What do you think of when you hear the name Dodge Charger? Most of the time, I think of a black 1970 model with an enormous supercharger protruding out of the hood doing a wheelie, accompanied by a monstrous V8 roar and quick gear changes, and an orange Toyota Supra trying to keep up in a quarter-mile drag race. That’s the last race scene from The Fast and The Furious. Sometimes I think of the 1968 version in Bullitt, being chased down by Steve McQueen in the famous dark green Mustang. I try not to think of an orange 1969 model with a confederate flag on the roof, accompanied by the whole “yee haa!” thing. Put simply, I think of something powerful and mean-looking, with an equally butch name to do it justice. I think one of the best muscle cars ever built.
Fast forward to 2012, and I have the keys (key fob rather) to a brand new Charger SXT – V6. When Dodge revived the Charger name back in 2006, I received it with mixed feelings. I was glad that the name Charger was back, but only this time it was attached to a sedan geared more towards affordable luxury, than a modern incarnation of B-body muscle cars. Luckily the design wasn’t all that bad, it looked really muscular in certain trim levels, and the latest version does a bit more with the whole sedan-on-steroids look – even in V6 trim.
The 1990s will be remembered for many things; Nelson Mandela got out of prison, Tupac and Notorious BIG shot, boy bands, the bowl haircut, OJ Simpson in the Bronco, etc. But there’s also the W140 Mercedes Benz S-Class, probably one of the best Mercedes Benzes ever made.
Having driven a 1997 S300 TD on several occasions, the first thing that strikes you is how long the car actually is – 5,113mm in length. The second thing you will notice is how light the steering is, it is easily one of the most effortless systems to use. You don’t get much in the way of detailed feedback though, but that’s irrelevant in a car like this. Instead you appreciate the fact that the response to steering input is more than acceptable, and that the ride quality is superior to many modern big saloons.