Car Dealer Ratings and Reviews

2013 Dodge Challenger: Modernized American Muscle

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The 2013 Dodge Challenger is a present-day interpretation of the classic American muscle car and carries over unchanged from 2012. It returned from a 30-year hiatus in 2008 and unlike those prized muscle cars from the past, the modernized Challenger offers a more refined ride, better mpg, advanced technology and improved safety features.

Competing with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, the Challenger has the longest wheelbase making it the only muscle coupe with room for five. Getting those five people in requires the flexibility of a contortionist and seeing three adults in the rearview reminds me of an overstuffed bag of potatoes, but it is possible. Overall, it offers more headroom, more comfortable seats and a larger trunk than its competition.

All that space may look good on paper but let’s face it, when it comes to pure American muscle nobody really cares about comfort. What enthusiasts really want to know about is horsepower and you’d better hope there’s a lot of it. Opting for the base model will get you a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 which is on par with the Mustang and Camaro. If you are more of a die-hard muscle car enthusiast then we suggest taking the leap for either the R/T or SRT8 model; that is if your wallet can handle the hefty payments. The R/T features a 375-hp HEMI V8 while the SRT8 packs a rip-roaring 470-hp 6.4-liter V8.

The 2013 Dodge Challenger can be had in three trim levels ranging in price from $25,995 and topping out at $44,995 without additional options. Available trims include the base SXT, the R/T and the race-ready SRT8. Just be careful as options and packages get expensive in a hurry. In fact, the fully loaded SRT8 can reach in excess of $53k.

The SXT’s standard equipment list includes 18-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, full-power accessories, automatic climate control, a leather wrapped steering wheel, a power adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio input jack. A number of packages are available that will add features like 20-inch wheels, remote start, a sports tuned suspension, paddle shifters and an upgraded sound system with a 6.5-ich color display.

Moving up the line to the R/T will get you the V8 engine as mentioned above plus fog lamps, heated mirrors and Bluetooth. A high-performance suspension, upgraded brakes, 20-inch wheels and navigation are offered in additional packages.

Stepping up to the granddaddy of them all, the SRT8, will get you the boisterous 470-hp V8, 20-inch alloy wheels, hydraulic power steering, high-performance brakes the premium sound system, leather-trimmed sports seats and a one-day SRT Track Experience at a driver training course.

All-in-all, the Dodge Challenger offers big power and looks great in any driveway but big changes may be store for the Dodge muscle-car line up. Rumor has it that the Chrysler group will be reincarnating the Barracuda by 2015 and ultimately nixing the touring based Challenger. There’s no real proof that the car actually exists but it’s said that it will certainly appeal more to the Mopar faithful.

 Muscle-car looks; secure handling; strong engine lineup; spacious cabin; drag strip ready

 Tight rear seat; poor rearward visibility; light steering

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July 2, 2013 |

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