Large, fast, heavy, cavernous interior, hot-looking…all words that accurately describe my evaluation car this week, the 2013 Dodge Daytona Charger, a car I have enjoyed every time I have had one since 2010. This is a different version than I have ever had, this is the Daytona Charger. If the name strikes a bell, it is because it was an incredibly popular car in 1969, and today an extremely valuable car. This 2013 version is not nearly as radical as it was in 1969, but it is still a head-turner today.
Yep, it’s got a Hemi, the 370-horse 5.7-liter V8 version. It comes with a shiftable 5-speed automatic transmission. This particular car is the Road and Track version and comes with a beefed-up suspension, 20” chrome-clad wheels with black inserts.
My tester is a bright blue color called Daytona Blue Pearl, but is offset by a lot of black. There are matte-black stripes on the hood, the entire roof is also blacked out, as is the rear spoiler. On each rear quarter panel, the word Daytona appears, also in black. When you pop the hood, the engine cover announces in a large way the fact that it is a Hemi, and the 5.7 insignia matches the outside color of the car, a very nice touch.
The size of the interior strikes you when you open the door. I think the cabin on this car is larger than my first apartment. The black leather seats are comfortable and easy to adjust, and they also announce Daytona in blue letters, with other accents of blue stitching. The back seat in the Charger is large and will easily accommodate three adults. In spite of the sloping roofline, the rear passengers can be over 6-feet tall and the front passengers can be even taller.
This car is completely loaded with things you would not expect on most muscle cars. It has heated and cooled seats, center console cup holders that will heat and cool your drinks, a power sunroof, rearview camera and backup sensors, automatic headlights. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
This Daytona Charger has adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and a heated steering wheel. Everything runs from an 8.4” color monitor that is as vibrant as any I have ever seen. From there, you use your fingers to operate a terrific Garmin navigation system, all the climate controls, and the 550-watt Beats Radio by Dr. Dre.
You also get Uconnect, Chrysler’s infotainment system that is arguably one of the best on the market, and certainly one of the simplest to use. It allows drivers to easily adjust seat or cabin temperature, select a new music station or make a call without taking their eyes from the road. Uconnect displays real-time traffic speed and flow information to assist drivers in routing around congested areas. It also connects passengers with an endless variety of entertainment options—from e-mail via Wi-Fi, to movies, games and music, all activated by voice.
The Daytona Charger R/T is as comfortable a daily driver as you will find. It handles great, yet you don’t feel every bump in the road, partly due to its weight of 4250 pounds. The girth of the Charger causes it to have a little body roll in a tight turn, but it is manageable with the sport suspension and performance steering.
This may be one of those cars that if you can get one, it will be worth some serious money someday, much like its predecessor, the ’69. Only 3000 of these cars are slated to be built at max.
With all that the Daytona Charger is, one thing it is not is fuel-efficient, but most buyers of this car won’t care. In spite of the Chrysler cylinder-deactivation system, you will do well to get 23-24 on the highway, and if you try really hard, you will get 15 in city driving. One real bummer about this car is the transmission. Being only a 5-speed, the shifting can be sloppy and it impedes greater fuel economy. Chrysler makes some great transmissions, all the way up to 8-speeds, and I can’t understand why they are still using this antiquated tranny.
Even with the transmission, it is a great car, a real beast.
What I liked most: Exterior looks, pure raw power, and a great interior.
What I would change: The transmission, it needs to go.
MSRP: Base price $29,995, as equipped $41,645.
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 16 City/25 Highway, but don’t count on it.
2013 Daytona Charger in a few words: Beauty and the Beast, all in one.
Warranty: 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.
Car Pro Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars, only due to the transmission.
Dealers: If you want a Dodge of any kind, we have dealers in DFW, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Lubbock, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Phoenix. Click here: http://www.carprousa.com/car-pro-approved-dealers/ for a direct link to a Car Pro Dealer in your city.
Manufacturer’s website: http://www.dodge.com/en/2013/charger/