Used Car Review

2011 Dodge Challenger: Used Car Review

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Used 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
Used 2011 Dodge Challenger
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author photo by Ron Sessions April 2016

Offering a choice of V6 and HEMI V8 power, the 2011 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. Unlike the Camaro and Mustang, the Challenger has a roomy back seat and trunk, which is great for muscle-car fans with friends and family.

New for the base SE model for 2011 are standard 18-inch alloy wheels, a peppy 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, automatic air conditioning, side-impact airbags and keyless entry/starting. Also new in 2011 is an SRT8 392 performance model with a 470-hp 6.4 liter HEMI V8.

With its crowd-pleasing rear-wheel drive and a variety of available powerplants, the 2011 Challenger is a good used-car choice for the performance-minded driver who wants a handsome, retro-inspired 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

Interior is plain and dated-looking; rear quarter blind spots; V6 not available with a manual transmission

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 Challenger engine lineup offers three choices.

The SE model comes with a new double-overhead-camshaft 3.6-liter V6 with 305 hp (up 55 hp from the 2010 model's V6) and 268 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a 5-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential control. It's a flex-fuel engine that can run on unleaded regular or E85 fuel. Fuel economy is improved, as well: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates it at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The 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 four 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 SRT8 392 is a new performance model with an upsized 6.4-liter (392 cubic-in) OHV HEMI V8. Output rises to 470 hp at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 470 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. It also requires 91-octane premium unleaded fuel. The Challenger SRT8 392 has an EPA rating of 14 mpg city/22 mpg hwy with the standard AutoStick 5-speed automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual-gearbox version is EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Challenger is available in SE, R/T and SRT8 392 trims.

The entry-level SE trim includes standard automatic air conditioning, a leather-wrapped shifter and tilt-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, stability and traction control, remote keyless entry, remote starting, cloth upholstery, a black headliner, a power driver's seat with manually adjustable lumbar support, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 capability, a split fold-down rear seat, 235/55R18 all-season tires on alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a touring suspension and touring brakes. It also includes power windows, door locks and mirrors. SE options include heated leather seats, a sunroof, Bluetooth and voice-command connectivity, a 6.4-in touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, SiriusXM radio, a Boston Acoustics premium audio system and fog lamps.

Moving up to the R/T trim adds the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, larger brakes, a performance suspension and performance steering, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, auto headlamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors, a 160-mile-per-hour speedometer, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth and voice-command connectivity, and USB device charging. Also available are options such as high-intensity discharge headlamps, a pistol-grip shifter, a low-restriction exhaust, polished chrome 20-in wheels, HomeLink, heated leather seats, several exterior graphics packages and a Super Track Pak with 245/45ZR20 performance rubber tires, high-performance springs and shocks, and a track-mode stability control system.

The SRT8 392 adds a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with low-restriction exhaust and a cold-air induction hood, perforated Nappa leather upholstery, heated performance front bucket seats with adjustable lumbar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a carbon-fiber-weave and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, 245/45ZR20 performance tires, a 180-mph speedometer, a security system, Brembo brakes, a track-tuned suspension with quick-ratio steering, Bilstein monotube shocks, a limited-slip differential, xenon headlamps and a performance computer.


From the relatively inexpensive SE V6 models and ever-popular R/T 5.7-liter HEMI V8s to the investment-grade 6.4-liter SRT8 392s, used 2011 Challengers have a wide range of price tags. The SRT8 392 has collector-car status among a growing cadre of Mopar and muscle-car fans. As always, low odometer miles rule, and condition is king.

To get a good idea of the 2011 Challenger's price range, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2011 Dodge Challenger:

On some 3.6-liter V6 models, the alternator may fail without warning, which may stall the engine, and if the vehicle is in motion, increase the risk of a crash.

Faulty wiring may prevent the deployment of the front-seat side airbags in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

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 did not rate the 2011 Challenger for frontal or side impacts but gave it four stars for rollover performance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not test the crash performance of the 2011 Challenger.

Chrysler covered the 2011 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

2011 Ford Mustang -- Restyled for 2010, America's first pony car is still more nimble and engaging to drive than the Challenger. And with increased power for 2011, the 305-hp 3.7-liter V6 and the 412-hp 5.0-liter V8 quicken the driver's pulse. The Mustang's live rear axle gives it a choppy ride, however, and the Dodge has a roomier back seat and trunk.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro -- After an 8-year absence, the Camaro came back in 2010 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 312-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 a good mix of everyday performance and fuel economy and gives buyers a chance to tap into the Challenger legacy for less money and lower insurance rates, 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 2011 Challenger you're considering has had any applicable safety recall items resolved.

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Used 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
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2011 Dodge Challenger: Used Car Review - Autotrader