a performance bargain wrapped in a great package

Yeah.its a got a Hemi

You have got to love the all America Dodge Charger. I have driven all Charger’s from 3.8 liter V-6 to 5.7 liter Hemi V-8 to the wonderful 6.4 liter Scatpack and of course the almighty 707HP Hellcat. No question there is truly a four-door Dodge muscle car available for everyone. In the test car driveway this week is a 2016 Blacktop Edition Dodge Charger R/T, this is going to be a treat.

Its been a while since I driven the regular 5.7 liter Hemi in R/T trim and doing so reminds me about how great this power plant is today, as it was over a deader ago. With continued improvements the 5.7-liter still calls to me. There is still nothing like a V-8. Maybe its because I grew up riding in and buying V-8 cars. Or maybe because sometimes, nothing but a V-8 will do the job right.

Sure I appreciate and enjoy all these tiny displacement four cylinders that produce great fuel economy numbers and V-8 like power. However a V-8 brings a smoothness, a refinement and effortless feel that no high strung high tech power plant can imitate at least…. yet.

The Blacktop edition takes an already distinctive vehicle with attitude and kicks it up several notches. Dodge introduced the very first Blacktop package on the 2012 model year Charger, and it is back by popular demand.

Dodge has done quite well with the Blacktop edition in several other models so it only makes sense to bring it back to the Charger, The face of Charger gets a Gloss Black treatment on the split-crosshair grille and fascia insert for a bolder “mask” appearance that further emphasizes its forward-leaning “ready for action” stance. Gloss Black mirrors with 20-in. five-spoke Gloss Black aluminum wheels give the four-door muscle car a discrete look. At the rear, a one-piece Satin Black performance spoiler provides down force, while the Satin Black badge continues the unique almost sinister look.

Inside the fun continues, with discrete and subtle dark interior touches. I love dark brushed aluminum instrument panel and aluminum center console bezels. Also included with the Blacktop package is a performance-contoured steering wheel and ton of other cool touches from unique floor mats on up and throughout the vehicle.

Performance wise the 5.7 Liter Hemi V-8 with the Blacktop Package gains 10 extra ponies to 370 along with 395 lb-ft of torque. The class leading 8 speed automatic is world class delivering 16 mpg city and 25 Mpg Highway.

The R/T has nice dual personality calm and gentle running on four cylinders on the highway or when you engage the sport button on the center stack a little tire smoking’ action is a moment away. The R/T Charger dials it up a notch and turns into a great handler when pushed all with the everyday practicality of P235/55R18 BSW All-season performance tires.

To me this is a great family car for the enthusiast. If you do not think so that’s OK because if someone pulls up next me at light and asks the question “Does that thing have a Hemi?” I can do my best Clint Eastwood and say.” It sure does”.

With more than 80 standard and available safety and security features, including Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which can provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent.

Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the 2016 Dodge Charger to full stop without driver intervention. Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist introduces subtle steering-wheel input to alert the driver of inadvertent lane departure and assist with corrective action. Charger’s ParkSense rear park assist system works when the car is in Reverse, sensing objects at low speeds.

2016 charger interiorLots of high tech features standard or available without the big time price. I absolutely love the Beats Audio system paired with one my favorite infotainment systems in the whole world UConnect. For 2016, the system introduces new features that include the all-new Drag and Drop menu bar, Siri Eyes Free and Do Not Disturb features that can be viewed via the 8.4-inch touchscreen. Also debuting in the 2016 Dodge Charger, the Vehicle User Guide allows drivers to view their owner’s manual via the 8.4-inch touch screen and use as a quick reference guide for vehicle information.

You could quickly spend well over 100K for all the features wrapped in fancy nameplate. Or you buy the special edition Charger R/T for round 35K. Yes, that is 35K for all the looks, performance and goodies of my R/T with the Blacktop Package.

The simple things like heated and rear seats and rear USB ports all make for a great place to spend time for passengers. For The driver this is wonderful performance bargain. From the halogen projector beam headlamps to the beautiful signature LED-illuminated “racetrack” tail lamps, this Blacktop Charger is a homerun all the way.

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Fuel Economy



  • 5.7 liter HEMI V-8 370 HP
  • Handling
  • Styling
  • UConnect
  • Beats Audio System


  • Some Cheap Plastics Remain
  • No AWD Available with V8 Anymore