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 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"
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."
14 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Swanie on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great looks, acceleration, leather interior, fun"
Cons: "Gas milage 14-15 in the city"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T in September 2011 and it has 9000 miles. The color is Toxic Orange which I love. Before this car I owned five (5) Mustangs between 1994 and 2010 including a 1996 Mystic Cobra and a 2003 Mach 1. The Challenger is a little heavier than the Mustangs and doesn't handle quite as well but it is much smoother cruising on the highway and the acceleration is what you buy the car for. The leather interior is very comfortable and easy to keep clean. I have had no problems with the car other than the three (3) recalls. A great car to own and I would definitely buy another R/T. This car really attracts attention."
25 people out of 53 found this review helpful
By Karefree12 on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great value, great options"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I traded my 2013 Chrysler 300 in for the 2014 Challenger, 100th Anniversary Edition SXT-Plus. I have all the comfort and options my 300 gave me. I wasn't sure at first that I made the right decision but now I am sure of it. This is a car I would certainly recommend."
14 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Woody on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have the SXT/Plus V6 with leather, remote start, shift paddles and sports package in beautiful Rally Red 3 Coat Pearl. BEST CAR I have ever owned at 43 years old. Each time I drive it a smile comes across my face. The sport button gives it a great kick in the rear when you want to ZOOM to your destination. She is a looker and I get stopped often by others asking about her. I have over 36,000 miles on her and she is running like a champ. New tires just put on her as well. If you are looking for a car that is fun to drive short or long distance AND can fit your teens in the back seats without complaints, this is the one."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Makesense on Saturday, October 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. I consider it a great bang for your buck--value. As far as reliability and quality--no issues so far; I know only 9200 miles. It drives and corners solid. I think the design of the interior and exterior of the car is fantastic. The SRT-8 has huge well bolstered leather seats with real nice orange stripe accents (the car is Header Orange) so they have really taken some thought and time to personalize the interior with the color of the car. It is way more comfortable than my friends SS Camaro and gets better gas mileage than the Camaro SS even though it makes 55 more horsepower and weighs apron. 400 lbs. more than the SS. If I drive the car at 65-70 M.P.H it will get 25 M.P.G. I think it is a great value for a performance car."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful