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Top Features of Base Model
- Muscle-car styling
- Multiple engine choices
- Multiple trim levels
- All-wheel-drive availability
2019 Dodge Challenger: Everything You Need to Know
About the Dodge Challenger
The 2019 Dodge Challenger is a throwback. It's a muscle car, for sure, but it's really more than that. The list of available options is a novel in itself, and the Challenger can be configured in at least five different personalities.
From the entry-level model with a 305-horsepower V6 engine and optional all-wheel drive, to 485-horsepower V8 models, to the supercharged, 717-horsepower SRT Hellcat and the 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye, the five-passenger coupe offers classic muscle-car design and performance. Yet the Challenger includes most of the current technologies on the market, plus a surprisingly quiet ride when not in Full Beast mode.
From a mechanical standpoint, the two-door Challenger uses the same platform as the four-door Dodge Charger. Compared to its chief rivals, the Challenger is larger than both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. Because of that size, it has a far more useful trunk and rear seat. And in Hellcat Redeye form, it's also the most powerful muscle car anywhere, with a towering 797 horsepower. It even carries five-star crash-test ratings from the government.
What's new about the 2019 Dodge Challenger?
Although the 2019 Dodge Challenger essentially carries over from the introduction of the current generation in 2008, the new model features a number of updates and other changes, including:
- New 797-horsepower SRT Hellcat Redeye model
- Revamped interior trim and seating options in all models
- Rear-drive GT model (previously all-wheel drive only)
- Upgraded Performance Handling and Performance Plus packages
- Super Track Pak package now standard on all R/T models
- Retro-styled, dual-snorkel hood standard on all Challenger Hellcat models
- Widebody package available on R/T variants
- New wheel designs and paint options
The menu of engines available in the new Challenger includes a 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 in SXT and GT trim levels, with either rear-drive or all-wheel-drive; a 5.7-liter, 375-horsepower Hemi V8; and a 6.4-liter, 485-horsepower Hemi V8. Finally, there’s the range-topping 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 that puts out 717 horsepower in the Hellcat or 797 horsepower in the Hellcat Redeye.
What vehicles does the Dodge Challenger compete with?
The 2019 Dodge Challenger could be said to compete with any number of performance-oriented models from Europe and Asia, but primarily it runs head-to-head with two classic American rivals:
The Dodge Challenger is a good vehicle choice for hard-core performance enthusiasts, especially those who bring their cars to the dragstrip. But it will also appeal to singles or couples who like style and performance, or small families as a second car.
Dodge Challenger Exterior Design
As a sporty coupe inspired by the muscle and pony cars of the 1960s and early '70s, the Challenger faithfully recreates that look with a long front hood, a short trunk lid, a wide stance, and low-profile side window openings. At the front, the Challenger wears a very traditional grille shape and four round headlamps, a configuration rarely seen since the mid-'70s. Meanwhile, at the rear, squat and wide taillights using LED elements echo the wide lights of the 1970s Challenger and Plymouth 'Cuda.
Dodge's designers also hint at the old cars by tapering the body sides towards the bottom with a slight Coke-bottle shape, the tires flaring out as they meet the road, giving the Challenger a planted, sure-footed appearance. For an even more aggressive stance, a Widebody package is available on R/T models, providing 3.5-inch wider fenders and wider wheels and tires.
Interior Style in the 2019 Dodge Challenger
All Dodge Challengers have seating for five passengers and interior space far beyond that of chief rivals, Camaro and Mustang, making it more livable as a daily driver than the competition. Switches and controls are quickly understood, well-marked, and not at all fussy. The dashboard itself is canted towards the driver and slightly hooded, giving it a retro, yet purposeful feel. Gauges are also a bit retro, digging back into the old Mopar design aesthetic, which enthusiasts seem to love.
There's plenty of room up front for occupants well over six feet tall, but more significantly, real people can also fit in the back seat, something that’s difficult in the Mustang and Camaro. That doesn't mean all is rosy for Challenger back-seaters, though. Getting there requires heaving open and holding the heavy and large door, preventing it from hitting a car parked next to it.
What technology comes in the new Dodge Challenger?
The 2019 Dodge Challenger offers a variety of tech features, including:
- Standard Uconnect infotainment system with Bluetooth
- Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and two UBS ports are standard
- LED daytime running lights
- LED taillights
Dodge's Uconnect is among the easiest infotainment interfaces to use on the market, offering redundancy for certain commands, yet it's not cluttered. The standard system comes with a seven-inch display, and the optional upgrade system uses a larger 8.4-inch display that also has a more powerful processor, plus Bluetooth streaming audio, satellite radio (with a one-year subscription), and a media hub.
It might look a wee bit dated, but the Uconnect system works quickly and well. It offers voice controls for basic commands to trigger navigation (when equipped), audio, and hands-free calling. Navigation is an option with the large 8.4-inch display.
What safety features are included in the new Dodge Challenger?
The new 2019 Dodge Challenger comes standard with the following active safety systems:
- Brake assist: This system applies full brake pressure and engages the anti-lock circuit when it senses the driver is alarmed enough to hit the brakes rapidly, but perhaps not hard enough to invoke anti-lock braking.
- Electronic stability control
- Tire pressure monitoring
- Advanced low-light rearview camera
The following safety features are optional equipment on the Challenger:
- Forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking: This system alerts you to another car, pedestrian, or bicyclist in your path and applies the brakes for you if you don’t react quickly enough.
- Lane departure warning: An audio and visual signal will alert you when you come too close to the edge of your lane.
- Lane-keeping assist: If you come too close to a lane divider, the system will gently steer the car back into the center of the lane.
- Adaptive cruise control: This feature is set like normal cruise control, although you can also adjust your following distance to the next vehicle ahead, and your car will automatically maintain that distance.
- Rear parking assist
- Blind spot monitoring
- Rear cross traffic alert
What is the new Dodge Challenger like to drive?
The Challenger's base 305-horsepower V6 would be fine for most car buyers, but for the performance enthusiasts attracted to the Challenger for raw power, the Hemi V8s, in either 375-horsepower or 485-horsepower form, are pretty much essential. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available, but for the real purist, they can both be ordered with manual transmissions, too. These powerplants make a burly V8 sound, as one would expect, and provide swift acceleration.
But of all the Challenger configurations from the base V6 to the Hellcat Redeye with a bonkers 797 horsepower, it's the 485-horsepower Challenger R/T Scat Pack that may be the best of the entire Challenger bunch. It provides all the power you could ever realistically use on the street but gets reasonable mileage (15/25/18 mpg city/highway/combined with the automatic) given the heft and power of such a car. It also costs far, far less than the Hellcat Redeye ($41,490 vs. $73,190, including gas-guzzler taxes and destination charges).
Despite all Challengers (except the rear-drive V6 models) weighing well over 4,000 pounds, the car dashes through corners capably with good grip, even if it doesn't feel very happy doing so. Bumpy corners, for example, jostle the Challenger around in its lane more than the Camaro and Mustang. The Challenger never really puts a foot wrong, but you can tell that this kind of dancing is not the vehicle’s strongest suit. Compared to the lighter and smaller Mustang and Camaro, the Challenger's steering is quite numb and does not communicate very well what's going on where the tire meets the road.
However, the Challenger thrives in a straight line and when reeling in the miles. Also, those Challengers fitted with the big, optional brakes haul the heavy car down from highway speed (and extra-highway speed) with eye-popping power. Should I buy a new Challenger? The 2019 Dodge Challenger provides a strong alternative to the Mustang and Camaro. When optioned smartly, it can provide authentic muscle-car power and acceleration, plus far better usability with a real back seat and trunk space compared to those competitors. It is not as up-to-date as the Mustang and Camaro in the handling and agility races, though. It is also the only one of the three that offers all-wheel-dive, though it does so only with the mild, 305-horsepower V6 engine. If you value traditional V8 muscle-car power, don't care much for sports-car handling, and also could use more space, the Challenger is a real contender.
Should I buy a used Dodge Challenger?
Used Challengers of the current generation offer basically the same mix of strong points and weak ones, too. And, of course, you would save money. But the risk with a used, powerful Challenger – like many performance cars -- is the possibility of abuse by previous owners. The model mix prior to 2019 is also quite a bit more confusing.
How much does the new Dodge Challenger cost?
Starting at a base price of $27,845 for the rear-drive 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT V6 model (including the required $1,495 destination charge), you get a lot of style, comfort and space for the segment, though not a lot of refinement, nor much muscle-car power.
At the other bookend is the 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye race-car-for-the-street, which starts at $73,190 including the required destination and gas guzzler tax and runs to $96,296 with every conceivable option. This price tag makes the $41,490 base price of the 485-horsepower R/T Scat Pack (including destination and guzzler tax) seem like a relative deal.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Dodge Challenger
- Styling faithfully evokes the classic muscle cars of the '60s and early '70s
- Far more interior room and cargo space than Mustang and Camaro rivals
- As-you-like-it generous list of options, engines, and features, including seven model/trim levels
- Five-star overall government safety rating
- Larger on the outside than other sporty cars
- Thirsty V8 engines, when so equipped
- Some interior materials are cheap-feeling
- Handling not as nimble as Mustang or Camaro
- Heavy, bulky doors
The History of Dodge Challenger: The Challenger’s Muscle-Car Heritage
Introduced in 2008, the current Dodge Challenger has now lived in production more than twice as long as the 1970 Challenger and 'Cuda that inspired it in the first place. Production of that earlier iteration of the Challenger lasted only five years, but its impact belied the model’s short lifespan.
Available in a wide range of trim levels and with a huge option list, the first-generation Challengers could be ordered with engines ranging from a 101-horsepower inline-6, to the famous 426-cubic-inch, 425-horsepower Hemi. The performance-oriented Challenger variants made their presence known on dragstrips and on the streets of America’s cities, and today these models are highly prized by collectors.
In 2008, Dodge introduced the current-generation Challenger riding on the LX platform, which it shared with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. Although it’s considerably larger than the first version, it carries enough design elements from the original to make it a hit with nostalgic older buyers, but the styling also appeals to younger performance enthusiasts.
Dodge has updated the Challenger with slight revisions over the years, but the biggest changes have been the addition of the Hellcat model of 2016 with 707 horsepower, the Demon model of 2018 with 840 horsepower (while running on essentially racing fuel), and the latest 2019 Redeye edition, which generates 797 horsepower without the need for racing fuel.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Dodge Challenger
- Body Style
- 3.6L V6 24V VVT
- 305 hp
- 8-Speed Automatic (8HP50)
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Rear Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Back Up Camera
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- LED Lights
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 3.6L V6 24V VVT
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic (8HP50)
- 50 State Emissions
- Transmission w/AUTOSTICK Sequential Shift Control
- Rear-Wheel Drive
- 2.62 Axle Ratio
- Engine Oil Cooler
- 80-Amp/Hr 730CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
- 160 Amp Alternator
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Touring Suspension
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 18.5 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
- Short And Long Arm Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
- Wheels: 18" x 7.5" Cast Aluminum
- Tires: 235/55R18 AS Performance
- Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Black Side Windows Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
- Lip Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Chrome Accents
- Trunk Rear Cargo Access
- Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: Uconnect 4 w/7" Display
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation and Radio Data System
- 6 Speakers
- Streaming Audio
- Window Grid Antenna
- GPS Antenna Input
- Media Hub (2 USB, AUX)
- Integrated Center Stack Radio
- 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
- Bucket Front Seats w/Power 4-Way Driver Lumbar
- 10-Way Power Driver Seat -inc: Power Height Adjustment, Fore/Aft Movement, Cushion Tilt, Manual Recline, Power 4-Way Lumbar Support and Manual Rear Seat Easy Entry
- 4-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline, Fore/Aft Movement and Manual Rear Seat Easy Entry
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Cloth Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Oil Pressure, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Oil Temperature, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Fixed Rear Windows
- Voice Recorder
- Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
- Illuminated Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
- Valet Function
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
- Illuminated Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Aluminum Instrument Panel Insert, Aluminum Console Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
- Houndstooth Cloth Sport Seat
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination, Driver And Passenger Auxiliary Mirror
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate and Windows
- Google Android Auto
- USB Host Flip
- Apple CarPlay
- Integrated Voice Command w/Bluetooth
- Driver And Passenger Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver And Passenger 1-Touch Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Manual Anti-Whiplash Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Fixed Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
- Perimeter Alarm
- Sentry Key Engine Immobilizer
- 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) And Roll Stability Control (RSC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point and Pretensioners
- ParkView Back-Up Camera