Test Drive Reviews
2016 Dodge Challenger
The late sixties and early seventies were a golden age for U.S. automakers and those who loved performance. American Motors, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors were producing muscle cars at a fast rate to one-up another and fulfill a growing demand from buyers. From small pony cars to large luxury coupes, there was a muscle car to fit your needs. But the advent of emission standards and gas crisis in the mid-seventies caused sales of muscle cars to drop and automakers to scrap future plans. It seemed this era would never return.
But the mid-2000's saw a resurrection of muscle cars with Chevrolet bringing back the Camaro, Dodge reintroducing the Challenger, and Ford adding a bit of retro styling to the Mustang. It wouldn't be too long before the arms race would crank back up with the three brands introducing faster and powerful versions of their muscle cars. But they made sure the base models equipped with V6 engines offered excellent performance while meeting stricter emission regulations. Last year, Dodge introduced a new V6 and eight-speed automatic for the Challenger that promised improved performance and fuel economy. Let's see if it does.
2015 Dodge Challenger
Nothing speaks to the all-American automotive enthusiast like the Dodge Challenger. It represents the ultimate in kick-butt, no holds barred, loud exhaust rumble, all horsepower muscle car among the pretenders.
Over forty years ago, Dodge jumped in the PonyCar race to face off against the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Chrysler already had the Plymouth Barracuda to do that, so they positioned the slightly longer Challenger against the Pontiac Firebird and Mercury Cougar. Back then, Dodge was seen as a slightly more upscale brand. However, the Challenger's legend grew equally with the Barracuda up until its demise in 1974.
It was not until 2008 when the Challenger returned to the marketplace. This time, it was built on a shortened version of the rear-drive LX platform - the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, if you are keeping score. However, Chrysler fashioned a look that was right out of 1970. There were modern considerations for bumper impact rules, lighting heights and other safety standards that did not exist four decades ago. As with its predecessor, the Challenger attracted a loyal following, thanks to the return of the HEMI in a modern 5.7liter V8 and a larger SRT-tuned version that cleared 400 horsepower. Go to any Mopar meet and it will have a huge number of modern Challengers - some with even more horsepower than stock.
For 2015, the "Chally" is revised inside and out. The grille and rear end is now reminiscent of the 1971 model - split grille inserts and tail lights. The biggest changes are in the instrument panel to accommodate the UConnect Touch screen. The lineup has been shuffled, offering the old SRT engine - the 6.4liter HEMI "392" V8 to models, making room for the 707-horsepower 6.2liter supercharged V8 on the SRT "Hellcat." Our tester was the R/T "Scat Pack," with the 485-horsepower 6.4liter V8.
The previous Challengers were indeed a blast from the past. This revised model packs loads of promise, along with massive power. However, is this modern PonyCar the kind of car you can take on a curvy canyon road as you would on a straight one?
2013 Dodge Challenger
The 2013 Dodge Challenger sporty car is a competitor to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro muscle cars. The Challenger is larger than its competitors and is the only one of the three that can seat five (the others only seat four). With its aggressive and retro exterior design, the Challenger is all about attitude, and, especially in SRT8 trim, it is a thrill to drive. The Challenger in any trim makes a great daily driver and has a huge trunk to boot.