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#5

in 2011 Affordable Sports Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,280 - $23,613
Original MSRP: $24,895 - $29,895
MPG: 17 City / 25 Hwy
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2011 Dodge Challenger Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2011 Dodge Challenger impresses reviewers with more interior and cargo space than most muscle cars. There’s seating for five, and test drivers note that the back seat of the Challenger is much more adult-friendly than the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. But despite the impressive interior space (by muscle car standards), the Challenger is not without its shortcomings. The automotive press finds the interior styling somewhat bland. Deeply set gauges can also be difficult to read, and more than one reviewer says that models equipped with navigation have a confusing stereo system.

  • "R/T models produce sound levels in keeping with their high-performance character. Engine, exhaust, and road noise are not as prominent as might be expected for a high-performance car." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Unlike the Dodge Challenger's distinctive-looking exterior, the interior is quite bland. A few styling cues, like the large beveled dashboard and distinctive shifter knobs, are reminiscent of Challengers past, but overall the interior experience pales in comparison to its retro-themed rivals." -- Edmunds 
  • "On the inside, the Challenger continues its retro-themed looks with its gauge cluster, black headliner and a slanted shifter console. In manual versions, the shifter features a unique pistol-grip design. Front-seat occupants sit in prominently bolstered seats." -- Cars.com
  • "The monotonous black dashboard and trim are a disappointment, not nearly as interesting as the exterior." -- Arizona Republic
  • "Climbing behind the wheel is a step back in time. The retro theme starts with the deep inset gauges and continues to the long dash and broad-shouldered hood. There's a bare-bones muscle-car aesthetic at work here, but it doesn't look terribly lively." -- Road and Track

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Seating

Seating space is not usually generous in affordable sports cars, but the Dodge Challenger bests competitors like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro with a back seat that many reviewers say is actually roomy. The Challenger can also seat five, while rivals at Ford and Chevy can only squeeze four passengers in a pinch. Despite its livable interior, reviewers note that the Challenger’s large, heavy doors make it tough to get in and out of the back seat. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, check out the Dodge Charger, which offers four-door practicality and muscle car appeal.

  • "Ample space, even for larger and taller drivers. The aggressively bolstered seats provide good long-trip comfort. The long doors are a pain in close parking situations, but they otherwise afford easy entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide  
  • "The rear seats are surprisingly roomy for two adults, with good headroom and decent legroom. The backseat also features a 60/40-split-folding back, a fold-down armrest and a middle seat for tiny/good-natured folks." -- Edmunds 
  • "It's physically a bigger car than the Mustang and it shows, with enough rear leg room for my 6-ft., 190-lb. frame; just don't ask me to sit there for long. On a side note, don't try getting into the rear from the driver's side, as that seat doesn't aid rear access like the passenger side does." -- Road and Track 
  • "The standard cloth bucket seats were amazingly comfortable and supportive, and we arrived refreshed and relaxed, even after fighting the weather for five hours." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "Seating is roomy, though, front and rear." -- Arizona Republic 
  • "The Challenger's cabin feels large because it is. It feels like a sedan when you're seated behind the wheel. " -- Kansas City Star

Interior Features

Reviewer opinion is mixed on the Challenger’s interior. Some note that materials within are soft-touch and of decent quality, while others say there’s no shortage of hard plastics in the cabin. Additionally, the Challenger gets dinged for its deeply-set gauges that can be difficult to read and audio controls that can be confusing. It’s not all bad though, reviewers note that the interior is functional and that all controls are within easy reach. New for 2011 is a contoured steering wheel that reviewers think is more comfortable.

Inside, all Challengers get standard equipment that includes automatic climate control, push button start, a six-speaker stereo system with auxiliary input, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls and an eight-way power driver’s seat. R/T models include these features, but also gain illuminated vanity mirrors, Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth/iPod connections as standard equipment.

If you’re looking to add some tech to the Challenger, Dodge’s Sound Group II package loads up features such as a seven-speaker stereo with a touch-screen interface and a 30GB internal hard drive. Navigation can be added to this system, which included traffic and weather updates.

  • "Major gauges are deeply recessed into the dashboard and are dimly backlit, making them hard to read at times. The Chrysler-standard control layout places most systems within easy reach. The navigation system absorbs most audio functions, which can complicate some simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Despite a slightly confusing audio interface, however, the interior is quite functional and its materials are of decent quality, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. The new gauges for 2011 ditch the original Timex Indiglo illumination in favor of a more Casio cobalt-blue glow. A more important advancement this year is the new, smaller-diameter steering wheel that's better contoured to fit the driver's hands." -- Edmunds 

Cargo

Affordable sports car shoppers who need room to stow their gear should check out the 2011 Dodge Challenger. With 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, the Challenger offers impressive cargo capacity. If you find the Challenger’s looks and cargo hold appealing, but need a second set of doors, don’t overlook the Dodge Charger. It has a similarly aggressive look and matches the Challenger’s trunk space, all while offering the practicality of a four-door sedan.

  • "For a performance car, Challenger has impressive trunk space. Compromised by high liftover, the usefully deep trunk offers more room than many midsize sedans. The rear seat backs fold, but the release latches are awkward to reach, and the only way the seat backs lay close to flat is if the front seats are adjusted at least midway forward. Interior storage is decent, with a good-size glovebox and console bin, two small console trays, and small door map pockets." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The trunk is the largest in its small class of competitors, according to Dodge, and the rear seat is a 60/40 fold-down that adds huge storage potential if and when you need it." -- Popular Mechanics

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