Dodge’s mid-performance muscle car fits perfectly between the Hellcat and R/T trim levels

The demand for sedans – and cars in general, for that matter – has been plummeting for some now, and a lot of automakers have started to or completely withdrawn from the segment altogether. As of now, you’d be hard pressed to find a performance sedan outside of the Dodge Charger, without looking to German- or Japanese-built cars, and even then, a big chunk of those fall into the luxury category. This week, we were treated to a week’s worth of driving the 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody, and it got us to thinking – without any real homegrown competition, does this car have what it takes to compete with mid-performance offerings from Germany? Well, it’s a tough call, and there’s a lot to take into consideration, so as we dive into our experience with the Charger Scat Pack Widebody, we’re going to explore just how it stacks up against its closest German competitors, the BMW M340i and the Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan.

Mercedes and BMW vs. Dodge – My Basis for Comparison

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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My goal in this driven review is to explore the concept of the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody competing against the BMW M340i and the Mercedes-AMG C43. The BMW and Mercedes are notably smaller in terms of length and wheelbase and both weigh some 500 pounds less while maintaining an impressively better fuel economy. They aren’t even as powerful as out tester, and they are more expensive. So is that really the basis of this whole review and comparison? Perhaps. But, it’s not as cut and dry as power output and size. We need to consider comfort, luxury, driving dynamics, and a whole lot more. So, all I ask is that you keep an open mind as you read further down the page.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Driving Impressions

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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Driving the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody was an experience unlike anything else.

We’ve driven the Hellcat and that thing was definitely too much car for most people, but the Scat Pack is tame enough for most people to handle without being too difficult to handle. The wider tires on our widebody had a lot to do with that, though, as that 6.4-liter under the hood is quick to remind you that you have 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque at your disposal.

That said, the Scat Pack isn’t nearly as fast as the Hellcat that sits above it. We managed to get to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds on a number of attempts but, we also found that the launch control is outlandishly difficult to get right. Until you learn the feel of it, you’ll either bog down and launch too slow or burn a little rubber, both of which will cost you at least a few tenths of a second off your sprint times. We couldn’t test the quarter-mile sprint but Dodge says it’ll do it in the mid-12-second range, so as long as you’re going in a straight line, you’ll have plenty of thrills. But, what about cornering?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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There’s no mistaking the Charger – in any form – as a light car. This baby is impressively heavy at nearly 4,400 pounds. That is painfully evident in cornering, but thanks to the wider tires associated with the widebody (an extra 3.5-inches of width, but the way) the Scat Pack Widebody can corner. It might not be able to do it as well as a BMW, Mercedes, or even a Toyota Supra, but it can hold its own in the bendies.

You will find that you can, with a fair amount of confidence, get on the throttle coming out of a corner pretty well.

You still have to worry about breaking the rear end loose if you really get on it, but you don’t have to worry as much as you would in the Hellcat, for example.

Interior comfort is on par with what you’d expect. The front seats are fairly supportive - we did move around a bit, but nothing too alarming. The audio system and infotainment system is good for what it is, but it’s also somewhat dated. In the end, we found the cabin to be comfortable for a car in this price range, but the dated design and technology might be hard for some to look past. The good news is that you will get to enjoy a nice soundtrack from the engine that sits ahead of you. Since there’s no forced induction to speak of, you’ll hear plenty of engine if you choose to do so. And, I have to admit, the Scat Pack delivers quite the exhaust note.

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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With all of this said, I have to point out that the Scat Pack widebody might not be for everyone

. If you like an inherently quiet ride, the Scat Pack probably isn’t for you. You might also find that it’s a little too much car for you if you’re not experienced with cars pushing into the 500-pony territory. It’s manageable, I think, but even after driving cars like the Challenger Hellcat and Nissan GT-R, I found myself lacking confidence for the first few days of driving. Once you get used to it, though, you’ll find it’s more of a big but well-mannered dog that knows how to attack when given the right command.

Because of the Charger’s age and weight, I still find myself desiring something like the BMW M340i or Mercedes C43, but you’ll also have to pay up more for them and you’ll get the same general performance topped off by better fuel economy. However, if you want a muscle car that won’t scare the hell out of you, the Scat Pack Widebody is the perfect middle ground.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Drivetrain and Performance

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Drivetrain
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I like to consider the Charger Scat Pack – in standard or widebody form – as a mid-level performance machine

. It’s nowhere near as bonkers as the Dodge Challenger Demon or SRT Hellcat, for example, but it’s a big improvement over the standard charger and even the GT or RT trim levels. The 6.4-liter V-8 provides ample power for a car this size, and the RWD platform – despite its excessive age at this point – means it’s a blast to drive. We’re old-school here at Topspeed, so we’d still prefer three pedals and a six-speed manual, but the eight-speed automatic handles the power and shifting duties pretty damn well for a car that’s been on the market for the last nine years (this generation was introduced way back in 2011).

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody specifications
Engine 6.4-Liter V-8
Transmission 8AT
Horsepower 485 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT
Driveline RWD
Fuel Premium
Fuel Economy 15/24/18
Fuel Capaciy 18.5 Gal
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent
Steering Electric
Turning Circle 39.0 Feet
Front Tire Size P305/35ZR20
Rear Tire Size P305/35ZR20
0-60 MPH 4.3 Seconds
Top Speed 175 MPH (Limited)
Power-to-Weight 9.04LBS Per HP

How Powerful is the Dodge Charger Scatpack Widebody?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Drivetrain
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The Dodge Charger Scatpack – in standard or widebody form – delivers a cool 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. In comparison to our wildcard competitors, the BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43, the Charger offers up at least 100 more horsepower and heaps of extra torque. The M340i, for example, will get you just 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, while the AMG C43 comes in close to the Bimmer at 385 ponies and 384 pound-feet. The Charger Scat Pack looks way better on paper, but it’s also much heavier, tipping the scales at 4,385 pounds, compared to the BMW’s 3,849 pounds and the C43’s 3,825 pounds. That, my friends is the main reason why the Charger Scat Pack can barely hold its own against the smaller German competition.

How Fast is the Dodge Charger Scat Pack?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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Dodge says the Charger Scat Pack can run to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and will top out at an electronically limited 175 mph. Those numbers are pretty impressive for a car this size, but the smaller, lighter BMW M340i will get you there in a minimum of 4.4 seconds while the C43 will make the same 60-mph sprint in 4.5 seconds. Both Mercedes and BMW are known for being conservative, so on a good day, either one could probably match the Charger Scat Pack evenly in a straight line. However, with that in mind, the Charger will eventually out run them as both BMW and Mercedes limit their cars to 155 mph.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Fuel Economy

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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The Dodge Charger Scat Pack will net you 15 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. Of course, those numbers will hold true only if you drive sensibly. We met those figures exactly with the exception of highway mileage where we averaged 25.4 mpg across a 45-mile trip. However, when we started to enjoy some more spirited driving, so to speak, fuel economy fell at least a few mpg’s shy in both city and combined at 12 mpg in the city on average and 16 mpg between highway and city fun.

In comparison, the BMW M340i will get you 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. The AMG C43 manages 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. So, if fuel economy is important to you, either of the German competitors will be a good candidate for purchase. Then again, you won’t get the muscle car sountrack to go with your highway sprints, either, so you may want to keep that in mind.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Interior Design

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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The interior of the Dodge Charger Scat Pack is showing its age – there’s no doubt about that.

The semi-digital instrument cluster and smaller infotainment display is a testament to that. Add in the lackluster old-school HVAC controls, dash design, and steering wheel, and it’s painfully clear that there are more modern and advanced cars on the market. For a platform and design that’s been on the market for 9 years, it’s not bad, and Dodge did better with this than it did the Journey, for example, but the Charger, in general, is long past due for an update.

The good news is that the interior materials, at least on the Scat Pack models, help to make up for its shortcomings. The seats are wrapped in a leather or leather-like material with soft-cloth interts in the middle. Our tester had a black-and-red two-tone layout that was aesthetically pleasing. That layout also makes the rear passenger area a lot more pleasing. The rear seats are, of course, less supporting than the front seats, but they are fairly comfortable and there’s plenty of room for full grown adults to fit back there without a problem.

How Much Interior Space Does the dodge Charger Have?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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Even though our tester was the Charger Scat Pack Widebody, it has the same interior dimensions as the non-widebody model (the “widebody” design is based on exterior enhancements only). The funny thing is that, despite being 14-inches longer than both the M340i and AMG C43, the Charger suffers in the front legroom department. Rear legroom is impressively better, but it’s quite surprising how close the Charger is in terms of interior space. Compare all the interior specs in the table below!

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody vs competition interior room
Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody BMW M340i Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Front Headroom 38.6 Inches 38.7 Inches 37.1 Inches
Front Shoulder Room 59.5 Inches 56.0 Inches 55.3 Inches
Front Hip Room 56.2 Inches TBA TBA
Front Leg Room 41.8 Inches 42.0 Inches 41.7 Inches
Rear Head Room 37.9 Inches 37.6 Inches 37.1 Inches
Rear Shoulder Room 57.5 Inches 54.6 Inches 55.0 Inches
Rear Hip Room 56.1 Inches TBA TBA
Rear Leg Room 40.1 Inches 35.2 Inches 35.2 Inches

How Much Cargo Room Does the Dodge Charger Have?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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The Dodge Charger, in all trim levels, offers up just 16.5 cubic-feet of cargo room. That’s 0.5 cubic-feet shy of the BMW M340i but 3.9 cubic-feet more than the AMG C43.

Dodge Charger Infotainment System

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Interior
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We can’t really be too harsh on the Chargers infotainment system. The screen isn’t as big as what you’ll get in the BMW M340i or AMG C43, but the software that powers it is modern and intuitive. We found it easy to navigate, and it was very responsive to input. Our favorite feature, as shown in the picture above, is launch control, which helps you get off the line as quickly as possible without suffering from tire spinning or over\under revving. The audio system was good enough, but to be honest, I enjoyed the engine’s soundtrack more than anything.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Exterior Design

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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There’s not a whole lot that sets the widebody apart from the standard Scat Pack or even the lesser charger trims. You’ll find the special logos on the front grille and front fender, and it does have that menacing hood, but the talking point here is what makes it a widebody. As I pointed out before the whole “widebody” terminology is limited to mainly aesthetics, which is why our tester had those massive plastic fender bulges. Admittedly, the wheels and tires do seem to be a bit wider, which is obviously done to compensate for the wider finder flares. Meanwhile, the rear end is dominated by that deck spoiler, the somewhat bland insert in the rear fascia, and the Scat Pack logo on the rear deck lid.

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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Outside of what I’ve mentioned here, the Scat Pack Wide Body is the same old Dodge Charger that’s been on the market since 2011. I did really enjoy the blue exterior color – it really stood out nicely and was easy on the eyes at the same time.

How Big is the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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The standard charger might fight in a larger, single car garage, but the Scat Pack Widebody is just a bit bigger, and it would be a tight fit. It measures 201.0 inches in length, 78.3 inches wide, and 57.8 inches tall. It also rides on a 120.0-inch wheelbase and clears the pavement by just 5.2 inches. These figures make it much longer than both the BMW M430i and Mercedes-AMG C43, but, surprisingly, the C43 AMG is actually wider by 1.2 inches. Check out the full comparison in the table and charts below.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody vs competition exterior dimensions
Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody BMW M340i Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Length 201.0 Inches 185.7 Inches 185.0 Inche
Width 78.3 Inches 71.9 Inches 79.5 Inches
Height 57.8 Inches 56.4 Inches 56.3 Inches
Wheelbase 120.0 Inches 112.2 Inches 111.8 Inches
Ground Clearance 5.2 Inches 5.4 Inches 3.5 Inches
Front Track 63.4 Inches 62.32 Inches 63.1 Inches
Rear Track 63.8 Inches 61.69 Inches 61.3 Inches

How Much Does the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Cost?

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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As of the time of this writing, the Charger Scat Pack Widebody carries a sticker of $46,495. Based on the way it drives, it’s amazing exhaust note, and its level of performance the price isn’t that bad. It’s also a pretty big selling point, as its nearest competitors, the M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43 are much more expensive, commanding $54,000 and $55,950, respectively. It is important to note, however, that while the BMW and Mercedes are just as quick despite having less power, they also feature a more upscale and more up-to-date interior, so there’s more to the varied price points than what meets the eye.

Is the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Better Than the BMW M340i?

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What I’m about to say might have something to do with the aged chassis and aged technology, but the Scat Pack Widebody almost felt like it was too much car for a man my age. It’s really rough around the edges in terms of interior comfort and driving dynamics compared to the BMW M340i. You’ll find that the interior of the M340i is littered with better materials and, honestly, better fit and finish. It also offers just a little extra cargo room over the dodge and, while 0.5 cubic-feet isn’t much, it might make all the difference to you.

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The M340i is also as a much different heart. Where the Scat Pack Widebody features a rumbly, muscular V-8. The M340i is powered by a sporty, 3.0-liter inline-six. Like the Charger, the Bimmer is RWD, but it also gets much better fuel economy (by at least 6 mpg in every category). The only real downside to the M340i is that it’s limited to 155 mph while the Charger will take you all the way up to 175 mph before the governor kicks in. BMW is known for overstating its sprint times, though, and I’m willing to bet that on a good day, the M340i will match or beat the Scat Pack widebody to 60 mph. Are the finer materials, sporty engine note, and German engineering worth paying extra for? Well, that boils down to whether or not you really want an American muscle car. If you think the BMW is for you, be ready to sign off on at least $54,000.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody vs BMW M340i
Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody BMW M340i
Engine 6.4-Liter V-8 3.0-Liter Inline-Six
Transmission 8AT 8AT
Horsepower 485 HP 382 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT 369 LB-FT
Driveline RWD RWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Fuel Economy 15/24/18 22/30/25
Fuel Capaciy 18.5 Gal 15.6 Gal
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Steering Electric Electric
Turning Circle 39.0 Feet 39.2 Feet
Front Tire Size P305/35ZR20 P225/45R18
Rear Tire Size P305/35ZR20 P225/40R18
0-60 MPH 4.3 Seconds 4.4 Seconds
Top Speed 175 MPH (Limited) 155 MPH (Limited)
Power-to-Weight 9.04LBS Per HP 10.07LBS Per HP

Read our full driven review on the BMW M340i

Is the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Better Than the Mercedes-AMG C43

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At this point, you must think I’m crazy. After all, I’m comparing a Dodge Charger of all things to something with an AMG badge. The C43, as a matter of fact, is nearly $10,00 more expensive, but you’ll find the cabin is a step ahead of anything Dodge offers at this point, with prime materials and new infotainment technology. The exterior design also feels a little more modern, but that’s because the C-Class was updated a little more recently, and it’s designed to look more like a sports sedan than a muscle car.

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Under the hood of the C43, you’ll find a 3.0-liter engine, just like in the M340i, but this time it’s in a V-6 arrangement and pumps out 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The kicker here is that the C43 is the only model of the bunch that sends its power to all four wheels, which means better handling, better driving dynamics, and impressive control even at higher speeds. Fuel economy for the C43 does sit a little higher than the Charger as well, and thanks to its lower weight, it too can hold its own on the way to 60 mph at 4.5 seconds. On a good day, it can probably match the Charger, but we’ve yet to test both together, so we can’t say for sure. Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG C43 comes in at a minimum of $55,950.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody vs Merecedes-AMG C43
Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Engine 6.4-Liter V-8 3.0-Liter V-6
Transmission 8AT 9AT
Horsepower 485 HP 385 HP
Torque 475 LB-FT 384 LB-FT
Driveline RWD AWD
Fuel Premium Premium
Fuel Economy 15/24/18 19/27/22
Fuel Capaciy 18.5 Gal 17.4 Gal
Suspension Four-Wheel Independent Four-Wheel Independent
Steering Electric Electric
Turning Circle 39.0 Feet 39.7 Feet
Front Tire Size P305/35ZR20 P225/45R18
Rear Tire Size P305/35ZR20 P245/40R18
0-60 MPH 4.3 Seconds 4.5 Seconds
Top Speed 175 MPH (Limited) 155 MPH (Limited)
Power-to-Weight 9.04LBS Per HP 9.93LBS Per HP

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG C43

Final Thoughts

2020 Dodge Charger 392 Scat Pack Widebody - Driven Exterior
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Overall, the Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody is an absolute blast to drive, however, it’s definitely not for everybody. Despite driving cars with much more power, I almost felt like the Scat Pack was a little too much car for me – something probably derived from the old chassis and heavier driving dynamics. If Dodge made the effort to introduce a new-gen model with a new platform and more modern technology, I’d be quick to buy one. For now, however, I think I’d prefer to spend a little extra money and get something that wasn’t riding on decade-old bones.

Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert - phil@topspeed.com
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of TopSpeed.com. He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read More
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