2020 Audi S8 vs. 2020 Dodge Charger SRT

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/19

The S8’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the S8 and Charger SRT have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S8 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Charger SRT’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S8 has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

The S8 has standard Pre Sense Front, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Charger SRT doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The S8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The S8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the S8 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S8’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S8 has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Charger SRT only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the S8 and the Charger SRT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi S8 weighs 716 to 766 pounds more than the Dodge Charger SRT. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The S8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Charger SRT’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S8’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Charger SRT’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the S8 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Charger SRT.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 54 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S8 gets better fuel mileage than the Charger SRT (13 city/22 hwy vs. 12 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the S8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Charger SRT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S8 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Charger SRT (21.7 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S8 higher (3 out of 10) than the Dodge Charger SRT (1). This means the S8 produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Charger SRT every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Charger SRT:

S8

S8 opt.

Charger SRT

Front Rotors

15.8 inches

16.5 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

14.6 inches

13.8 inches

The S8 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S8 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Charger SRT’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The S8 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Charger SRT; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the S8 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Charger SRT, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S8’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S8’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Charger SRT (123.2 inches vs. 120.4 inches).

Chassis

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The design of the Audi S8 amounts to more than styling. The S8 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Charger SRT (.335 to .381) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S8 get better fuel mileage.

The S8 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The S8 has 1.9 inches more rear headroom and 4.2 inches more rear legroom than the Charger SRT.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S8’s available rear seats recline. The Charger SRT’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S8 easier. The S8’s trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the Charger SRT’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the S8 offers cargo security. The Charger SRT’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S8’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 53% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Charger SRT, the S8 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S8 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S8’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Charger SRT’s parking brake has to released manually.

The S8’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Charger SRT’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the S8 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Charger SRT can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S8’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Charger SRT’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S8 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S8 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S8 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S8 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Power rear and rear side window sunshades are standard in the S8 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The S8 has standard front air-conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S8 has standard massaging front and optional massaging rear seats. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Charger SRT.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S8 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi S8 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S8 offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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