2009 Dodge Charger SRT8 Review – Fast and the Furious… American Style

Dodge Expert Reviews


The handling of the SRT8 is definitely tuned to high speed driving. Around town, the power steering feels over-boosted and the car lacks transitional response to inputs. The ambiguity is due, probably, to a combination of suspension/frame rigidity/frame mounting – all created a seemingly disconnected feel from the road. However, at speed the car seems to hunker down and inputs to steering seem just right. It’s a night and day difference. Personally, I would trade a bit of the high-speed feel for more at lower speeds since that’s where I spend most of my driving time. Around town, the “soft” suspension did a great job at absorbing bumps and road irregularities. The Charger is even suitable for long trips due to its comfortable ride,  but its poor gas mileage isn’t very friendly to the wallet. At high or low speeds, the car remains flat around turns. The Eagle F1′s performed incredibly as the car would not step out no matter what I did.

2009 Dodge Charger SRT8 2009 Dodge Charger 2009 Dodge Charger


The front of the Charger is dominated by the cross-hair grill that is large enough to suck in anything in its path. Simple SRT badging within the grill identify this as not your ordinary Charger. The aggressive stance of the car immediately catches your eye along with the bright red Brembo’s staring out from behind the 5-spoke rims. The functional hood scoop leads a modest hood bump, but from above, it looks like the open mouth of a whale shark. There’s no mistaking that this is a large vehicle, but the low roofline makes it look smaller from the side. The Deep Blue color belies its “deep” name as its not a dark blue, but rather an attractive royal blue.


The trunk doesn’t hold much. The Kicker sub envelopes the left wall of the trunk, and with a vacuum cleaner, a large canvas bag, and soft brief case, little room remained. Luckily, if you have longer items, the 60/40 split rear seats fold forward for added usability. I averaged about 14 mpg during my test drive and had to stop at gas stations several times. The sticker price that came with the tester was $44.2k. I priced the vehicle online during my test drive and the price was about $36k with dealer incentives. Now, with the state of the American car industry, the sticker price may be even less with larger incentives.


For the mid-$30′s, you can own a neo-classic American muscle car devoid of the required adjustments and vehicle/engine knowledge needed to support the originals. You can use the Charger for your daily commute to work, whip the SRT8 hard at the drag strip for Wednesday night timeslips, or leisurely cruise with your friends to the wine country for a weekend of wine tasting. Whichever you choose, this car is a great bargain. And if you’ve always wanted an American muscle car, you can’t go wrong with the Charger. With its spacious interior and seating, it easily holds four adults. The body is beautifully sculpted (though large), and its lowered stance precludes the aggressive nature of the SRT8. Open the windows and rev the engine. The sound of the exhaust note will be music to your ears!

Build Interior Performance Handling Styling Value Overall
Rating 4.25 3.75 4.5 3.5 4.0 4.0 4/B

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DodgeOfficial website for Dodge trucks, cars, and SUVs – www.dodge.com

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  • Andy says:

    Wow, biased? I’m in the market for an SRT 8 Charger, and I thought Gary Chan’s review was pretty fair. It seemed to me that he was praising the car for what it is, and merely pointing out what it wasn’t.

    208 mph, 11.8 e/t’s, and 28 mpg? All I have to say is, I hope you never use that GPS in an emergency situation, put down the stopwatch and use the timers at a real drap strip, and as far as MPG, don’t believe what the onboard computer tells you. Hit your trip reset when you fill up. The next time you fill up, record your miles, and divide that number by the number of gallons it took to fill your car up again.

    If you really drove it to church every Sunday, you shouldn’t lie.

    Is it a great car? Yes. Does it do everything well? No.

  • sadopi says:

    I too have a 2006 SRT and t is top of the line I have had the BMW 335 and a BMW Z3 A friend has a RX 8 and let me tell you the SRT is by far the better car it is more fun by far. There is plenty of trunk space and with the extra chip I added to mine I will leave the others at th starting gate. By GPS I have had the SRT upto an astounding 208 MPH and still had power left I can turn an empressive 11.8 ET and still get 28 mpg on the open road (wih cruise set that is) and I also drive it to church every Sunday, so what mor could anyone want
    Out of 5 I rate the SRT at 5 plus

  • Jay Vinson says:

    I own a 2008 Dodge Charger SRT8 and I love this car it is a pure old fashion american muscle car but with a 2008 suspension and ride. As far as me ever having driven a BMW 335i or a RX-8? Who cares those two cars are not even in the same category as a Charger? The people who buy those imports are not the customers that are even in the market for an american muscle car? And I would love to pull up beside one of those imports you mention and with my all the mods on my charger give them a taste of good old American Muscle! And just for more note you can not tell me that a RX-8 has more trunk space or backseat space as a Dodge Charger you cant haul one large suitcase in the back of a RX-8 hardly?? Just face the facts you are bias in your article from the very beginning statements all the way thru the end and were having to force yourself to say something good about a Dodge product and as a person writing an article that is suppose to be giving a fair review you suck!!

  • Gary Chan says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Budo. When I consider trunk space for a sedan, I usually assume 4-people in the car so I don’t consider folding the seats down when I evaluate space. If you are able to get large pieces of luggage in there plus a golf bag, that’s great. Fitting two of my large suitcases would fill the trunk easily. In the future, I’ll put some of my suitcases in my test cars to evaluate utility. Keep in mind that we test drive many cars (from Toyota Corolla’s to Steve Dinan’s personal M3), and my 4.5 performance rating is very high, but still below some of the faster cars that I’ve driven. With regards to handling, have you driven a late model 335i or RX-8? It’s a night and day difference compared to the SRT. The Charger is heavy, lacks responsiveness and does not communicate feedback as well as the BMW or Mazda hence the lower score.

  • budo says:

    Interesting! I have a 2006 SRT8 and love it.

    In most all other reviews (and my belief also) is that the seats are extremely comfortable and hug the driver brilliantly. This was a first.

    Second, to suggest the trunk is not useful seems somewhat ludicrous. With the availability of the back seats dropping down, I can fit in three bales of hay for my horses if the need arise. With the seats up I have had several pieces of large luggage plus golf bag(s). I am not certain where that comes from either.

    Otherwise a reasonably good synopsis. the performance equating to a 4.5 seems a bit low and the 3.5 for handling seems definitely low.

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