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2011 Dodge Challenger

Overview
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2011 Dodge Challenger Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.6

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. Once again in the ring with the Mustang and Camaro, the 2011 Challenger delivers clearly recognizable Challenger DNA, a Hemi engine and a 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 that are actually capable of dealing with the car's immense power.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you grew up owning one, or regret being born too late for the privilege, lovers of the genre will find the 2011 Dodge Challenger promises the same head-turning good looks and Hemi-powered acceleration as the original.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a light, nimble performance car, the Challenger's large dimensions and somewhat claustrophobic interior may have you moving to perhaps tidier performance-oriented coupes, such as the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G37.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2011 the Challenger gets a new base V6 of 3.6 liters and 305 horsepower (55 more than the previous 3.5-liter V6) and 268 pound-feet of torque; it is truly a huge improvement and gives even the base SE model a genuine performance feel. New chassis architecture delivers higher cornering levels and there is additional standard equipment. But the big Challenger news for 2011 is the debut of the SRT8 392, powered by a 6.4-liter version of the Hemi engine and making 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. There will be only 1,142 of the Inaugural Edition models (1,100 for the United States and 392 for Canada), and they will be either deep blue with white stripes or white with blue stripes. The "392" moniker refers to 392 cubic inches, in memory of the 392-inch Hemi of 1957 and '58, but the modern version actually measures only 391 cubic inches; somebody needs a new calculator.

Driving the Challenger

Driving Impressions The base SE, with the 3.6-liter V6 of 305 horsepower, offers plenty of more-than-reasonable performance. It's also lighter than the previous engine, which helps vehicle balance and handling, and the...

SE will be available with a Super Sport Group with performance suspension and brakes and 20-inch wheels and tires. But it's the V8-powered models that breathe serious 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 trims, although increased tire size and a stiffer suspension somewhat diminish ride comfort. In R/T form, the 5.7-liter V8 has plenty of push for fast off-the-line starts and blindingly quick passing maneuvers. 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 392 trim is the obvious choice.

6.4-liter Hemi V8
It's the Hemi that brings the Challenger legend to life and with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, the 6.4-liter monster motor in the SRT8 392 ensures only a handful of cars will be able to keep up.

13-speaker Kicker Audio
Available only on the SRT8 392, 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.

2011 Dodge Challenger Details
Interior

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 about 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 a hood scoop and 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Dodge Challenger SE has Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 305 horsepower, a five-speed automatic transmission, automatic air conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, six-way power driver's seat with power lumbar adjustment, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, vehicle information center and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary audio input jack. Depending upon the trim level, additional features include the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, a six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, fog lamps, security alarm, Sirius Satellite Radio, USB port, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather seating, Boston Acoustics speakers, 276-watt amplifier, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, heated front seats and a variety of trim and convenience features. The SRT8 392 includes premium leather with accent stripes, 20-inch wheels with performance tires, a functional hood scoop, rear spoiler, performance-tuned steering, Brembo brakes front and rear, specific trim features and the SRT Track Experience, where new owners can go to learn how to better control the car's incredible performance.

Optional Equipment

Available options for the SE include an interior appearance group and Sirius Satellite Radio. The Rallye can be equipped with a power sunroof, 368-watt sound system with Boston Acoustics speakers, leather seating, a variety of color choices, 20-inch alloy wheels and other trim and convenience items. R/T trims can be equipped with the Track Pack that includes 20-inch wheels and performance tires, heavy-duty brakes, performance steering and a track-tuned suspension. There are a variety of options for the SRT8 392 which are appropriate for its very high-performance mission in life.

Under the Hood

The Challenger offers a choice of three engines. Chrysler's modern 3.6-liter V6 makes 305 horsepower and delivers plenty of performance for any reasonable use on the highway or a curving mountain road. The value leader is to be found with the 5.7-liter Hemi; with the five-speed automatic it's rated at 372 horsepower and with the six-speed manual it's at 376 horsepower. At the top end resides the SRT8 392 of 6.4 liters. Producing a whopping 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, the only drawback to owning this powerplant is the cost incurred at the pump and possibly the court house.

3.6-liter V6
305 horsepower @ 6350 rpm
268 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27

5.7-liter Hemi V8
372 horsepower @ 5200 rpm (automatic)
376 horsepower @ 5150 rpm (manual)
400 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm (automatic)
410 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm (manual)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24 (manual), 16/25 (automatic)

6.4-liter V8
470 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
470 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 (automatic); 14/23 (manual)

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2011 Dodge Challenger Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 379 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Awesome!!

By on Saturday, May 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"purchased new in May 2014 off the carrier. 6900 Pampered miles. All service recently completed. Great car I hate to give it up."

It just can't get much better!

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,650

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fair price, very fun to drive, 5.7 will go"

Cons: "Should have made the leather seats complete leathe"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own this 2013 Blacktop R/T Plus Challenger and don't have a single regret putting my investment into this car. I'm happy with my 5.7 Hemi but if I had just one second thought, it would possibly be having the 392 under the hood. Nothing against the 2015 revised models but, after looking at them and comparing the redone front and back end and the interior changes, I still like mine better. I have to rate her right at the top of the scale. Why take away the manual pistol grip style? To me, looking at the new interior it just looks cheaper to me, but to each, their own. It's the ONLY real retro vehicle that is so true to it's roots in 1970 bar none."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best car I've owned

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Been driving this car for 5 trouble free years. Minor issue with AC control but dealer fixed under warantee. Others than that all I've ever done to it routine Maintenace. Has a big car ride and sports car performance. I'm 6"2" and fit nicely. Has a lot of space vs the Camaro and Mustang. Even the rear seats are roomy. Cruisin at 80 mph I'm getting 26 + mpg. What.s not to like?"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Moderate value for high cost

By on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Look and handling are both nice. Comfortable ride"

Cons: "Poor craftsmanship, low quality materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Original and only owner - experience with the vehicle has been mostly good until the last year and a half due to the air conditioning system's endurance (or lack thereof). From the posts I've seen online about other Dodge vehicles, the blend door actuator failure and door freezing in the heat/open position is common for a lot of the dual control (zoned) air conditioning systems. This is a single control system with the same problems. After only 36000 miles in 5 years (2 yrs and 22000 miles of which were highway only), the air conditioning system has completely leaked all freon twice and had the blend door stick in place once causing hot air to come out the passenger and rear vents while only cool, not cold, air blows from the driver side vents (currently being repaired). This is apparently a software issue Dodge has refused to recall and fix since 2007 or earlier. However, not only has the AC failed twice barely after the original warranty mileage expired, but the rubber seals around the inside of the hood have dry rotted and fallen off in that time as well. This is a garage kept vehicle. Sounds like poor quality materials and bad design to me. Hopefully the newer (2011 and up) models have been improved since the price has been jacked up so much since I purchased this one. If you buy one, good luck! And get rid of it before you hit the 5 year mark."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

would highly recommend the dodge challenger

By on Friday, May 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"ive had my challenger for a year now, I love my car. it may not be as fast as the Camaro or mustang v8s but to me the challenger looks the best. retro style with all the comforts and safeties of a new car."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Time machine on wheels

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "True to form retro styling, awesome power"

Cons: "Interior styling a little dated"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge all build modern muscle cars based upon designs from the golden age of muscle cars (late 60's to early 70's). Only Chrysler got it right. Of the big 3, only the Dodge Challenger so closely resembles it's 1970's namesake that I've had people come up and compliment me on the "restoration" I've done on my modern Challenger! I chose the R/T Classic, the top of the line trim level of the mid range engine offering. 375 horsepower and 400 foot pounds of torque are more than enough to get me into all the trouble I can afford! The 470/470 HP-to-torque ratio of the SRT model is tempting, but unless you plan to track race the car, the R/T will more than suffice. The straight line acceleration of the stock Challenger R/T is downright, grin-inducing satisfying. 0-60 times are consistently in the sub 6 second times, and if you take your unaltered R/T to the track, mid to high 13 second 1/4 mile times are the norm. Slap on performance tires and tweak the ECU with an aftermarket tuner, and 1/4 mile times will dip into the 12 second range. The R/T Hemi (5.7L, or 348 CID) actually adapts to the ultimate aftermarket performance upgrade (supercharger) slightly better than it's SRT brother, the 6.4L Hemi (392 CID). For whatever reason, the stock OEM internals of the 5.7L Hemi hold up better to 6-8 lb supercharger boost than the pistons and camshaft of the 6.4L. This car is fun to modify, regardless of trim level. But modifications (mods) can quickly run into thousands of dollars for the Challenger enthusiast. Since the Challenger's inception in the 2008 model year, scores of manufacturers and vendors of aftermarket performance parts and exterior and interior appearance packages have proliferated across the web. Owners have thousand of options to customize or personalize the appearance of their Challenger to suit their own tastes. And the Challenger is a head turner, and it will draw attention no matter where you drive it. So be prepared to have total strangers walk up to you and ask you questions about it, admire it, or even ask to take pictures of it!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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