Should You Take the Dodge Charger Off Road?

The Dodge Charger doesn’t have the ground clearance to really go off road. Learn more here.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Dodge Charger is a sleek-looking and powerful car, but it lacks some of the necessary capability to go off-roading. Its most glaring weakness that prevents driving on trails is ground clearance. 
Some drivers just want a car that can get them to and from work, while others want one that lets them answer the call for adventure. The question is which vehicles are meant for true off-roading and which just look the part? 
We've written this guide to explore the off-road specs and abilities of the Dodge Charger. We’ll review some of the most important factors—like torque and ground clearance—that transform a vehicle into a real off-road beast. 
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Can the Dodge Charger go off road?

The short answer is no. The Dodge Charger lacks the clearance required to truly go off the beaten path. Sure, the Charger is a fantastic, classic ride, but it won’t be any off-roading fan's first choice (or second or third) thanks to its lack of clearance, torque, and all-wheel drive.
Starting at $32,500, the Dodge Charger has a few rugged characteristics and a suspension that can withstand some of the more aggressive bumps on the road. But this can’t overcome a lack of clearance. The Charger simply doesn’t have enough space between the bottom of the car and the ground to avoid damaging the undercarriage on rocky off-road terrain.
What other factors make the Dodge Charger a poor choice for your driving adventures? Let’s take a closer look at some of the key specs. 

Ground clearance

As mentioned, ground clearance is paramount for off-roading. The Dodge Charger’s minimum ground clearance is 4.9 inches, which is insufficient
If off-roading is your thing, you want between 8.8 and 10.8 inches of clearance. Of course, the higher your vehicle’s minimum clearance, the more liberty you will have to tackle different terrains without any concern about wrecking your car’s undercarriage. Consider that the 2021
Jeep Wrangler
has 9.7 inches of minimum clearance and it’s clear why the Dodge Charger can’t keep up with its competition. 

Torque

Off-roading emphasizes turning power over speed, meaning that low-end torque is vital to any on-trail experience. A true off-road vehicle must be equipped with the right amount of low-end torque (high amounts of torque at lower rpm). 
The Dodge Charger’s V6 or V8 engine delivers a torque of 260 @ 4800 RPM. That’s a decent amount of power—but not all of it comes at a lower rpm, making it less than ideal for most off-roading trips. 

Tires

Most Chargers come with P235/55HR19 tires, which won’t offer the safest or smoothest ride on a trail. 
For off-roading, you need a strong set of
all-terrain tires
(A/T tires). These are a prerequisite for those who want to off-road with ease and also be able to drive on paved roads. While they don’t last as long as standard all-season tires, their value resides in being more open with an aggressive tread pattern that offers increased traction to steady the car. 

Drivetrain

It’s not a good idea to go off-roading without all-wheel drive. The Dodge Charger has rear-wheel drive (RWD), which means power is delivered from the engine to the rear wheels to move the car forward. This would make it tough to overcome large bumps, uneven terrain, and hills

Angles

When off-roading, you need to consider the approach angle and departure angle
  • Approach angle is defined as the maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference
  • Departure angle is defined as the maximum angle at which a vehicle can descend without interference
Unfortunately, the Dodge Charger wasn’t built with either angle in mind. It will struggle climbing rocky or unpaved hills. 

Off-road rating: Don’t try it

Jerry
uses the DIRT rating system, which breaks down as follows:
Rating
Meaning
Description
D
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
I
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
R
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
T
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The Dodge Charger gets a D rating—and just like in grade nine biology class, a D is not good. By all accounts, the Charger is better suited for highway cruising and city driving. It doesn’t belong in more rugged environments.

The best off-road alternatives to the Dodge Charger 

If you have no intention of ditching off-roading, then we’d recommend investing in a different car than the Charger. It simply will not get the job done and off-roading with a Charger may result in you begging a tow truck driver to meet you in the middle of the woods. 
Here are the best alternatives to the Dodge Charger: 
Alternative
Model
Price
Description
Best affordable alternative
2022 Chevrolet Camaro
$25,000
This option offers more off-roading capabilities and is also a lot cheaper.
Best eco-friendly alternative
2022 Chrysler 300
$31,770
The 300 has a more rugged exterior and more eco-friendly features than the Charger.
Best alternative for off-roading
2022 Dodge Challenger
$30,430
A 303.0-hp and V6 engine gives it enough power for some light off-roading while still delivering everything you love about the Charger. In many ways, it's the best of both worlds.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Vehicles meant for more than highway commutes are often more expensive to insure. This is because off-roading is dangerous and
car insurance
companies will charge you more, knowing that there might be an extra claim or two. 
The solution is to find the lowest rates? Use
Jerry
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Thanks to Jerry, users save an average of more than $800 per year on car insurance. And every dollar saved is one you can invest in modifications to your car that will make it more adept at off-roading! 
“I thought I was already paying the lowest rate possible for my age group, but
Jerry
found me a better deal for the same coverage with Travelers! Everything went so smoothly that I couldn’t help but make a change right away.”—Athit S. 
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