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2011 Dodge Challenger

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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 New for 2011

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 414 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 models.

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

Quiet 3.6 more than adaquite for all around

By on Saturday, May 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "looks and realiability."

Cons: "Body gaps and Fit. Issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Car is very smooth the 8 speed auto is great. I've played around with the 0-60 performance gauge and for a heavy car with a V6 my best time was 6.1 seconds. Not bad for a daily cruiser weighing in at 4000 lbs. This car is very comfortable on long drives. I bought this car new, for daily use and it does preform well. The tech. package is great also. The only real issue is, Body fit and gaps. I owned a 70 Cuda and it reminds me of the seventies when fit and finish of American cars stunk. Kudos to Dodge BUT tighten up alignment of doors, hoods trunks and fenders."

22 people out of 22 found this review helpful

old is new

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, build quality, power, handling, brakes."

Cons: "Manual trans (shifting/long throws) door pockets,"

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

Summer day at the park.

"I traded in my 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R for my 2011 Challenger in October, 2013, buying it certified used with 7,100 miles on it. A few minor light scratches, other than that the car looked and drove as new. Plenty of room inside up front. You need to slide your seats up a bit if you like your rear seat passengers, but it's really best for two up front. An R/T Plus, it's optioned well, very comfortable, quiet and sure footed on every road type. The Super track Pak makes for a firm ride, but for me, not objectionably so. For a car that is large, it handles quite nimbly on mountain roads at imprudent speeds. The acceleration for the 5.7L is very robust, and I routinely get 24-28mpg on the highway. Of course, I don't put my foot through the firewall much. The 6 speed Tremec transmission may be a weak point on my Challenger. I recently am finding shifting sporadically difficult, mostly when warm, and only about 15% of the time. But I find that annoying. Dealer visit has not yet yielded a fix. The only other problem was with the airbag warning light, which began staying on. It was found that a wire connector under the passenger seat was faulty. It took the dealer three times to fix it. I'll find out the quality of the repair first time into a pole. The sound system is great, HVAC auto temp works great, heated seats, etc., all wonderful. Seat leather is a quality product, and the seats, with power driver's lumbar, are an absolute dream on long trips, Wide door makes getting in and out a breeze. And the look. Well, I literally can't back out of my garage without people noticing, and often responding positively. I came up when the original muscle cars were roaming the streets. I was a disciple of Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge, owned several, drove several more. They were, and are fun. But this car, "fugedaboudit", is light years ahead. I love this car, and I'll keep it as long as I'm on the right side of the flowers!"

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Summer day at the park.

Dodge crushed it in 2016

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Retro, comfort, handling with Scat Pack, quick!"

Cons: "None"

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

"I grew up in the 60's and have always been a fan of the 69 and 70 model year GTO's, Chevelle SS 396 and 454, Challenger 440 and Torino GT's. I drove a 69 AMX 390 back in the day and miss those years dearly. Todays cars are much more refined with turbo fours and V6 cars like the camaro, mustang and Challenger turning out performance numbers of the older big block beast. Which brings me to this review: I have owned a 2012 Challenger R/T, 2013 Camaro SS, 2014 Mustang GT and a 2015 Charger R/T in recent years. In 2016 I broke away from the "muscle car" rumble with V8's that have cylinder deactivation and nose heavy handling and went to a 2016 Challenger SXT Plus with the Super Scat Pack and nav package. The lighter V6 and Scat Pack makes for great handling, the Alpine premium stereo is on par with my BMW stereo and performance is only slightly off of the V8 crowd (0-60 in 5.8 sec and the quarter in 14 sec and 98 mph. Now it is no race car - but it is a great cruiser with handling and performance of the GTO's and Chevelle SS of years past. I have a couple of friends who traded their Mustang and SVO Taurus for a Challenger SXT Plus with Scat Pack and Nav. We all agree this newly refreshed model will be a buyers choice for the years to come! If you can find a Plus model with Scat Pack check it out - it will be worth your time!"

11 people out of 31 found this review helpful

You need to own one.

By on Sunday, March 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,444

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Eco-mode saves fuel."

Cons: "Quick, but this car only has a 3.5 ltr motor."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"In my own opinion this is a must have vehicle for a car owner that wants the classic muscle car look and dependability of a newer model vehicle. Yes, it is big, yes the bright color is flashy, yes the wheels have that bling that is in style, and yes it can be ordered in either a Hemi style V8 engine or fuel efficient V6 engine. All my friends back in my technical school really were curious about my Challenger, because the people I went to school with were also car enthusiasts as well. My goal was to save plenty of money to pay for a new car and this is the vehicle that was hot and new, so I went out and bought it. This was my first vehicle that came straight from the dealership that I purchased. With good credit it was no problem to go to the dealership and buy my Dodge Challenger right off of the showroom floor. I did not think too much about what kind of car to buy, however when I bought this car I wanted a two door car that had good fuel economy. And my Dodge Challenger has not really affected my wallet by stopping to fill up my fuel tank once a week. The way you drive a car can really help you save on fuel costs. That is why since this car is on the heavy side I get up to the speed limit and then the eco-mode turns two of the six cylinders off. But when you step on the gas pedal the eco-mode turns all cylinders back on. The 5-speed automatic transmission works really well, however there is no transmission dipstick to check trans fluid level. My car also was equipped with the rallye pack upgrade and the gps is kind of hard to get used to, but I love my car and its accessories. All over I give this car a 7 out of 10 points, because for the money this is a good vehicle that is dependable."

10 people out of 28 found this review helpful

2011 Challenger R/T Plus, black on black, 6 speed

By on Saturday, March 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

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: "Great retro looks, comfortable, sporty, fast."

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

Summer's day at the park.

"Bought this car Certified Used at a local Chrysler dealership with 7,100 miles on it in late 2013. I was 57 years old at the time. This car has been wonderful, needing only one fix (the finger pad on the underside of the exterior door handle for keyless entry needed to be replaced) in addition to regular oil changes, and other scheduled maintenance. It's a large car with a solid ride, a bit stiff because of the performance suspension, but not objectionably so. Loaded with comforts I couldn't imagine in the V-code 'Cuda we owned in the 70s, the 5.7 is quite fast enough, and rewards good behavior with better than advertised MPG. My car currently has 42,000 miles, runs like new, looks almost new, is a joy to drive, and a pleasure to own."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Summer's day at the park.

Awesome Machine.

By on Saturday, February 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, Awesome Power, Ageless,"

Cons: "Not good if you plan on driving in the snow lol."

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

"If "Loyalty is Royalty" then I am the epitome of it. My 2015 392 Sublime Green SRT8 premium Challenger is my 4th Challenger and my 6th Mopar. What I love about the Challenger is it seems to be universally ergonomic for everyone. Has a ton of Power and Torque. Great Daily Driver and Friday night track car."

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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