We got ROWDY trying to tame these 13 best and worst Dodge Charger years!

We got ROWDY trying to tame these 13 best and worst Dodge Charger years!

The modern Dodge Charger truly needs no introduction at this point aside from not being the thing you plug into a wall socket, though as things stand nowadays, newer models have already reached that point.

It’s also not the same vintage car a certain muscular bald guy would love to fit his entire family in but can’t, but with 4 doors and enough trunk space to fit a spare tire for when you blow one up at the strip, it’s almost illegal to have this much fun in a sedan.

But alas, not all of its years give you blind confidence to pull off an actual bank heist with the might of a HEMI V8. One, some can’t even run properly, and two, those that do will still land you in the backseat of another since the cops drive the same thing.

It’s that good!

What are the best and worst Dodge Charger model years?

The best Dodge Charger years are 2009, 2010, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, while the worst ones are 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The best and worst Dodge Charger years are based on their consumer and expert ratings, reliability reviews, notable features, and number of complaints.

Those looking for a taste of American muscle in sedan form wouldn’t be eyeing the original vintage Dodge Charger of the ‘60s and ’70s, which fittingly plays the role of a collector’s car more than a daily driver.

Rather, the more obvious choice would be the 4-door reincarnation made possible by the “LX” and “LD” platforms, both of which really put the Dodge Charger on the map in the modern market.

These two platforms alone dedicated 18 model years of the Charger as a beefy family saloon before its eventual retirement in 2023 (for now, at least). But of course, even a nameplate with this much legacy has had a few hiccups throughout its production.

Case in point, 6th-generation Dodge Charger “LX” models had their roughest years in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Otherwise, you’ll be better off opting for the latest 2009 and 2010 models.

Similarly, 7th-gen “LD” models also had their worst years earlier on back in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. With this in mind, you should aim for models from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Now that we’ve laid out all the years for you, let’s find out exactly why they’re considered the best and worst that the Dodge Charger has had to offer below!

What are the best Dodge Charger model years?

The best Dodge Charger model years include 2009, 2010, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 owing to a mix of high consumer/expert ratings, good reliability scores, and fewer complaints about any known reliability issue.

2021/2022 Dodge Charger (LD)

20212022 Dodge Charger (LD)

It’s quite common for later model years of any vehicle to have better or at least similar reliability to older years due to the manufacturer ironing out all sorts of issues, and thankfully, this remains true for the 2021 to 2022 Dodge Charger.

These two Charger years barely have any complaints when taking a look at their stats on CarProblemZoo and CarComplaints, which is a big indication that Dodge has taken steps to improve their reliability.

While the exact number of complaints is still subject to change because of how new they are, the 2021 and 2022 models are both supported by high consumer ratings.

The 2021 Dodge Charger scores 4.6/5 on KBB, 4.3/5 on Edmunds, and 84/100 on J.D. Power, while the 2022 model ties the 2021 model on KBB but just about beats it on Edmunds with a higher score of 4.7/5.

Since these two model years are newer facelift models, you get a lot more personalization options in both the aesthetics and power departments. Base models alone already come with an 8-speed auto transmission, optional AWD, and a 292-hp 3.6-liter V6 motor.

The base SXT trim has a generous offering of standard features like a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, a leather steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, rear parking sensors, and a lot more.

Should you be curious about what the top trim looks like, then it’s worth noting that the 2021 model also introduced the “Hellcat Redeye Widebody” trim, which, as its name suggests, comes with a wide body kit and pushes the already-crazy 707-hp output to 797 hp.

Even more personalizations can be unlocked in the 2022 model’s “Jailbreak” package, but be prepared to throw out words like “affordable” and “bargain” out the window.

2019/2020 Dodge Charger (LD)

The 2019 and 2020 Dodge Charger are two more model years of the “LD” generation that are notable for their good reliability, great array of options and features, and slightly lower price tags in the used market.

As expected of a newer Dodge Charger LD model year, the 2020 model only has a mere 31 complaints on CarProblemZoo, while the 2019 model is just a hair under 100 complaints, which is still quite a small number compared to earlier “problematic years.

Ratings are also looking consistently good, with KBB, Edmunds, and J.D. Power consumers giving the 2020 model a 4.6/5, 4.6/5, and 82/100, respectively. The 2019 model, in comparison, was given scores of 4.6/5, 4.3/5, and 84/100.

Like any relatively recent Charger model, the 2019 and 2020 renditions bring a lot of performance, comfort, and practicality to the table because of their personalization options.

With five different powerplants, 6 trim levels, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, rear parking sensors, LED DRLs, and multiple other packages, there is a lot of value to be had if you can find the right 2019 or 2020 Charger for you.

2010 Dodge Charger (LX)

2010 Dodge Charger (LX)

If you feel like a 6th-gen Charger model suits your style and budget a little more, then checking out a well-kept 2010 model is a good place to start.

While the 2010 Dodge Charger has some known issues with its key getting stuck in the ignition system, an illuminated check engine light, and Takata airbags, such problems happen far less frequently compared to earlier years.

Both KBB and Edmunds consumers give the 2010 model a 4.6/5, while J.D. Power consumers rate it 77/100, which is slightly lower than its predecessors.

Nevertheless, the LX Charger from 2010 offers a lot of bang for your buck in terms of comfort and performance. However, this can also depend on the powertrain and what you’re looking to get out of it.

If you don’t mind a rather subdued takeoff for extra miles to the gallon, then the V6 powertrain is the way to go. As for the more animated HEMI V8 trim, this is the truly more “balanced” option at the expense of fuel economy taking a dip.

Also, if it’s a selling point for you, the 6th-gen LX model shares different structural components like the safety cage and a 5-link independent rear suspension setup from the 3rd-gen Mercedes E-Class W211.

2009 Dodge Charger (LX)

The 2009 Dodge Charger is another noteworthy model year for the muscle sedan thanks to its consistently high ratings and minimal number of reported issues.

Despite partly sharing the same airbag, ignition system, and electrical system issues with its 2010 successor, the 2009 model actually has the least complaints for any LX/6th-gen model on CarProblemZoo.

It can also easily flex its consistent consumer ratings of 4.6/5 on KBB, 4.6/5 on Edmunds, and 84/100 on J.D. Power, further making it a model year that deserves to be bought.

The 2009 model, while adapting a minimalist interior, is adequately equipped for its time with features such as stability and traction control, ABS (antilock braking system), adjustable lumbar support for driver and passenger seats, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

While there are certainly better-handling cars (muscle cars even) out there, the 2009 Dodge Charger handles well for its size and weight, though it may not be a straight-line demon either by today’s standards (at least in stock form).

What are the worst Dodge Charger model years?

The worst Dodge Charger model years include 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. While some years received high consumer ratings, they still garnered hundreds of owner complaints that compromised their reliability and safety.

2013/2014 Dodge Charger (LD)

20132014 Dodge Charger (LD)

The 2013 to 2014 Dodge Charger primarily made it to this “worst years” list not because of bog-standard features or low consumer ratings, but because of all the reliability issues brought to light by its numerous complaints.

Despite both receiving consumer ratings north of 4/5 from KBB and Edmunds and at least 80/100 on J.D. Power, these two years gathered almost 500 complaints each on CarProblemZoo.

While these figures aren’t the worst for the 7th-gen Charger, they’re still a concerning amount especially considering that the majority of the complaints involve many electrical failures and engine issues.

Both model years are prone to alternator failures, which can cause a cascade of other issues such as engine stalling, loss of power steering, smoke from the alternator, starting difficulties, and a “battery save mode” notification.

Other known electrical issues include malfunctioning door locks, faulty cruise control, a non-working A/C, Bluetooth errors, and a dashboard message that says the vehicle is not in park when it has already been shifted to park.

The 2014 model is also known to develop steering system problems such as the steering wheel suddenly locking or stiffening up and a faulty electric power steering pump, which can also be associated with the car’s problematic electrical system.

2011/2012 Dodge Charger (LD)

Early model years of the 7th-gen Dodge Charger were not without their fair share of reliability problems, with the 2011 and 2012 models taking 1st and 2nd place with the most number of complaints for the generation.

While the 2011 model’s consumer ratings on KBB (4.6/5), Edmunds (4.5/5), and J.D. Power (91/100) are among the highest out of any “LD” Charger model, it also has the most complaints at 1,013 on CarProblemZoo.  

The 2012 model is also at a similar spot with 906 complaints, and yet again, we see the exact same alternator problem at the top of the list, causing an influx of electrical issues for this year as well as the 2011 model.

2011 and 2012 Dodge Charger owners have frequently complained of multiple electronics such as the radio, Bluetooth, and dashboard warning lights going haywire as a result of the faulty alternator, which now comes with a recall for certain trims.

In addition, some 2011 models also exhibited problems with their low-beam headlights, which were known to burn out prematurely or randomly stop working, leaving owners to resort to their high beams, which can be dangerous for other drivers at night.

The 2012 Dodge Charger’s airbags were also not spared from their own issues, including the airbag warning light randomly turning on and beeping and a crimped or shorted airbag wiring harness that needs replacement.

2007/2008 Dodge Charger (LX)

20072008 Dodge Charger (LX)

If a reliable and smooth-running 6th-gen Dodge Charger LX is what you’re looking for, then be sure to stay away from the 2007 and 2008 models.

High consumer ratings of at least 4.6/5 on KBB and Edmunds and 82/100 on J.D. Power don’t reveal the whole story of how unreliable they have been for a lot of unsatisfied owners.

The 2007 Dodge Charger received 662 complaints on CarProblemZoo, most of them involving its powertrain. The 2008 model, on the other hand, isn’t any better off with its 835 complaints, most dealing with the electrical system.

One of the most commonly reported powertrain issues with the 2007 model is a faulty shift interlock lever that causes the transmission to be stuck in the parking gear, making the vehicle immovable.

As for the 2008 model, its electrical woes are mostly made up of complaints about the car not starting, a malfunctioning keyfob, and the vehicle suddenly stalling or shutting off while driving.

Either year can also give you a couple of airbag problems such as the airbag warning light turning on and the airbags failing to deploy in a crash. The airbags are also part of the Takata recall to fix the hazardous and prevalent rupturing inflators issue.

2006 Dodge Charger (LX)

When bringing up stats like complaints, reported problems, and everything in between, the 6th-gen 2006 Dodge Charger easily takes the top spot as the worst model year of the muscle car to buy.

Amassing over 1,700 complaints on CarProblemZoo, the 2006 model is one of the most problem-prone and, thus, unreliable years of the Dodge Charger to avoid despite its high ratings on KBB and Edmunds.

CarComplaints also gives the 2006 Charger the “Beware of the Clunker” badge for how frequent, severe, and costly its problems are.

The majority of the reports are centered around its engine and fuel system, so you can expect to run into issues like random engine shutdowns while driving and even premature engine failure well under 100,000 miles of driving.

Some more specific issues include the engine running rough after refueling, an illuminated check engine light, the car not starting, and a loss of power steering, which makes the vehicle downright dangerous to drive on the road.

Dodge Charger Best and Worst Years Per Generation

Generation/Model YearsBest YearsWorst Years
6th Generation (LX) (2006 to 2010)2009 20102006 2007 2008

7th Generation (LD) (2011 to 2023)
2019 2020 2021 20222011 2012 2013 2014

Consumer/Expert Ratings for All Dodge Charger Years

Dodge Charger Model YearKBB Consumer Rating Edmunds Consumer Rating Car and Driver RatingJ.D. Power Consumer Rating

What are the common problems of a Dodge Charger?

What are the common problems of a Dodge Charger

Common Dodge Charger problems include powertrain issues like engine stalls, rough running after refueling, engine failure, a jerky transmission, and a faulty shift interlock lever.

The Dodge Charger is also prone to alternator problems and door panels that prematurely warp and peel off.

Engine Problems

The engine is a big part of what makes the Dodge Charger popular, but unfortunately, it’s not a bulletproof component as seen in some model years of the car.

Owners of 6th-gen LX models, especially earlier ones, commonly report that the engine suddenly stalls at low speeds, which can be attributed to the widespread fueling system issue that made the engine run rougher after filling up.

Other times, the engine can also refuse to start again after shutting off in the middle of a drive, leading to some owners stating that their engine has failed.

Even the newer 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 also has a known problem with its camshaft lifters, which can wear out and create an audible knocking noise in models fitted with the base engine.

Transmission Problems

The Dodge Charger’s transmission system also isn’t completely unscathed from reliability problems, with the nature of the issue depending on which generation or model year you get.

As an example, 6th-gen 2007 LX models came equipped with shift interlock levers that can malfunction and prevent the transmission from getting shifted out of park. This will also make it difficult to push or tow the vehicle since the wheels are locked in.

This is a common issue with the older 5-speed NAG1 transmission, and while a recall codenamed “K39” has been released by Chrysler, not every Dodge Charger model and VIN that exhibits the problem is covered.

7th-gen models with the newer 8-speed automatic transmission were also struck with issues such as excessive vibrations, jerky accelerations, and gear slippage. In more severe cases, the transmission can completely fail altogether as well.

Alternator Problems

Out of the hundreds of reported electrical complaints for the modern Dodge Charger, the majority of them have been found to revolve around the alternator, a very crucial component in the electrical system.

Alternator failures have been a relatively common complaint on the 7th-gen model starting from 2011, and one of its main symptoms is that smoke comes from the alternator overheating, while the interior dash also alerts you with a “battery save mode” warning.

With the alternator out of action, a lot of the interior accessories and features start to go down with it, which can range from faulty air conditioning and defective door locks to power steering failure and sudden engine shutdowns.

Luckily, a recall has been issued by the Fiat Chrysler Group (now Stellantis North America) to remedy about 442,000  alternators on various affected vehicle models, including Dodge Charger LD models from 2011 to 2014.

Warping Door Panel Issue

It’s a well-known issue that certain 7th-gen Dodge Charger models from 2015 onwards have door panels that are prone to warping and peeling.

More specifically, the panels peel away from both the windows and doors, resulting in different wirings and electronics getting exposed and damaged. This can affect how the doors and windows operate.

Since there is currently no recall for this issue, owners were quoted around $2,000 to $3,500 to replace and repair the door panels for essentially a fairly recent model.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Dodge Charger years should be avoided?

Some bad Dodge Charger years you should avoid are the 2006, 2007, and 2008 of the LX/6th generation and the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 models of the LD/7th generation.

Despite their high consumer ratings on sites like KBB and Edmunds, these model years received the most complaints for their respective generations, indicating that their reliability and safety are not up to par with the rest of the years.

Early 6th-gen models were plagued with engine problems and electrical issues, while the initial years of the 7th-gen Charger were prone to alternator failure and warping door panels.

What is the most common problem with Dodge Chargers?

The most common problem category for the Dodge Charger is electrical system problems, and a big portion of that is due to alternator failure in 7th-gen models.

Some specific electrical issues brought about by the alternator failing include a “battery save mode” warning on the dash, the door locks not working properly, power steering failure, and random engine stalling.

Other common Dodge Charger problems include a rough running engine after refueling, a faulty transmission shift interlock lever, jerky transmission shifts, and warping door panels.  

Are Dodge Chargers cheap to maintain?

On average, a Dodge Charger will have an annual maintenance cost of $652, which is around the same cost as RepairPal’s industry average for all cars in 2019, but still $236 cheaper than ConsumerAffairs’ $888 estimate in 2024 (inflation-adjusted).

Moreover, it’s also important to consider other factors that can affect your Dodge Charger’s maintenance and repair costs, such as vehicle age and mileage, your driving habits, and whether you choose to DIY or have a shop carry it out for you. 

What is the lifespan of a Dodge Charger?

A Dodge Charger has an expected lifespan of about 250,000 to 300,000 miles (402,000 to 483,000 km) on average with regular maintenance.

However, the exact mileage can also vary depending on the model year, individual driving habits, climate and road conditions in your area, and how frequently you drive.