Car: 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
Owned since: February 2017. For me this is the peak of modern Chargers - earlier models were a little gawky and the 'big Golf' look of new front end isn't for everyone. To my eye this car is big, mean and impressive, and I still turn my head to glance at it each time I park up.
Previously owned: Alfa 159, Ford Ka, Hyundai i10, Mazda RX-8 Evolve, BMW 118d, Alfa Giulietta, 2009 Ford Mustang, Volvo S80 (bought with 450K miles on the clock!)
"Look at it! Like a lot of people I grew up loving American cars in movies. Unlike a lot of people, however, I never grew out of it. I've had a Mustang before which looked the part but this Charger is on another level in terms of power, comfort, materials, fit and finish. Plus it is has a huge boot/trunk and lots of back seat room; perfect for a sensible family man like me..."
What I wish I'd known:
"Everyone asks the same question - "How much does it drink in fuel?" Having previously owned an RX-8 and a Mustang I thought I was well-adjusted to the world of thirsty cars but this one is brutal. I've seen the trip computer get up to 24mpg but that was slipstreaming a lorry on a downhill gradient with my feet nowhere near the pedals. 18 is probably a more realistic number. Insurance isn't too bad, though."
"It goes like stink. 470hp and the same amount of lb ft make up for the size and weight and then some. That it can feel like a serene, super-comfy executive limo if you want is a bonus - the seats are very 'American' and I've owned smaller armchairs. The mix of comfort and brutality is really what sold me on it and the juxtaposition never gets old.
"The stability management systems do a great job of correcting any silliness but really I drive it sensibly and respect the power for the most part.
"Plus it's packed with technology that makes life a little easier. From simple things like UK sat-nav and rear parking camera to radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, remote start and heated/cooled cup-holders. Seriously: heated and cooled cup-holders.
"Oh, and you can probably imagine how good it sounds."
"Well there's the fuel thing, obviously, and the noise it makes when the (admittedly optional) 'eco' cylinder deactivation system kicks in is far from glamorous. I thought I'd hate the five-speed auto but I'm actually enjoying it and the shifts are plenty fast and smooth enough for me coming from a lifetime of manuals.
"But the paint. Man, the black paint is a pain in the rear and there's just so much of it to keep clean!"
Where I've been:
"Back and forth to work, mostly! Yup, it's my daily driver; drop the kid at nursery, take stuff to the tip kind of car. I'm looking forward to showing it off at American Speedfest and Festival of Speed this year, however."
"I think I'm due a fill-up, actually..."
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