2018 Dodge Challenger R/T Review

Model Overview

The Dodge Challenger coupe competes against the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro for nostalgia-fueled muscle car sales and it arguably offers the most genuine interpretation of the genre with the focus being mainly on straight-line pace and lots of interior space.

If you are serious about your muscle cars, but not in a certifiable way, then the mid-range V8 powered R/T trim levels should be on your shortlist.

For 2018, there have been some useful updates to standard specification levels for the Challenger R/T range.

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What’s it like inside?

The Challenger is the most spacious coupe in its class and is the only model to offer seating for three in the rear row. The plastic surfaces and leather coverings are generally of a decent quality but there is the odd bit of tacky trim that lets the interior down.

The controls and switchgear are easy to use and the front seats are generously sized with a range of adjustments that should suit most occupants.

The rear seats are relatively easy to climb into and the wide body and decent legroom can accommodate even taller adults in comfort. The trunk is the biggest in class and there is plenty of space for large bags and bulky items.

How does it drive?

The Dodge Challenger R/T coupe does not pretend to be an alternative to the many sharp handling sports cars out there, the steering feel and wide body conspire against it in tight corners.

There are a number of available performance and suspension upgrades though and the RT can be a bit of fun on long, sweeping bends. The ride tends to get firmer with larger diameter wheels and sportier suspension so you will need to find a compromise in the range that suits your needs best.

What about the performance?

Depending on the trim level chosen, the Challenger R/T comes equipped with either a 5.7-liter V8 with 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque or a 6.4-liter V8 which pumps out 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Both are rear-wheel drive and come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, an 8-speed automatic is an available option.

Opting for the auto-shifter in conjunction with the 5.7-liter engine sees the peak power figures drop slightly to 372 hp and 400 lb-ft. Performance levels are very strong and the 6.4-liter V8 in particular offers serious acceleration off the line.

The best consumption figures can be had from the automatic equipped 375 hp V8 which offers 16/25 mpg in combined city/highway driving conditions. A manual transmission 6.4-liter V8 on the other hand achieves 14/23 mpg.

What are my options?

The Dodge Challenger R/T variants are available in R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus Shaker and R/T Scat Pack trim levels. All come equipped with the 375 hp V8 engine excepting the R/T Scat Pack which comes fitted with the 485 hp V8.

The base R/T offers a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone integration, auto-headlights, heated mirrors, 6-way power driver seat, 20-inch alloys, an active sport exhaust and a limited-slip differential.

R/T Plus Trim adds an 8.4-inch touchscreen, heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, park assist system, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and unique 20-inch alloys.

R/T Shaker Trim offers a Shaker hood with Mopar cold air intake, Super Track Pak with performance steering, brakes and suspension and a 3-mode stability control system.

The R/T Plus Shaker Trim adds to the standard Shaker items with heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats with suede inserts, heated performance steering wheel with paddle shifters and satin black exterior design details.

The R/T Scat Pack comes with the larger 485 hp V8 engine, upgraded brakes, cloth performance seats, satin black rear spoiler and polished aluminum 20-inch wheels.

A variety of packages are available depending on the trim level, most notably a Driver Convenience group adds blind spot and rear cross path detection, upgraded headlights, rear park assist, power mirrors, remote start and a universal garage door opener. The Technology Pack offers adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.

The Verdict

The Dodge Challenger R/T range offers strong V8 performance (Especially in Scat Pack trim), lots of interior space and a wide range of standard and available equipment.

If you are looking for the sharpest handler in its class then the Challenger R/T is not for you, but if you value straight-line pace and retro-style, then this is the car for you.

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