Holding It’s Heritage: Driving the 2019 Dodge Charger R/T


Since it’s release in 2006, the Charger R/T has been an integral part in the Charger line-up. Acting as a solid basis for the popular Daytona and Road & Track packaging along with it’s heavy use in police forces across North America, the R/T has been a strong seller. However, outside of those uses, the R/T for the most part was a pretty plain family sedan with some extra ponies under the hood. For 2019, Dodge has decided to change that and give the R/T a lot more visual performance to match the horsepower.

Standard with the Charger R/T for 2019 is the tried and true 5.7L Hemi producing 370 horsepower and 395 ft-lbs of torque. We’re not sure why but the 5.7L Hemi found in the Charger produces slightly lower horsepower and torque compared to that in the Challenger R/T, especially considering the Charger is the heavier car. The R/T is only available with the quick shifting 8HP70 eight-speed Torqueflite automatic that you’d find on Scat Packs and previous model year SRTs. To make the R/T perform even better, it comes standard with performance suspension, a 2.62 rear axle ratio, enhanced steering and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Also standard is the Super Track Pak which comes with the Dodge Performance Pages.

If you want to bump up the handling and steering performance even more, the Performance Handling Group is available for an extra $1,495 USD which adds black Brembo 4-Piston brakes on all four corners, 245/45ZR20 All-Season Performance Tires, 20×9″ Black Noise wheels, upgraded springs, sway bars, Bilstein shocks, bushings and mounts. Red brake calipers can be chosen for an additional $495 USD.

While driving the 2019 R/T, we were very impressed by the handling and general driving characteristics of it considering it’s a 4,300 pound full-sized sedan. It can be tossed into corners with ease and confidence and pulls hard coming into the straight stretches. The active performance exhaust is what really caught us off guard. For years, the SRT and R/T performance models severely lacked in the exhaust department. The factory exhaust on the 2019 R/T is absolutely better than the earlier R/T and SRT models and really doesn’t require any modifications in our opinion. It pops and growls just like an aftermarket performance exhaust would. When opening up the throttle, the sound is absolutely addicting. It’s very apparent that Dodge wanted these Chargers to live up to their true R/T heritage and honestly, it’s about time.

One of the biggest changes for the 2019 R/T is the standard upgraded scooped hood, front fascia and sculpted side sills that were brought down from the SRT and Scat Pack models of previous years. While at first we were against the idea when it was announced, it’s grown on us and really adds more bang for your buck to the R/T. Quite honestly, since their release in 2006, the Charger R/T models have been very modest and slightly homely looking in their appearance; unless you got the upgraded Road & Track or Daytona packages. Without those packages, they just looked very plain and really didn’t look much different than the V6 models. It’s refreshing to see the R/T finally looking the part.

With the 2019 R/T, there are the choices of a few different appearance packages to further enhance your R/T depending on your taste. If black is your favorite color (or shade), then the “Blacktop Package” is for you! For an additional $995 USD, this package gives you 20×8″ Black Noise wheels and tons of black accents such as a black one-piece performance rear spoiler, gloss black interior trim and satin black badging.

Next up is the Daytona Edition Group at $3,495 USD. With the Daytona Edition Group, you get 20×9″ Low Gloss Forged Aluminum wheels, a black one-piece performance rear spoiler, Daytona decals on the hood, roof, trunk and quarter panels and Daytona badging. On the inside, you get Daytona logo Nappa/Alcantara power and heated front and rear seats, black-edged premium floor mats, Carbonite interior accents, heated steering wheel, illuminated rear cup holders, gloss black gauge cluster trim rings, LED lighting, premium-stitched dash and door panels as well as memory on the radio, driver’s seat and mirrors. The power-heated exterior mirrors are also upgraded with the auto adjust-in-reverse feature, blind-spot indicators and auto-dimming. Performance wise, you get the Mopar cold air intake system standard with the Daytona. No, you don’t get a giant wing or a nose cone; sorry folks.

Other appearance options include a power sunroof, dual carbon stripes, gloss black painted roof and a couple of wheel options depending on various packages and groupings. For an additional $375 USD, you can also get a special “Daytona” logo car cover. There are 14 colors available for the 2019 R/T; B5 Blue, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, IndiGo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, Sublime, TorRed, Triple Nickel and White Knuckle.

On the interior, you’ll find pretty standard equipment on the R/T. Standard are black Houndstooth Cloth performance seats. Since our test R/T was equipped with the “Plus Package,” it came with heated and vented Nappa leather performance seats with Alcantara inserts. Black is the only color option for the interior on the R/T. We did find the seats in the Charger to be slightly uncomfortable during our drive. We felt like we were sitting on top of them versus in them. They were awkward and felt the Challenger R/T seats were much more comfortable. The only other real complaint we had was the wrapped dash panel seemed low quality compared to the rest of the interior.

Standard for the R/T is the Uconnect 4C system with a 8.4″ display; with the option of navigation. It comes standard with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You have two choices for sound systems; Alpine or the optional Harmon Kardon, both of which sound great. You can also option your Charger with the Cold Weather Package, Driver Convenience Group, Technology Group, Navigation and Travel Group, Mopar Interior Appearance Group and the Plus Package, which our test R/T was equipped with.

With a starting price of $35,995 USD, you get a lot of car for the money with the 2019 Charger R/T. It’s a great combination of styling and performance and remains as one of the best value full-sized performance sedans on the market.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Kyle Sethi and the team at Abbotsford Chrysler in Abbotsford, British Columbia for allowing us to take their Charger out. Kyle truly is one of the best out there if you are looking for a new or used vehicle in the British Columbia, Canada area. Without him, these wouldn’t be possible!

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Cody Cole

Car Feature Editor – cody.cole@shawgroupmedia.com Since the age of 4, Cody has been obsessed with everything Mopar. On Christmas of 1998, Cody's parents gave him a rusty '69 Charger shell that his father saved from a field. Cody's garage still features that '69 Charger as well as the additions of a '70 Coronet, '71 Charger R/T, '71 Road Runner, '04 SRT-4, '06 Grand Cherokee SRT8, '08 Challenger SRT8 and a '17 Ram 1500 Rebel. Cody can truly and proudly say him and his wife are true Mopar nuts in love with all types of Mopars!

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