This content is sponsored by Fair Oaks Motors.
The muscle car is timeless, but a two-door coupe usually means you have to make a lot of compromises. The Dodge Challenger is different. With a useable back seat and an actual trunk the Challenger is more than just a good-looking ride. And a number of different models allows you to pick from mild to wild.
One typical downfall of a muscle car is with RWD it tends to limit year-round use. Dodge offers a Challenger GT with AWD, an option Ford and Chevy don’t offer, with their muscle coupes. If you want AWD you can only have a V6, but you still have 305hp and a solid eight-speed automatic that keeps the car in the power when you have your foot planted. With AWD the handling of bad weather need not be a white knuckle affair. There was no wheel slipping in the rain and it seemed confident in corners in the dry weather too. There isn’t as much weight up front without the big Hemi V8 so it seems to turn quicker and feels lighter on its feet for a larger car.
The Challenger GT is a good value with pricing starting at $33,695 and loaded up my IndiGo Blue test ride was right around $39,000. For that price, it was nicely equipped with Nappa/ Alcantara Performance seats that provide great comfort. There was a power sunroof, plus the easy-to-use Uconnect with a large 8.4’ touchscreen. Space is also a huge plus for the Dodge Challenger with plenty of room up front plus a rare, useable back seat for adults who can shimmy through the large doors. The trunk is large and deep and can swallow more than you would expect for a coupe.
You might think the GT sounds nice, but you want a V8 and more performance. Dodge is ready for you! The 2019 Challenger Scat Pack Wide Body is worth a look and ups the price to about $52,000 when you select all the options. This is one menacing-looking ride with an extra wide body to fit some large 11’ wide tires to better cope with the 485hp V8. The sound is glorious under full throttle and even at idle or easy acceleration there’s a nice rumble; no flying under the radar here. The acceleration is quick and the big coupe wastes no time getting down the road. You can row your own gears with a six speed manual or spend an extra $1,595 for an eight-speed automatic that seems to be up to the task. Handling is better than you expect for a big muscle coupe. A few laps around a track is awesomely surprising. Those large wheels, tires and massive brakes kept the big car true.
What if 485hp isn’t enough for you? Dodge can fix your horsepower blues with the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, a 797hp rocket, starting under $78,000. Yes, that’s right, 797hp! Yes, that takes performance from very fast to ludicrous speed with a stab of the gas pedal. The power comes from a 6.2L V8 with a big supercharger sitting on top. The acceleration is fierce and enough to scare others in and outside the car. The supercharger makes a whine that brought a smile to my face just about every time I heard it on acceleration. While the power is insane, you can drive it like a normal car and it behaves and is a comfortable cruiser. Hit the ECO mode that brings it down to only 500hp and look for nearly 21mpg on the highway. I drove nearly 600 miles on the highway to test its comfort. It passes. It’s also fine in the daily commute. The fuel economy stays around 14mpg in the city. There’s no manual transmission here but a beefed up eight-speed automatic clicks off quick, firm shifts and is smooth under normal driving conditions. The interior of this muscle couple is well appointed with luxury trimming of Laguna leather on the seats and door panels. A loud 18-speaker premium Hardon Kardon audio system has a nice clarity at low or higher levels. Nice items like a 4G LTE WI-Fi Hot Spot and easy connections to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are snap in the Challenger. Comfort items in all Challenger models I drove include heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel and even remote start for those cold days (or let others video that engine start up!)
If you need more power in your life, the Dodge Challenger has a muscle coupe ranging from a sensible AWD model for year-round use to one of the most powerful cars on the road today! Have fun!