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2020 Dodge Challenger Review

The 2020 Dodge Challenger finishes in the top half of our sports car rankings. It offers several extremely powerful engines, and it has a comfortable interior, making it a solid contender in this class.

Pros & Cons

  • Several incredibly powerful engines
  • Comfortable, spacious seats
  • Terrific infotainment system
  • Large trunk
  • Competitors have better handling
  • Rivals have more stylish cabins

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Dodge Challenger's #3 ranking is based on its score within the Sports Cars category. Currently the Dodge Challenger has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 72 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.7
Safety: 7.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Dodge Challenger a Good Car?

Yes, the Dodge Challenger is a good car. All of its engines are powerful, and its two Hellcat trims clock in with more than 700 horsepower. This Dodge rides smoothly, has a well-built cabin, and provides plenty of room in the trunk. It has more passenger space than almost every competitor, and it comes with intuitive tech features.

That's a lot to like, but there are a few things to watch out for as well. The Challenger is large for the sports car class, making it less agile (and in some people's minds, less fun to drive) than many classmates – including its Mustang and Camaro nemeses. Also, though official EPA estimates aren't yet available, we expect it to get terrible gas mileage.

Should I Buy the Dodge Challenger?

The Challenger costs a bit more than most other sports cars, but the price difference shouldn't be enough to discourage many people from purchasing it. The buying questions with the Challenger come down to whether you value raw power over well-rounded athleticism, and how much passenger and cargo space you usually need. Regardless of how much you like this Dodge, you should check out other muscle cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. You may also want to take a look at the Dodge Charger.

Compare the Challenger, Mustang, and Camaro »

Should I Buy a New or Used Dodge Challenger?

The 2020 Challenger belongs to a generation that began with the 2008 model year. A few models have seen some notable changes since then. The 2015 refresh brought updated interior and exterior styling to the Challenger, along with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and the debut of the SRT Hellcat trim. For 2017, Dodge updated the infotainment system with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These smartphone integration features became standard in the 2018 Challenger. The 2019 Challenger brought the Hellcat Redeye into the lineup, replacing the Hellcat Demon. Also, all-wheel drive became available in the base trim. There are only minor updates to the Challenger for 2020.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Challenger, and the relative lack of recent updates means you won't miss out on too much of consequence if you stick with a 2017-or-newer Challenger. If you are interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Dodge Challenger, and browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about the savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Challenger »

We Did the Research for You: 66 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Challenger generation, which runs from 2008 to 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Dodge Challenger Cost?

The base Challenger SXT carries a base price of around $29,000, which is above average for the class. There are several higher trims, and the price increases as you go up the ladder. Other popular trims include the Challenger R/T (which starts at around $35,000), the Challenger R/T Scat Pack (about $41,000), and the SRT Hellcat (around $61,000). Finally, there's the range-topping Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, which starts at about $72,000. That's high by class standards, but it's not far beyond the price of other muscle cars' top trims.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings 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 Ford Mustang?

The Ford Mustang is an annual challenger for a top spot in our sports car rankings. It offers several potent engines, including a 760-horsepower setup in the Shelby GT500 – the closest rival to the Hellcat Redeye in terms of power. The Ford also handles better and gets better gas mileage than its Dodge rival. The Challenger, however, has more room for people and cargo. These are both good choices, and the right pick boils down to personal preference.

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. This is another muscle car that feels much more dynamic than the Challenger thanks to its superior handling. Inside, however, the Challenger has a more spacious and comfortable cabin. Choose the Camaro for more engaging dynamics or the Challenger for a more comfortable cruiser.

Which Is Better: Dodge Challenger or Dodge Charger?

The Dodge Charger is essentially a four-door version of the 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 appealing. If not, go with the Challenger.

Compare the Challenger, Mustang, and Camaro »

Challenger Performance

Challenger Engine: No Bad Options

You can be forgiven if the Challenger's engine choices overwhelm you at first. There are five total, ranging from the 305-horsepower V6 base engine up to the 797-horsepower V8 monster powering the Hellcat Redeye.

Even the base engine moves the car well in daily driving, though it doesn't feel as potent as some rivals' turbocharged engines. Not to worry, because you can skip the base engine and opt for one of four Hemi V8s, three of which put out at least 485 horses. These mammoth engines deliver scorching acceleration and emit quite the roar when you put the hammer down.

Challenger Gas Mileage: We Can't Say for Sure (But We Can Guess)

The EPA has not yet published fuel economy estimates for the 2020 Challenger, but we expect them to be similar to the estimates for the nearly identical 2019 Challenger. 2019 models with the V6 are rated at 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Gas mileage ratings for models with the Hemi V8 engines range between 13-16 mpg in the city and 21-25 mpg on the highway.

Challenger Ride and Handling: Trading Agility for Power

While the Challenger is a top performer when it comes to straight-line speed, it lacks the agile handling you'll find in many other sports cars. It's still solid, however, and it delivers a comfortable ride.

Read more about performance »

Challenger Interior

How Many People Does the Challenger Seat?

The Challenger seats five people. Though coupes are typically known for having confined cabins, the Challenger challenges this stereotype by offering spacious seats all around. The front seats are roomy and comfortable, and the back seats offer more legroom than every other car in the class.

Challenger and Child Car Seats

There are three complete sets of LATCH car-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.

Challenger Interior Quality

This Dodge looks pretty good inside, and there are plenty of premium materials throughout the cabin. However, it doesn't have the interior panache of some other sports cars.

Challenger Cargo Space

If you're looking for more cargo room than the typical sports car provides, then the Challenger is for you. Its trunk has 16.2 cubic feet of room. That's enough space for four sets of golf clubs or more than a dozen shopping bags. It's also well beyond the total of many rivals; several sports cars have less than 10 cubes of trunk space.

Challenger Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features include the Uconnect 4 infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Available features include a sunroof, an 8.4-inch touch screen, a six- or nine-speaker Alpine audio system, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, and navigation.

The Challenger's infotainment setup is great. Uconnect is one of the simplest systems around, with a responsive touch screen and easily navigable menus. Not only is Uconnect more user-friendly than some rival systems, but it also comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These smartphone integration features are options in some competitors.

Read more about interior »

Challenger Reliability

Is the Dodge Challenger Reliable?

The 2020 Dodge Challenger has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Dodge Challenger Warranty

Dodge covers the 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 2020 Challenger hasn't yet been fully crash tested. However, it received four stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's frontal crash and rollover tests.

Challenger Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Challenger. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and forward collision warning.

Read more about safety »

Challenger Dimensions and Weight

The Challenger is 16.5 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,858 to 4,492 pounds.

Where Is the Dodge Challenger Built?

Dodge builds the 2020 Challenger in Canada.

Which Dodge Challenger Model Is Right for Me?

You have plenty of options when picking a Challenger trim: SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Hellcat Redeye. The base Challenger features a powerful V6 engine and some nice standard features; it's a fine choice in this lineup. It's also one of two trims available with all-wheel drive.

If you want one of the Hemi V8 engines, you'll have to step up to at least the R/T trim. The R/T Scat Pack is the lowest trim to clear the 450-horsepower barrier, and it comes standard with many more comfort and convenience features than the lower trims.

Finally, there are the two Hellcat trims. These two big boys have flashy horsepower ratings that you'll rarely find outside of a racetrack, but you'll pay a premium for all that power.

Dodge Challenger SXT

The Challenger SXT carries a base price of around $29,000. It comes with a 305-horsepower V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and this is one of two trims that you can upgrade to all-wheel drive.

Standard features include cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera, and the Uconnect 4 infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Dodge Challenger GT

The Challenger GT starts at around $31,000 and features the V6 engine. In addition to the SXT's features, the GT comes with upgraded cloth upholstery and rear parking sensors. This is the only trim besides the base to offer all-wheel drive.

Dodge Challenger R/T

The Challenger R/T sports a starting price of around $35,000. It's the lowest trim to feature one of the Hemi V8s, and the engine puts out either 375 or 372 horsepower, depending on whether you get the six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

There's also a Challenger R/T Scat Pack, which starts at about $41,000. It features a 485-horsepower V8 and the same transmission choices as the base R/T. Standard features include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an upgraded infotainment system with 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 in Scat editions. Some Scat Pack models are subject to a $1,000 gas guzzler tax.

The R/T Scat Pack is the lowest trim level available with the Widebody package. In addition to the body-widening 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 SRT Hellcat starts at around $61,000. Its Hemi V8 engine puts out 717 horsepower, and it’s paired with either a standard six-speed manual gearbox or an optional eight-speed automatic. Other standard Hellcat features include 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.

The Hellcat is subject to a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye starts at around $72,000. Its supercharged Hemi V8 cranks out a monstrous 797 horsepower, and it’s only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Like the standard Hellcat, the Hellcat Redeye is subject to a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

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

See 2020 Dodge Challenger specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Dodge Challenger is a big, powerful sports car that provides plenty of space and a smooth ride, but it doesn't handle as well as its rivals. If that sounds right up your alley, then the Challenger is a great pick. It's a good car overall, earning a spot in the top half of our sports car rankings.

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 (2019)
  • 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 (2019)
  • "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 …, this 5-passenger 2-door blends classic muscle car cues and performance with all the modern technology you could want." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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