By on February 12, 2013

Last time we had a Challenger SRT8 to review, well, we didn’t review it so much as we burnt the rubber off the rear wheels. Sorry Dodge, we couldn’t help it. After a few Facebook requests, we put Dodge’s 470HP retro coupé back on our wish list and someone at Chrysler decided to trust me with their retro cruiser. If you couldn’t afford that Challenger in the poster on your wall when you were in college, click through the jump to find out what Dodge’s 470HP two-door is like to live with for a week before you throw down 45-large on this retro bruiser.

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Exterior

Designing “retro” sounds easy to me. You pull out a picture of ye olde Challenger from 1972, put it next to a picture of your largest sedan and make the shapes fit. Next you round things off a bit, tack on some 5MPH inspired bumpers, spray it with metallic paint and hey-presto, you have a modern Challenger. You also have one enormous coupé. Sure, Chrysler says the “LC” platform Challenger is shorter than their “LX” platform sedans, but you’d be hard pressed to say where inches were excised. The result is a heavyweight muscle car with a wheelbase 9-inches longer and a body that’s 10-inches longer than Ford’s pony car.

Parked next to the Camaro and Mustang, the Challenger dwarfs them both like the Jolly Green Giant next to Little Pea. This means comparisons between the three muscle cars is difficult. It doesn’t make rational sense either because I have a hard time believing anyone will seriously cross-shop a Mustang Boss 302 and a Challenger SRT8. Why? They’re just not the same kind of car. While the Challenger’s portly dimensions are likely to turn off some shoppers, I was strangely intrigued. But then again, I have a soft spot for big Chryslers having owned both a Chrysler LHS and an Eagle Vision. The size (visual and on paper) of this beast brought another vehicle to mind: the BMW 650i. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but they’re about the same size.

 

Interior

2008 is an important year to keep in mind as it was post-Mercedes but pre-Fiat. It was in that Cerberus window that the Challenger was born. As a result, the cabin’s plastics aren’t as awful as the first generation 300/Charger, but neither are they as good as the 2011 revisions of the same. Still, the Camaro and Mustang don’t exactly come covered in the best plastics that money can buy, so while the Challenger feels a little rubbery and low-rent, the American competition isn’t much better.

On the bright side, the SRT8 392 version of the Challenger is brought up-market by standard leather upholstery with Alcantara seat and door inserts, high levels of standard equipment and one of the best OEM steering wheels available. The new SRT wheel is chunky, deeply cushioned, covered in soft leather, heated, thoroughly addictive and enough for me to forgive the rubbery dash and oddly positioned door handles. Of course, only a few days before the “publish” button was pressed on this review, Chrysler announced a “core” version of the SRT8 Challenger that drops the price by removing the leather and other options. Full details on the low-cost model have yet to be released at this time.

Front seat comfort proved excellent for long trips, although the seat design suffers from the same problem as the Chrysler 200: the bottom cushion is shaped like a “dome” making it feel as if you’re sitting “on” the seat and not “in” the seat. To hold you “on” the leather clad gumdrop during the inevitable shenanigans 470HP will invite, Dodge severely bolstered the seats. Thankfully (and unlike the Mercedes C63), Chrysler was kind enough to make the seats wide enough for normal Americans. Back in 2011 when the 392 debuted, an ivory/blue leather interior was offered, but for 2013 your only options are black on black or the red and black interior our tester wore.

Thanks to the proportions and long wheelbase, rear accommodations are large, comfortable and “normally” shaped. What do I mean by that? Sit in a Mustang, Camaro, or most other two-door four-seat coupés and you’ll notice the seat backs are set at an odd angle to “improve” the headroom and legroom numbers in an otherwise small rear compartment. Despite having (on paper) only three inches more legroom and two more inches of headroom than the Mustang or Camaro, the rear cabin feels cavernous. It’s even possible to squeeze a third adult in the rear of the Challenger, something you can’t do in the four-seat Camaro or Mustang. Chrysler also designed the optional $995 sunroof so that it doesn’t cut into rear headroom.

When it comes to cargo schlepping, Dodge went retro with a trunk lid rather than a modern trunk “hatch.” The result is a high lift-over making it difficult to lift heavy suitcases into the trunk without scuffing the rear bumper. On the bright side, the cargo hold is a cavernous 16.2 cubic feet, a whopping 44% larger than the Camaro. While the Challenger lost points in our exclusive Trunk Comfort Index (see the video segment) for having cheap trunk fabric, it gained more for having trunk hinges that don’t cut down on usable trunk space.

Infotainment

Dodge’s snazzy new engine didn’t bring Chrysler’s new uConnect system with it leaving shoppers to choose from three retro radio and navigation options. We start off with a base 6-speaker Dodge-branded audio system and a 6.5-inch touchscreen head unit with a standard CD/DVD player, Bluetooth phone interface aND USB/iPod interface port. $595 buys you the 6.5-inch touchscreen Garmin-based navigation system and Sirius Satellite radio. The system is as easy to use as after-market Garmin systems but doesn’t have the ability to enter a destination address via voice commands. Chrysler’s “730N’” navigation head unit adds the ability to voice command your navigation wishes but the cost is dear at $2,190 because it must be ordered with the optional Harmon Kardon amplifier/speaker package.

The $1,995 Harmon system used their Logic 7 surround processing engine (as seen in the BMW 6-Series), 18 speakers and Green Edge amplifiers. The system can be added to any of the infotainment options on the Challenger. (No, the irony of power efficient “green” amplifiers on a vehicle that wears a gas guzzler tax was not lost on me.) In terms of sound quality, the base system is barely average while the Logic 7 system wouldn’t be out of place on a $60,000 luxury vehicle. Before you check any of the option boxes however, you should know this generation of uConnect system doesn’t exactly love USB/iDevices and browsing your tunes is a drag. Compared to Chevy’s MyLink system or the older SYNC system in the Mustang, the Challenger’s interface is ancient and a distant third place.

Drivetrain

HEMI. 392. Almost, but not quite. Chrysler (like everyone else) designs their engines with metric measurements and the chief engineer at Dodge claims the displacement translation to English units was done after the fact. That’s why this 392 is really a 391, but that’s close enough for the marketing department. If we’re splitting hairs, the heads are only partially hemispherical. Does any of that matter? Nope.

Any complaints about the rubbery interior evaporate you look at the engine’s numbers. Chrysler didn’t just bore out the 6.1 to get more displacement. Instead, the 6.4L shares its tech with Chrysler’s revised 5.7L V8. Unlike the competition, you won’t find any overhead cams, no special direct injection sauce and only 2 valves per cylinder. Despite that, the 6.4L engine is far from retro. This pushrod V8 gets variable valve timing thanks to a trick camshaft, a variable length intake manifold and cylinder deactivation (with the automatic transmission only). The changes vs the old 6.1L SRT engine are transformative. Power is up 45HP to 470 while torque takes a 90ft-lb leap to a horsepower matching 470. More important is the significant improvement in torque from 2,000-4,000RPM. The old 6.1L engine had some odd power peaks and felt out of breath at the top end. The 6.4 on the other hand feels eager at almost any RPM.

Dodge made the Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission (borrowed from the old Viper) standard, a surprising twist in a portfolio that’s automatic heavy. The manual’s shifts are short, the engagement is near perfection and the clutch pedal is linear with predictable engagement and low effort. Should you be a left-leg amputee, a Mercedes 5-speed automatic is available. Don’t do it. While the automatic transmission enables Chrysler’s Multi Displacement System to function, the 6-speed manual is better in every way including fuel economy. Speaking of economy, the Challenger wears a $1,000 gas guzzler tax because of its 14/23/17 MPG numbers (City/Highway/Combined). However, thanks to an extremely tall 6th gear we averaged 19.5MPG over our week with the Challenger and averaged an impressive 25MPG on a long road trip. Real world economy numbers with the automatic appeared to be 1-2MPG lower based on a short drive with a dealer provided vehicle.

Drive

At 4,200lbs and 198-inches long, the Challenger is a GT car at heart, much like BMW’s 4,368lb 193-inch 6-Series. That means (if you haven’t figured it out by now) that being behind the wheel of the Challenger SRT8 is more like being behind the wheel of BMW’s two-door luxury barge than Ford’s pony car. Is that a bad thing? Not in my book. Sure the Challenger cuts a circle 5-feet bigger than the Mustang, doesn’t handle as well on the track, and delivers straight line performance numbers similar to the less expensive Mustang GT, but it’s the car I’d rather drive. Why? The Challenger delivers the most polished ride of the high-horsepower American trio thanks to a standard computer controlled suspension system. If that makes me sound like an old man, let me remind you that Mustang/Camaro vs Challenger is always going to be an apples vs oranges comparison.

No performance car review would be complete without performance numbers. Before we dig in, it is important to keep in mind that the test car had a manual transmission. This means the driver is the single biggest factor involved. The 2013 SRT8 has “launch control” but it proved too cumbersome so it wasn’t used in our tests. You should also know that a single shift (1-2) is required to get the Challenger to 60 while four are required for the 1/4 mile (1-4). Traction is also a problem with any 2WD vehicle and this much power; the more control you have over your rubber burning, the faster your 0-30 times will be.

With that out of the way, let’s dive in. Our first test resulted in an 8.1 second run to 60… Because we only used third gear. That should tell you the kind of torque this engine produces. When not joking around, my best time was a 4.4 second run to 60 with a respectable 2.0 second 0-30 time. You can see from these two numbers that traction is the issue. I estimate with wider, grippier tires in the rear, a 1.8 second 0-30 and 4.2 second 0-60 would be achievable. If you opt for the automatic, 60MPH will take a few ticks longer, but because the Mercedes slushbox only needs gears 1-3 for the 1/4 mile (1-4 in the manual) Chrysler says the time will be about 4/10ths faster.

With a starting price of $44,775, the Challenger is about $2,000 more than a Mustang Boss 302 and around $5,000 more dear than a Camaro SS when comparably equipped. Of course for the price you get dynamic suspension, a larger trunk, bigger back seat and one of the best exhaust notes in the industry. In an attempt to even the playing field, Dodge just announced a new “core” model which will start just under $40-large. When pitted against the competition, the Challenger may march to a different drummer, but this is a beat I dig. The SRT8 392 is ginormous, impractical and eats like a teenager with the munchies. It’s also comfortable, powerful and put more smiles per mile on my face than I had expected. It’s hard to go wrong with those results. Just don’t race for pinks, ok?

Chrysler provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30:2.0 Seconds

0-60: 4.4 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 12.8 Seconds @ 115 MPH

Observed Average Fuel Economy: 19.5MPG over 829 miles

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61 Comments on “Review: 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 (Video)...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So unless you are a collector or a hardcore speed freak where every hp and every 1/10 of a second matters… Why buy this (or an SRT8 Charger) over a Hemi R/T version of the Challenger/Charger? (And don’t say the manual transmission, that’s either a minus or a plus depending on the type of driving you do.)

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I would only buy a car with a manual transmission, so it would be the answer to why I would buy one car over another when one offers it and one doesn’t. Why ask a question and then specify that you don’t want to hear what is likely to be a true answer?

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      You can buy the Hemi R/T with a manual transmission (in theory anyway…works on the configurator). Dealers stocking the SRT would be more likely to actually order them with a manual than they would the R/T. For whatever reason though it doesn’t appear you can order a manual Hemi R/T with a limited slip differential without selecting the “Blacktop package,” which apparently precludes the availability of the only color paint one should consider ordering on this vehicle: white.

      • 0 avatar
        allwxattk

        The R/T Classic with 6-speed has a limited slip differential standard. No need to order the Blacktop package.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I can think of a lot of other colors I would order before white. That movie is over 40 years old, and it wasn’t that great, to be honest. It’s not the worst color. White is better than brown, for example. I took my R/T in Hemi Orange. Detonator Yellow would have been my first choice, with TorRed, black, and Plum Crazy Purple as other acceptable choices.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      As stated, you can get the same TR6060 manual transmission in an R/T or SRT8. Someone would buy an SRT because they want the (significant) extra performance, about a second better in 0-60 and 1/4 times than the R/T.

      If all that power doesn’t interest a prospective buyer, they could opt for the R/T (or the 3.6L V6 for that matter).

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Not everything is a paper race, but you might be overestimating how quick the R/T versions are. There’s generally at least a full second difference by the end of the quarter compared to the SRT8 versions. It’s closer to a V6 vs. GT Mustang gap than a few tenths and a slightly higher trap. It’s almost always an apples to oranges affair since the Challenger/Charger/300 are often bigger and heavier than what they are being compared to and tend to be somewhat of an odd duck as a result (like a Mustang/Camaro/Challenger comparo).

    • 0 avatar

      WHY BUY IT OVER AN R/T?

      Very simple: Boasting purposes.

      I’d love to take pictures of the dropped jaws when I go to get oil changes and people see my engine/supercharger combo.

      Why should I spend $10,000 less if I can spend $10,000 more and have it all???

      I will say this: Dodge needs to update the Challenger and Charger to the 8-speed and new steering wheel with Uconnect Touch stat.

    • 0 avatar
      RandallJ

      For every car there is a guy like you running around hating… fact is, that there are reasons not to buy any car.. (I think that is why they make many kinds of cars)..

      I have driven all the current muscle cars along with plenty of the euro exotics..

      Why would anyone spend $350G on a Ferrari when you can buy a small fleet of other cars?

      Let me clue you in.. Cause you can and you want too.. If you want to be a tool, run around playing sour grapes on every car that is not yours.. go for it.. I for one? appreciate cars for what they are, personal expressions and things that make my heart beat a bit faster when done right..

      Go play Ford vs Chevy in the wallyworld parking lot with your buddies..

  • avatar
    mbaruth

    “I have a hard time believing anybody will seriously cross shop a Mustang Boss 302 and a Challenger SRT-8.”

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/i-have-a-sports-car-again-one-ponycar-purchase-experience/

    :)

    • 0 avatar

      That haggling in that story was horrifying, Bark. That’s why I loathe buying cars.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Your not alone, on my Mustang site, a significant number of Mustang owners consider the Challenger a suitable replacement for the Mustang if they were to shop someplace other than Ford, more so than the Camaro.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Both are usable cars. The Camaro is a cartoon. You can’t see out of it, you can’t get anything in the trunk, and humans don’t fit in the back seat. And it has the most hideous interior ever made by man.

        I’d buy the Mustang if I was looking for more sport, and the Challenger if I wanted more luxury. I like them both, a lot.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’m impressed by the gas mileage. That’s about the same or better than what I see with a similarly heavy car powered by a supercharged V6 coupled to an awful 8-speed automatic. This isn’t really a car I could see buying new, but it will make a fantastic barn find in a few decades.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah, my 2.5 liter Element barely beats 25 mpg on the highway. ‘Course, it has ridiculously short gearing and terrible aerodynamics, but still…

      I recognize those HVAC knobs from the Dodge Caliber I rented. That’s not a knock, they’re really quite nice. Actually, they were about the only nice thing in that car.

    • 0 avatar
      oliver1800d

      I can speak intelligently to the top 3 American muscle cars. I own all 3 – 12 SRT, 12 Mustang GT-CS and a 13 SS Camaro. They all have their highlights. The SRT real world mileage is BETTER than listed. 4 trips from Denver to Sioux Falls SD yielded an incredible 25.6 MPG with the 6 speed manual. Avg 72mph. I also own a Challenger SXT Plus (in Black) and just love this car. Huge power for a V6 and nimble driving. As a everyday driver, I highly recommend this car for the money @27k and it is not that much slower than the R/T.

      The Mustang is the fastest – you just cannot beat the HP/Wt ratio. But it is not the most fun to drive. Leave that to the BIG SRT- what a pleasure.

      The Camaro SS with it’s Orange Inferno interior is a beauty. Everyone complains about the blind spot. Have one word for that “Mirrors” – learn to use them and rely on them. It is no worse than the blind spot in the SRT.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    Don’t know much about the car, but I think the back seats are beautiful.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    I love the exterior of the Challenger. They really nailed the retro styling and it’s my favorite of the entries in the pony car wars looks wise. The problem for me has always been the weight. The Challenger/Charger/300 are all so big and heavy that the SRT8 versions are the only ones I’m interested in because they’ve got an engine to match the heft. As you alluded to, they basically all compete with vehicles one power class down because of their mass, whether it’s a Challenger SRT8 vs. GT or a Charger R/T vs. numerous NA V6 sport sedans. It’s not as much of an issue for me in the Charger SRT8/300 SRT8 since they have less direct competition, but the mid to high $40k range was just a little too steep for me to take a Challenger home. That was Boss with Recaro money. If I still had a craptastic downtown commute I’d love an SRT8 Challenger as a daily driver with the maybe-it’ll-happen-someday 8 speed auto (for aforementioned terrible commute). I never got far enough into my comparison shopping to see how much under MSRP you could pick these up for.

  • avatar

    It’s not just the rear seat-backs that are angled differently; it’s also the seat-bottoms on many coupes. The most interesting examples I’ve seen are the Ford Mustang and Jaguar XK, which will nearly have your knees in your chest…

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I have the same seats in my Charger (in red also) and love them. I’ve never noticed the hump that you mentioned. I’ve taken numerous 3+ hour trips and never found them any less than perfectly comfortable. I really like the side boltstering and am surprised that I’m not left aching after sitting in the exact same position for so long.

  • avatar
    Mykl

    Against all reason, and my polar opposite taste in cars… I love the Challenger. Normally I go for small, lightweight, relatively unpowerful cars that I can drive with a heavy foot…. but there’s something about the tank-heavy, stupid-powerful, slab-sided Challenger that does it for me.

    If all I needed it for was a lazy commute I’d probably get an R/T model with a slushbox, put some slightly noisier mufflers on it and enjoy myself. But for $45k I’m more likely to go with a Boss 302.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Saw one of these at the airport Sunday in Super Bee Yellow. Looks better in person to me. It will always be too tall and or narrow compared to the classic, but it’s nice.

  • avatar
    dabradler

    I would too scared to get one, because some hippies would key it for being a gas guzzler. Although your observed fuel economy actually seems pretty decent, doubt getting ‘almost’ 20mpg would impress the cold hearted ‘environmentalists’ though…

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    I love the 6-series comparison. It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but in terms of what this car does well, the 6 is the best option on the market right now.

    Wonder if the Ferrari side of Fiat could be convinced to shoot above it’s weight with a low $50′s version with a better interior (a la new viper.) Its a thought…

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      It’s coming though not from the Ferrari side. The SRT Barracuda is to be Chrysler’s next muscle car. It’s supposed to be smaller and lighter than the Challenger and will forgo retro for a modern design.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      I think it’s funny that he said a $2,000 optional stereo would not be out of place on a $60,000 car, when he was talking about a $45,000 car.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Questions, questions. Can Chrysler not figure out how to put this thing on a 600-pound diet? Why is it that everytime I see one of these, the driver has a mullet? When is Chrysler planning to make a four-door Challenger (they did it with the Charger, Wrangler, and Sebring)?

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The next gen Challenger supposedly will cut 2-3 inches in length and be lighter.

      Why is there a need for a 4-door Challenger when there is the Charger?

      There is also a rumor of a new SRT model, the Barracuda.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “when will this re-design happen? Car has been out quite a while. I suppose sales are still strong?”

      In fat the Challenger had record sales this year in spite of the fact that the exterior has been left mostly unchanged since 2008. Interior, powertraind and color upgrades combined with consumer confidence are likely factors for this.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      I do not have a mullet, and I have never seen anyone with a mullet driving one. Most have some hair loss, like me.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The Challenger may be a bit of a bloated pig compared to the Mustang but it’s the only one of the pony cars that did it right when it came to the retro-look.

    Sure, the Mustang can carve corners better than the Challenger, but the Challenger SRT8 is “old school” muscle car – looks bad and goes fast in a straight line.

    While Chrysler should make the next Challenger a bit smaller, lighter and give it a better dash, wouldn’t mind at all if the Challenger retained its retro design.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    One more: Where is the convertible??? “Doing it right” as far as the retro look is a matter of opinion. Taking the original and making it a bloated pig is easy.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Nice car but I’d buy a BOSS 302 instead and if I had a “wild hair” you know where, I’d save a bit more a get a very lightly used ZL1 for around 51k.

    I liked the retro designs when they were introduced but I’m more than ready for something new. I’m looking forward to the next gen Mustang, a redesign (both inside and out) of the Camaro as well as its move to the Alpha platform, and the upcoming SRT Barracuda.

    On a slighty unrealted note (after all the post is about a muscle car) did anyone see Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap results? The Camaro ZL1 came in third overall behind the 458 Italia and the LFA. The car is an absolute beast and will only get better when it moves to the new platform.

    I like it in an obnoxious F/U kinda way.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      ZL1 FTW. I got a kick out of the fact that it beat the SL65 (or whatever it was) Black Edition, too.

      It’s a lot of car for your $55K!

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      If they don’t do these cars “retro”, I won’t bother with any of them. If the Mustang looks anything like the pics/drawings of it I’ve seen, I’ll take it off my shopping list. As long as one of the three looks good (not like just another squashed egg with a whale shark’s mouth)I’ll be at least thinking about buying one.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      The C&D Lightning lap where supposedly with a fresh set of tires the 1LE would smoke even the ZL1? Yeah read it and calling BS on that observation otherwise I found it a pretty good read.

      I think the ZL1 is a great deal and an impressive car (a much better deal than the 63-65k similarly equipped Shelby) but I can’t shake the feeling that GM is somehow sending ringers or the factory rubber is much softer than its 300(IIRC) treadwear would imply (as a few ZL1s have shown up at the local cruise and I looked for the UTQG numbers to get a sense of what they are shod with – caveat: not that UTQG numbers are worth a damn but there is some glimmer of truth in them).

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    This is the ONLY retro pony car that got the styling right. The Mustang looks like melted cheese, and the Camaro, while nice, has too small of windows and weak rear styling.

    An interior that is on par with the new 300/Charger/Jeep etc would make this car perfect. It’s unfortunate that the Challenger did not receive the same interior updates as the rest of the lineup.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Hey, where were the pics taken? Looks like a good place to planespot :)

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    A big V8 coupe mussel car with a manual… that’s like having your cake and eating it.. Love it!!!

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    The “oddly positioned door handles” are about where they were on the original Challenger, so perhaps they can be considered part of the retro design.

    Also, the original Challenger was bigger and heavier than the Mustang and Camaro were, so the size and weight can be considered an homage to the original as well…

  • avatar
    geozinger

    If money were no object, I would have one hell of a time deciding between this and and a ZL-1 Camaro.

    I think the SRT would win…

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This car weighs about 500lbs more than my current car, and has an additional 200hp. Yet it gets the same gas mileage. Pretty cool.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    This isnt my choice… I’m a Ford man and love the V8 and GT500.

    HOWEVER saying that I do applaud a country (and any country) that allows people to own a 4,000lb 400cu+ 500hp muscle car that gets teens in mpg… too much 1.4 liter hybrid rubbish going around in the socialist countries in the EU and Asia.

    Here’s a big FU to the environment and fuel consumption.

    Enjoy life, drive a V8.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Well not having too much 1.4 liter hybrid rubbish in the US probably has alot to do with relatively cheap fuel, relatively cheap taxes, relatively cheap insurance and lots of open space. Expensive gas, lots of taxes, pricey insurance and a lack of open road tends to steer people toward smaller more efficient vehicles.

      I’d hazard a guess that as you approach the more densely populated coastal areas of the US, 1.4 liter hybrid rubbish mobiles increase in occurence.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    OK – on a related note, I have a 2011 Ford Taurus SEL. Big ol comfy car, wife and kids love it, and it carries my fat ass to work and back in quiet comfort. Now, I didn’t realize I really liked this thing so much till it failed me and I was genuinely pissed. The transmission started going 1-2…5?, Drive hard and it was fine, drive easy and not so good, the Ford dealer fixed it and everything is fine now. But, during the 2 days my car was in the shop, I almost, almost I tell ya, traded for a 2012 Camry Hybrid XLE just to get the mpg’s. I drove it, it was …o..k. But, something just wasn’t right, wife said,”you’re giving up -leather, heated seats, sunroof, Sync etc, and even though the money was fair, I called it off. I got my car back and never felt better about NOT doing a trade. So, for kicks we rode around the Dodge dealer, guess what – if the Ford does start becoming a lemon, I KNOW exactly what I will get – a CHARGER!!

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    I’ve driven a few Challengers: an SRT 392 6-speed, a newer R/T six speed, and an older SRT8 (6.1) auto. You’re right about the size: the Challenger’s the only one of the three (Camaro, Mustang) that you can comfortably put real people in the back seat. Long wheelbase is great for highway comfort and stability… especially at high speed. Those SRT seats are great.

    Is the SRT 392 6-speed appreciably faster than the R/T 6-speed? Yes. It has got a fat chunk more torque right off the bat, and it pulls significantly harder. I think the shifter’s a little better, but that’s probably placebo. What’s funny, is the SRT8 6.1 Auto is just not much quicker (butt-dyno) than the R/T six speed – and I agree on the “no” to the auto.

    Also, 4.4 seconds is pretty damn fast for 0-60. Good footwork.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    I have the Mopar Action magazine with the road test of the 392 Challenger from last year. Rick Ehrenberg knocked off a 12.29 in the quarter mile on the stock tires. He brought along a set of drag radials, but forgot the special lug nuts required to mount them. I can’t remember the trap speed, and I don’t feel like digging for the magazine right now. I remember another magazine pulling the exact same E.T. from a 392 and the trap speed was within 1MPH of Ehrenberg’s.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Please, Lord, make my life complete, and bring back the Magnum Wagon SRT8.

    Missed it the first time around, for a bunch of boring reasons. Would not make the same mistake twice.

    In the new Core trim, please.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    Fuel economy looks terrible, as expected. Since when getting 25mpg on a long highway trip is great? Come on. My 99 DOHC Taurus with 4-speed transmission used to get 27mpg on long trips.

    Personally, I don’t understand the obsession with these pony cars as well as other hemi powered sedans in Chrysler lineup. The V8 engine is so big and powerful that when used as a daily driver car, the engine is napping most of the time. You have a big trunk, yet the trunk lid is so impractically small. Big cavernous interior, the car is noticeably long and heavy, none of which makes it feel really sporty, unless sporty means having traits of a locomotive. Perhaps I am not old enough or young enough or just out of touch. I really would have preferred a smaller coupe with an engine small enough that you have to whip it to make it work hard.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Relative to the power available, I think 25 mpg is pretty great. I can understand your point about wanting something that you can work harder without being arrested, but this is a GT car. Having the engine napping and tons of power available with no effort is the point.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I need to find one of these with the manual and a used 2012+ Charger cop car at an auction in a few years. I don’t care if the Challenger was wrapped around a telephone pole I just want the trans and wiring harness to make myself a stick shift 392 Hemi cop car!

    Great review, whenever I get around to buying a newer vehicle I’m going to have to decide between a Charger/Challenger or get more utility with a (2WD) Ram pickup with a 5.7…

  • avatar
    Maxseven

    Lovely looking sled on the exterior, near perfection for a hot-rod. The problem is the interior – complete piss. I wonder if there are any companies that make aftermarket interior upgrade parts for the Challenger?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve C.

      I noticed the same with the basic Challengers as far as the interior but it definately is an upgrade from what Chevy has in the new Camaro…will never change.
      I can’t complain about interior in my SRT8. Looks great and pops with the color.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Excellent video review. Thanks!

    If I had space in the garage, I’d tell the wife we’re buying one. (A guy can dream, right?)

  • avatar
    Steve C.

    I just recently purchased the 2013 Challenger SRT8.
    It is absolutely one incredible car and love the power it has whenever I need it.
    Turns a lot of heads for sure. I had a Challenger in high school so I am loving the new retro look. It has attitude.


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