2020 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Large Cars

Large cars are a rapidly diminishing market segment as the larger midsize cars offer enough comfort and luxuries to buyers that they see little reason to spend more money. In addition, those who really must spend more money generally seek a luxury badge, even if the actual car is from the junior line (like the Audi A3, or the A-Class and CLA from Mercedes-Benz) of the brand. 

The big news for 2020 is that both the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus, two mainstays of the segment, have been discontinued, reducing this section of Lemon-Aid to just the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger.

Chrysler 300 Dodge Charger     

2020 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger

 


 

 

What’s new
300: No changes of note for its ninth year on the market. Charger: The Charger is now offered in a wide-body variant with extended fenders to fit over wider wheels.  
Performance
The 3.6L V6 creates ample power and works smoothly in conjunction with the responsive eight-speed automatic transmission. The powerful V8 is quicker than the V6 but is totally unnecessary. Astonishing handling for such a massive car. Smooth, absorbent ride. Impressive refinement. Nicely weighted and geared steering. Comfortable seats and lots of space, front and rear. Logical controls, with the dash touch screen being particularly logical and easy to work with. The trunk is smaller than expected from a car of this size.  

Comments
The 6.4L V8 SRT8 and supercharged 6.2L Hellcat models are exclusive to the Dodge. An eight-speed automatic is standard on all models, All-wheel drive, which defaults to rear-wheel drive unless slip is detected, is available with the V6 only.  
Pricing
300: All-wheel drive is a $2200 option on all V6 trim levels. 
Moving up from the base Touring trim to the S model adds a power driver's seat and leather upholstery. The Limited, the range-topper of the V6 lineup is an absolute bargain considering what is included. The V8-powered 300C, offered only with rear-wheel drive, is priced $5100 more than a rear-wheel drive V6 Limited; the V8 engine and the extra equipment included in the C package justifies the additional outlay. Rapid depreciation, with daily rental cars losing 30 percent of their value within a year after going into service. All active safety equipment is optional on all trims. 

Charger: All-wheel drive, currently offered in SXT trim (a GT trim was rumoured but did not appear by mid-February), looks expensive at first glance but once additional equipment that is standard on the all-wheel drive variant is accounted for, the supplement for all-wheel drive is very reasonable. The $2495 SXT Plus package, which adds Nappa leather, heated and vented front seats, power front seats and a variety of other features, is a bargain and results in a very luxurious car. The $895 Driver Convenience package is needed to get blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors, but does contain a number of other features like xenon headlamps that combine to render it a bargain. The $1895 Technology package includes active cruise control with stop and go, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning and a lane keep assist system. Moving up from the rear-wheel drive SXT to the rear-wheel drive GT is priced to reflect the value of ithe GT's additional equipment. The R/T, powered by a V8, is good value if rear-wheel drive is acceptable to you. The Scat Pack and Hellcat performance models look expensive but few cars can match blend of speed and passenger comfort at anywhere near the price.

Reliability
Average to above average reliability predicted. These cars are the most reliable vehicles built by FCA. 

 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3

Engines:
3.6L-V6 (292 HP, 300 HP)*, 5.7L-V8 (370 HP), 6.4L-V8 (SRT 485 HP Charger only), 6.2L-V8 S (707 HP Charger Hellcat) 

Transmissions: 8A* 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  12.8L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  8.7L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Optional forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic and lane departure warnings, a lane keep assist system and an adaptive cruise control system with stop and go
Additional airbags: Driver's side knee airbag

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 (Hellcat only 3/60,000)
Current Generation Debut:  2011
Country of Origin:  Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sm. Front Driver: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Sm. Front Pass.: NR

Head/Seat: G

Rear: G

Headlight: P

NHTSA Rating: