And – like the Challenger – rear-drive-only.

If you want the AWD system, you’ve got to stick with the six.

The starter V8 is Chrysler’s 5.7 liter Hemi, making 370 hp.2015 Dodge Charger - Dodge Brothers "Designed In Detroit" emboss

Mopar People will note this is 2 hp less (on paper) than the Challenger’s version of the 5.7 liter V8 (372 hp). There is also a slight difference as regards the RPM at which the hp (and torque) numbers are taken. The Charger’s maximum output is said (by Chrysler, in their official specifications) to be developed at 5,250 RPM while the Challenger’s version of the 5.7 V8 makes its 372 hp at 5,150 RPM. The Challenger’s 5.7 is also said to make 400 ft.-lbs. of torque at 4,300 RPM while the Charger’s produces a bit less, 395 ft.-lbs. at 4,200.

Whether the hp and torque numbers differ because they were taken at different engines speeds – or are actually real differences is hard to know without a dyno (and a new Challenger R/T and a new Charger R/T to test, side-by-side). But regardless, it’s a negligible difference.

The big difference is you can’t get the Charger’s 5.7 V8 with a manual transmission. Like the V6, it is paired only with an eight-speed automatic.

Sigh.

Same deal with the Scat Pack (and SRT392) versions of the Challenger. They, too, are automatic-only. But the horsepower rating of the 6.4 liter version of the Hemi V8 that comes in these two is the same as the Challenger’s: Three cheers for 485 hp.16 Charger bee image

The Hellcat (reviewed separately, here) adds a supercharger and another 200-plus hp (707, total), which is about 85 percent of the power of a current Nextel Cup stock car at Daytona.

Acceleration is strong – and stronger – depending on which engine you pick.

With the V6 and RWD, the Challenger gets to 60 in about 5.9 seconds – which for the record is much quicker than the V6-powered Hyundai Genesis, which runs in the low-mid sixes, notwithstanding the on-paper advantage of more power (311 hp).

Probably this is due to the Hyundai’s greater curb weight – 4,138 lbs. vs. 3,934 for the Dodge. The extra beef likely also explains the Hyundai’s greater hunger: 18 city, 29 highway for the RWD version and 16 city, 25 highway for the AWD version, which is worse than the V8-powered Charger R/T!

The V6 Charger manages to post a not-bad 19 city, 31 highway with RWD and 18 city, 27 highway with the optional AWD.    

Armed with the 5.7 liter V8, the Charger’s 0-60 time drops by 1 second (to about 4.9 seconds) but the gas mileage doesn’t drop nearly as much as you’d expect, given that.'16 Charger AWD LCD

See above.

Or, see the EPA’s numbers for the V8 Genesis: 15 city, 23 highway.

And compare them with the numbers posted by the R/T Charger Scat Pack’s 6.4 liter Hemi: 15 city, 25 highway.

That’s close – but the hp and acceleration numbers aren’t.

The Scat Pack’d Charger is packing 485 hp vs. the Hyundai’s much less impressive 420 – and the Dodge can scat to 60 in 4.5 seconds vs. 5.3 for the Hyundai.

Note that the V8 Genesis is only slightly quicker than the V6-powered Charger.

Then take a look at the the V6 Charger’s MSRP vs. the MSRP of the V6 Hyundai.

Or for that matter, the MSRP of the V8 Charger vs. the V6 Genesis.

Weren’t Hyundais supposed to be… inexpensive?    

ON THE ROAD'16 Charger road 2

That “imported from Detroit” advertising stuff? It’s on the money. The Charger feels – drives – like an American car.

That is, a car like American companies used to make ‘em.

It is big and heavy – and doesn’t seem to give a damn about its carbon footprint, bless it.

The base V6 is already strong enough to trample on the strongest engines you can get in cars like the $32,650 to start Toyota Avalon (268 hp, 0-60 in about 6.3 seconds) and obliterates the under-engined, but at least price-competitive four cylinder-powered Chevy Impala  (2.5 liters, 198 hp and about nine seconds to 60). The V6 Impala  – 3.6 liters, 305 hp – is very close in specification to the Dodge – but doesn’t close the gap much, either performance-wise (zero to 60 in about 6.3 seconds) or price-wise ($30,345 to start).

But the meaningful Dodge Difference, driving-wise, isn’t acceleration. It’s the feel of the hunky Charger’s rear-drive layout.

It feels right.'16 Charger road 1

Which it is – because unlike a FWD-based car, it’s not nose-heavy. The weight of the Charger’s drivetrain is spread out over the length of the car – especially as regards the rear of the car, where there is a heavy axle assembly anchoring the ass to the pavement. This gives it balance the FWD (and light in the ass)  Avalon and Impala lack.

They are wonderfully posh cars and drive beautifully… when you drive like a you’re supposed to.

That is, like a good gelded and law-venerating Clover who never dives into a corner hard on the throttle… as opposed to riding the brakes.

But if you aren’t a Clover, then this is the tool you want.

Serious cars – real cars – are RWD-based cars.

No wonder cops like it, too.'16 Charger pursuit

Which, by the way, is another plus. They may mistake you for one of them – which is handy when you are operating at a clip that would get you clipped for sure if you were behind the wheel of an Avalon or Impala (or Genesis), none of which are ever used by cops.

But a dark blue, silver, all white or Darth Vader-black Charger? Even without the wig-wags, you look like The Law – to the actual law as well as civilians. A real cop coming the other way on a two-lane – with you proceeding at the aforesaid not-quite-legal clip – might have just that brief saving hesitation about turning ‘round and coming after you.

He might think you are one of them.

This actually happened to me. Actual cop in another Charger, rounding the bend just as I was headed into it, coming the other way.

I kept going and so did he.'16 Charger AWD LCD 2

Also – and this happened, too – when civilians see a menacing Charger bearing down on them from behind, they tend to get our of your way fearing it might be The Man.

It is almost as good as having wig-wag lights in the grille.

AWD-equipped versions come with a little LCD display (in between the speedometer and tach – showing the power split as you drive. Interestingly, the system will allow a little rear wheel spin (if you are into such things) provided you do not push the TCS (traction control) button off. If you do, the system engages the AWD (according to the LCD display) with all four wheels on the receiving end of the engine’s output. But if you leave there TCS on, the LCD display shows the system in RWD mode – and it will let you chirp the tires just a bit.

With the V8 (and without AWD) you’ll be able to chirp the tires a lot. With the optional 6.4 V8 you will need to develop a special relationship with your tire supplier. There are very few cars with this much power flowing through just two wheels – and the few that offer that do not cost slightly more than Toyota Avalon money.Max garage scene

But – just so you know – whether you go with the big (or bigger) V8 – or stick with the six – the Charger can play nice, too. FWD/AWD performance cars tend to be rough riders – which gets old on a 500 mile trip. The Charger’s ride – even on the R/T’s and Rallye/Super Track Pack’s 20-inch wheels – is luxury-car smooth and the cabin is an oasis of quiet. This is another of the Charger’s abidingly good qualities. It is as comfortable and stress-relieving a car as the Avalon or Impala – possibly even more so. But it can get Medieval, too, whenever you’re in the mood.

The Avalon and Impala are both very nice cars – but they can’t get Medieval.

If they tried, they’d just look silly – like an angry Richard Simmons.

AT THE CURB'16 Charger R:T front view

It’s not politically correct to say it, but the truth is what it is.

This is a man’s car.

Just look at the thing.

Especially from the front.

But the side view works, too.

And god bless Dodge for not emphasizing how “safe” it is (even though it is; bear with a second).'16 Charger side meat

I’m sure there are a few women who’ve bought Chargers – just as there are women who are packing a .44 magnum in their purse. But it’s the exception, not the rule.

The reasons why are similar. This is a large-caliber weapon. Nearly two tons and close to 17 feet long. And while the Chevy Impala is actually a little longer overall (201.3 inches vs. 198.4 for the Dodge) park them side by side and ask your wife which one appeals to her more.

She might warm to you buying one, when you point out that the Charger is a tank of a car and therefore one of the safest places to be in if there’s a wreck. The RWD layout (and that heavy axle in the back) is particularly helpful in terms of bulking  up the rear of the car such that if another car piles into you from behind, there is lots of cast iron and steel to soak up the impact.  '16 Charger interior 1  

There is also the hugeness of the trunk – its 16.5 cubic feet of space potentially doubled when you fold forward both back seats and lay them flat. Many cars do not offer that feature. Rather, they have a toaster-sized “pass through” that’s usually just big enough to let you slide a set of skis through them and close the trunk.

It is also roomy in the way American sleds are supposed to be – and once were.

40.1 inches of backseat legroom and 57.9 inches of shoulder room – as compared with 35 inches in the Hyundai Genesis (and an inch less shoulder room, too). So much for “seats five comfortably,” if you remember that.

The Impala also has tremendous interior room – including slightly more back seat legroom (40.1 inches) but remember the other difference described above. It’s not that the Impala’s inferior by any means; but it is a very different kind of car and a very different experience.

Same goes for the Avalon.

THE REST'16 Charger in snow

Because it is RWD-based, the engine and transmission are mounted in a row (rather than side by side) and there is a fairly big hump (for the transmission) intruding into the front seat footwell area, with more of said hump intruding into the front seat passenger’s footwell area. There is still plenty of length to stretch out (41.8 inches) but there’s less width.

Also, the RWD versions (V6 or V8 R/T) will likely suck in the snow.

FWD cars like the Avalon and Impala are inherently more tractable in winter because they pull themselves along as opposed to pushing from the rear and also because all that weight over the (front) drive wheels is a traction-enhancer on wet/snow-slicked roads.

Remember, they are sensible.

If that’s what you want.

It is a shame that Dodge does not offer a manual transmission with the V8 – as is available in the Charger’s sibling, the Challenger. And also the Chevy SS.

If it were available, the Charger would be even more special.'16 Charger last

But that doesn’t mean it’s not special as it is.

There is literally nothing else comparable that’s not another Chrysler, like the 300 – which is the Charger’s more couth sibling. Who else offers a RWD roller with a V8 for just over $33K?  Where else are you gonna find a 485 hp, 4.5 second top 60 roller for just under $40k?

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you’re thinking about it, don’t hesitate. The trends are clear. Cars like this are on Uncle’s hit list.

You’ve been hipped.

Now it’s up to you.

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37 COMMENTS

    • That’s subjective! 🙂

      What’s objective is the much-improved performance. Have a look at the stats. The current car with the V6 is nearly as quick as the original Charger with the 5.7 V8!

      • “nearly as quick as the original Charger with the 5.7 V8”
        No doubt it is much quicker than the original Charger with the 383 V8 (6.2L?). Clearly you mean the ‘previous’ Charger.

    • It didn’t have enough “bluecat” look to it before. Now you can easily imagine the trunk filling with threadfin shad.

  1. It wouldn’t seem that .2 seconds to 60 less than the Charger makes it under-powered but the looks suck the big one for sure. The G8 was a pretty nice looking car they could have left looking fairly much that way(I guess, no telling what Uncle mandated new in the front end). I find it hard to believe with any decent advertising(you know they didn’t advertise it for shit)the wagon and ST would have sold, esp. the wagon. They could have advertised the ST in Tx/Ok. and Ca. and sold plenty had people known about them. And why the current rendition doesn’t have the Caddy V-8 is only known by some obscure marketing rep for GM.

      • eric, I’d pay more for a GM than a Chrysler for the most part……but not that much.

        I wouldn’t buy a car like that or the Chevy if I could afford either since I prefer a bit smaller car, esp. considering a trip to the store is a 65 mile round trip…..and that’s just to the nearest town where I can’t always get what I want(yes Mick, it happens).

        With that sort of fuel mileage I might have to get a ’72 98 with a transplanted ’70 model engine(although I don’t know how many bottles of octane booster a tank would require), put a 6L80E in it with a Holley TBI, a state of the art radar detector(and hidden jammer) and the remote controlled box of roofing nails I could release under the rear bumper.

  2. “I just love all three delicious flavors of authority. I so love those delicious ice cream cones.”
    http://iv1.lisimg.com/image/2121973/383full-candy-goes-to-hollywood-poster.jpg

    – bubble headed bleach blonde statists everywhere

    The 3 Flavors of Legitimate Authority
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Types_of_Legitimate_Rule

    Max Weber distinguished three ideal types of legitimate political leadership, domination and authority. He wrote about these three types of domination in both his essay The Three Types of Legitimate Rule which was published in his masterwork Economy and Society, and in his classic speech Politics as a Vocation.

    charismatic authority (character, heroism, leadership, religious),

    traditional authority (patriarchs, patrimonialism, feudalism) and

    legal authority (modern law and state, bureaucracy).
    These three types are ideal types and rarely appear in their pure form.

    Authority is power accepted as legitimate by those subjected to it.

    These three forms of authority are said to appear in an “hierarchical development order”. States progress from charismatic authority, to traditional authority, and finally reach the state of rational-legal authority which is characteristic of a modern liberal democracy.

    – There are great men, and there are muppets who live to mimic and mirror the words and deeds of the great men

    Charismatic domination
    Charismatic authority grows out of the personal charm or the strength of an individual personality. It was described by Weber in a lecture as “the authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace (charisma)”; he distinguished it from the other forms of authority by stating “Men do not obey him [the charismatic ruler] by virtue of tradition or statute, but because they believe in him.”

    Thus the actual power or capabilities of the leader are irrelevant, as long as the followers believe that such power exists. Thus, according to Weber, it is particularly difficult for charismatic leaders to maintain their authority because the followers must continue to legitimize the authority of the leader.

    Charismatic domination is insofar different from legal-rational and traditional power as it does not develop from established tradition but rather from the belief the followers have in the leader.

    According to Weber, once the leader loses his charisma or dies, systems based on charismatic authority tend to transform into traditional or legal-rational systems.

    Traditional domination

    In traditional authority, the legitimacy of the authority comes from tradition or custom; Weber described it as “the authority of the eternal yesterday” and identified it as the source of authority for monarchies. In this type of domination, the traditional rights of a powerful individual or group are accepted by the subordinate, or at least not challenged.

    The dominant individual could be a clan leader, eldest, the head of a family, a patriarchal figure or dominant elite. Historically this has been the most common type of government.

    According to Weber, inequalities are created and preserved by traditional authority. Should this authority not be challenged, the dominant leader or group will stay in power. For Weber, traditional power blocked the development of rational-legal authority.

    Legal Rational domination

    Legal authority, also known as legal-rational authority, is where an individual or institution exerts power by virtue of the legal office that they hold. It is the authority that demands obedience to the office rather than the office holder; once they leave office, their rational-legal authority is lost.

    Weber identified “rationally-created rules as the central feature of this form of authority. Modern democracies contain many examples of legal-rational regimes. There are different ways in which legal authority can develop. Many societies have developed a system of laws and regulations and there exist many different principles of legality. With the development of a legal-rational system, the political system is likely to be rationalized similarly. Constitutions, written documents, established offices and regular elections are often associated with modern legal-rational political systems.

    Rational-legal authority may be challenged by those subordinated, it is unlikely to result in a quick change in the nature of the system. Such power-struggles, according to Weber, may be based on nationalism, ethnicity and are mostly political struggles.

    The classification of authority in the context of history

    Weber also notes that legal domination is the most advanced, and that societies evolve from having mostly traditional and charismatic authorities to mostly rational and legal ones, because the instability of charismatic authority inevitably forces it to “routinize” into a more structured form of authority. Likewise he notes that in a pure type of traditional rule, sufficient resistance to a master can lead to a “traditional revolution”. Thus he alludes to an inevitable move towards a rational-legal structure of authority, utilizing a bureaucratic structure. This ties to his broader concept of rationalization by suggesting the inevitability of a move in this direction. Thus this theory can be sometimes viewed as part of the social evolutionism theory.

    In traditional authority, the legitimacy of the authority comes from tradition, in charismatic authority from the personality and leadership qualities of the individual (charisma), and in legal (or rational-legal) authority from powers that are bureaucratically and legally attached to certain positions. A classic example of these three types may be found in religion: priests (traditional), Jesus (charismatic), and the Roman Catholic Church (legal-rational). Weber also conceived of these three types within his three primary modes of conflict: traditional authority within status groups, charismatic authority within class, and legal-rational authority within party organizations.

    In his view every historical relation between rulers and ruled contained elements that can be analyzed on the basis of the above distinction.

    Making It Big – The Hypnotized Naive Statist In Action
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUQLH6y61gc

    • The Wiki article refers to the ‘Founding Fathers’ thus – ” It is also used more narrowly, referring specifically to those who either signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or who were delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention ”
      Gary North is very adamant about differentiating between the “Founders,” those who signed the Declaration and fought the 1st War of Secession, and the “Framers,’ those who destroyed the Articles of Confederation and substituted the Constitution, which he defines as a coup d’etat.

      • “… differentiating between the “Founders,” those who signed the Declaration and fought the 1st War of Secession, and the “Framers,’ those who destroyed the Articles of Confederation and substituted the Constitution… ”

        That is a useful distinction.

        Interestingly enough, borderline anarchist Thomas Paine was a “founder” but most emphatically not a “framer”.

        Paine was not perfect of course. But he was one of the more enlightened founders, especially as opposed to Hamilton.

  3. I like this car, but I wish it was rated higher reliability wise. I keep my cars for the long haul (current car 2000 Accord bought new with 235k and very few issues in 16 1/2 years) and would be concerned as to how well it would hold up. I generally don’t consider cars that are rated lower than “average” reliability.

      • Weird how that is. Out of the cars I have had over the last decade or so, the Accord was the car with most of the problems. My Chrysler (not a charger) has been mostly trouble free.

      • If I were to get a Charger, it would have to be the V6 version. If I could afford to have new car just for fun, it would not be a Charger – too many other good options – it would not have four doors and it would have a manual.

  4. This jangles my sensibilities…

    I know what you’re saying brother, but I wish like hell we’d all get out of the habit of calling ourselves “civilians”.

    Cops hut hut about and act like they ARE an occupying army, but they are NOT.

    They are civilians, just like all the rest of us, no matter how many military medallions and titles they festoon over themselves.

    Rant over.

    • “They are civilians, just like all the rest of us” – and that is supposed to include the military as well. The ‘Founding Fathers’ had a great dread and hatred of the standing military. This is, in part, the reason for the reference to militia in the 2nd Amendment. There was to be no ‘professional class’ of military.

  5. I want one of these now. Even the V6 model can get out and scat pretty well. In their current form, they have been out since 2011 or 2012. I bet they can be found for a reasonable price.

    • The wife rented one with low mileage and noticed a really bright spot of light shining from the passenger side. She finally realizes it’s the sun, coming under the door. Great fit and finish and weatherstripping. I later looked at it and could find no hooey on the gasket or door sill. Her main problem with the V-6 was a very thirsty car. Then she got a 200. She detested that car with its throttle that had a mind of its own and the very noisy ride.

  6. If you really want to look like Johny Law, get your ham radio license and throw on a radio antenna or two. Maybe some orange flashers, for when you’re “deployed” to the disaster shelter.

  7. I recently drove a 10 year old Avalon with over 200k on the odometer. Had it for a week, it returned nearly 30 mpg in mostly rural with some urban driving. It looked, handled, and performed like new without squeaks, rattles or wind noise. All the controls, switches, and features worked perfectly. Even though all four tires were close to minimum tread, snow did not phase it. The engine performed more than adequately to take advantage of gaps in rush hour traffic without alerting the local yokels with smoking tires and noise. There is something to be said for well engineered appliances and outstanding quality control.

    Yet a 1967 Riviera would be a nice rwd alternative. No deprecation to speak of, unlike a new car. But I wouldn’t drive it in the snow.

    • A friend had a ’68 Toronado when we were 18…..for some reason. He was a jock, couldn’t drive for shit so I guess it suited him but we nearly choked to death on burnt tire smoke a couple times in it. That old 455 would smoke ’em. Too bad about tranny life though.

  8. One of the few new cars I really really like. Maybe it has to do something to do with being the closest to what I learned to drive on. I think I will always have a soft spot for big V8 powered, rear drive American cars. If I could afford it, this would probably be my daily driver. Rear drive isn’t that bad on snow, yeah, you have to drive it a bit different then a front wheel drive car but its not a major problem.

    The only time I had a problem was when my 70′ era chevy got parked on a sheet of ice, and I couldn’t get the engine to run slow enough to inch my way off of it. Had to use the whole bag of sand (I would carry bags of sand in the trunk in winter) and the passenger side tire still wouldn’t grab. Crappy tires and lots of power do not mix.

    • Hi CP,

      I debated adding something about the SS. It starts at $46k – so it’s much more expensive than either the R/T or the R/T Scat Pack Charger. Plus, it’s not as quick!

      Come to think of it, I think I will add a line or two.

      • I would much rather have the Charger – its nicer. The SS isn’t very impressive looking – I feel like GM is making the same mistake they made with the GTO body a few years ago. The body style looks too plain, it lacks aggressiveness.

        And I agree, the price tag is too much to justify. I would think GM would find a way to get the more competitive price. Also, why didn’t they start with the 5.3 power plant as opposed to the 6.2?

        I can’t wait to hear your review on the SS!

        • I’ll review just from chevrolet.com. It’s the clueless catfish front end compared to the Challenger’s happy catfish. When will this front end styling on every car end? Were they all so close forever and I just noticed in the last few years they could nearly all be made with the same front end. And big, sticky-outy tail-lights are just what the doctor ordered for fleecing those who touch something with the car. Just what you need, tail-light lenses to protect the bumpers. If Troybilt were smart they’d make guards for cars like their guards for their tillers.

          I can see RanchHand making “rear” bumper guards as well as front end guards.

          Not many of those old late 70’s and 80’s GM pickups with the “optional” curved tubing welded to the top of the bumper and the end of the bed to protect the tail lamp lenses. Bend the bumper and it warps the side panel on the bed, real smart cousin Eddy.

    • It does, but its more expensive, and Chevy only imports about 5,000 of them, so good luck finding one and paying less then sticker.

      • I recently look at a used SS that they were asking $43k for w/20k miles. I was originally reeled in when the salesman said “high $20’s”. I guess he mistook it for the Malibu next to it that it looked similar to.

        • Hi Dr.

          The SS is both overpriced and under-performing. It also looks… boring. I think this is no accident as I am pretty sure it is basically the Pontiac G8, recycled in Chevy guise after the demise of Pontiac.

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