Ultimate ride comfort, iconic image, and a Hemi engine. If these are the only things important to you in a sports car, the 2014 Dodge Challenger should be your next big-ticket purchase.
UNDER THE HOOD
The rear-wheel-drive 2014 Dodge Challenger has 8 models: the SXT, SXT Plus, Rallye Redline, R/T, R/T Plus, SRT Core and SRT 392.
The Challenger SXT models and the Rallye Redline have a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a 5-speed automatic.
The R/Ts are powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. It generates 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque when paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. With a 5-speed automatic, the V8 is less powerful at 372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
The SRTs are motivated by a 6.4-liter V8 that pumps out 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Like the R/Ts, the SRTs get a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and a 5-speed automatic as optional.
Here are the EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2014 Challenger:
|3.6L V6, 5-spd automatic||18 mpg||27 mpg|
|5.7L V8, 6-spd manual||15 mpg||25 mpg|
|5.7L V8, 5-spd automatic||15 mpg||23 mpg|
|6.4L V8, 6-spd manual||14 mpg||23 mpg|
|6.4L V8, 5-spd automatic||14 mpg||23 mpg|
ON THE ROAD
When you say Challenger, it won’t be a surprise if one of the first things that will come to mind is ride quality. Aside from being iconic, the excellent ride quality is another characteristic the Challenger is known for. But the suspension on the base SXT feels light so consider upgrading that to experience maximum ride comfort.
Handling is not also an issue especially with the sportier models. But, of course, the Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang are more agile in turns. However, any of the two V8 engines available will improve the Challenger’s cornering abilities.
INSIDE THE 2014 CHALLENGER
The Challenger is an accurate representation of a muscle car from the outside. Unfortunately, the interior fails expectations. The design, materials and technology look dated. Some reviewers complained about the dim illumination for the controls at night, making them hard to read.
But you may like the fact that the Dodge coupe can seat up to five. Not all cars in the segment offer such seating capacity. Comfort is not compromised, though. Power-adjustable seats are standard and they are roomy and supportive. The cargo space is likewise impressive at 16.2 cubic feet which is larger than what most sports cars in the same price range offer.
The Challenger SXT comes standard with sport suspension, 6 airbags, keyless entry, 6-speaker Uconnect AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, automatic climate control, trip computer, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and shift knob, power-adjustable driver seat, 60/40 folding rear seat, cloth seating, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The SXT Plus adds heated front seats, leather seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with microphone, 6-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system, Bluetooth, USB port, Uconnect with voice command, automatic headlights, fog lights, satellite radio, and rear park assist.
The Challenger Rallye Redline features performance brakes, suspension and steering, 20-inch black chrome aluminum wheels with Firestone performance tires, and red center stripe on body.
The Challenger R/T is equipped with heavy-duty brakes, anti-spin rear differential, cloth seats, 160-mph speedometer, 6-speaker Uconnect audio system, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and most of what goes with the SXT.
The R/T Plus adds heated front seats, leather seats, temperature and compass gauge, garage door opener, Boston Acoustics sound system, power heated outside mirrors, security alarm, and tire pressure monitor.
The R/T Classic has 20-inch aluminum wheels with Firestone tires, xenon headlights, and functional hood scoop.
Some standard features on the Challenger SRT Core are black calipers, high-performance suspension, performance-tuned steering, premium cloth seats, 180-mph speedometer, accent color grille, black rear spoiler, and 20-inch aluminum wheels with Goodyear tires.
The SRT 392 adds to the Core custom-painted calipers, adaptive damping suspension, sport steering, heated front seats, leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror with microphone, heated steering wheel, garage door opener, 6-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system (with 6.5-inch touchscreen display, 40GB hard drive, satellite radio, Bluetooth and USB port), Uconnect DVD, automatic xenon headlights, fog lights, and dual black center stripes on body.
Optional features are bundled in packages. Some that you will find are unique exterior paints, Harman Kardon audio system, navigation system, power sunroof, and various wheel designs.
Photo credit: dodge.com