Everything you need to know
Big, heavy and fast, the Dodge Challenger screams nostalgic muscle fury.
Where the Ford Mustang once had the market cornered for cheap performance, the Dodge Challenger is not very far off. Against cars like the Chevrolet Camaro which still needs a little more time to strike a balance between price and performance, the Dodge Challenger is right with the competition offering impressive horsepower, big engines and horrific fuel economy.
Simple and well-built, but rear seat space isn’t great
The Dodge Challenger’s interior is fairly well built.
Despite how simple it may look, the Dodge Challenger’s interior is fairly well built. Gone are the days of cheap plastics, as the materials are now of higher quality. The interior is sleek with a fairly simple and almost barren dashboard behind the ‘T-handle’ gearshift (in the automatic transmission-equipped cars), and it’s comfortable. Gigantic front seats go deep and envelope passengers in a cushion of heated luxury. There’s plenty of room in the front seats, but the rear passengers are going to suffer if they are around six-feet tall, not only due to leg room but because of how difficult the back is to enter.
Who Buys Dodge Challenger?Calculations are based on data from KKF, NHTSA and Department of Motor Vehicles using CarBuzz's proprietary algorithm.
0% men vs 100% women
Dodge Challenger Owners vs. US Average
African American 0%
The Dodge Challenger’s trunk is the largest.
The dash sports a 7-inch touch screen that we feel is one of the best and easiest-to-use systems on the market. The trunk space is optimal, and at 16 cubic-feet blows the competition away. The Ford Mustang trails behind with 13 cubic-feet, while the Chevrolet Camaro is even farther behind at 11 cubic-feet. While the Dodge Challenger’s trunk is the largest, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s shallow and wide, so unlike its competition the trunk doesn’t go very deep.
Not unwieldy to drive, but you’re certainly well aware of its size
The Dodge Challenger is difficult to navigate around city streets.
Given its size, the Dodge Challenger offers not the most precise handling available. The Dodge Challenger is difficult to navigate around city streets and isn’t as easy to park in tighter spots as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.
The Dodge Challenger suffers from slightly severe body roll.
It’s quiet on the inside, contributing to that luxurious feeling cultivated by the interior, but visibility is relatively poor due to massive pillars crowding the drivers’ rear view. The Dodge Challenger suffers from slightly severe body roll, however certain trims equipped with special-tuned performance suspension considerably improve the car’s ride. Brembo brakes are also available as performance parts for certain trims. Dodge does try to help squash the problem of visibility with several safety features aimed at improving the driver’s vision. The car does well on a racetrack, where its size and weight help make the car feel planted through the corners. Something about the Dodge Challenger to remember is that it is designed to accommodate daily driving. It also can come with all-wheel drive for its six-cylinder engine.
Lots of powerful engines to choose from
The MDS engine itself doesn’t cost anything extra, but is only available with the automatic transmission.
The Dodge Challenger is available with an extensive engine lineup. Offered in the base SXT trim is a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 300-hp. With its eight-speed automatic transmission the SXT also returns 19 mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway. The next level up is the RT trim, which comes with a 5.7-liter eight-cylinder engine that produces 372-hp and returns 15mpg city/23mpg highway. The RT trim comes standard with a manual transmission, but for an extra $1,400 the eight-speed automatic can replace it. There is also a 5.7-liter MDS engine that can shut off cylinders to preserve fuel economy. The MDS engine itself doesn’t cost anything extra, but is only available with the automatic transmission. .
With the heavy clutch, it’s also difficult to hook up the tires to the tarmac.
The next level is the RT Scat Pack trim, delivering an impressive 485-hp out of a 6.4-liter eight-cylinder gasoline engine. While this engine creates more than one hundred additional horsepower to the 5.7-liter, it still manages to be just as fuel efficient. The six-speed manual transmission doesn’t offer the greatest experience. It has a long throw, and at times is difficult to shift, making each gear shift a relatively difficult task. With the heavy clutch, it’s also difficult to hook up the tires to the tarmac. No doubt it’s more fun than an automatic, but for daily driving the eight-speed is easier to deal with and still offers amazing acceleration. There’s seven pounds difference in the manual’s favor, but the manual transmission gets slightly worse gas mileage so it’s going to cost $1,000 extra for the gas guzzler tax where the automatic would not fall under that category.
Well-priced, but some disappointing equipment omissions
This lack of standard safety equipment didn’t stop the Dodge Challenger from being rated five-out-of-five stars in its most recent crash test.
Unfortunately, the Dodge Challenger loses ground to its rivals when it comes to equipment levels. Features like a reversing camera and autonomous emergency braking aren’t available at all, and items like cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors are only available as optional extras. That said, this lack of standard safety equipment didn’t stop the Dodge Challenger from being rated five-out-of-five stars in its most recent crash test. In terms of pricing, the Dodge Challenger is competitive. The base model starts at around $27,000, and with that is the 300-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine and the best fuel economy. For comparison, a similarly-efficient Ford Mustang undercuts the Dodge Challenger by a meagre margin.
The RT Scat Pack gives the option of either a manual or automatic transmission.
We recommend the Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack. It has the most powerful eight-cylinder engine Dodge has to offer (without going to the Hellcat) producing 485-hp, and the RT Scat Pack starts at $40,000. Included in the price is the special-tuned performance Bilstein suspension, Brembo performance brakes and bigger tires. The RT Scat Pack gives the option of either a manual or automatic transmission, and isn’t the heaviest model available. Fuel efficiency isn’t great, but with any trim that isn’t the six-cylinder this is going to be the case.
The Dodge Challenger does a good job in keeping with the muscle car era while still offering exceptional performance. It offers great power and when equipped properly performs decently. However, the Dodge Challenger is heavy and big, and gets bad fuel economy. Overall, whilst there’s certainly lots to like about the Dodge Challenger, it isn’t the vehicle we’d recommend to those looking for a performance car of this caliber.