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2019 Dodge Challenger Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2019

Dodge offers a dizzying assortment of grades and performance packages for its 2019 Dodge Challenger. More than $50,000 and 492 horsepower separate the entry-level Challenger SXT from the top-of-the-heap SRT Hellcat Redeye. There are plenty of price and performance stops in between.

What's New for 2019?

Dodge streamlined the trim level lineup to just eight models. The SRT Hellcat Redeye steps in to replace the SRT Demon, taking its spot at the top of the Challenger SRT performance models. The SRT Hellcat's 6.2-liter V8's output increased to 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque, and also now features an After-Run Chiller. All Hellcat versions also get a dual snorkel hood. Line Lock and Launch Assist are now standard on all SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack grades. The R/T Scat Pack gets SRT Drive Modes and Performance Pages standard. The R/T and R/T Scat Pack get the Rear Seat Delet Group as an option. All Challenger standard interiors are cloth. Numerous other performance and cosmetic upgrades round out the changes. See the 2019 Dodge Challenger models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Glorious V8 engines
  • Luxurious highway ride
  • Spacious back seat for a coupe
  • Huge trunk
  • Unique looks
  • An unmatched array of models and variations

What We Don't

  • Feels as big to drive as it looks
  • No convertible model
  • Dull interior
  • Hard to see behind you or side-to-side

How Much?

$29,340-$73,190

Fuel Economy

The Challenger SXT and GT have a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque), an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (RWD) as standard. The Challenger SXT AWD and GT AWD have all-wheel drive. RWD V6-powered Challenger models return 19 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving. AWD models get 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

Next up is the RWD R/T model, which comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 (372 hp and 400 lb-ft), and, as with all the higher trim levels, save the SRT Hellcat Redeye, is commanded by a 6-speed manual. An 8-speed automatic is optional. Fuel economy is 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined with the automatic, while the manual essentially reduces efficiency by one mpg.

The R/T Scat Pack is armed with a 6.4-liter V8 (485 hp and 475 lb-ft) engine. Fuel economy with the automatic is 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined. The manual effectively lowers those by one mpg.

The SRT Hellcat boasts a mighty supercharged 6.2-liter V8, producing a mammoth 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy, should you somehow manage to drive economically with 717 hp at your right foot's disposal, is 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined with the automatic. The manual is essentially the same.

And now, for overkill, the SRT Hellcat Redeye ups the supercharged Hellcat engine to 797 hp and 707 lb-ft. Fuel economy is … why are we even bothering at this point?

Standard Features & Options

Dodge claims eight trim levels for the Challenger, but two of those (SXT AWD and GT AWD) are basically just the SXT and GT with, you guessed it, AWD. Remaining are the SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye.

Pricing for the 2019 Dodge Challenger has quite a spread from the V6-equipped SXT to the pavement chomping SRT Hellcat Redeye. Adding an automatic transmission to the R/T Scat Pack or SRT Hellcat adds $1,595 to the bottom line, but eliminates the $1,000 Gas Guzzler Tax on the manual R/T Scat Pack. Prices for all grades include the $1,495 factory destination charge. Listed prices for the SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye include the $1,700 GGT. There are several sub grades, which are basically performance packages like R/T with T/A Package, R/T with Shaker Package, R/T Scat Pack Widebody Package and so forth. We have included total pricing for many of those sub trims.

The base SXT ($29,340) includes 18-in alloy wheels, sport suspension, Keyless Enter 'n Go, auto on/off headlamps, LED taillights, power heated outboard mirrors, a leather-wrapped wheel, a power driver seat, a backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, Dodge Performance Pages, a 6-way power driver's seat, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, hill-start assist, Uconnect 4 with a 7-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 6-speaker audio system.

SXT AWD ($32,390) is basically the SXT with AWD and 19-in alloy wheels.

The GT ($31,890) builds on the SXT with remote start, sport-tuned steering, performance suspension, a performance hood with a functioning scoop, 20-in alloy wheels and an upgraded leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters.

Building on the GT, GT AWD ($34,940) adds AWD, but loses the GT's 20-in wheels for 19-in ones.

The R/T ($35,790) adds to the GT with a V8 engine, performance exhaust and metal pedals. Optional is a Performance Handling package (upgraded brakes and suspension only). The T/A Package ($39,190) adds a cold-air intake, black styling elements and other mostly cosmetic enhancements. The R/T Shaker Package ($38,290) adds a large cold air induction scoop extending through the hood and some styling enhancements.

The R/T Scat Pack ($40,490) adds the HEMI 392 V8, performance brakes, black brake calipers, SRT configurable drive modes, launch assist, launch control, line lock, high-performance suspension, an aluminum hood with dual heat extractors, 20-in black alloy wheels, an 180-mph speedometer, SRT Performance Pages, and the Uconnect 4C interface with an 8.4-in touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming and two USB ports.

Besides its supercharged V8 engine, the SRT Hellcat ($61,845) adds larger Brembo brakes with red calipers, After-Run Chiller, an intercooler, a high-performance exhaust, a further upgraded competition suspension, adaptive suspension dampers, aluminum hood with dual scoops, a 200-mph speedometer, a SRT flat-bottom heated steering wheel, special hydraulic sport steering, xenon headlights and special design elements.

SRT Hellcat Redeye ($73,190) receives a higher-output version of the SRT Hellcat's V8 plus the SRT Power Chiller and a 220-mph speedometer.

A Widebody Package is available for the RT/Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye. A power sunroof is optional for all trims. Offered on all grades is the Driver Convenience Group with power folding mirrors, HID headlamps and various grade-specific goodies. All but the SXT versions qualify for an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system. Available on all grades is the Technology Group with rain-sensing wipers and auto high beams, as well as forward-collision warning and adaptive cruise control on automatic transmission-equipped models only. There are numerous other performance and appearance option packages.

Safety

The Challenger includes stability control, six airbags and a backup camera. Blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert are optional.

In government crash-testing, the Challenger earned a 5-star overall, frontal and side ratings. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Challenger the best possible rating of Good in the moderate overlap and side crash tests, but a second-best Acceptable in the roof strength test and a second-worst Marginal in the small overlap front test.

Behind the Wheel

The Challenger may look mean, but it's surprisingly docile behind the wheel. Although steering and suspension differs by trim, it is a surprisingly comfortable and easy car to drive. However, there's no getting around the Challenger's considerable mass, which imparts a commanding feel on the highway but becomes quite evident on tight roads.

Inside, the design is unfortunately as dull as the exterior is delightful. Sure, it's substantially more interesting than the original design, but it's still a bit of a letdown compared to a Ford Mustang or a Chevrolet Camaro. In contrast, however, rear occupants are treated to perhaps the most spacious back seat in any mass-market coupe. The trunk is enormous, too, at 16.2 cu ft., which compares to full-size sedans.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Chevrolet Camaro -- This is the sharpest American muscle coupe to drive, boasting handling and performance credentials that rival the best sports cars. Practical drawbacks limit its viability as a daily driver.

2019 Ford Mustang -- The Mustang splits the difference between the Camaro and the Challenger. It's more agile than the Challenger, but more practical than the Camaro. It's also available as a convertible.

2019 Dodge Charger -- Basically the same car as the Challenger underneath, the Charger adds two more doors and a healthy dollop of space. It's also equally bargain-priced.

Used Cadillac CTS-V -- If you want the Challenger's brute power but prefer a nicer cabin or more equipment, consider a Cadillac CTS-V. Prices are high, however, so you may have to check out a used model.

Autotrader's Advice

If horsepower is at the top of your must-have list, by all means go big, but even the V6 delivers satisfying performance. Find a Dodge Challenger for sale

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New 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT
New 2019 Dodge Challenger
MSRP $35,725
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New 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT
New 2019 Dodge Challenger
MSRP $35,725
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New 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
New 2019 Dodge Challenger
MSRP $49,161
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New 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack
New 2019 Dodge Challenger
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Dodge Challenger Review - Autotrader