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2010 Dodge Challenger: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions January 2015

Offering a choice of V6 and HEMI V8 power, the 2010 Dodge Challenger is a modern interpretation of a unique American phenomenon, the muscle car. Instead of chasing down hard-to-find vintage parts, Challenger buyers get a stylish, up-to-date coupe based on the Charger 4-door sedan, complete with a warranty and that new-car smell. The Challenger shares the Charger's basic steering, brakes, all-independent suspension, rear-wheel-drive setup and unitized body construction. New for 2010 is a 5-speed automatic transmission for the base V6 engine.

With its crowd-pleasing rear-wheel drive and a variety of available powerplants, the 2010 Challenger is a good used-car choice for the performance-minded driver who wants a stylish coupe with a roomy back seat and trunk.

What We Like

Ride quality of the multilink independent rear suspension; performance of HEMI V8; crisp-shifting manual gearbox; retro muscle-car looks; roomy back seat and trunk; well-bolstered front seats

What We Don't

Lazy acceleration of V6; fuel economy of V6; rear 3/4 blind spots; steering and brakes could provide a more tactile feel

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2010 Challenger engine lineup continues to offer three choices:

The SE model comes with a single-overhead-cam 3.5-liter V6 that's optimistically rated at 250 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. It was updated for 2010 with a new 5-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential control. Midgrade unleaded fuel is recommended, and it has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

As in 2009, the 2010 R/T model sports Dodge's signature 5.7-liter overhead valve (OHV) HEMI V8. Paired with the standard 5-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential shifting, this version generates 372 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque on midgrade fuel. It also features multidisplacement technology that idles 4 cylinders to save fuel when cruising under light throttle. A Track Pak version of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and produces 376 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque on premium unleaded fuel. Both 5.7-liter HEMIs are EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

The big-dog SRT8 continues to delight with a 6.1-liter OHV HEMI V8. It produces 425 hp at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. It also requires 91-octane premium unleaded fuel. The Challenger SRT8 has an EPA rating of 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with the standard AutoStick 5-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual-gearbox version is EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/22 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2010 Challenger is once again available in SE, R/T and SRT8 trims.

The entry-level SE trim typically includes standard air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, stability control, remote keyless entry, cloth upholstery, a power driver's seat with manually adjustable lumbar support, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 capability, a split fold-down rear seat, 215/65R17 all-season tires on alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers and touring suspension. It also includes power windows, door locks and mirrors. SE options include heated leather seats, a sunroof, SiriusXM radio, a 6-speaker Boston Acoustics premium audio system, fog lamps and 225/60R18 touring tires.

Moving up to the R/T trim adds the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, performance suspension and steering, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, 235/55R18 tires and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Also available are options such as 245/45YR20 performance rubber, Keyless Go, HomeLink, heated leather seats, remote start and a 6- or 7-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system.

The SRT8 checks more boxes with a 6.1-liter HEMI V8, leather upholstery, performance front bucket seats, a power trunk-lid release, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a carbon-weave steering wheel and shifter and a 13-speaker AM/FM/CD/DVD stereo with an MP3 decoder. It also includes 20-inch polished alloy wheels, a security system, Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, Xenon headlamps and a performance computer.

Pricing

From the relatively inexpensive SE V6 models and ever-popular R/T 5.7-liter HEMI V8s to the limited-production 6.1-liter SRT8s, used 2010 Challengers have a wide range of price tags. The SRT8 has collector-car status among Mopar and muscle-car fans. As always, low odometer miles rule and condition is king.

To get a good idea of the 2010 Challenger's price range, check out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2010 Dodge Challenger:

A defective ignition switch wireless node may allow the engine to turn off without the transmission in park, increasing susceptibility to accidental roll-away.

A missing spindle nut can result in the loss of a front wheel, creating a crash risk.

A leaky power-steering pressure hose can result in an engine fire.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA rated the 2010 Challenger at five stars for frontal and side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) did not test the crash performance of the 2010 Challenger.

Chrysler covered all versions of the 2010 Challenger with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty including roadside assistance, along with 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain and corrosion-perforation warranties.

Dodge certified pre-owned (CPO) cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or younger. Every CPO Challenger undergoes a 125-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 3-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the car's original date of sale. A Carfax report, 24-hour roadside assistance, car-rental allowance and a 3-month trial of SiriusXM radio are also included.

Other Cars to Consider

2010 Ford Mustang -- Restyled for 2010, America's first pony car is still more nimble and engaging to drive than the Challenger. Despite giving up horsepower to the Mopar, both the V6 and V8 accelerate with more enthusiasm. The Mustang's live rear axle gives it a choppy ride, however, and the Dodge has a roomier back seat and trunk.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro -- After an 8-year absence, the Camaro is back in a big way, sporting a modern interpretation of the iconic 1969 model. With 4-wheel independent suspension, the Camaro is light on its feet. A 304-hp 3.6-liter V6 and 426-hp 6.2-liter V8 deliver invigorating performance, but a claustrophobic cabin and small trunk crimp practicality.

AutoTrader's Advice

Although the SE V6 version offers buyers a chance to tap into the Challenger legacy for less money, and it may be less pricey to insure, we think the stylish Dodge coupe looks and sounds best when powered by a HEMI V8. Unless you're looking for investment-grade rolling stock, we think the HEMI-powered R/T model is the smartest choice. Blowers sticking up through the hood may look cool at Cars and Coffee, but you'll be saving money by opting for a Challenger without modifications. Look for a CPO car or an example with low miles and a Carfax or equivalent car-history report. Check with the dealer to make sure the 2010 Challenger you're considering has had all safety recall items resolved.

Find a Dodge Challenger for sale

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Used 2010 Dodge Challenger SE
Used 2010 Dodge Challenger
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Used 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8
Used 2010 Dodge Challenger
$21,875
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.
2010 Dodge Challenger: Used Car Review - Autotrader