2021 Dodge Challenger

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2021 Dodge Challenger Review: A Modern Muscle Car Chronicle

It's hard to miss a 2021 Dodge Challenger hooning down any given road, whether it's for its classic muscle-car looks or for its roaring high-displacement engine. It's a badass vehicle through and through, and one of the few remaining cars sold with a large-capacity gasoline engine - with most automakers employing smaller turbocharged units for their performance vehicles. There's not just one powertrain proffered for the Challenger coupe either, but three strapping options ranging from a 303-horsepower V6 to a 485-hp V8. The Challenger's brutish demeanor, along with its big engines, optional manual gearbox, and classic rear-wheel-drive setup, make it a phenomenally entertaining car to drive. It has a wonderful interior that's modern, spacious, and surprisingly practical, too, though it is barren of any driver-assist features. For some, the Challenger's competitors, particularly the Ford Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro, may be more compelling options as the faster and better-equipped cars. Nevertheless, the Challenger is still a fun car, but is it worth the risk?

Read in this review:

8.4
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2021 Dodge Challenger Changes: ๐Ÿš™Whatโ€™s the difference vs 2020 Challenger?

There are no big changes to the Challenger this year. Alterations to the 2021 model are limited to a new memory function for the driver seat. It saves the position of the seat and side mirrors, as well as radio presets. This feature is only available on models with a power-adjustable steering column. The R/T Scat Pack's brake calipers can now be ordered with SRT branding, and the SXT all-wheel-drive model gets a new 20-inch alloy option.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful and glorious V6 engine
  • Surprisingly luxurious ride quality
  • Spacious and contemporary cabin
  • Reasonably livable and practical
  • All-wheel drive is available
  • Turbocharged competitors are quicker
  • Devoid of advanced driver assists
  • Cabin quality could be better
  • Low reliability expectations

Best Deals on Challenger

2021 Dodge Challenger Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SXT
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$29,450
GT
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,725
R/T
5.7L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$37,000
R/T Scat Pack
6.4L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$41,775
R/T Scat Pack Widebody
6.4L V8 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
$41,775

Challenger Exterior

2021 Dodge Challenger Front Angle View Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger Rear Angle View Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger Front Angle View 1 Dodge
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Dimensions

  • Length 197.9 in
  • Wheelbase 116.2 in
  • Height 57.7 in
  • Max Width 75.7 in
  • Front Width 63.4 in
  • Rear Width 63.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,858.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Granite Pearlcoat
  • Hellraisin
  • Indigo Blue
  • Octane Red Pearlcoat
  • Pitch Black Clearcoat
  • Torred Clearcoat
  • Triple Nickel Clearcoat
  • White Knuckle Clearcoat
  • F8 Green
  • Frostbite
  • Sinamon Stick
  • Go Mango
  • Gold Rush
  • Smoke Show

Challenger Performance

2021 Dodge Challenger SXT / GT Forward View Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger SXT / GT In Motion Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger SXT / GT Driving Back View Dodge

Engine and Transmission

Entry-spec models of the 2021 Challenger are all powered by a prestigious Pentastar 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine that develops up to 303 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. This comes paired solely with an 8-speed automatic transmission but the rear-wheel drivetrain can be swapped out for all-wheel drive if you prefer. Though Dodge's commitment to a raw large-capacity, naturally aspirated V6 is admirable, the more refined performance of the Challenger's turbocharged competitors can't be ignored. In the R/T is a 5.7-liter V8 that churns out up to 372 hp and 400 lb-ft when paired with the 8-speed auto transmission, and up to 375 hp and 410 lb-ft when paired with the available 6-speed manual gearbox. The manual is an appreciable addition, but we feel as though the engine's peak power delivery point, which is at 5,000 rpm, is too low and results in inconsistent bouts of power. The optional 6.4-liter V8, which fireballs out 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, exhibits the same flaw, so we'd recommend the automatic as its pretty quick and smooth in any case.

  • Engines
    3.6L V6 Gas, 5.7L V8 Gas, 6.4L V8 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Manual, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Challenger Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    18.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 19/30 mpg
* 2021 Dodge Challenger SXT RWD

Challenger Interior

2021 Dodge Challenger Dashboard Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger Central Console Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger SXT / GT Infotainment System Dodge
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 42.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 33.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.1 in

Challenger Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Dodge Challenger Trunk Space with Seat Folded Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger Trunk Space Dodge
2021 Dodge Challenger Cargo Room Dodge
  • Trunk Volume
    16.2 ft³

Challenger Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: ๐ŸIs the 2021 Dodge Challenger a good coupe?

At the entry-spec level, the 2021 Dodge Challenger doesn't quite measure up to its contemporaries, particularly those that embrace newer turbocharged powertrains. Yes, the V6 motor in the Challenger does offer that raw feel and sound that's become so strongly associated with genuine American muscle cars, but the new engines just make more sense with the superior level of power and fuel-efficiency they offer over the V6. They're lighter, too, which benefits handling significantly. However, the Challenger can be had with a visceral V8 unit that really augments its muscle car standing. It's also a surprisingly comfortable car on the road and boasts a really pleasant interior that's spacious, too. In the US, the 2021 Dodge Challenger coupe bears a price of $41,775 in R/T Scat Pack form, which is attractive for what you get in performance. Where the Challenger lacks in value, however, is in the driver assists it comes with, or rather without. Fortunately, after a thorough review of the 2021 Dodge Challenger for its crashworthiness, both the NHTSA and the IIHS attributed it with a good safety rating. The third-generation Challenger has been around since 2008, which is a really long time, and while some may still appreciate its old-school muscle car charm, its newer rivals are simply exceeding it in many areas.

๐Ÿš—What Dodge Challenger Model Should I Buy?

If you just admire the Challenger coupe for its badass 2-door design and stature as a muscle car, then the entry-spec SXT model should serve you well. It's presented with full color palette allotted to the line and can be outfitted with all of the creature comforts, conveniences, and the limited driver assists available to the line, all at a reasonable price.

If you want your Challenger's bite to match its bark, then we'd recommend going for the R/T Scat Pack with its ferocious 6.4-liter V8. It significantly outperforms the 5.7L, which is quickly falling behind the newer turbocharged 4-cylinder motors coming into play throughout the market. The R/T Scat Pack also comes equipped with some nifty performance-oriented gear including upgraded four-piston brake calipers as well as extra sport functions such as line lock and launch control.

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