Dodge Challenger Review
The 2013 Dodge Challenger ranks 7 out of 10 Affordable Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 34 published reviews and test drives of the Dodge Challenger, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Though it’s not as nimble as the Ford Mustang, test drivers say that the 2013 Dodge Challenger stands out with aggressive styling, a spacious interior and powerful engine choices.
With a trio of available engines, test drivers agree that the 2013 Dodge Challenger offers performance that will appeal to a wide range of shoppers. They say that the base V6 engine provides enough power for the majority of drivers, while V8-powered Challenger R/T and SRT8 models offer straight-line performance that should please most enthusiasts. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on the base model, while its more-powerful siblings come with a six-speed manual transmission that reviewers say shifts smoothly. Fuel economy with the V6 is an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is about average compared to other muscle cars in the class. While the Challenger can’t match the handling prowess of the most agile affordable sports cars, reviewers say it’s composed in the corners and offers a more comfortable ride than the bulk of its rivals.
Test drivers note that like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, the Challenger’s interior is not the most refined in the class. They note a number of hard plastic surfaces, and say that they’d prefer to see better interior materials. That demerit aside, the Challenger offers more passenger and trunk space than most cars in the class. As a result, reviewers say that if you need a sports car with a useable back seat, the 2013 Challenger is likely your best bet. Standard features include push-button start, automatic climate control and a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input. Rear parking sensors, navigation, a Harman Kardon stereo, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a USB port are available as options or on higher trims.
- "It's too big and heavy to be truly agile, but this is still a more than capable performance machine. That size does pay dividends in the form of a surprisingly smooth ride and excellent passenger and cargo room." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Challenger's classic muscle car styling will draw you in, but its refined ride and handling and spacious interior make this big coupe appealing to drive." -- Cars.com
- "Of course it comes down to personal taste, especially in such a style- and performance-conscious segment. But if you're looking for the muscle car that can take four adults on a road trip as easily as it leaves two long black stripes on the pavement, then it doesn't get any better than the 2012 Dodge Challenger." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "Its fresh drivetrain options and revised suspension geometry make for a compelling package, especially for buyers looking for a vehicle capable of comfortably and quickly covering large distances in style." -- Autoblog (2011)
Other Sports Cars to Consider
The Ford Mustang isn’t as spacious inside, but it impresses reviewers with powerful engine choices, athletic handling and good fuel economy. While test drivers say that the Mustang’s interior could be more refined, a few note that it’s still nicer than the Challenger’s.
If you want to trade the Challenger’s passenger and cargo space for lively handling and a responsive powertrain, consider the Nissan 370Z. You’ll give up a back seat with the 370Z, but reviewers like the Z’s attractive interior design, which is filled with soft-touch materials.
Details: 2013 Dodge Challenger
The 2013 Dodge Challenger seats five and comes with rear-wheel drive. Seven trims are offered: SXT, SXT Plus, Rallye Redline, R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Classic and the high-performance SRT8 392. A 3.6-liter V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission are standard in the base Challenger, while the R/T models come with a 5.7-liter V8 and a six-speed manual transmission. The Challenger SRT8 comes with a 6.4-liter V8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Aside from the addition of the Rallye Redline trim, the Challenger sees few changes for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 and 2012, as well as the current model year.
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