Review: 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Review: 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Think “performance Dodge” and visions of Vipers and Hellcats dance through your head. But Dodge makes another amazing performance vehicle that you might not even know exists — the 2016 Charger R/T Scat Pack. Come with us to learn more.

What is it?

You can think of the Charger Scat Pack as either an R/T Plus or an SRT Minus; the Scat Pack use a conventional suspension setup like the R/T but gets a bigger 6.4L HEMI V8 by way of the SRT. You also get a few other performance goodies, like a butterfly exhaust system and up-rated Brembo brakes.

There are also a few styling tweaks to distinguish the Scat Pack as something a little more special than your average Charger. The Scat Pack uses the front end clip of the Charger SRT, which includes a more aggressive lower bumper and a hood scoop. The Scat Pack rides on unique wheels, but gets a version of the SRT’s rear spoiler. And if you really want to stand out, you can opt for the Plum Crazy paint job seen here on our tester.

What’s it up against?

The Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack’s most direct rival is the Chevrolet SS. The Dodge out guns the Chevy in terms of power (485 horsepower vs. 415) and number of gears in its automatic transmission (eight vs. six), but the SS battles back with an adaptive suspension and the availability of a six-speed manual gearbox.

What’s it look like?

The Charger Scat Pack looks like the kind of car that would beat up a Toyota Camry and stuff it in a locker. But despite its outwardly aggression, the Scat Pack package isn’t overdone.

The front end design of the Charger Scat Pack is relatively clean, with mesh grille inserts giving the car a nice aesthetic lift. Although the front hood scoop isn’t 100 percent functional (it does vent the engine compartment but doesn’t directly feed cold air to the intake), it makes for a nice design touch. We’re also big fans of the retro Scat Pack logo.

The Scat Pack rides of sporty looking 20-inch wheels finished in machined aluminum and satin black. Brembo brakes are painted in a racer-approved bright red, while a “392” badge on the front fender hints at the big HEMI beneath the hood.

Out back the Scat Pack gets a deck-mounted spoiler, integrated air vents and dual exhaust outlets. The Scat Pack is badged as only an R/T at its rump, giving it somewhat of a sleeper feel.

Our tester’s Plum Crazy paint is a heritage throwback that you’ll either love or hate. If you’re in the former crowd, you better hurry down to your local Dodge dealer; it’s a limited edition color that will only be offered for 2016.

And on the inside?

The interior of the Charger Scat Pack can be ordered in a refreshingly basic package, thumbing its nose at the modern push for luxury everything. Our zero-options tester arrived with cloth seats and no frills like navigation or even heated seats. Sit in a base model Scat Pack and it feels like most of your dollars went toward the performance bits, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re a go-fast junkie on a budget.

That said, the Charger Scat Pack isn’t exactly a stripper model with roll up windows and an AM radio. For the price of entry you get power front seats, automatic climate control, multi-function steering wheel, a park assist system, rear-view camera, keyless entry, remote start and a version of Uconnect running Dodge Performance Pages. And since it’s a Charger, you also get a spacious backseat and a sizable trunk.

Like every other Charger, controls in the Scat Pack are logically arranged and simple to use. HVAC controls are an easy arm’s reach, as is the 8.4-inch touchscreen nestled in the center of the car’s dash. FCA’s Uconnect system remains one of the best in the biz, but the pending fourth-generation system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility will be a welcome upgrade.

Dodge’s Performance Pages give the Scat Pack an added dimension by letting drivers keep tabs on a number of different vehicles systems (oil pressure, transmission temp, etc.) as well as track performance stats like 0-60 and quarter-mile times.

Front seats are comfy and the cloth fabric in our tester provided loads of grip. If we had one gripe it would be side bolster that seem a little too intrusive during everyday driving.

Rear seats passengers are provided ample legroom, but headroom is somewhat impeded by the Charger’s sleekly-styled sloping roof. Those low and wide C-pillars also hinder rearward visibility for the driver. The Scat Pack’s rear park assist and rear camera at least help in that regard.

Materials in the Charger Scat Pack are just OK. There’s nothing offensive (like in the first-generation of the reborn Charger), but the big sedan is starting to feel its age.

But does it go?

The Charger Hellcat may get all the headlines, but the Scat Pack is no slouch when it comes to going fast.

Push the start button and the 6.4L HEMI V8 barks to life through an adaptive exhaust system that defaults to straight-pipes on start-up. As the vehicles warms up, the dual Electric Exhaust Valves close, transforming the Scat Pack’s snarl into a more subdued growl.

The Charger Scat Pack defaults to a standard driving mode on start-up, but a Sport mode is available to liven things up. Best of all it’s fully customizable via the Super Track Pak button on the dash, so you can setup the Sport mode specifically to your tastes in terms of steering feel and throttle response. With the dials cranked all the way up the Scat Pack delivers quick steering with good weight and a noticeably sharper throttle.

Setting off takes careful throttle modulation as the Scat Pack’s 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque is more than enough to send the rear tires spinning. Hellcat owners will have all the bragging rights, but we can’t imagine needing any more power than the Scat Pack provides on public roads — there is more than enough here to get you in trouble.

The Charger Scat Pack’s Achilles heel is its weight, which checks in at just under 4,400 pounds. To put that number in perspective, a 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid weighs about a thousand pounds less.

Engineers have done a masterful job at masking the Charger Scat Pack’s heft, however, with the big sedan capable of flashing athleticism on curvy roads. Find a sharp enough turn, though, and the Charger’s porky posterior becomes a liability. Luckily the Scat Pack comes with excellent Brembo brakes that are strong enough to keep you out of trouble.

Fuel economy isn’t obscene, with official EPA ratings of 15 city and 25 highway, but keep your foot in it and you’ll be lucky to see the low teens. Pricing is, however, a Scat Pack strong suit, with base prices starting from $39,995. That’s eleven-grand less than a Charger SRT and a premium of only $3,100 over the Charger R/T Road & Track.

Leftlane‘s bottom line

The Scat Pack represents the sweet spot of the Charger lineup, offering most of the SRT models’ performance for not much more money than the step-down Charger R/T Road & Track. True you’ll have to give up some bells and whistles at the Scat Pack’s $40,990 base price, but a 485 horsepower V8 is more than worth the sacrifice.

2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack base price, $39,995. As tested, $40,990.

Destination, $995.

Photos by Drew Johnson.

  • Aesthetics

    A

  • Technology

    B+

  • Green

    C-

  • Drive

    A-

  • Value

    A-

  • Score

    A-

Review: 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack Reviewed by Drew Johnson on August 26 The Charger Scat Pack is a performance bargain. Rating: 4

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.