We have always enjoyed driving a Dodge Charger, especially when we have been at events and have got to try out a Hellcat. So it was very intriguing for us to have a week with the new all-wheel drive Charger that should prove to be quite a hit here in the Beehive State.

With an all-new drive system that will engage the front wheels when needed for extra traction, especially in snowy or slushy conditions, what could be better for the ever-changing weather in the mountains? The new Charger is also the only American-made four-door AWD sedan.

The all-wheel drive system can also be engaged with the push of a button, putting the sedan into sport mode for those who want four-wheel drive all the time. With the sport mode engaged and a push of the Super Track Pack button, this puts the Charger into the Dodge performance pages that allows for launch control, recording of 0 to 60 times, reaction times and even a G-force indicator — pretty cool stuff and entertaining enhancements.

Having the opportunity to get time in the new Charger in early May, we were certainly not hoping for snow to check out the all-wheel drive. Instead, we opted for a day trip out to the Uinta Basin to check out a little Utah gem called Fantasy Canyon.

Deanne found this destination on her All-trails app and we thought this would be a good chance to see it and spend some time hiking through it, along with getting some great seat time in new Charger. There would even be a short 10-mile drive on a dirt road where we could get a chance to at least use the all-wheel drive.

The new GT version of the Charger comes with a V-6, which concerned us on paper as it was not the fire-breathing V-8 that we have had in the past. But after four hours on the trip to eastern Utah, this setup proved to be fantastic. The 3.6-liter delivers 300 horsepower and 264 foot-pounds of torque, giving it a huge fun-to-drive factor that we really got used to during the ride.

Power was never an issue, and with the great looks of a Charger, most folks would never know the difference having the GT for an everyday driver. The awesome deep burgundy red color didn’t hurt either.

After reaching the end of the pavement on our drive, we headed off-road, for the lack of a better word, to see the unique shapes and designs in Fantasy Canyon. Extraordinary is a great way to describe this one of a kind location.

The shapes formed from sandstone and water over the years were incredible, and left to our imaginations could have represented anything from the world of fantasy. We were able to spend a couple of hours exploring high and low throughout the canyon.

We opted to have lunch that we had brought along by tailgating, if you will, in the mammoth trunk of the Charger. There would definitely be room for whatever the family could possibly need back there, giving Mom a huge extra space when moving the kids from games to lessons.

We found the seats in the new Charger to be extremely comfortable, holding us in place and making the long drive very enjoyable. We were able to get out, do a lot of hiking around and then go back to enjoying the comforts inside of the sedan.

The seats were made from a very nice Nappa and Alacantara mix, which seemed to be leather with suede insets that really added to the over luxury look inside. They were not only heated up front but also came with ventilation, along with heated rear seats and heated steering wheel all part of the standard package.

The steering column was also powered tilt and telescoping, a very cool standard edition, again adding things that are standard with the GT AWD Charger. We really have not seen this option on a vehicle with a price tag under $60,000.

Our test ride, of course, came with some extras and mostly things that we would definitely add when purchasing any vehicle. In fact, a few months ago when Deanne got a new SUV, the first one we looked at was out because it did not have adaptive cruise control, the things we have gotten used to over the year and rely on when driving.

So we highly recommend the addition of the technology group that added advanced brake assist, rain sensing windshield wipers, lane departure warning with assist, automatic high beam headlamps, full speed forward collision warning and mitigation and, most important, adaptive radar cruise control.

We were able to use almost all of these great additions on our day trip as it rained, and we had to travel in the dark on the way home. The lighting was especially helpful coming home on Highway 40, not having to worry about dimming the lights all the time with the Charger doing the heavy lifting in that department.

Adaptive cruise is a must, especially on the backways that we took to get out to Fantasy Canyon, as it would keep our speed in check. And when we came upon another vehicle, the sedan would automatically slow down and keep pace with the new car.

Great trip, great car. What more could we have asked for on a Saturday adventure? And it turned out to be a really cool place to visit. What a great state we live in. And boy did we find a great way to get around in the new AWD Dodge Charger.

Base price: $34,995

Price as driven: $46,385

Craig and Deanne Conover have been test-driving vehicles for over eight years and have had the opportunity to drive many makes and models. They receive a new car each week for a weeklong test drive and adventure. They both love having the unique opportunity of trying out new cars. They reside in Springville, Utah.

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