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MSRP: $27,845 - 58,995

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Dodge Challenger ranked #3 in Sports Cars. Currently the Dodge Challenger has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 73 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.4
Safety: 8.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Dodge Challenger Review

The 2019 Dodge Challenger is one of our highest-ranking sports cars. It boasts a lineup of potent engines, its cabin is one of the best in the class, and it has a good predicted reliability rating. Alongside similar muscle cars, though, this Dodge coupe falls short when it comes to agility. 

Pros & Cons

  • Beastly-yet-polished engine lineup
  • Outstanding infotainment system
  • Comfortable, quiet cabin
  • Class-leading back-seat and trunk space
  • Less agile than rivals

New for 2019

  • SRT Hellcat Redeye debuts
  • SRT Demon discontinued
  • Base trim level now available with all-wheel drive
  • Shuffling of features and performance upgrades across trim levels

Is the Dodge Challenger a Good Car?

Yes, the Dodge Challenger is a great car. Its standout specs start with its authoritative lineup of five polished engines that feature horsepower ratings that reach as high as 797. Look inside, though, and you'll see where the Challenger really sets itself apart from other muscle cars. Bumps in the pavement and road noise barely enter the cockpit, imparting a ride that's more comfortable than most other large coupes. The roomy front seats accommodate a variety of body sizes, the rear seats are unusually spacious, and the trunk is exceptionally large. It also has one of the highest predicted reliability ratings in the class. 

Not every number associated with the Challenger is superb, though. Its fuel economy ratings are one of the lowest in our sports car ranking. Crash-test results are also mixed, resulting in a safety score that's lower than its rivals.

Should I Buy the Dodge Challenger?

The Dodge Challenger is an excellent choice if you want a two-door pony car that's practical enough for everyday living. You should also buy a Challenger if you enjoy bragging about your specs. Few cars come with engines as powerful as the Challenger's, and not many can compete with the straight-line performance of its top trims.

However, it’s not very agile on curvy roads, where it can't match the lively dynamics offered up by the Ford Mustang or the Chevy Camaro. To decide between this trio, shoppers should first decide the type of performance that best matches their driving style.

Compare the Challenger, Mustang, and Camaro »

Should I Buy a New or Used Dodge Challenger?

If you're deciding between a new and used Challenger, there are a few essential things to be aware of. The Challenger undergoes a number of changes for 2019. Most of these relate to a reshuffling of features between the trim levels, but there are also some newly available performance upgrades. This makes it a little tricky to compare new Challengers with used versions. In general, however, if you aren't drooling over the all-wheel-drive base SXT or range-topping Redeye, you'll save money by purchasing a used Challenger.

For the most part, the core characteristics of this vehicle have changed very little since its reintroduction for 2008. The Challenger was refreshed for 2015, though technophiles will want to stay with 2017 and newer Challengers, as these are available with an upgraded infotainment interface, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. If you're eyeing a special edition, you'll also need to pay attention to model years. For example, all-wheel-drive GT models were launched in 2017, and the Hellcat Demon was only built for the 2018 model year.

We Did the Research for You: 67 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Dodge Challenger in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 67 professional Dodge Challenger reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Dodge Challenger Cost?

The base price of a 2019 Challenger starts at $27,295, which is a couple of thousand dollars more than entry-level editions of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. A total of six trim levels are available this year, including the $29,995 Challenger GT, the $28,650 Challenger SRT Hellcat, and the $69,650 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. For more information on trim levels and pricing, see our Which Dodge Challenger Model Is Right for Me? section below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

Dodge Challenger Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Dodge Challenger or Dodge Charger?

The Dodge Charger can be thought of as a four-door Challenger. Pricing is similar, as are many of the interior and performance options. Dodge even builds a Charger Hellcat. The Charger’s advantages include its larger back seat, rear doors for easier access, and a slightly larger trunk. Pick the Charger if you find these family-car benefits to be appealing. If not, go with the Challenger.

Which Is Better: Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang?

Both the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger are spectacular muscle cars, each offering a different set of strengths. The current Mustang lineup can't hold a candle to the Challenger when it comes to pure engine power. The Dodge also offers a roomier back seat and trunk. The Mustang feels livelier on high-speed road courses, though, and it’s the more athletic of the two.

Which Is Better: Dodge Challenger or Chevrolet Camaro?

The Chevrolet Camaro has a compelling set of engine options, from an energetic and efficient four-cylinder, to a 650-horsepower supercharged V8. Its thrilling handling is livelier than the Challenger's, with responsive steering and minimal body roll around sharp turns. The Camaro loses out to the Challenger inside, however, partly because of its narrow windows and small trunk. Choose the Camaro for more engaging dynamics, or the Challenger for a more comfortable cruiser.

Compare the Challenger, Charger, and Mustang »

Challenger Interior

How Many People Does the Challenger Seat?

The Challenger seats five people because, unlike most other coupes, it has three back seats. Rear-seat passengers will enjoy sedan-like legroom, though the person sitting in the middle seat may still feel slightly pinched. The Challenger’s front seats have great all-day comfort and grant better visibility than the Chevrolet Camaro.

Challenger and Car Seats

There are three complete sets of LATCH child-seat connections in the Challenger. The back seat’s tether anchors are all easy to locate, but its lower anchors are more challenging to use. The lower anchors are deeply recessed in the seat cushions, and it's especially difficult to attach a child safety seat in the middle-seat position. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Challenger’s LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

Challenger Interior Quality

Retro touches blend nicely with modern technology in the Challenger's cockpit. Most reviewers describe the cabin as handsome and well-built. Overall, this is a comfortable, quiet coupe that is a great road-tripper.

Challenger Cargo Space

The Challenger's 16.2-cubic-foot trunk is one of the largest one in its class. In fact, it comes in just shy of the Dodge Charger's.

Challenger Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Nestled in the Challenger's vintage-styled dash is a high-tech infotainment system. The Uconnect system – found in many Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) models – draws lots of praise for its straightforward and user-friendly interface. As a bonus, every trim level comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for integration to your smartphone. 

Read more about interior »

Challenger Performance

Challenger Engine: A Ferocious Lineup  

At the core of every Challenger is a meaty engine. Horsepower starts at 305, the rating of the base 3.6-liter V6 engine. Craving more power? Try one of the four available Hemi V8s. Engine options include the 375-horsepower R/T, 485-horsepower R/T Scat Pack, and 717-horsepower Hellcat.

The king of this mountain is the Hellcat Redeye. It sources the discontinued Hellcat Demon's vicious V8, which has now been retuned to 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque. It can run a quarter-mile race in 10.8 seconds (at 131 mph), and has a top speed of 203 mph. Ultimately, there's no wrong choice here. Every Challenger engine delivers smooth, satisfying power. 

Challenger Gas Mileage: Not Built for Fuel Efficiency

The base Challenger engine has below-average fuel economy ratings, but that's partly because most other sports cars come with four-cylinder engines. This V6 gets 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Gas mileage ratings for the Hemi V8 engines range between 13-16 mpg in the city, and 21-25 mpg on the highway. 

Challenger Ride and Handling: Comfort Over Nimbleness

From your first drive in the rear-wheel-drive Challenger, you’ll notice how much more comfortable it is compared to its rivals. This beast is surprisingly tame, thanks to its light steering and a suspension system that absorbs most pavement imperfections. This makes the Challenger easy to live with as a daily driver, where other muscle cars can leave you feeling a little battered at the end of the day. As a bonus, you can opt for all-wheel-drive SXT and GT editions if your streets get slippery when the weather turns sour. Alongside competitors, though, the Challenger isn't very nimble.

To liven things up, Dodge offers oodles of performance upgrades for the upper trim levels. Drool-worthy elements include configurable drive modes, launch assist, and a rapidly adjusting suspension system. This year, it's easier than ever to indulge in epic burnouts. Line Lock, now standard on SRT Hellcat and R/T Scat Pack editions, keeps the vehicle in place while the rear wheels spin freely, making it easier to heat up the rear tires.

Challenger Dimensions and Weight

From bumper to bumper, the 2019 Challenger is about 16.5 feet long. Curb weight values range from 3,858 to 4,492 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Challenger Reliability

Is the Dodge Challenger Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 Challenger an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Dodge Challenger Warranty

Dodge covers the 2019 Challenger with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Challenger Safety

Challenger Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Challenger an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, along with five stars for the side crash test and four stars for the frontal crash and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Challenger the highest rating of Good for the side and moderate overlap front tests. The Challenger received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for roof strength, head restraints, and seats. It was also given the second-lowest score of Marginal for the driver-side small overlap front test. The IIHS also noted that models equipped with the optional forward collision warning system are capable of providing a Basic level of front crash prevention, the lowest rating in this evaluation.

Challenger Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Challenger. Unlike some vehicles, all of the Challenger's optional safety features are available on every trim level. Options include forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Read more about safety »

Which Dodge Challenger Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Challenger comes in quite a few trim levels, including SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, Hellcat, and the newly added Hellcat Redeye. Dodge emphasizes performance with its coupe, as illustrated by the unique set of mechanical components in each trim level.

The Challenger SXT is a great trim to start with if you want to keep your costs around $30,000. For 2019, you can now add all-wheel drive to the SXT trim for $3,000, increasing your grip through the curves or on slippery roads.

While the range-topping SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye garner plenty of attention for their 700-plus horsepower engines, you don't have to spend quite that much in order to drive a wicked muscle car. You can keep your costs closer to $40,000 and still enjoy many of the Hellcat's performance goodies by opting instead for the R/T Scat Pack. Accompanying its 485-horsepower engine are enhancements like launch assist and launch control. This midlevel edition also boasts many of the interior upgrades that are included in the Hellcat models.

Dodge Challenger SXT

The entry-level Challenger SXT ($27,295) comes with a 305-horsepower V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and for the first time, you can upgrade to all-wheel drive in the SXT for $3,000. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, proximity key entry, and push-button start are all standard. Notable components of the base sound system include the highly praised Uconnect interface, a 7-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Dodge Challenger GT

Upgraded cloth upholstery and rear parking sensors are among the Challenger GT's standard features. It's also the only edition that comes with remote start. The same powertrain carries over from the SXT, with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters added. This is the only other edition available with all-wheel drive. Prices start at $29,995 for the GT RWD and $32,995 for the GT AWD.

Dodge Challenger R/T

The Challenger R/T appears in two distinct versions. The standard R/T ($34,100) is powered by a 375-horsepower V8 engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is optional.

Under the hood of the R/T Scat Pack is a larger, more powerful V8 engine, rated at 485 horsepower. The same transmission choices carry over from the base R/T. The Scat Pack's interior adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an upgraded infotainment system that features an 8.4-inch touch screen, satellite radio, and a six-speaker Alpine audio system. Performance enhancements such as launch assist, launch control, SRT drive modes, and a high-performance suspension system are also standard on Scat editions. The Scat Pack has an MSRP of $38,995, and stick-shift versions have an added $1,000 gas guzzler tax.

The R/T Scat Pack is the lowest trim level that is available with the Widebody package. In addition to the widebody fender flares, this bundle comes with high-performance suspension upgrades, a high-performance Brembo brake system, and 20-inch Devil's Rim forged aluminum wheels.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The 2019 SRT Hellcat gets a boost in power for 2019. Its Hemi V8 engine is now rated at 717 horsepower, and it’s paired with either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. Other standard Hellcat features are a supercharger, a dual-snorkel hood, an upgraded Brembo brake system, and a competition-grade SRT-tuned suspension system that includes three-mode Bilstein adaptive dampers. Prices start at $58,650, plus an additional $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The all-new Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye edition merges the Demon engine with the Challenger trim. Its supercharged Hemi V8 cranks out a monstrous 797 horsepower, and it’s only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat Redeye has a $69,650 MSRP and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

See 2019 Dodge Challenger specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Dodge Challenger is fantastic in many ways, starting with its impressive interior. If you plan to take your car out for more than just a weekend jaunt, you'll likely find the Challenger's comfortable ride and spacious cabin more livable than its rival pony cars. That said, the Challenger does not answer every need you may have. While it's proficient at straight-line speed, it struggles next to its rivals when it comes to agile cornering. Additionally, unlike the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the Challenger is only available with a fixed roof. Whether it's the right muscle car for you depends on your preferences.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "There aren't a lot of vehicles we consider to be muscle cars. The 2019 Dodge Challenger, with its outlandish horsepower and classic styling, certainly qualifies. Muscle cars are also known for their lack of practicality, but the Challenger bucks that trend by making fewer sacrifices in everyday usability thanks to its large trunk and relatively spacious rear seats. Compared to the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang, the Challenger is downright sensible." -- Edmunds  
  • "The 2018 Dodge Challenger is the muscle-car that can do it all. From the entry-level model with its 305-horsepower V6 and available all-wheel drive, to increasingly hairy chested V8 models ranging all the way to the supercharged SRT Hellcat and SRT Demon, this 5-passenger 2-door blends classic muscle car cues and performance with all the modern technology you could want." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • We like the Challenger a lot, but there are a few things to be cautious about. For one, while some other reborn muscle cars have become quite adept at cornering, the heavy Challenger is best in a straight line, unless you spring for the pricy but fantastic SRT model. Additionally, the Challenger also has a relatively unimaginative interior and limited vision through the side and rear windows. Plus, it's the only modern muscle car not offered as a convertible." -- Autotrader

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: June 13, 2019

Strong, but Falling Sales: The Dodge Challenger is one of the best-selling competitors in the sports car class, only behind the Ford Mustang. However, sales of the Challenger have fallen 22.7% this year compared to the same period in 2018. In addition, the Mustang is outselling the Challenger by around 36%.

Research more buying advice »
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