The Dodge Challenger has some powerful lines and luckily has the engines to back up the promise made by the body.
Stellantis' well-known naturally aspirated V6 engine powers the base model. It still packs a powerful punch but not quite enough to deliver jaw-dropping performance. The 0-60-mph sprint takes 6.5 seconds, as proved by independent tests. Both its turbocharged four-pot rivals are faster, but neither has as much character. Dodge is among the rare few offering all-wheel-drive, making the Challenger the default muscle car in cold-weather states.
R/T models are equipped with a 5.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8 producing 375 horsepower, while the R/T Scat Pack and R/T Scat Pack Widebody are fitted with the 6.4L Hemi V8 producing 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. This empowers the Dodge with a top speed of around 150 mph.
Dodge doesn't provide claimed acceleration figures, but the 5.7-liter is clearly faster than the V6, though still not entirely mind-bending. The Scat Pack models pack the kind of power we expect from a modern muscle car. After all, getting the rear end out is much easier with 475 lb-ft of torque, and that's what muscle cars are all about, right?
The renowned Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 does duty under the hood on base models, developing 303 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. This setup only supports the eight-speed automatic transmission but you can upgrade the standard RWD to AWD without restriction. While we do appreciate Dodge's commitment to a large capacity entry-level engine, one can't argue with the performance provided by turbocharged rivals. A 2.3-liter turbocharged Mustang gets to 60 mph 1.4 seconds faster.
The R/T upgrades to a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 372 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque when mated to the eight-speed automatic, and 375 hp and 410 lb-ft if you opt for the available six-speed manual gearbox. While we appreciate still having a manual option, this engine isn't particularly well suited for self-shifting. Peak power is delivered at just over 5,000 rpm and peak torque at 4,300 rpm. When it comes to manuals, we prefer an engine that can spin to at least 8,000 rpm.
Dodge's 6.4-liter V8 (485 hp and 475 lb-ft) suffers from the same problem. Colossal power, but delivered in massive lumps rather than linearly spread over the torque curve. For this reason, we recommend going the automatic route. It shifts much faster anyway, and there are steering-wheel-mounted paddles for manual override.
|Dodge Challenger Trims||Dodge Challenger Engines||Dodge Challenger Horsepower||Dodge Challenger Transmissions||Dodge Challenger Drivetrains||Dodge Challenger MPG/MPGE|
|SXT||3.6L V6 Gas||303 hp @ 6350 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||AWD|
|21 MPG |
|GT||3.6L V6 Gas||303 hp @ 6350 rpm||8-Speed Automatic||AWD|
|21 MPG |
|R/T||5.7L V8 Gas||375 hp @ 5150 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|R/T Scat Pack||6.4L V8 Gas||485 hp @ 6100 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|R/T Scat Pack Widebody||6.4L V8 Gas||485 hp @ 6100 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
According to the EPA, the 3.6-liter V6 with RWD can manage 19/30/23 mpg city/highway/combined. Swapping to AWD drops these figures to 18/27/21 mpg. The 5.7L V8 with a manual transmission estimates mileage returns of 15/23/18 mpg, or 16/25/19 mpg with the automatic box. The 6.4L Widebody gets 14/23/17 mpg and 15/24/18 mpg in the same configurations. Not one of these models is especially frugal, but the most efficient Challenger can get 426 miles from its 18.5-gallon tank.
|Dodge Challenger Trims||SXT||GT||R/T||R/T Scat Pack||R/T Scat Pack Widebody|
|Dodge Challenger Tank size||16.2 gal.||16.2 gal.||16.2 gal.||16.2 gal.||16.2 gal.|
|Dodge Challenger Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||18/27||18/27||15/23||14/23||14/23|