Choose the best Dodge Charger model year. Our ultimate guide will show you which Dodge Charger year to avoid and which to go for.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best and worst Dodge Charger years, breaking down each generation with insights into reliability, performance, and value.
Drawing from extensive research, owner surveys, maintenance records, and industry reports, we present a thorough analysis of the Dodge Charger’s history, making it a vital resource for both potential buyers and enthusiasts.
Specifically, we’ll describe the 6th and 7th iterations, highlighting the standout characteristics of the best years, examining the neutral years, and uncovering the imperfections that marred the worst years.
Let’s dive into the Dodge Charger generations.
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Dodge Charger Generations
The Dodge Charger, a representation of American muscle cars, has a strong history dating back to the 1960s. It embodies sheer strength, intense style, and exhilarating capability.
In this article, we will cover the following generations:
|6th generation (LX)||2006-2010|
|7th generation (LD)||2011-Present|
We list these generations to provide a better overview. Understanding the variations and unique aspects between them might be a deciding factor for potential buyers.
Dodge Charger Best, Neutral, and Worst Years
Our rankings and categorizations are based on extensive research, considering various aspects, including but not limited to:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety ratings
- Consumer Reports reliability scores
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
Below is a graph where all the combined ratings from the sources mentioned above are illustrated:
In the table, we categorized all 6th and 7th generations’ model years into the best, neutral and worst years.
|Generation||Best Years||Neutral Years||Worst Years|
Neutral Years are defined as those where the car performed acceptably but did not particularly stand out or falter in significant ways, providing balanced value.
Some factors, such as NHTSA recalls, negatively affect the rankings. The more complaints and recalls, the less reliable the car is considered, hence a lower score.
With this foundation, let’s dive into the specifications of the best, neutral, and worst years.
Best & Worst Years for Dodge Charger 6th Generation (2006-2010)
The 6th Generation Dodge Charger, spanning from 2006 to 2010, revived the iconic muscle car with modern touches. With new technological and safety features, it catered to both nostalgic enthusiasts and new fans.
The Best Years: 2009, 2010
The 2009 and 2010 models marked the zenith for the 6th generation, earning the title of the best years.
Enhanced with a refined engine offering greater efficiency and performance, these years showcased technological advancements such as updated infotainment systems, adaptive cruise control, and improved safety features like traction control and antilock brakes.
These additions, coupled with sleek design improvements, made these years particularly desirable, appealing to a broad audience seeking a blend of traditional muscle car aesthetics and modern conveniences.
The Neutral Years: 2007, 2008
The 2007 and 2008 Charger models fall into the neutral category, displaying balanced attributes but lacking the notable advancements that defined the best years.
The 2007 model, for example, saw a continuation of previously introduced features but faced transmission issues, including complete transmission failure in some cases.
The 2008 model attempted to address prior concerns but introduced electrical issues where the car lost power unexpectedly while driving.
These models maintained a decent reputation for their engine performance, but their relative lack of innovation and some quality control issues kept them from reaching the heights of the 2009 and 2010 models.
The Worst Years: 2006
The inaugural year of the 6th generation, 2006, stands out as the worst year for a number of reasons.
The major problem was engine-related, where the engine would stall without warning, and the entire electrical system would shut down, only to revive itself later.
This flaw also caused the power steering to fail, leading to serious safety risks. Most of these issues were traced back to the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi powertrain, and they typically resulted from dropped valve seats.
Additionally, this year suffered from teething problems as Dodge attempted to integrate new technologies and design elements.
The 2006 model year serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of comprehensive evaluations for prospective buyers interested in this iconic line of vehicles.
Best & Worst Years for Dodge Charger 7th Generation (2011-Present)
The 7th Generation Dodge Charger, introduced in 2011 and continuing to the present, marks a significant evolution in design and performance.
With a focus on modernization, the 7th generation brought enhanced technology, better fuel efficiency, and a strengthened commitment to safety.
The Best Years: 2016, 2019, 2020, 2022
The best years of the 7th generation, namely 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2022, represent a pinnacle in the Charger’s development.
The 2016 model introduced a refined 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine as standard, with options for more powerful HEMI V8s. The SRT Hellcat version, boasting a whopping 707 horsepower, was particularly acclaimed.
The 2019 model Dodge Charger saw further refinement in performance, especially in the V8 engine’s fuel efficiency. The addition of the Scat Pack Widebody model offered more road grip and handling capabilities.
The 2020 and 2022 Dodge Charger models included additional safety features, such as lane departure warnings and a rearview camera which became standard, solidifying the Charger’s reputation for safety.
The Neutral Years: 2017, 2023
2017 and 2023 models are categorized as neutral, offering balanced qualities but without the striking attributes of the best years.
While maintaining the core features that characterized the standout models, these years did not introduce significant advancements or face glaring setbacks.
They continued the lineage with consistent performance and reasonable reliability, acting as a safe option for those desiring the Charger experience without seeking the extraordinary.
The Worst Years: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2021
Unfortunately, the 7th generation also witnessed some troubled years that were plagued by various issues. The main concerns for the 2011 and 2012 model years were electrical system and exterior lighting failures.
This led to recalls for overheated lighting harness connectors causing low beams to fail, and overheating in the power distribution center, resulting in a loss of anti-lock braking and stability control systems.
On May 7, 2012, a major recall announcement was made concerning loss of anti-lock brakes and stability control due to an overheated fuse. Over 127,350 vehicles were recalled, showcasing a significant downside of these model years.
Additionally, there were recalls regarding airbags that may deploy unexpectedly, with risks increasing with the vehicle’s age.
The 2013 and 2014 models faced problems with the alternator, resulting in the engine stalling.
The worst years also included 2018 and 2021, but these models mainly suffered from less critical issues that, while affecting the user experience, did not pose major safety concerns.
Dodge Charger Average Resale Values
The following graph showcases the Dodge Charger’s average resale values for different model years, illustrating how each generation has fared in retaining its value on the market.
Now, choosing the best year for Dodge Charger, equipped with the most reliable features, and avoiding the pitfalls of the worst ones becomes clear and strategic for you.
Which features of the best years of the Dodge Charger resonate with you the most? Is it the engine, technology, or safety enhancements?
If you’ve owned or driven a Dodge Charger from any of these generations, please share your insights in the comments.