Owner drive: 2008 Dodge Charger R/T

Owner drive: 2008 Dodge Charger R/T

Michael Bay pitched his idea about transformers to the legendary producer/director Stephen Spielberg by starting with the line “It’s about a boy”. Why should this article be any different? I was told that “she” was the last model for the year 2008 left for sale in the entire UAE when I walked into the showroom late September that year. I was told that “she” was customised for the director of Dodge in Abu Dhabi. I was also told, if not “her”, then I would have to wait for another 6 months. The “boy” in me couldn’t wait, wouldn’t wait. I drove her out on Sunday, 16th November 2008. A date that comes on the tip of my tongue faster than the date I got married on.

It was the 2008 Dodge Charger R/T, with SRT8 custom kit, exhausts, bucket premium leather seats with red hand stitching and all the bells & whistles of the top of the range offered in this line by the agency.

My first drive from the showroom, deep in the bowels of Abu Dhabi’s grid system to the highway was like a kid who has candy, but is told to wait until he reaches home to eat it! I wish I could beam myself, I thought!

The wait finally was over, and I floored it. All eight cylinders of the variable-displacement engine kicked in; and I thought yes, this is why I signed those 48 cheques for! It was worth spending that half-an-hour writing and then signing the most annoying part in getting to own a car. Some part of me kept praying those speed bumps would come a little farther, each time I slowed down and crossed one.

Move forward almost 4 years since I had first driven my Dodge; and that feeling still is as fresh as the first day I got it.

The ride this offers on the stock 20-inchers is extremely comfortable even on these “not so smooth” Dubai roads. The road-wind noise doesn’t exist, as it is dwarfed by the loud “growl” from the stock SRT8 Mopar exhausts. Bucket seats for both the driver and passenger hug you like a relative whom you have met after years. With enough space in the back to seat a baby chair and three average-sized adults; average compared to my six-foot-six inch frame! And not to forget the massive boot, to haul your mother and her 3 massive bags plus accessories upon her return from back home.

The dealers at Chrysler are extremely helpful in understanding the “value of money” for each service. So far there hasn’t been any major replacement that I had to leave the car in the agency for. Regular maintenance and clean driving has been the key.

The consensus is that American cars are not as reliable as Japanese cars; they cost more to maintain & and the list of differences stated is endless. Maybe, so what?

From the good days in Dubai winters of 612 km on 72 litres with revs not exceeding 2500 on each gear change, to only 463 km in hot summer days with the occasional revving; from the heavy body rolls while cornering to the sluggish 5-speed transmission; from my daughters cry in the back saying “its too loud” in her baby talk, to the head turns at JBR, this car like most American cars has that appeal. The appeal that Michael Bay talked to Stephen Spielberg about. It’s about a boy…

Photos by Mashfique H. Chowdhury and Rizwan khan.

What do you think?



  1. this model is being missed which i forgot that it was one of my favorites

  2. I don’t get the point of this review!

    • The point is that it is a good car to be owned from an owner point of view, I’m considering to buy the new charger and when I read such an article I get an idea about the car’s reliability and cost of running and whether it is always broken and the garage or i can depend on it

    • Ideea about cost of running?! really? The article states: “The consensus is that American cars are not as reliable as Japanese cars; they cost more to maintain & and the list of differences stated is endless. Maybe, so what?”. so, what ideea do you get about the cost of servicing?

  3. No, it says that the ” consensus says that American are not as reliable than Japanese”. And then it says “maybe”, stating that maybe people find they are. However in my 4 years of driving, I haven’t had any issues. Still running perfectly at 140k km. Hopefully there won’t be any more discussions about this point…

  4. Great to read this from another Charger owner.

    For the people concerned about the servicing, the intervals are every 10k KM and major servicing at 20k, 40k and so on. Average cost of servicing for the 6-cylinder here in Saudi Arabia is around SR600-800. Dealer normally includes warranty till 60k KM which can be extended for another 2years/40k KM.

    Yes, compared to a Corolla or Camry, this is probably expensive, but keep in mind that you are driving a stronger beast.

  5. Good article. I’ve just bought a 2012 Charger SRT8 a couple of weeks ago, and I find this information very useful. Haven’t seen many long term reviews on Dodge Chargers.

  6. Oh look we’ve got some “burning rubber in a parking lot” pictures. That itself tells me not to take this article seriously.

  7. I know you r an ardent fan of charger, i just want to see for how many days r going to put the dodge test page on the main screen…

  8. Why there are some (they know themselves) who think they are the only person who know everything and use the word “wannabe” extensively as if all others know nothing, show some respect, otherwise you are disrespecting yourselves not us.

  9. This car which is more common than taxis turns heads in JBR?!

  10. I saw a few used 2010 chargers. V8 ones and all had a weird boot, I mean the boot had an angled spare in the middle of the boot, instead of below the floor cover, plus the battery in the corner!..he told me all models in 2010 v8 had this design because of the rear wheel drive transmission.. So there is boot.. It’s filled with a spare and battery….I saw many you tube videos… None had this problem…is this for GCC?

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