By KBB.com Editors
The 1960s gave birth to two automotive legends: The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Known as pony cars, the two came to symbolize a new era in automotive lore, which allowed these compact yet powerful performance machines to sell in droves. Not to be sidelined, Chrysler Corporation introduced its own pony car, the Dodge Challenger, in 1970. Unfortunately, the pony car era had seen its heyday and by 1974 declining sales brought an end to the mighty Dodge. In the wake of a muscle and pony car revival, the 2010 Challenger picks up where the original left off, with clearly recognizable Challenger DNA, a HEMI engine and relatively affordable price. Unlike the first Challenger, however, today's car features a modern suspension, traction and stability controls and reliable anti-lock disc brakes actually capable of controlling the car's immense power.
Whether you grew up owning one, or regret being born too late for the privilege, lovers of the genre will find the 2010 Dodge Challenger promises the same head-turning good looks and HEMI-powered acceleration as the original.
The 2010 Challenger R/T will offer a new Super Track Pack that includes 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, Nivomat self-leveling shock absorbers, a larger rear stabilizer bar, 3.06 rear axle ratio and "ESC-off" stability control off switch. The SRT8 gets a limited production Furious Fuchsia Edition featuring fuchsia paint, white leather seats and unique rims.
Driving Impressions While the base SE with the V6 makes for a comfortable ride, it's the V8-powered models that breathe life into the Challenger's body. Unlike many cars in the genre, the...Challenger's interior is pleasantly quiet at speed and the ride is controlled without being jarring; this is true even for the R/T and SRT8 trims, although increased tire size and stiffer suspension somewhat diminish ride comfort. In R/T form, the 5.7-liter V8 has plenty of push for quick off-the-line starts and blindingly quick passing maneuvers; it also has 57 more ponies than the Mustang GT. The steering is a bit heavy, but it's precise enough to inspire confidence executing high-speed maneuvers. The Challenger R/T's suspension is sufficiently tight to control excessive body roll, but if all out handling and gut-punching acceleration take precedence over a comfortable ride and reasonable fuel economy, the SRT8 trim is the obvious choice.
6.2-liter HEMI V8
It's the HEMI that brings the Challenger legend to life and with 425 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque, this 6.2-liter monster motor ensures only a handful of cars will be able to keep up.
13-speaker Kicker Audio
Available only on the SRT8, Dodge calls this 13-speaker, 522-watt sound system the "mother of all audio", and we agree. With this system cranking your favorite tunes, the only notes sweeter than the ones inside the car are found at the end of each exhaust pipe.
When compared to the Challenger's exterior, the lackluster interior design seems to fall flat. The four-spoke steering wheel from the base Charger is definitely out of place, as is the transmission selector (it should be a pistol-grip knock-off similar to the optional manual transmission's knob). Comfortable front bucket seats do a good job of holding the driver and front passenger in place and the Challenger's rear seat can comfortably fit two adults; the same cannot be said for either the Mustang or Camaro. Sub-par plastics don't do much to brighten the interior, but a long list of creature comforts makes spending time inside the Challenger enjoyable nonetheless. A sizeable trunk also gives the Challenger a leg up on its Mustang and Camaro rivals.Exterior
The Challenger's exterior is less about retro and more the logical evolution of the original. This strong connection to the past allows the Challenger to attract both old and young, with bright, over-the-top exterior colors, bold stripes and available accessories such as hood scoops and body-colored rear "Go-Wing" spoiler. The narrow side glass helps disguise the Challenger's Charger-based roots; we just wish Dodge could have incorporated the original car's hardtop roll-down rear windows into the design.
The 2010 Dodge Challenger SE includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, eight-way power driver's seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, driver and passenger manual lumbar support and an AM/FM four-speaker stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and auxiliary audio input jack. The R/T trim adds the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, AutoStick transmission, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 18-inch alloy wheels fog lights and automatic headlamps. The SRT8 features a 6.1-liter HEMI V8, hood scoops and black hood decals, 20-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, HID headlamps, Brembo brakes, heated front seats, leather seating surfaces, Bluetooth and a Boston Acoustic audio upgrade. All Challengers come standard with anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), front and side-curtain airbags and electronic traction and stability control.
Available options for the SE include heated leather seats, Boston Acoustic audio, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, fog lights, power moonroof, navigation, 276-watt Boston Acoustics audio system and Bluetooth. R/T trims can be equipped with the Track Pack that includes a six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip rear differential, suspension and steering upgrades and the ability to turn off the electronic stability control. Options for the SRT8 include the 13-speaker Kicker audio system, navigation, a six-speed manual transmission and a power moonroof.
The Challenger offers a choice of three engines, all based on trim levels. The base SE has a 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 that offers good performance for the money, but is no barn burner. The value leader is the R/T, with a 372-horsepower HEMI V8 plucked from the Charger R/T and paired to a five-speed AutoStick or available six-speed manual transmission. At the top end resides the SRT8's 6.1-liter HEMI engine (so named for the hemispherical chambers in the heads). Producing a whopping 425 horsepower and even more impressive 420 pounds-feet of torque, the only drawback to owning this powerplant is the cost incurred at the pump and possibly the court house.
250 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
250 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
5.7-liter HEMI V8
372 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
400 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24 (manual), 16/25 (automatic)
425 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
420 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22
By Lucy on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "Blind spot"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the best car I ever owned. It is reliable and built well. I bought it brand new and only had to replace the tires, the alternator (dealer recall) wipers once. Brakes are still original which totally blows my mind. I have 80,000 miles on it after 2 yrs and 9 months. Great car, great options, leather heated seats, moon roof, navigation. Two things you need to know...there is a blind spot and it's rear wheel drive. I did put weights in the trunk about 100 lbs and got all weather tires."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Karke421 on Thursday, February 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"There is not one area of detail left undone on this one of a kind car. You have seen many of these cars, but I promise you this one tops them all. It is a Black Redline addition. The car has had an Eibach Suspension kit installed, Red Halo Plasma lights on headlights and fog lights, computer cut tint for windows, After market CAI reccomended for by Challenger forum, Flow Master exhaust w/ high output cats. Garage kept/Non Smoker only driven on weekends or special occasions."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By BQ1 on Monday, February 16, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,700overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I basically drive this vehicle on weekends with no or very little stopand go driving. It has always performed great with pickup and the extra power you need when your out just having fun. Precise tuning, Royal purple oil and allowing the 5.6 Hemi to breath with a magnaflow performance exhaust has made a huge difference."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Tom on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks,Price, Comfort, Power, Electronics"
Cons: "Blind spots, Rough Ride on bumpy roads."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Got the 2015 SXT Plus. Ivory tri coat, Black and pearl Interior. Good power and speed for V6. Comfortable interior with all the latest Electronics, Sound system excellent. Big trunk. Steering very sensitive, Rough on bumps. Great retro look."
17 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Trash on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fabulous Low End Power"
Cons: "Stock Suspension - Some Restricted Visabilty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Vehicle is equipped with Stainless Steel Factory Headers & Cat-Back System. Factory MoPar Cold Air Intake System"
16 people out of 28 found this review helpful
By NealG on Thursday, January 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Blast to drive, competitive price, wonderful V6"
Cons: "Glasses holder, ignition button not lighted"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Since purchase (12/16/14), I've received no less than a dozen compliments (as of 1/7/15). I didn't buy the car for compliments, but feel that the design team at Dodge hit a homer by bringing back the Challenger. Mine's the jazz blue pearl and is stunning to see--at first I was blase' about it, but now I can appreciate its unique deep teal blue with intense metallic sparkle. Okay, down to the nuts 'n bolts: LOVE the paddle shifters on my V6 SXT. The acceleration is surprising for a V6, with head-snapping-back power, and the exhaust notes growl nicely...when not growling it's got a nice purr to it. The heated slate-gray leather seats are so supportive and comfortable, fits my form to a T. Gas mileage is good, with 31 mpg on the highway from Annapolis to Beltsville (approx 25 miles), using the recommended 89 octane. Straight-ahead and side-to-side vision is very good, and I love the huge sun roof. Limited vision at the car's rear quarters, but the shape of the pillars limit that. What's needed is a lighted ignition button; fumble around to turn off the engine sometimes. Massive trunk for this category of vehicle. I tried Mustang and Camaro models, but got the best deal and most satisfying ride with the Challenger. Best brakes of any vehicle I've owned: Wow! Great sound system. The item I've truly got an issue with is the sunglasses holder, which can be finicky to close...something I can easily live with."
21 people out of 42 found this review helpful