Car Comparison

2019 Dodge Charger vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger: What's the Difference?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Chris O'Neill October 2018

The 2019 Dodge Charger and the 2019 Dodge Challenger are two different takes on the modern muscle car. Built on the same platform and on sale now for a number of years, the Charger and the Challenger both utilize a range of similar engines, ranging from a basic V6 to a supercharged V8. While it may seem like the only significant difference between these two is the Charger's set of additional doors, there are a few other differences between the models that we'll highlight below.

Exterior

Despite their shared architectures, the 2019 Dodge Charger and the 2019 Dodge Challenger wear significantly different styling. The Challenger's design clearly channels the original model's, with round headlights, a long, wide rectangular-shaped hood and a low and flat roof. The trunk lid is short, while the hood is long, and the sides of the vehicle are simple and sculpted. All of these design liberties result in compromised outward visibility and a cramped interior, but the Challenger is more about form than it is function.

The Charger makes up for some of the Challenger's shortcomings by offering a more traditional sedan body style. In addition to offering four doors, the Charger comes with a taller greenhouse and better outward visibility. This isn't to say that the Charger is tame by any means. Opt for either of the available SRT trim levels, and the Charger can be had with large 20-in wheels and an aggressive body kit.

On the outside, the proportions of these two vehicles are actually pretty similar, with the Charger's wheelbase measuring four inches longer than that of the Challenger's. In terms of overall length, the vehicles are within half of an inch of one another.

Interior

The Charger and the Challenger use what are effectively the same dashboard. The same goes for their steering wheels, control layouts and infotainment systems. The Challenger's low-slung profile results in compromised interior space, while the Charger's taller greenhouse and 4-door design allows for better outward visibility. This also allows for the transportation of an extra passenger, with room for up to five in the Charger compared to the Challenger's 4-passenger capacity.

Mechanicals

The Charger and the Challenger both utilize the same 8-speed automatic transmission. Only the Challenger is available with a traditional 6-speed manual.

All-wheel drive variants of either model are available, but the performance-oriented trim levels are purely rear-wheel drive.

At the entry level, both the Charger and the Challenger come with a 3.6-liter V6. The vehicles' base engine isn't quite up to par with the potent turbocharged 4-cylinder engines offered in base model Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros, and as a result, it's hard to call V6 variants of the Challenger and the Charger true performance cars.

The Challenger and the Charger offer the same range of V8 engines. The lineup starts with a 5.7-liter V8 making 370 horsepower in the Charger and 375 hp in the Challenger. Step up a notch, and buyers are looking at a 6.4-liter V8 making 480 hp. At the top of the pile is the mighty Hellcat model. Standard 2019 Dodge Charger and 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats make 707 hp and 717 hp, respectively, from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. A new Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye model joins the lineup for 2019 and channels the spirit of the departed Challenger SRT Demon. The SRT Hellcat Redeye makes a whopping 797 hp and is only available with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy of the Charger and the Challenger is very similar. V6 models achieve 19 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and around 23 mpg combined. Equipped with an automatic, 5.7-liter V8 models earn 19 mpg combined, while 6.4-liter V8 variants earn 18 mpg combined. Standard Hellcat models earn 16 mpg combined.

Performance

Given that they use the same engines, acceleration times for the Charger and the Challenger are similar across all powertrains and trim levels. V6-powered Chargers take 6.2 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, while Challengers with the V6 engine take 6.3 seconds to get to 60 mph. Opt for a model with the 5.7-liter V8, and both the Charger and the Challenger need roughly 5.1 seconds to get to 60 mph, while Chargers with the 6.4-liter V8 take 4.1 seconds compared to the Challenger's 4.2-second time. The Charger Hellcat needs 3.4 seconds to reach 60 mph, while the Challenger Hellcat requires 3.6 seconds to complete the same sprint. The new-for-2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye needs 3.4 seconds to get to 60 mph.

Dodge's performance offerings are engineered primarily for straight-line performance as opposed to handling. Both are hindered by their excess weight, as neither has undergone a redesign to bring them up to modern standards. Still, a performance variant of either the Charger or the Challenger will be a ton of fun at the drag strip.

Features & Technology

The Charger and the Challenger both come with a standard 7.0-in touchscreen infotainment system running Chrysler's UConnect software. An 8.4-in screen is available as an optional upgrade, and brings a few additional features like an additional USB port, built-in navigation and a one-year satellite radio subscription.

The Charger and the Challenger can both be had with a Harmon Kardon premium audio system. Since it's geared toward buyers ferrying around passengers in the back seat, the Charger comes with an additional 12-volt outlet and two extra USB ports for those riding in the back seat.

Safety

The Charger and the Challenger both received scores of Marginal in the driver-side small-overlap front crash test that's conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The overall crash performance of these two vehicles lags behind current-day standards.

The Charger offers more than the Challenger in the way of driver-assist features. The Charger's offerings consist of automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.

The Challenger only offers available blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and rear parking sensors.

Both the Charger and the Challenger have their shortcomings with regard to safety. That said, thanks to its additional driver-assistance safety features, the Charger is slightly safer overall.

Conclusions

You probably already know which of these vehicles is right for you based on your unique needs. Both are set up like old-school muscle cars with aggressive styling, RWD and available high-horsepower engines. Both are also pretty old and lack modern engine technology and are built on basic architectures that are starting to feel dated. If one of these Mopar muscle cars is on your shopping list, your decision really comes down to whether you need the extra doors and value the added visibility of the Charger or if you prefer the low-slung, coupe profile of the 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 Charger vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger: What's the Difference? - Autotrader