2023 Dodge Challenger

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2023 Dodge Challenger Review: The Final Boss

by Michael Butler

The Dodge Challenger has been the go-to muscle car since 2008, and while competitors such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have downsized and turbocharged their engines, the Challenger has stuck with big-displacement V6 and V8 engines. This move has secured it a loyal following, but time is running out for the Challenger, and its replacement promises a cleaner experience devoid of rumbling V8 engines. For its last hurrah, Dodge is offering the Challenger in a host of special editions, topped by the ever-appealing 485-horsepower R/T Scat Pack. The Challenger is still a tremendous value-for-money performance buy with excellent comfort, remaining fun to drive, but without a hope of challenging its rivals on a track. If you want to secure your very own little piece of Americana, then now is the time.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Dodge Challenger Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Challenger?

This is the final year for the third-generation Challenger before it gets replaced, and in celebration of that fact, Dodge fits commemorative "Last Call" plaques under each car's hood. The Challenger will also be offered in classic heritage colors such as Plum Crazy and B5 Blue - both new for 2023 - as well as the existing Sublime Green. Destroyer Grey is also new for 2023. R/T models now get a special "345" badge on the front fender, denoting the 5.7-liter Hemi engine under the hood. The Shakedown special edition has already entered the scene with a limited production run of just 1,000 units, all based on the R/T Scat Pack and R/T Scat Pack Widebody.

Throughout the year, various additional special editions inspired by vintage Challengers will be launched. The latest one at the time of writing was the Challenger Scat Pack Swinger; also based on the Widebody, this car creates a classic Swinger look with its three available colors (Sublime Green, F8 Green, and White Knuckle), green interior accents, Gold School badging, and more. Like the Shakedown, only 1,000 will be made. There will be more Last Call editions to follow.

Pros and Cons

  • Available big V8 power
  • Comfy ride
  • Roomy cabin
  • Retro looks
  • AWD available
  • Cheap interior materials
  • High weight and sloppy handling
  • Lack of safety features
  • It's on its way out

What's the Price of the 2023 Dodge Challenger?

The base price of the Challenger SXT is $30,545 MSRP, while the GT retails for $33,845. These two are the only models available with AWD, which adds $3,000 to the sticker price. The V8 R/T retails for $39,385, while the R/T Scat Pack with the larger V8 goes for $46,845. The top-spec R/T Scat Pack Widebody has an MSRP of $52,840. Both the R/T and Scat Pack come with a $1,000 gas guzzler tax, included in the pricing above. These prices exclude the $1,595 destination cost of the Dodge Challenger.

Best Deals on 2023 Dodge Challenger

2023 Dodge Challenger Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
5.7L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
R/T Scat Pack
6.4L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
R/T Scat Pack Widebody
6.4L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Dodge Challenger Trims and Specs

2023 Dodge Challenger Handling And Driving Impressions

While rivals such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have moved on with the times in terms of driving dynamics and chassis setup, the Dodge Challenger is stuck in the past. Many fans won't mind that this hulking machine remains a straight-line fighter and not a cornering ballerina, but many are demanding more from their sports cars, and in the bends, the Challenger simply doesn't cut it. Fling this beast through a set of twists and its weight becomes immediately apparent; it leans and weaves, and the steering is devoid of feel, making it difficult to place the Challenger when trying to clip an apex. This car's strength lies in its ability to cruise, and low-speed bumps are absorbed without drama. The Challenger is a great highway cruiser and makes for a comfortable daily driver. If you want to go fast in a straight line, this is the car for you, but if you want to head to the track, look elsewhere. It still has a trick or two up its sleeve, offering an AWD option for added grip and security on slippery roads, an option that's otherwise unavailable from rivals. Sadly, this is only offered with the base V6 engine.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Dodge Challenger A Good Car?

The Challenger coupe is a car stuck in time. When it was first released back in 2008, it signaled a return to retro American muscle cars, and the years have been kind to it, but now, well over a decade later, the signs of aging are undeniable. The Challenger looks and feels dated inside and out, and in base spec, it feels spartan inside the cabin. The fact that you still get to choose from some large-capacity naturally aspirated V8 motors keeps the flame alive, but the Challenger disappoints when it comes to dynamic ability. This car offers a bitter-sweet deal; it's the last of its kind and is due to be replaced soon, but it feels old and heavy compared to contemporary rivals. If you're after a couch on wheels with lots of power, by all means, get one, but if you're into cars with a broader range of talents, look elsewhere.

What 2023 Dodge Challenger Model Should I Buy?

As a value-for-money proposition, the base SXT makes the most sense. You still get the same handsome exterior and all of the color options. Plus, you can add all of the comfort and safety features without breaking the bank.

If you prefer your Challenger with a V8, we'd suggest giving the 5.7-liter R/T a skip in favor of the Scat Pack. The 6.4-liter V8 is so much better and worth the extra $6,500-odd. Dodge's older 5.7 V8 needs to be retired. Its specific power output is woeful, and there's a good chance it will be outperformed by upcoming updated versions of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The Scat Pack also comes with line lock, launch control, and uprated four-piston brake calipers.

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