With its crowd-pleasing rear-wheel drive and a variety of available power plants, the 2015 Dodge 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. Buyers can choose between a peppy V6 or three potent HEMI V8 engines, all available with a slick-shifting, fuel-saving, new-for-2015 8-speed automatic transmission. Also new for 2015 is a revised exterior with a power buldge hood, split grille, LED halo headlights and LED taillamps. Inside is an updated retro-theme interior with a new dash, seats and console. New electric power steering features customizable Normal, Comfort and Sport modes. An expanded lineup of performance models adds the R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat. New technology includes dynamic cruise control, forward collision warning and blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts. See the 2015 Dodge Challenger models for sale near you
What We Like
Track Pak optional on all models; shift quality of 8-speed automatic; ride quality of the multilink independent rear suspension; performance of HEMI V8; retro muscle-car looks; roomy back seat and trunk; well-bolstered front seats
What We Don’t
Feels big and heavy; rear-quarter blind spots; V6 not available with a manual transmission
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The entry-level SXT model comes with a Pentastar double-overhead-camshaft 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a new 8-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential control and runs on unleaded regular fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates it at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
The R/T model sports Dodge’s signature 5.7-liter overhead-valve (OHV) HEMI V8. Paired with the newly standard 8-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential shifting, this version generates 372 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy. It also features multidisplacement technology that idles four cylinders to save fuel when cruising under light throttle. When paired with the optional 6-speed manual transmission, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 produces 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque and gets a 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy EPA rating. For best performance, midgrade unleaded fuel is recommended for both versions, but unleaded regular is acceptable.
The high-performance SRT 392 and new R/T Scat Pack models feature an upsized 6.4-liter (392 cubic inches) OHV HEMI V8. Output is 485 hp (up 15 from 2014) and 475 lb-ft of torque. It requires 91-octane premium unleaded fuel. The 6.4-liter HEMI has an EPA rating of 14 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with the 6-speed manual gearbox and 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the new 8-speed automatic.
The Hellcat’s ultra-high-performance supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI is EPA-rated at 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy with the 8-speed automatic and 13 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with the 6-speed manual — not that anyone buying the 707-hp muscle car is terribly concerned about fuel economy.
Standard Features & Options
SXT trim includes the 3.6-liter V6, standard dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a leather-wrapped shifter and manual tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, cruise control, stability and traction control, Keyless Enter ‘n Go, cloth upholstery, black headliner, a power driver’s seat, auto-dim rearview mirror, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD Uconnect stereo with a 5-in touchscreen and MP3 capability, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, a split fold-down rear seat, 235/55R18 all-season tires on alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and touring brakes. It also includes power windows, door locks and mirrors. New SXT options include the Super Track Pack with 20-in wheels, high-performance suspension, steering and brakes, plus rear park assist, a backup camera and more.
SXT Plus adds leather seats, heated and ventilated front buckets, SiriusXM radio, Uconnect 8.4-in touchscreen, auto headlamps, fog lamps, rear park assist, a backup camera, decklid spoiler, 245/45R20 all-season tires on polished alloy wheels, power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, garage door opener, bright pedals and Alpine speakers.
Moving up to R/T adds the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, larger brakes, 245/45R20 all-season tires, limited-slip 3.90:1 final drive, performance dual exhaust and fog lamps.
R/T Plus marries all the equipment upgrades of SXT Plus with the nuts and bolts performance of the HEMI-powered R/T.
A new R/T Scat Pack model brings the 485-hp 6.4-liter HEMI V8, high-performance suspension, active dual-mode exhaust, Brembo performance brakes and high-performance cloth front bucket seats with ballistic inserts.
The renamed SRT 392 takes the big 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and adds a Viper-inspired cold-air induction hood, launch control, selectable adaptive damping, perforated Nappa leather upholstery, heated performance front bucket seats with adjustable lumbar, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a flat-bottom steering wheel, pushbutton start, 245/45ZR20 Pirelli summer tires on forged-aluminum wheels, extra-large Brembo brakes with slotted and vented rotors, and a track-tuned suspension.
King of the Challenger performance house is the 707-hp Hellcat which in addition to all the SRT 392 content brings an audacious supercharged version of the big HEMI V8 displacing 6.2-liters.
New options include a Shaker hood package for all V8 models, across-the-board Super Track Pack suspension availability, as well as dynamic cruise control, forward collision warning and blind spot and rear cross traffic alert systems.
From the relatively inexpensive SXT V6 models and the ever-popular R/T 5.7-liter HEMI V8s to the investment-grade 6.4-liter R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and supercharged Hellcat, used 2015 Challengers have a wide range of price tags. The big-inch HEMI Challengers enjoy collector-car status among a growing cadre of Mopar and muscle-car fans.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2015 Dodge Challenger:
Hackers can gain access to some networked vehicle control systems via certain Uconnect radios with open cellular connections. A patch is available from Chrysler.
A loose or missing mounting bolt for the driver’s side curtain airbag may alter the airbag’s deployment in a crash.
Hellcats can suffer a fuel leak due to a damaged o-ring seal or fuel rail crossover hose, crating a fire risk.
Operation of the instrument cluster may become erratic or blacked-out, increasing the risk of a crash.
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, they’ll fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Challenger a 5-star overall safety rating, with four stars for frontal impacts and rollover resistance and five stars for side impacts.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2015 Challenger as Good for side and moderate-overlap front impacts, Marginal for small-overlap front crash test, and Acceptable for roof strength, headrests and seats.
The 2015 Challenger comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain and roadside assistance coverage, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.
Dodge certified pre-owned (CPO) cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be five 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
2015 Ford Mustang — America’s first pony car is all new for 2015 with independent rear suspension and a 310-hp 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo. The engine lineup also includes a 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 and a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8, plus the exciting, supercharged 662-hp Shelby GT 500 model. Both coupe and convertible versions are available.
2015 Chevrolet Camaro — The Camaro is a modern interpretation of the iconic 1969 model, available as a coupe or convertible. With 4-wheel independent suspension, powerful 4-wheel discs and crisp steering, the Camaro is light on its feet. A power-studded engine lineup includes a base 323-hp 3.6-liter V6, 400- and 426-hp naturally aspirated 6.2-liter SS V8s, a 505-hp 7.0-liter V8 in the Z28 and a 580-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8 for the ZL1.
Although the SXT 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 an investment-quality Hellcat or SRT 392 to salt away in the garage, we think the HEMI-powered R/T model is the smartest choice, providing the sound, the attitude and more than ample performance to match its bad-boy muscle car looks..
Look for a CPO model or an example with low miles and a Carfax or equivalent car-history report. And check with the dealer to make sure the 2015 Challenger you’re considering has had any applicable safety-recall items resolved.