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Old 26th June 2012, 15:42   #1
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Default Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Here is my first "First on Team BHP" report of initial ownership of my first brand new car ever!

And a warning first up. This is not a pros and cons thread. I am absolutely in love with the car, so i am unable to find any faults with it as of now. Maybe in another year or so... who knows.

Prologue: All started when more than 6 months ago my company said i could move to US. Thats when the seeds of buying a new car were sown. Kbb and Edmunds.com almost became my home page (but could not replace TBHP, of course) How I wish there was a TBHP kind of forum in US too! Of course, the help and advice that i got from the TBHP folks in US and Canada quite made up for that.

The decision process
Folks active on the thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-c...-used-etc.html would know the flip flops i went through. I actually wanted to get a 4x4 full size pick up truck of Tundra or F150 variety but somehow could not get the family to agree on it. Even after telling them that the space in a crew cab/super crew version is actually more than that in a full size sedan! I guess they did not want to see me driving a truck. And I just could not be convinced to buy an SUV. Somehow we managed to find a middle ground, of sorts, with a Charger. I was blown away by its looks, the aggressive stance, the equipment levels and the price point at which it came in, not to mention its legendary lineage. I had actually started my hunt with a BMW 3 series in mind as it's price also started just around where my budget was ending. But when i equipped it with a few goodies, it was stretching my budget by a few thousand dollars!! In between also considered a bunch of other cars. The launch of the new Taurus nearly swayed me. But I guess it was a matter of heart over brain.

Looking at the variants on the Dodge website, I was certain that the 8 speed V6 powered SXT with all wheel drive was what i needed. After all 290 HP was more than any man should ever need. And with the long trips to Canada planned for the future, its MPG of 30 and near abouts would be quite handy. And it came with some delicious packages too (though later i came to know that they were for RWDs only)

Hitting the ground
Anyway, so after landing in US and driving the rental Mazda 3 around for a couple of weeks, decided it was time to go for a test drive. We went to the nearest Dodge dealer first thing in the morning. There was one guy loitering around in the parking lot, and walked up to us soon as we got out. I told him i was interested in a Charger SXT. He went in to make a few enquiries and said he can show us one SXT but we can not take it out for a test drive coz the people who had booked a test drive for it were already here and pointed to an old couple. He said we could take the white Charger parked outside for a test drive, though he was not sure whether it was SXT or not. Turns out it was RT, the V8. The sales guys took my license for taking a copy, started the car and gave me the key and asked me to take it for a test drive. As soon as i got in, i felt the heavy car engulf me. Out on the road, it absorbed the broken roads pretty well and once i floored the pedal, you could feel those 370 horses working. But this was not the car for me!! I wanted the SXT, which suddenly became available for test drive when we went back. Took the SXT out and it definitely felt more "sprinty" than the RT. But its suspension was nothing to write home about. I could feel each and every bump on the road. Mind you, the bridges on the roads here have some pretty nasty bumps. I was disappointed with the SXT, and thrilled with the RT.

I thought it would be a piece of cake getting a car in US once you decided what you wanted. You know, walk into a coupl'a showrooms, haggle a bit over the price, bada bing bada boom you walk out with the car (provided you had finance, of course)

Hitting ground realities
No credit history makes life a bit difficult for you here though. Even Macy's denied my application! There was no way that the local dealer's finance was going to give me a deal too. I had almost given up on buying a new car and had started looking for a used car to drive around for an year or so. But then one day, on my way to work, I walked into a credit union office and asked for an auto loan. The guy took a look at my temp New Hampshire license and the social security card, asked a few questions and filled up my loan application. Then, while i was sitting there, he called up the loan officer, spoke to him and got the loan approved! I was thrilled! This was not really expected. Of course the rate was a little higher than normal, but i figured that I would lose money either on selling a used car one year down the line or by paying a higher emi for an year or so on a new car. Decided to go with the latter option since that would help with credit score too, and more importantly i could get the car i wanted!

The REAL Hunt
So, with loan approval in pocket, i started looking for my car. I was SURE this would be piece of cake now! But what did i know. Turned out there were not that many RT AWDs around! And when wifey threw in her color preference, the odds went near sky high!

Every dealer I called would ask me to come in. And like a naive fool, i would walk in, only to be promised that they would find the car I want for me. I met all kinds of dealers. I would look up their inventory, see they have a Charger RT AWD listed, land up there, only to be told that it got sold They would tell me stories about how the 2013 models are due to arrive in a couple of months so my choices are limited but they were still optimistic about finding a car for me through a dealer swap.
This was happening till June 23rd and i had lost faith in their word. 24th morning, i decided to call up each dealer first and make absolutely sure that the car they had on their inventory list was actually available, within a 100 mile radius. First dealer i called, confirmed the car was available, which was around 50 miles away. Noted down addresses and phone numbers of two more dealers and decided to go in order to car preference rather than distance.

Here, it is important to make an appointment or just call the dealer in advance that you will be visiting them. This lets them ensure that there is someone ready to serve you when you land up there. Of course, you need to keep your end of the bargain and be there on time!

So, we landed at the Herb Chambers Dodge in Danvers MA, at the appointed time. Yes the car was there! Yes it had everything we were looking for. The color, the options, the price (well, the price not so much!) We almost finalized the car there, but decided to take a look at the Blackberry colored Charger also, which was another 50 miles away. Called the dealer, got the confirmation that the car was there, and landed up there. Only to be told that the car got sold yesterday and the person i spoke to, did not know about it. I was like what the....

By the way, here are a few tricks that dealers here play:
Trick 1: They will always make you test drive a car which is a trim or two higher than what you are looking for. They know once you taste the better stuff, it will be easier to sell it. Thats what happened with me too, but i am thankful for that. Otherwise i would not have known how different the suspension set ups are between V6 and V8.
Trick 2: After they have sold a car, they still keep it listed in their inventory on their website. This is so that people see it and walk in to check it out. Once you are in their trap, the getting out is very difficult.
Trick 3: No matter how low rates your financier is giving you, they will always try to assure you that they can beat the rates you have. Often it gives them time to look for the car you want as well.
Trick 4: They will tell you they will find the car for you from another dealer. But, any day you are better off going to that dealer yourself.

Also, universal truth of knowledge being power applies here too.

Buying Experience
Once i decided on the car, and paid the booking amount, i had to do the following:
1. Get temporary registration plates from the local DMV, valid for 20 days, so that i could drive the car out of the showroom legally.
2. Go to the credit union and get the check for the loan amount. Had that in hand in 20 minutes flat!
3. Buy insurance. I was able to do that on the phone! Got the papers in email instantly.
4. Get a banker's check for the remaining amount.
5. Land up at the showroom and do the paperwork and you are done!!

Of course had to get the hard plates and inspection done after that.

Initial Driving Experience
First couple of days the car felt a bit slow.. as if its jammed. But after a few miles, now just a touch of the pedal pushes you back into the seat.
Things i love about the car:
1. The keyless entry. Absolutely love the fact that i dont need to juggle the keys any more to get into the car and to start it.
2. The huge navigation screen
3. Bits of lighting here and there in the car
4. And of course, the 5.7L V8 engine. This should actually be the number one on the list.
5. In order to get more mileage, the car runs in RWD mode most of the times.
6. To further help improve the FE, it has ECO mode, where only 4 cylinders are running, i think.
In spite of all that, its mileage is nothing to talk about, and it should not be either.

The car handles well for its weight and size. There are a couple of roundabouts (rotaries as they call them here) on the way to office. They are fun. hehe.

Anyway, here are a few pics to begin with:

The aggressive front:
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8015.jpg

Sides, with depressions
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8011.jpg

The coke bottle design.
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8007a.jpg

Understated alloy design
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8012.jpg

Need to get rid of the dealer sticker
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8010.jpg

Instrument cluster. Did you know that that triangle next to the pump sign in the fuel gauge is to remind you that the fuel lid is on the left side? Its probably there in every car. I never noticed it though.
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8018.jpg

The huge touch screen
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8020.jpg

This is something i really love. The race track shaped LED taillights
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8025.jpg

And the scowling lights
Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger-img_8028.jpg

Cheers
Amitoj

Last edited by amitoj : 3rd July 2012 at 07:31.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 12:59   #2
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Note from Mod : Thread moved to Initial Owners Section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 13:17   #3
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Amitoj... that is one red smoking hot babe!!

I drove a silver sample through the Apache Trail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Trail) last year, from Phoenix to Roosevelt Dam, and the car just blew my mind off. Mind you that was in steep, unpaved, winding roads. I dont rem if it was SXT or RT. The car held good on those roads, am guessing it was RWD. Hired it from Enterprise.

Enjoy her mate. wishing you many happy kilomiles.

Last edited by lsp : 3rd July 2012 at 13:19. Reason: added apache trail link
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Old 3rd July 2012, 13:29   #4
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Smile re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Wow ! Congratulations for buying a wonderful machine. It just looks super hot. I should'nt ask this but do you have some upgrades planned ? . Lastly, how is the exhaust note ? Congrats for a wonderful machine again. Drive safe.

Aditya
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Old 3rd July 2012, 13:41   #5
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Hi amitoj. Congrats on the new buy. Please post some more interior pics. Happy miles.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 13:58   #6
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Hey Amitoj! Congrats! I absolutely love the fact that you
a. wanted to buy a pickup, and
b. ended up buying a real American muscle car

What do you think of the quality of the interior bits? I have been told that materials used in Dodge interiors is a bit low-rent when compared to equivalent Jap/Ford models?
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Old 3rd July 2012, 14:15   #7
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Awesome looking car.
Thanks for posting. But we will need some more pictures.

And no Team-BHP stickers?
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Old 3rd July 2012, 14:16   #8
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Congrats paaji. This is the exact make and color that suits your personality, more than the honda city

Wishing you miles of awesomeness
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Old 3rd July 2012, 14:48   #9
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Thumbs up re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Normally I hate american cars because they are petrol guzzlers

but I have to say ...

That's one hotttt looking car. The looks and red colour is just amazing !! I like it 150%

Congrats !
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Old 3rd July 2012, 15:12   #10
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Default re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Thank you, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by quadra View Post
Congrats paaji. This is the exact make and color that suits your personality, more than the honda city

Wishing you miles of awesomeness
Ah the honda city. That car will always have a special place in my heart though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Normally I hate american cars because they are petrol guzzlers
Oh it is a guzzler alright! The car does not like short trips at all, or standing idle! And i try to avoid looking at the mileage indicator on such short trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
But we will need some more pictures.

And no Team-BHP stickers?
The stickers will come soon. I need to get them hand delivered though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
What do you think of the quality of the interior bits? I have been told that materials used in Dodge interiors is a bit low-rent when compared to equivalent Jap/Ford models?
Quote:
Originally Posted by _chikku View Post
Hi amitoj. Congrats on the new buy. Please post some more interior pics. Happy miles.
The 2011/12 models of Dodge are supposed to have better interiors. Almost all the reviews mention this point for the 2011-12 models. I will post some pics of the interiors too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya.bhardwaj View Post
I should'nt ask this but do you have some upgrades planned ? . Lastly, how is the exhaust note ? Congrats for a wonderful machine again. Drive safe.

Aditya
Valid question. This is after all an automotive forum, though I am not planning any mods as of now. I need to first get used to the car in stock form!

The exhaust note is somewhat like a low growl right now. Of course, i have not had a chance to redline it though, what with the car being new and all.

I often stand outside the car and remote start it. I like how the car starts up with a little bit of shake.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 16:09   #11
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Default Re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

WoW! It looks fabulous. Congratulations on the purchase and on making history with your credit. :-)

Enjoy the long drives and grand trunk roads (ignore the trunk while reading).
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Old 3rd July 2012, 17:19   #12
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Default Re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Wow, great one and the red colour is apt for the beast. You might as well be feeling strong driving this thing.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 17:28   #13
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Default Re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Wow is the word. That is one amazing looking car. A 5.7L V8 monster! I can not even imagine it, given that I've only graduated from a 0.8L to a 1.2L to a 1.6L just now!

Congratulations to you and wish you lots of happy miles in it.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 18:27   #14
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Default Re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Excellent choice, Amitoj.
You've now got to edit the 'RT' to 'R/T' for every BHPian to understand the AWESOMEness of the car you've bought.
So, you now have a V8 with variable valve timing?
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Old 3rd July 2012, 19:59   #15
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Default Re: Team BHP's First! Hemi Powered 2012 Dodge Charger

Wow.. thats a red hot american muscle.. congrats on your car. Absolutely love the way the rear end lights up.
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