Sometime in Oct ’10, I had to travel from Atlanta to another city for a meeting..
I reserved a Full size Sedan with enterprise rental cars and the options included…
Nissan Altima-good car but driven a long term rental.Not interested,
Chevy Impala- Grandpa’s car.no way
Chevy Malibu- driven extensively before…
then came the words I was waiting to hear…DODGE CHARGER..
Finally..I laid my hands on the beast ..the DODGE CHARGER !!
the first look of it just reminds of only one word…menacing..the styling is all muscle. It always demands a second look.
look at it in the parking lot of a rental car co and there is no way to let it go..and that’s exactly whats happened !!
Hurriedly signed up the paper work and plonked myself inside.
did I really get excited on sitting inside?
Well,Not really. There are quite a lot of reasons actually. You see, I love to set my seat to the lowest and the steering too at the lowest. I did just that..set the seat low, set the telescopic steering to the right spot and was ready to roll…but no…it don’t work that way..the visibility was poor. the windscreen is rather narrow owing to the styling. rather inconvenient and due to this, I had to raise my seat a little. now was that good? naah..now it felt like I was sitting in a SUV. in fact all the controls and knobs and levers all look like they came off their SUV’s. the ergonomics are ..hmm..just alright.
whoever said claustrophobia in a suzuki swift need to sit in this car. just acres of black and a narrow greenhouse screams claustrophobia!! The visibility out of the mirrors are ok though.
..and then came the drive itself. the car feels like it’ll just make people piss in their pants and give way..but , all they can do is laugh. the 3.5L 250 bhp V6 in the dodge is a little lethargic in power delivery. I thought it would scorch and burn the tarmac but the engine response proved otherwise.
in comparison, the V6 in my 10 yr old camry is pretty responsive.
but the charger is not slow..no way..it takes time to build up speed and when it does, you can’t really guess the speed. you could be driving way above speed limit and you cannot really tell. maybe its the solidarity of the build or the SUVish feel inside. did I have cruise control? oh yes..but I just did not feel like using it..I just didn’t.
as for the ride, its pretty good on the interstates coz there isn’t much action ..the roads are generally good but then, when it hits the back roads, which I drove on, it bobs a little on bumps and makes it a bit uncomfortable. I’m surprised coz its a merc derived suspension. yupp this car was designed during the ill fated daimler Chrysler marriage.
The suspension works wonders on an E-class…I’ve driven my house owners E class so I know it…but its a little bit of a handful in the charger. Not worth complaining about though..just an uncomfortable observation.
anyway..I got to my meeting in the next 2.5 hrs…without a ticket…lol
btw, the car I drove came with :
An eight-way power driver’s seat,
leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob,
60/40 split folding rear seat with fold-down center armrest,
Boston Acoustics stereo with six speakers and 276-watt amplifier,
cast aluminum wheels,
six-disc CD changer and MP3 capability and satellite radio with one-year subscription.
Now came the interesting bit.
after a brief meeting, me and my friend were talking about the old chargers and how it would shred tyres due to all its power and then, it struck..can we do a burnout in this Dodge Charger?
I drove around to an empty part of the parking lot and stamped on the brakes and gradually build up revs….no action..no slip..no white smoke from tyres..
tried again..built up revs real high but still no sign of wheel spin..damn..all this effort and still nothing? where is all the 250 bhp going?
that’s when I realize that the Traction control and anti slip was activated (by default) and that was controlling the power flow and therefore , no wheel spin action..
But then, after sitting in Chargers in the Dodge Thrills rides and seeing all the smoking tyres, I could not resist any longer.
Switched off traction control and tried again..Voila..I can make tyres smoke !! It is awesome fun I tell you..the high revs and the Torque is just pure thrill..phew..
..did not realize I was grabbing attention and I stopped my act and took off..did try this a few more times…its fun I tell you.