Dodge Challenger 3rd Generation 2009-2022 Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Challenger 3rd Gen

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3rd Generation Dodge Challenger: What Owners Say

  • Performance must rank as the most important plus and there is no shortage of it in the 3rd-gen Challenger, especially in the supercharged models, which offer pulverizing power, with dramatically smoky burnouts on instant tap.
  • Unlike many sports cars, the Challenger is very practical. Owners are full of praise for the roomy interior that has a usable rear seat and the spacious trunk that can swallow an impressive 16.2 cubic feet of cargo. It is also unexpectedly refined when not rushed, with a surprisingly supple ride and easy cruising gait.
  • It may not be particularly aerodynamic, but the Challenger's retro muscle-car appearance hits the bull's eye and it recalls the past without being a tasteless pastiche of old Challengers. Its aggressive countenance and intimidating Widebody derivatives express the American muscle-car vibe like no other in this class.
  • The 3rd-gen Dodge Challenger is not a very sharp handler and its behavior around curves has been described as ponderous, largely due to its substantial size and weight.
  • The interior feels built to a price, especially in the early cars, and could never be described as plush. This was greatly improved for the 2015 facelift, but compared to European rivals, the finishes remained workmanlike rather than luxurious
  • The supercharged models may be extremely rapid, but they are hideously thirsty.

2015 Dodge Challenger 3rd Generation Facelift

Only in its eighth model year did the Dodge Challenger's 3rd generation get a major refresh. The exterior changes only modernize what was already there and Dodge does not meddle too much with a winning recipe that resonates with owners. The interior is much improved though.

2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Front Changes Caruzz
2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Front Changes

The nose of the facelifted car is instantly familiar but also all-new. The bumper gets a center crease1 and bigger, more aggressive lower fascia with a bigger air intake2. The grille is more modern3 and brand-new headlights with four corona-ring LED daytime running lights feature prominently4.

2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Rear Changes Caruzz
2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The rear lights are completely revamped and the old, full-width bank of light units with its incandescent bulbs is replaced by big LED-strip taillights encircling the backup lights and turn signals1, split in two by a "Dodge" insignia in the middle2. A more shapely, scalloped rear bumper replaces the flat-slabbed old item with its singular horizontal crease down the middle3. A new shark-fin antenna can be seen on the back of the roof4, replacing the previous low-profile version.

2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Side Changes Caruzz
2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Side Changes

In profile, the facelift's different wheel designs are obvious, but other changes are far less noticeable. The most obvious of these is the longer, thinner, side marker lights on the bumpers1. The new shark-fin radio antenna can also be seen from the side, replacing the old nub-like antenna.

2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Interior Changes Caruzz
2015-2022 Challenger 3rd Gen Facelift Interior Changes

The interior on the facelift is totally different and nothing is carried over from the previous model. The drab, sedan-like dashboard with its squared-off air vents and upright center stack make way for a higher-quality item, oriented toward the driver and with proper provision for the integration of modern infotainment screens in the center between the curvy new air vents1. Said infotainment system and the gauge cluster are incorporated into one continuous pod that brings the controls closer together. The all-new gauge cluster's numerals follow the orientation of the needles and are no longer horizontal2. Their center portions are covered, so only the ends of the needles can be seen ascribing their arcs. A driver-information display nestles between the speedo and rev counter3. The door cards have been redesigned too, with new metal-finish door openers. There are brand-new steering-wheel options, too4.

Engine, Transmission, and Drivetrain

For 2008, the Dodge Challenger gen 3 was launched as a single model with one engine. This was a performance version, the SRT8, with a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 engine packing 425 hp/420 lb-ft. The SRTs are reviewed separately and for the purposes of this review, the first "normal" Challenger was the 2009 base SE V6, using a 250-hp/250-lb-ft version of the 3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC V6 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission, along with a mid-range R/T, which uses a 5.7-liter version of the Hemi V8 with 370 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a five-speed automatic. A six-speed manual transmission is made available on the R/T for 2009. With the manual, the R/T produces 375 hp. For 2010, the SE V6 also receives the five-speed automatic transmission, and the V8 R/T automatic is boosted to 372 hp/400 lb-ft and the manual to 376 hp/410 lb-ft. For 2011, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 replaces the old Chrysler SOHC 3.5-liter engine, boasting outputs of 305 hp and 268 lb-ft.

Things remain unchanged until the 2015 model year when the Challenger receives its major facelift. It also marks the launch of the R/T Scat Pack with a 485-hp/475-lb-ft version of the 6.4-liter V8. All models that used to have the five-speed automatic transmission receive a new eight-speed automatic transmission for the 2015 model year. Some trims are renamed, with the V6 becoming the SXT. AWD becomes available for the first time ever on a Challenger for the 2017 model year in the form of the V6 GT trim.

3.5-liter SOHC V6 Naturally Aspirated Gas Engine (2009-2010)
250 hp | 250 lb-ft
250 hp
250 lb-ft
Four-/five-speed automatic

The base V6 engine was not available at the time of the Challenger's 2008 launch and only joined the lineup for the 2009 model year. It is the old Chrysler SOHC 3.5-liter V6 that traces its origins back to 1993 and is itself derived from the 1989 Chrysler 3.3 V6 OHV engine. While its power output of 250 hp in the 2009 Challenger SE is not bad, the engine is beset by problems. Chrysler made many changes to the engine over the years and improved power output and efficiency, but not all the reliability problems were addressed. It doesn't have the power expected of a muscle car either.

3.6-liter Pentastar V6 Naturally Aspirated Gas Engine (2011-2022)
305 hp | 268 lb-ft
305 hp
268 lb-ft
Five-/eight-speed automatic

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 replaces the Chrysler SOHC V6 for the 2011 model year and is vastly superior to its predecessor, developing 55 hp more and 268 lb-ft of torque. It is also more efficient and reliable. There were a few teething issues and some Pentastars suffered left-bank cylinder-head failure for the 2011-2013 model years. There is also the odd valvetrain issue, such as problems with the rocker arms/cam followers. Other than these, the Pentastar is tough and, with proper maintenance, can rack up huge mileages. It is used in countless Stellantis models and is the base engine of the 2011 to 2022 Challenger.

5.7-liter Hemi V8 Naturally Aspirated Gas Engine (2009-2022)
370/375/372/376 hp | 398/401/400/410 lb-ft
370/375/372/376 hp
398/401/400/410 lb-ft
Six-speed manual or five-/eight-speed automatic

The third generation of Chrysler's famous Hemi V8 dates back to 2003, when it was launched in the Dodge Ram truck. The engine received various upgrades over the years and by the time it was launched in the Challenger for the 2009 model year, it had gained variable valve timing and improved cylinder heads and manifolds. Its outputs in the 2009 Challenger were initially 370 hp and 398 lb-ft for the automatic and 375 hp/401 lb-ft for the manual. For 2010, these are upped to 372 hp/400 lb-ft and 376 hp/410 lb-ft, respectively. The engine is generally robust, but occasionally, roller lifters may seize due to inadequate oil supply.

6.1-liter Hemi V8 Naturally Aspirated Gas Engine (2008-2010)
425 hp | 420 lb-ft
425 hp
420 lb-ft
Six-speed manual or five-/eight-speed automatic

The 6.1 is not just a larger version of the 5.7 Hemi - various changes mean that it is more durable, thanks to revised coolant channels and piston-cooling oil jets, along with lighter pistons, stronger connecting rods, and a forged crankshaft. It offers a useful 425 hp and 420 lb-ft in the 2008-2010 Challengers. The 6.1 was not offered with the 5.7's multi-displacement system (MDS) or variable-length induction manifold, which makes it mechanically simpler and more reliable. However, the lifter rollers used are similar to the 5.7's and unfortunately, the 6.1 tends to suffer from the same lifter roller seizure problems that also end up ruining the camshaft. The 6.1 also tends to drink oil, so oil levels should be checked weekly. It is not an engine breaker and does not affect the normal operation of the engine, but it is something that must be watched.

6.4-liter Hemi V8 Naturally Aspirated Gas Engine (2011-2022)
470/485 hp | 470/475 lb-ft
470/485 hp
470/475 lb-ft
Six-speed manual or five-/eight-speed automatic

The high-output 6.4-liter Hemi V8 replaced the 6.1 for the 2011 model year and offers 485 hp and 475 lb-ft in the 2015 R/T Scat Pack. It differs from the 6.1 in that it regains the 5.7's MDS system and this system is sometimes prone to faults, just as in the 5.7-liter V8. MDS solenoids can fail and engine response can occasionally feel strange and inconsistent. Unfortunately, the 6.4-liter engine tends to suffer from the same lifter roller maladies as the other version of the Hemi, so any ticking sounds should be viewed with a healthy dose of circumspection.

2009-2022 Dodge Challenger Real MPG

Once enough examples of a certain car have been sold, the EPA publishes its real-world fuel-consumption figures, as submitted by owners. The ideal is that these should be true combined cycle numbers, but the EPA has no control over the conditions under which owners have achieved these figures. If they are way better or worse than the EPA estimates, they must be taken with a grain of salt. For example, the best figure of 28.9 MPG submitted for the 2011-2014 Challenger 3.6 V6 automatic was almost certainly achieved on the highway and not on the combined cycle, as was the 27 MPG submitted by the owner of a manual 5.7. However, with a range of figures available across multiple years, one does start to gain a feel for what is possible and it seems that the EPA is generally accurate or even conservative with most of its claims.

EPA MPGReal-World mpg*
2009 3.5 V6 naturally aspirated V6 RWD four-speed automatic17/25/2018.6
2010 3.5 V6 naturally aspirated V6 RWD five-speed automatic17/25/2019.4
2011-2014 3.6 V6 naturally aspirated V6 RWD five-speed automatic18/27/2119.7-28.9
2015-2022 3.6 V6 naturally aspirated V6 RWD eight-speed automatic19/30/2323-27.5
2017-2022 3.6 V6 naturally aspirated V6 AWD eight-speed automatic18/27/21N/A
2009-2022 5.7 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD six-speed manual15/23/1819.5-27
2009-2014 5.7 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD five-speed automatic15/24/1818.7-21.3
2015-2022 5.7 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD eight-speed automatic16/25/1918
2009-2010 6.1 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD six-speed manual14/22/16N/A
2008-2010 6.1 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD five-speed automatic13/19/15N/A
2011-2022 6.4 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD six-speed manual14/23/1725.9
2011-2014 6.4 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD five-speed automatic14/23/17N/A
2015-2022 6.4 V8 naturally aspirated V8 RWD eight-speed automatic15/24/18N/A

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


When it was still fresh, the NHTSA crash-tested the Dodge Challenger third generation against the less-strict pre-2011 criteria and it scored a full five stars across the board for all tests except the rollover test, which garnered four stars. The 2013 model was the first to be tested under the new criteria and it managed a five-star overall showing again, but with the side crash flagged because the driver's door opened. This problem was later addressed and the Challenger maintained its five-star rating all the way until the 2022 model year, with only the frontal impact and rollover tests getting four stars. Its IIHS scores aren't quite as good, mainly because the Challenger was designed before the small overlap front crash test was introduced; it never scored higher than "Marginal" in this field. For the moderate front overlap and original IIHS side test, it was given a "Good" rating and for its roof strength and headrests and seats, an "Acceptable" rating. These scores remained static right up to the 2022 model.

At launch, the 2008 SRT8 came standard with ABS brakes, stability control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and six airbags. However, that 2008 SRT8 wasn't the true base model, with the V6 SE assuming that position from the 2009 model year; it received the same safety features, except for the auto-dimming rearview mirror, which was available optionally. Absolutely nothing changed until the 2013 model year, when rear parking sensors became optional across the board. The 2015 Challenger lineup brought additional optional safety feature, notably a backup camera, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result (2022)

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

3rd Generation Dodge Challenger Trims

For the 2008 launch year, only a single trim was offered - the SRT8. The first V6 joined the lineup as the new base model in 2009. The SE, as it was called, became the SXT in 2012 and gained a V6 GT derivative with AWD in 2017. The R/T models are one rung up and mostly use the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine in different states of tune, except for the R/T Scat Pack, which has the 6.4-liter engine. The SRT8 was available from the start as a 2008 model and continued to feature for all model years, first as a 6.1-liter and then as the SRT 392 6.4-liter from the 2011 model year, slotting in above the V6 and R/T V8 models and below the supercharged models.

There were various special editions over the years - too many to mention them all, but here are some noteworthy editions:

  • 2009 R/T Classic. This special edition, based on the 2009 R/T, comes with a retro theme and exclusive color palette, including heritage colors such as Toxic Orange, B5 Blue, TorRed, Furious Fuchsia, Plum Crazy Purple (last used on a Dodge in the '70s), and Detonator Yellow, as well as a functional hood scoop, 20-inch chromed alloys, retro graphics, black side stripes and R/T badging, "Challenger" badges on the fenders, and "R/T" badging in an egg-crate grille.
  • 2010 Mopar '10 R/T. Based on the R/T, this limited edition comes in metallic pearl black only and with a choice of red, silver, or blue accent stripes on its sides, as well as black 20-inch heritage alloy wheels, a Hurst pistol-grip gear shifter, a Mopar cold-air intake adding 10 hp, custom badging, and other unique features. The package was marketed to commemorate the Panther Pink cars of 1970. Only 500 were made.
  • 2013-2014 Rallye Redline Edition. Based on the V6 SXT Plus five-speed automatic, the Rallye Redline Edition gains a less-restrictive exhaust system and a cold-air intake to boost power to 305 hp. It also gains the R/T's shorter 3.06:1 final drive, as well as firmer suspension, quicker steering, thicker sway bars, bigger brakes, and 20-inch wheels.
  • 2013 R/T Blacktop. This is essentially an appearance package applied to the 2013 R/T and comes with a choice of three paint colors, 20-inch gloss-black alloy wheels, gloss-black treatment for the fuel-filler door and grille surround, and red-accented matte-graphite side striping. Additionally, it gets three-mode stability control, including an off mode, and everything in the 2012 Super Track Pack.
  • 2014 Mopar '14. The second Mopar special edition to come around after the 2010 version, the 2014 model comes with various aftermarket-style upgrades, and even more of these were offered than before, including the Shaker hood with a functional scoop, as well as being prepped to accommodate any of three Scat Pack power upgrades, boosting the 5.7-liter V8's outputs by as much as 58 hp and 47 lb-ft. Only 100 were made.
  • 2014 100th Anniversary Edition. Based on either the V6 SXT Plus or V8 R/T Plus, this 2014-only special-edition appearance package commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Dodge brothers' launch of the Dodge Model 30. It's offered in eight colors, runs on special polished five-spoke 20-inch alloys with "Dodge Est. 1914 100" logos on their center caps, has "Dodge Est. 1914" fender badges, a body-color rear spoiler, a unique flat-bottomed steering wheel with three spokes, die-cast "Dodge Est. 1914 100" badges on the seatbacks, "100"-embroidered floor mats, a Boston Acoustics audio system, and many other unique features.
  • 2017 Mopar '17. The 2017 edition of the Mopar-equipped Challenger commemorates 80 years of Mopar. It gets either a blue or silver body with a Pitch Black roof, hand-applied "Mopar 392" badging, a Shaker hood, Hellcat-derived black exhaust tips, and 20-inch alloys. A six-speed manual transmission is paired to the 485-hp 6.4-liter V8. Inside, it gets Mopar-emblazoned sports seats with contrast stitching and even a Mopar "birth certificate". Only 160 were made.
  • 2017 Mopar '19. Based on the 2019 R/T Scat Pack, this Mopar variant comes in either White Knuckle or Pitch Black and sports Mopar Shakedown graphics with Mopar Blue center stripes, a scooped Shaker hood, hood pins, 20-inch alloys, and a decklid spoiler. Polished sill guards bear the Challenger logo and there are Berber floor mats and a dashboard badge too. Only 100 were made.
  • 2019 R/T Scat Pack 1320. This special edition aims to make a track car accessible to more people and is based on the R/T Scat Pack with the 485-hp V8, adding street-legal drag radials, SRT-tuned adaptive suspension with a Drag Mode, the aluminum hood from the Hellcat, and many other features. Apparently, only 1,054 were made.
  • 2020 50th Anniversary and Commemorative editions. The 50th Anniversary package celebrates 50 years of Challenger and was offered on the GT RWD, R/T Scat Pack, R/T Shaker, R/T Scat Pack Shaker, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Hellcat Redeye. Each of these trims received only 70 copies of the package, making them rare today. The package includes a hand-painted black hood, a black-wrapped trunk lid and roof, commemorative badging in a Gold School finish, and LED-illuminated "50" logos in the headlights. The 2020-only Commemorative Edition is for buyers that missed out on the initial run and it does not impose a production cap; however, it was offered on fewer trims - only the R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and R/T Scat Pack Widebody.
3.5-/3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 gas
Four-/five-/eight-speed automatic

The base V6 SE Challenger launched as a 2009 model and is to be avoided at all costs. It pairs the unreliable 250-hp/250-lb-ft Chrysler SOHC V6 engine with a decidedly unsporting and old-fashioned four-speed automatic transmission, making for an uninspired driving experience. It has standard 17-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, keyless entry, ABS brakes, six airbags, power door locks, mirrors, and windows, a manually tilting/telescoping steering column, cloth upholstery, an eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, air-conditioning, and a radio / CD player. The 2010 SE has a five-speed automatic transmission but retains the old SOHC 3.5-liter engine while gaining standard stability control.

The 2011 SE has a brand-new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine with a lot more power - 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque - and still mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The suspension, steering, and brakes are changed to improve handling, accompanied by new 18-inch alloy wheels and reshaped seats. For 2012, the SE trim is renamed SXT but continues on essentially unchanged.

For 2015, the Challenger is facelifted and substantially upgraded, not only getting fresh styling inside and out, but also a standard eight-speed automatic transmission to replace the old five-speed unit on all trims. The 2015 SXT has a totally different dashboard with an integrated seven-inch configurable digital driver-information display and standard equipment includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a Uconnect infotainment screen measuring five inches and incorporating voice commands, an auxiliary audio jack, a CD player, and six speakers.

Because the AWD GT has a higher specification than the SXT, Dodge made an SXT AWD available for the 2019 model year, mirroring the SXT's specification level. It also gets 19-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded braking system. The standard infotainment screen on the 2020 SXT measures seven inches and incorporates smartphone mirroring.

3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 gas
Eight-speed automatic

The GT joins the lineup for the 2017 model year and is the only 2017 Challenger with standard all-wheel drive. Besides the AWD, it has a higher specification level and benefits from the addition of 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, fog lights, an upgraded braking system, heated and ventilated front seats, interior ambient lighting, an electrically tilting/telescoping steering column, in-car performance apps, satellite radio, HD radio, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. With the introduction of the AWD version of the 2019 SXT, Dodge made use of the opportunity to launch an RWD GT as well; this model has 20-inch alloy wheels, a hood scoop, sport suspension, more heavily bolstered front seats, a performance steering system, remote start, a sport steering wheel with gearshift buttons, and in-car performance apps. The AWD GT has most of this equipment, but loses the sport suspension, performance steering, and 20-inch wheels, reverting to 19-inchers instead.

R/T / T/A
5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 gas
Six-speed manual/five-/eight-speed automatic

The R/T fits between the base V6 Challengers and the SRT8. It launched as a 2009 model with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, offering either a six-speed manual with 375 hp/401 lb-ft or five-speed automatic transmission with 370 hp/398 hp. It has everything the 2009 SE V6 has but adds the V8 engine, the manual transmission option, stability control, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sportier suspension and steering setup, some exterior styling changes, fog lights, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shifter. The 2010 R/T has a little more power, the automatic producing 372 hp/400 lb-ft and the manual 376 hp/410 lb-ft, as well as automatic headlights. The 2011 model improves the suspension, brakes, and steering, adds new seats, and has the V6's optional Connectivity Group package as standard, with its auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB/iPod audio interface. By 2014, there were tons of option packages available, so you'll have to check what's been fitted.

The facelifted 2015 R/T has all the upgraded features of the 2015 SXT in addition to the 5.7 V8 engine, the choice of a manual transmission, and 20-inch alloy wheels, while the R/T Plus has everything the SXT Plus has. The 2017 T/A is not a separate trim but rather an R/T with various upgrades from the Shaker variants added, as well as some of the Hellcat's styling elements, such as the unique grille air intake that looks like a headlight. The R/T Shaker is yet another of the nearly infinite variations on the R/T theme.

R/T 392
6.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 gas
Six-speed manual / five-/eight-speed automatic

The R/T 392 joins the range for the 2018 model year, fitting in the narrow gap between the R/T and the R/T Scat Pack. It uses the same 485-hp 6.4-liter V8 engine as the R/T Scat Pack and SRT8 392, but with a lower spec. It has cloth seats, rear parking sensors, Brembo performance brakes, sport suspension, a rear spoiler, the in-car performance apps, and the 8.4-inch Uconnect system with HD radio, satellite radio, and an Alpine audio system.

R/T Scat Pack / T/A 392
6.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 gas
Six-speed manual / five-/eight-speed automatic

The R/T Scat Pack is more than just an R/T with extras fitted, so it is usually listed as a separate trim. First of all, it ditches the 5.7-liter engine for a 485-hp 6.4-liter and also adds an active exhaust system, performance-tuned stability control, sport front seats, the 8.4-inch infotainment system with navigation, and the upgraded audio system with satellite radio and the USB/iPod interface. The 2017 model has an Alpine premium audio system, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2017 T/A 392 is sometimes listed as a separate trim but is nothing more than an R/T Scat Pack with some equipment added, notably Shaker upgrades, some Hellcat styling elements, and an air intake masquerading as a headlight. For 2019, the R/T Scat Pack is also offered with the Widebody option and gets a standard aluminum power-bulge hood from the Hellcat. The 2019 R/T Scat Pack 1320 is the same car but without passenger seats and with some performance enhancements for drag racing; buyers could opt the missing seats back in for $1. For 2021, the R/T Scat Pack Shaker and T/A 392 are available with the Widebody kit.

SRT8/SRT8 392
6.1-/6.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 gas
Six-speed manua five-/eight-speed automatic

When the Challenger launched as a 2008 model, there was only one trim, the performance-orientated SRT8 with a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 developing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque - mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and boasting sport suspension and a limited-slip rear differential. It is notably more lavishly equipped than the base V6 and 5.7-liter V8 models that arrived a year later, featuring everything listed under the 2009 R/T, along with 20-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a rear spoiler, heated mirrors, leather/ imitation suede upholstery, sport front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, Brembo brakes, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio, and a 13-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer. For 2009, a six-speed manual transmission becomes available. The limited-edition 2010 SRT8 Furious Fuchsia with its unique wheels, white leather upholstery, and fuchsia paint is quite a rare find today.

For 2011, the SRT8 becomes the SRT8 392, which denotes its engine size in cubic inches - 6.4 liters, up from the previous year's 6.1 liters. The larger engine develops 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Standard, too, is a trip computer showing real-time performance data. There is a rare 2011-only SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition if you can find one, with either white or deep blue paintwork, body striping, and "392" embossed on unique white-and-blue leather seats. The 2012 SRT 392 has a two-mode adjustable damping system and the 2013 model has launch control. By 2014, the options list had proliferated to the point where cars fitted with some of these packages were sometimes listed as separate trims. There is even an SRT8 Core trim, which is just a normal SRT8 shorn of some of its standard features, such as its xenon headlights and adaptive suspension, almost mirroring the base SXT.

The facelifted 2015 SRT8 392 is essentially a 2015 R/T Scat Pack with additional features fitted, notably model-specific forged 20-inch alloy wheels, a unique hood with a center scoop, the Leather Group package, adaptive dampers, xenon headlights, further upgraded Brembo brakes, customizable driver modes, and a premium 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The 2016 model comes standard with the Driver Convenience Group package, which adds rear parking sensors, bi-xenon headlights, power-folding side mirrors, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Third Generation Dodge Challenger Features (last model year)

SE/SXTGTR/T / T/AR/T 392R/T Scat Pack / T/A 392
Back-Up CameraSSSSS
Bluetooth ConnectionSSSSS
Leather SeatsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Apple CarPlaySSSSS
Keyless EntrySSSSS
Keyless StartSSSSS
Alloy WheelsSSSSS

Interior, Trim, And Practicality

Dodge Challenger 3rd Gen Interior Overview Dodge
Dodge Challenger 3rd Gen Interior Overview

The Dodge Challenger is a proper four-seater, and although the rear seat isn't really spacious, adults will actually fit in with 33-odd inches of rear legroom. Entry can be difficult, though, as is usually the case with coupes. Impressively, they'll be able to take all their luggage along, because the Challenger has a spacious trunk that can accommodate 16.2 cubic feet of cargo.

The proliferation of trims is quite staggering over 15 model years and we've done our best to lay them out logically in this review. A multitude of packages and personalization options means that many trims are subdividable into a legion of other sub-trims, which are sometimes regarded as an option package and, at other times, distinct trims. In addition, the trims' names have changed over the years. To maintain customer interest, Dodge changed small things every single model year. With all the scope for customization, very few Challengers are alike, even those of the same trim. Here is a table of the default upholstery, but remember that these can change depending on packages.

TrimSE / SXTGTGT AWDR/T / T/AR/T 392R/T Scat Pack / T/A 392
Dark Slate Gray cloth seats (2009-2011, 2013-2014)SN/AN/ASN/AN/A
Dark Slate Gray cloth seats (2012)N/AN/AN/ASN/AN/A
Dark Slate Gray, Dark Slate Gray/Radar Red cloth seats (2012)SN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Black,Black/Tungsten cloth seats (2015-2016)SN/AN/ASN/AN/A
Black, Black Houndstooth cloth seats (2017-2019)SN/AN/ASN/AS
Black Houndstooth cloth seats (2018-2019)N/AN/AN/AN/ASN/A
Black Houndstooth cloth seats (2020-2022)SSSSN/AS
Black, Black/Ruby Red, Black/Pearl leather or Black, Black/Ruby Red leather & suede seats (2017-2018)N/AN/ASN/AN/AN/A
Blacke leather seats (2019)N/ASSN/AN/AN/A

2009-2022 Challenger Maintenance and Cost

The Challenger is a performance car, so meticulous maintenance is important if reliability is to be maintained, and this is probably why the intervals for lube services are only 6,000 to 8,000 miles apart. That said, some engines are better avoided, regardless of how well they've been maintained and the original SE's 3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC 250-hp V6 is one of them. This engine is prone to all kinds of problems, which worsen if it doesn't get clean oil frequently. Remember that this engine has a cambelt that must be replaced every 102,000 miles; it is a good idea to replace the water pump at the same time. The replacement interval for the air filters is 32,000 miles or two years on all engines. Spark plugs should be replaced every 96,000 miles on the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and every 32,000 miles on other engines.

The four- and five-speed automatic transmissions should have their fluid replaced at least every 120,000 miles, but you should halve this distance to prolong the service life of the transmission. Although Dodge does not specify a fluid-replacement interval for the eight-speed automatic transmission, doing so every 60,000 miles as well is a good idea to get the maximum mileage. Cabin air filters are replaced every 12,000 miles, cooling systems should be drained and flushed every 102,000 miles, and manual transmission fluid should be replaced every 40,000 miles. Most engines except for the 3.5-liter V6 are reliable, save for the odd cylinder-head problem.

3rd Gen Challenger Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter (Gas)

3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC V6 gas engine: 5.7L (6 quarts)

Recommended type and viscosity: 10W-30 fully synthetic oil

Replacement: Every 6,000 miles

Average cost: Around $48

3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gas engine: 5.6L (5.92 quarts)

Recommended type and viscosity: 5W-30 fully synthetic oil

Replacement: Every 6,000-8,000 miles

Average cost: Around $46-$48

5.7-liter Hemi V8 gas engine: 6.6L (7 quarts)

Recommended type and viscosity: 5W-20 fully synthetic oil

Replacement: Every 6,000-8,000 miles

Average cost: Around $51-$53

6.1- and 6.4-liter Hemi V8 gas engine: 6.6L (7 quarts)

Recommended type and viscosity: 0W-40 fully synthetic oil

Replacement: Every 6,000-8,000 miles

Average cost: Around $71


3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC V6 gas engine:

Part code: SZFR5LP13G

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $67 for six

3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gas engine:

Part code: SP149125AF

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $134 for six

2009-2013 5.7-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

Part code: SPLZFR5C11

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $138 for 16

2014-2022 5.7-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

Part code: SP143877AB

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $288 for 16

6.1-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

Part code: SPLZTR5A13

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $188 for 16

6.4-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

Part code: SP149212AC

Replacement: Every 32,000 miles

Average price: $272 for 16

Air Filter

2009-2010 3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC V6 gas engine:

OEM part number: 05019002AA

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $29

2011-2022 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 2015 5.7-liter Hemi V8 gas engines:

OEM part number: 04861746AB

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $57

2009-2010 5.7-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

OEM part number: 05037615AA

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $39

2008-2010 6.1-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

OEM part number: 05037615AA

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $39

2011-2022 6.4-liter Hemi V8 gas engine:

OEM part number: 04861746AB

Replacement: Every 30,000 miles

Average Price: $57


All engines:

Type: 625-amp battery, part code BPH7F001AA

Replacement: Every 3-5 years

Average Price: $253

3rd Gen Dodge Challenger Tires

2009-2010 SE
Tire Size:
All-season tires:
$576-$720 per set
2009-2014 R/T, 2013 R/T Classic, 2014 R/T Plus, 2011 SE, 2012-2022 SXT, 2013-2014 SXT Plus
Tire Size:
All-season tires:
$608-$964 per set
2013-2014 Rallye Redline Edition, 2013 R/T Plus, 2014 R/T 100th Anniversary Edition, 2020 R/T 50th Anniversary Edition, 2014 R/T Classic, 2014 R/T Shaker, 2014 R/T Mopar 14, 2015-2019 SXT Plus, 2019 SXT Plus AWD, 2015-2022 R/T, 2015-2019 R/T Plus, 2015-2018 R/T Shaker, 2015-2018 R/T Plus Shaker, 2015-2022 R/T Scat Pack, 2019 R/T Scat Pack Plus, 2015-2018 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker, 2017-2018 T/A, 2018 T/A Plus, 2019-2022 GT, 2019 GT Plus, 2019 GT Plus AWD, 2021-2022 GT AWD:
Tire Size:
All-season tires:
$681-$1,072 per set
2017-2020 GT AWD, 2019-2022 SXT AWD:
Tire Size:
All-season tires:
$761-$1,018 per set
2017-2018 T/A 392, 2020 R/T Scat Pack 50th Anniversary Edition:
Tire Size:
Summer tires:
$811-$1,216 per set
2019 R/T 392 Widebody, 2020-2022 R/T Scat Pack Widebody, 2020 R/T Scat Pack 50th Anniversary Edition Widebody:
Tire Size:
Summer tires:
$912-$1,663 per set

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

For the most part, the Challenger is robustly built with proven mechanicals and no delicate, highly strung technology such as multiple turbochargers and dual-clutch transmissions. Sadly, Dodge didn't have a proper entry-level six-cylinder engine around when the Challenger launched, so it used the much-maligned 3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC V6 engines for the 2009-2010 entry-level models, an engine that has become infamous for its unreliability and whose shortcomings were never successfully engineered out of it. These include its troublesome PCV system, oil sludge problems, underdesigned lubrication system, cooling issues, and lack of power. It also has a cambelt that has to be changed along with the water pump. The Pentastar V6 that replaced it for the 2011 model year is much more durable, although it did suffer a few cylinder head problems until 2013 - and occasionally still does. The traditional torque-converter automatic transmissions are tough if they get their oil changed on time. Stick religiously to the scheduled fluid changes and you should be good, and avoid engines that exhibit ticking sounds or misfires, both of which spell cam-drive problems.

The next section covers the bigger and more common 2009-2022 Dodge Challenger problems, but here are a few more minor ones to look out for nonetheless:

  • Over the years, a few Challengers have experienced problems with either their camshaft or crankshaft position sensors. Throwing a P0010, P0016, or P0335 trouble code on a Dodge Challenger all indicate related problems.
  • Although quite rare, excessive oil consumption has been reported.
  • A few 2011 Challengers seem to have suffered fuel leaks due to a leaky fuel tank that must be replaced to the tune of $1,200.
  • A few 2012 Dodge Challenger smart power window problems were reported. The odd electric window actuator can fail and replacing it will cost you in the region of $250.
  • There are several 2009+ Dodge Challenger manual transmission or clutch problems. The driveline is tough and a clutch failure will be mostly due to a factory fault or abuse. Replacing it can cost nearly $2,000.
  • There are a few 2012, 2017, and 2018 Dodge Challenger radio problems and Bluetooth issues, so make sure the head unit and Bluetooth connectivity work without a hitch.
  • Infotainment software bugs are par for the course in modern cars and the Challenger seems to have experienced an uptick in 2015 and 2017. Most can be corrected by software updates, which should have been implemented by now.

Here are some more useful OBD2 error codes to be on the lookout for:

  • The Dodge Challenger trouble code P0040, P0130, P0133, P0138, P0340, P0420, or P0430 relates to various problems with the O2 sensors.
  • On a Dodge Challenger, the engine light and P0073 code mean that there is a problem with the ambient air temperature sensor, its wiring, or its connection. The ECM may also be at fault.
  • The Dodge Challenger P0108 code means that there is a problem with the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor.
  • The P0113 code on a Dodge Challenger indicates a faulty intake air temperature (IAT) system.
  • The P0128 Dodge Challenger code means that the engine coolant is not reaching the proper temperature.
  • A Dodge Challenger P0302, 0303, or 0304 code would indicate that cylinder number two, three, or four is misfiring.
  • The P0441, P0455, P0456, or P0457 Dodge Challenger code indicates that there is a problem with the evaporative emissions control (EVAP) system.
  • The Dodge Challenger P0480 or P0481 code indicates a problem with the engine cooling fan.
  • The Dodge Challenger code P0510 means that there is a problem with the closed throttle position switch (TPS).
  • The Dodge Challenger P0520 code indicates low oil pressure and will be accompanied by the low oil pressure light.
  • The Dodge Challenger P0741 error code indicates that there is a problem with the lock-up clutch inside the automatic transmission.

Common and/or Serious 2008-2022 Dodge Challenger Problems

Ticking Engines

Chrysler engines have a patchy record with cylinder head problems and, in most cases, these problems are first noticed as ticking sounds coming from the engine. All the Challenger engines over the years have been traditional indirect-injection gas engines, so their injectors don't make the ticking sound typical of direct-injection engines' injectors. On 2011-2013 Pentastar V6 engines, ticking could emanate from a failed left-bank cylinder head due to overheating of the number-two cylinder's valve seats. In the 5.7-, 6.1-, and 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engines, ticking sounds are most likely due to failed hydraulic lifters or seized lifter followers. The Hemi may also suffer from broken exhaust-manifold bolts and the leaking exhaust manifold will make a ticking sound.

Mileage: This collection of problems may appear at any mileage.

Cost: Depending on what needs to be fixed or replaced, anything from $100 to a new engine.

How to spot: Ticking sounds from the engine. Unless an expert can identify the problem on the spot, walk away, because expensive trouble could be afoot.

Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 Engine Problems

The Pentastar V6 had a few teething troubles at launch, but most were remedied over the years and the occasional one has been recorded as exceeding half a million miles with meticulous care, so the potential for exemplary reliability is certainly there. As we've mentioned, the cylinder-head failure of 2011-2013 Pentastars are well-documented and they should all have been fixed by now under the extended warranty, so there should be very few engine-related 2011-2013 Dodge Challenger SXT problems. Besides a ticking sound, such a failure can also be accompanied by misfires, a loss of power, and the Check Engine light. However, all of these symptoms are basically the same for failing rocker arms and cam followers, too. There have been some Dodge Challenger water pump problems on the Pentastar V6 and a few radiators failed. Oil pump failure is rare and easily spotted, too, if you keep an eye on your engine's operation.

Mileage: These problems don't have set miles and can occur at any time, and sooner on poorly maintained engines.

Cost: Most cooling system problems can be rectified for anything between $200 and $800. Replacing all the rocker arms/cam followers will cost about $1,000.

How to spot: Problems with cam followers are usually announced by ticking sounds, which may also be accompanied by misfires and the Check Engine light. Cooling system problems will be revealed by low coolant levels and overheating. The oil pump usually fails gradually, first announced by the low oil pressure warning light.

Hemi V8 Engine Problems (5.7, 6.1, and 6.4)

The Hemi is generally tough but prone to a few recurring problems, again mostly to do with the valve gear, as in many Chrysler engine designs. Again, ticking sounds are the most common and could indicate rocker arms that have failed and/or lifter followers that have seized. The occasional failure of hydraulic valve lifters will also cause ticking, but this doesn't normally happen unless an engine has been neglected. Inadequate oil flow exacerbates the problems, so engines that have developed oil sludge due to deferred maintenance are far more likely to exhibit these issues. Such valve gear issues are responsible for the majority of Dodge Challenger R/T, Scat Pack, and SRT8 problems on Hemi V8 engines. Coils and injectors do occasionally fail, but this is quite rare. What is more common is the failure of the exhaust manifolds' bolts. This will cause ticking at best and power loss at worst, and it's best to replace them all in one go if you're going to the trouble. Keep in mind that the Hemi V8s use two spark plugs per piston, so you have to replace 16 at a time at a not inconsiderable expense.

Mileage: Problems can start as early as 5,000 miles on faulty engines that should have been dealt with under warranty. Otherwise, problems usually don't manifest before 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Cost: Replacing the lifter followers and camshaft will cost at least $1,500 for parts only, plus several hours of labor. The exhaust manifolds' bolts cost only around $100, with labor on top.

How to spot: The majority of these problems cause ticking sounds and may often be accompanied by misfires, a loss of power, and the Check Engine light. A maintenance schedule with gaps in it is also a warning sign of possible impending problems.

SOHC 3.5-liter V6 Engine Problems

The worst of all the Challenger engines is the original six-cylinder in the 2009 and 2010 models, called the Chrysler SOHC V6. It originally hails from 1993 and isn't nearly as reliable as the OHV predecessor it was derived from. As such, 2009 and 2010 Dodge Challenger V6 problems are quite common. Moving to overhead cams introduced a cambelt that has to be replaced every 100,000 miles, but this is the least of this engine's problems. For years, a restrictive crankcase ventilation system caused excessive carbon buildup, which in turn caused oil sludge, exacerbated by undersized oil galleries. Some of these problems remained later in the engine's life and deferred oil changes are the death knell for this engine with its marginal lubrication system. Avoid this engine at all costs.

Mileage: Problems can occur at any mileage.

Cost: Varies wildly, and accurate cost estimates of typical repairs on the late-model 3.5 are quite rare due to their low numbers.

How to spot: The most important consideration is a meticulous maintenance schedule, with oil changed more frequently than the schedule stipulates.

Transmission Problems

The transmissions used in the Challenger are generally reliable and if they receive fresh oil on time, should last well. Even the manual transmission is tough but if you do manage to wreck your clutch, be ready to spend at least $1,700 to replace it. There are some reports of 2010, 2012, and 2016 Dodge Challenger automatic transmission problems, such as the transmission not engaging, exhibiting harsh shifts, and thumping, but this is usually attributed to a dodgy transmission control module (TCM). This can be reprogrammed or replaced. A few 2010 Challengers have suffered outright transmission failures from as little as 18,000 miles, but this problem seems to be rare.

Mileage: From as early as 7,000 miles.

Cost: A routine software update. A faulty TCM will cost $150 to diagnose at a Dodge dealer and $1,200 to replace. Aftermarket TCMs are available at between $160 and $300.

How to spot: Harsh shifts and thumping into gear.

Brake Problems

There are a few 2012 Dodge Challenger brake problems, mostly centering around warped brake rotors causing shuddering when braking and having to be replaced. Some owners have their brake rotors resurfaced or "skimmed", but this is usually only a temporary fix. You would have to replace them to solve the problem permanently.

Mileage: 15,000 miles on average.

Cost: Around $150 to resurface brake rotors and between $500 and $600 to replace them.

How to spot: Brake shuddering/juddering.

TIPM Problems

Many of the most common 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Dodge Challenger electrical, fuel pump, and starting problems and many seemingly random electrical maladies can be traced back to the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). However, it is often hard to tell whether a specific electrical component or the TIPM controlling it is faulty, especially because the TIPM is involved in controlling so many systems, such as the windows, wipers, airbags, starter motor, and fuel pump. It is fair to say that, if a Challenger suffers from mysterious electrical problems such as power windows or the horn activating uncommanded or not working at all, the TIPM is at fault. If a vehicle exhibits more than one intermittent electrical glitch, it's often the TIPM.

Mileage: 30,000-100,000 miles on average.

Cost: Having a TIPM replaced costs between $620 and $940.

How to spot: Mysterious, intermittent electrical faults such as uncommanded activation of the power windows and horn, but can otherwise be difficult to pinpoint.

HVAC Problems

A selection of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) issues have cropped up over the years; 2009, 2010, 2012-2014, and 2016 Dodge Challenger air conditioning - or AC - problems are not uncommon, but these are not the only issues. Heaters also go wrong and some other years are also affected to a lesser degree. The air conditioning may fail or blow hot air instead of cold (or the other way around). The heat blender door actuator may also fail. Some refrigerant leaks can be fixed and others require a compressor replacement.

Mileage: 36,000 to 61,000 miles on average.

Cost: Invasive HVAC repairs can set you back up to $2,000. A new compressor costs around $765, a heater blender actuator door costs $35, a heater core between $700 and $1,050, and an evaporator between $880 and $1,250.

How to spot: Inconsistent HVAC behavior, such as air conditioning that fails to blow cold air or a heater that fails to blow hot air.


There are quite a few recalls for the 3rd-generation Dodge Challenger, but this is partly due to them covering no fewer than 15 model years, from 2008 to 2022. Here are the 2008-2022 Dodge Challenger recalls:

In the biggest recall in automotive history, millions of Takata airbags' inflators could rupture upon deployment, sending deadly shrapnel into a vehicle's interior. The 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Dodge Challenger airbag recall covers this issue. In a separate recall, some 2011 and 2012 Challengers were recalled because they may have incorrectly sized crimps on the wiring harness for the side airbags. The final airbag-related recall was for 2015 Challengers to replace a missing SABIC rear mounting bolt for the curtain airbag. In the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Dodge Challenger alternator recall, Chrysler recalled nearly 900,000 vehicles over five model ranges for alternator failure and various Challengers were recalled for a fault in the Wireless Ignition Module (WIN).

Some 2009 and 2010 Challengers were recalled because they may have been manufactured without a front wheel spindle nut and a handful of 2009 and 2010 Challengers were recalled for a faulty tire pressure monitoring (TPM) system. There were several 2010 Dodge Challenger power steering problems - they were recalled for a power steering hose assembly that may separate. V6-engined 2013 Challengers were recalled for a positive battery terminal at the starter motor that may short-circuit and 2014-2018 Challengers were recalled for a defect in the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). In two 2015 recalls, Challengers were recalled for radio software that could allow unauthorized access. 2015 Dodge Challengers were recalled because their instrument clusters may stop working; this software problem was responsible for the majority of 2015 Dodge Challenger instrument cluster problems.

2017 Challengers fitted with the 5.7-liter V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission were recalled because they may not remain in Park with the engine running. A few 2018 Challengers with the incorrect transmission rods installed may fail to shift to Park and could roll away. There was a recall for some Dodge Challenger backup camera problems, namely the display staying on too long. Some 2020 Challengers were recalled for having insufficient windshield bonding, which may cause the windshield to separate from the vehicle in an accident.

Which One To Avoid

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the lemon in the Challenger lineup is the 2009-2010 base SE with the troublesome and weak 3.5-liter Chrysler SOHC engine. It does not offer the power expected of a muscle car and the 2009 model is further hamstrung by an ancient four-speed automatic transmission. In terms of problems, 2012 is the worst year overall, though all the years from 2009 to 2015 are fairly prone to problems. Many of these would have been sorted out under recall or warranty. In terms of the age of the cars and their possible accumulated mileage, we'd generally avoid everything up to the 2014 model year, especially because these are the last of the pre-facelift cars and the old interior is genuinely drab and does not go at all well with the Challenger's muscle-car vibe.

Which One To Buy

We think that the 2016 model year is a particular sweet spot. It has all the benefits of the 2015 facelift, but with most of the teething troubles fixed. There honestly isn't a single bad Challenger in the 2016 lineup and although the V6 is not V8 quick, at least it offers you the AWD option - making it the only muscle car to do so. It's something to consider if you covet a Challenger but live in a state that gets snow in winter. We'd go for one of the 6.4-liter models if the budget allows because you'll never feel short-changed with 485 hp on tap.

3rd Gen Dodge Challenger Verdict

Some might say Dodge kept the Challenger alive beyond its sell-by date, but there was a good reason for that. The basic package is just right and Dodge managed to create a car that could not only go head to head with its Camaro and Mustang rivals in terms of speed and excitement but one which also offers a lot more practicality. It is a muscle car you could use every day, dressed in a suit that successfully toes the retro line and powered by tough and proven engines that can do big mileages if cared for. It might not have the handling prowess of its rivals, but it can do more things better and its practicality might just be what helps you justify spending your cash on a coupe.

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