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#7

in Affordable Sports Cars

MSRP: $26,995 - $58,295
Invoice: $26,336 - $55,827
MPG: 19 City / 30 Hwy
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Dodge Challenger Performance

Test drivers report that the 2015 Dodge Challenger is comfortable to drive and that V8-powered models like the Challenger SRT Hellcat offer incredible acceleration. While critics note that the Challenger's large size and weight limit its agility, they add that there is minimal body lean in corners and that its overall handling has improved over previous models’.

  • "In all, the Challenger is a much better cruiser than before, which is good since-even with the aforementioned improvements-it's still no match for the Camaro or Mustang when the road goes all bendy." -- Car and Driver
  • "While the biggest news this year is the SRT Hellcat and its 707-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, the reality is that every 2015 Dodge Challenger benefits from significant upgrades. The standard-issue automatic transmission is now the excellent 8-speed we've enjoyed in the Chrysler 300. Here, it helps even the V6 SXT achieve new performance heights." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While it's true that they don't have 707 hp-the V6 models make do with less than half that figure-the non-Hellcatted Challengers are still worth a look." -- Road and Track
  • "As tempting as all that horsepower may be, the Hellcat's $60K price tag puts it in some pretty exclusive territory. Better make sure you're fine with owning the drag strip, as there are plenty of cars at this price point that will leave the Hellcat in their tracks when the road turns twisty." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The base 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. Challenger R/T models have a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. SXT models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and V8-powered Challengers are also available with a six-speed manual. With the V6, the 2015 Challenger earns an EPA-estimated 19/30 mpg city/highway, which is a bit better than rivals' ratings.

Challenger R/T Scat Pack, Challenger 392 Hemi and SRT Challenger models have a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The Challenger SRT Hellcat has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

According to reviewers, the V6-powered Challenger has sufficient power for all driving situations. However, many agree that V8-powered Challengers have robust acceleration and a delightful exhaust note. Some write that models with the larger, high-performance V8s are quite a bit stronger than the smallest V8, and that it is hard to make the most of the Challenger SRT Hellcat's power in everyday driving. Test drivers report that the automatic transmission is responsive, and some note that Hellcat models with a manual transmission have a very heavy clutch pedal.

See 2015 Dodge Challenger specs »

  • "Around town, the V-6 is quiet and subdued, and the overall feeling is one of massiveness and maturity. This particular model doesn't encourage displays of raw testosterone, as do the brutal Challenger Hellcat or the naturally aspirated Hemi models." -- Car and Driver
  • "The R/T's 5.7-liter V8 sounds great and is plenty quick, but it's somewhat limited by its sub-6,000-rpm redline, which seems to cut in right when the party's getting started. The 6.4-liter V8 revs more freely and makes a lot more power besides, with a soundtrack that's totally NASCAR-worthy when you're deep in the throttle." -- AutoTrader
  • "The slushbox is quick-acting and includes a Sport mode that also tightens up throttle response." -- Road and Track
  • "The Hellcat is the one everyone's talking about. Its prodigious power makes the tremendous acceleration nearly impossible to explore on busy public roads. … At a steady cruise the engine noise is subdued, with the supercharger whine a companion only as revs rise." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Auto journalists write that the 2015 Dodge Challenger’s handling prowess is limited by its large size and heavy weight. However, most agree that its overall handling is sharper than it has been in years past, and that body roll through turns is minimal. According to reviewers, the Challenger has a compliant ride that makes it very comfortable on longer trips. SRT models come with a feature called Drive Modes, which lets you modify various performance characteristics of the car, including the suspension. Test drivers note that this feature helps the SRT models ride comfortably over rough roads. Some mention that the Brembo brakes available on the higher-performance trims bring the Challenger to a stop quickly.

  • "Body roll in corners is minimal despite the car's prodigious dimensions -- a marked change from the roly-poly Challengers of a few years ago. Of course, if you just want to cruise, the Challenger is a champ, eating up highway miles in virtual silence no matter how high your speed." -- AutoTrader
  • "The Dodge steered obediently, but confidence on twisty roads is ultimately curtailed by the car's formidable width and limited outward visibility." -- Car and Driver
  • "Normally, a car that weighs 4,439 pounds wouldn't be considered all that capable of cornering, but the Hellcat far exceeded expectations. At the limit, the car feels surprisingly balanced even though the weight is biased 57 percent toward the front. Understeer is rare and the big Challenger reacts exceptionally well to trail braking deep toward the apexes." -- Edmunds
  • "The R/T's suspension is a bit softer, too, but it's relatively stable through corners as long as you scrub off a lot of speed beforehand. That said, the Challenger excels on the open highway as a grand tourer, soaking up bumps with ease." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 4-piston Brembo brakes make a world of difference when hauling this big coupe down from speed, and the stiffer suspension makes it easier to exploit the car's full horsepower on the track. Around town, that same suspension also offers a surprisingly supple ride, easily comfortable enough for day to day driving, and like the R/T, the Scat Pack is also available with the Shaker hood." -- Kelley Blue Book (R/T Scat Pack)
Review Last Updated: 10/16/14

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