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Review: 2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

2023 Dodge Charger scat pack swinger

It’s the end of an era. For years, we’ve been living in the golden age of horsepower, with insanely quick muscle cars available from all three major American automakers. Times have changed, and electrification is looming large, leading Chevy and Dodge to kill off their high-horsepower machines in favor of more efficient models with hybrid powertrains and smaller-displacement engines. It’s especially hard to watch Dodge cut the V8s, as the automaker has built a reputation for stuffing its Hellcat engine into several models. I recently had the opportunity to test one of the automaker’s last muscle cars, the 2023 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack Swinger, part of its Last Call series, to give the cars the farewell they deserve.

I’ve driven the Scat Pack and all manner of Hellcat vehicles before, but it’s always nice to have the experience again, and knowing they’re going away made the week feel even more special. 

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Overview

The original Dodge Dart Swinger debuted in the late 1960s, bringing a two-door style and a rowdy 340 cubic-inch V8 engine. As it did with other Last Call models, Dodge modeled the Charger Swinger and Challenger Swinger after their iconic muscle car predecessors, and while the new models aren’t anything like the old Dart, it’s easy to see the DNA and lineage. The Dart featured Swinger graphics and bright paint colors, just like today’s cars, and the attitude is still there, even if the modern models come packed with tech and comfort features the old cars couldn’t have even dreamed of. 

2023 Dodge Charger scat pack swinger

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Styling

Each of the Dodge Last Call models gets unique styling touches that set it apart from others in the series. The Swinger cars come in widebody format only, sporting gold exterior trim, gold 20-inch wheels, black brake calipers, and old-school bee graphics. A gold paint stripe across the trunk features the Swinger logo on either side, and the widebody look is unmatched with its aggressive style. The Charger and Challenger are both throwback cars with retro-inspired styling, but Dodge did enough with the look to bridge the gap between vintage and modern. My test car came with F8 green paint, but Dodge also offers Sublime Green and White Knuckle paint colors. 

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Performance

The Charger Scat Pack gets a 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) V8, making 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Though the Charger is a large car with massive interior space, that powertrain is strong enough to propel it to a 3.8-second 0-60 mph time. It also provides plenty of buttery V8 sounds and works well with the transmission to make smooth power throughout the rev range. There’s a disconnect sitting in the Charger’s cushy cabin and feeling the big V8 rumbling under the hood, but it’s a throwback to the old-school muscle car era, and I’m here for all of it. 

The Swinger package is built on Dodge’s Charger Widebody, giving it a menacing stance and planted handling. The widebody package adds beefy fender flares and makes the car look truly fierce. That said, the handling upgrades do come at the expense of ride quality, as the Charger Scat Pack rides considerably rougher than the standard car. 

2023 Dodge Charger scat pack swinger

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Technology

Dodge equips the Charger with a standard 7-inch touchscreen, but my Swinger test car came with the optional 8.4-inch display. It runs Uconnect 5, one of the most intuitive and feature-rich infotainment systems on the market. Where some interfaces place popular controls behind confusing menus, Uconnect pushes the most relevant information and features right up front. When starting the car, it offers seat heating or ventilation controls, and climate settings are available quickly after startup. The most commonly used functions are available with the simple menu at the bottom of the screen, and apps can be moved around for even more convenience. 

Other Swinger tech features include a 19-speaker stereo, dual-zone climate controls, SiriusXM radio, HD radio, USB inputs, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. The only real downside is that the car’s V8 and exhaust make such a prominent sound that the stereo can be drowned out in many situations. That said, the upgraded audio system provides fantastic bass and sounds great at higher volumes, so the most convenient solution here is to listen to music as loudly as possible at all times (don’t do that). 

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Interior

Dodge is not a luxury brand, and the Charger is not a luxury car. Despite that, the car brings comfortable accommodations that are better than average and fitting for the Charger’s muscle car attitude. The Scat Pack Swinger Last Call car features Alcantara (synthetic suede) upholstery with green stitching to match its striking exterior color. Dodge uses plenty of nice-feeling soft-touch materials throughout the cabin, but the quality isn’t quite on the level of premium brands. There are plenty of hard plastics, and the physical controls don’t feel all that solid, but this car has never promised the best, most premium experience. 

Given its size, it’s not surprising that the Charger offers superior interior space. The front seats are wide, deep, and nicely padded, and there’s plenty of room up front for taller people. Though they’re heavily bolstered and do a good job at holding passengers in place, the seats remain comfortable, even for longer drives, and there’s enough padding to keep anyone’s backside happy for the long haul. The rear bench is also well-padded, making it one of the more comfortable back seats in the business. It’s got decent shape and support, and there’s good space for loading children into large car seats. 

2023 Dodge Charger scat pack swinger

2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack Swinger Safety

The 2023 Dodge Charger hasn’t been fully tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and its predecessor had similar results. The organization updated its testing methodology for 2023, bringing a more intense side test with greater impact forces. The move changed the Top Safety Pick landscape considerably, knocking many models out of contention that had long held spots at the top. The Charger earned mixed results in the tests it did complete, including a “Marginal” score in the small overlap front driver-side test. While not particularly unsafe, there are better choices if you’re concerned about safety tech and features. 

The Charger comes standard with rear parking sensors and a backup camera, but all other safety tech requires added-cost options and packages. Available tech includes forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alerts, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, and adaptive cruise control.

If you want to get into a muscle car and need four doors, the Charger is the last game in town before stepping up to a more expensive Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, or Audi RS car. The mix of value, style, and substance can’t be beaten, especially for the price, and the Charger’s expansive interior dimensions make it perfectly livable on a daily basis. Dodge’s infotainment tech is top-notch, and the car’s cabin is supremely comfortable, making ride quality the most prominent tradeoff to achieve the Swinger’s performance. 

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