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7.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Dodge Challenger Review

The 2009 Dodge Challenger has strong engines, a spacious cabin and retro styling, though some rivals have nicer interiors.  

Pros & Cons

  • Strong available HEMI V8s
  • High safety score
  • Roomy, comfortable seats
  • Boring interior styling

2009 Dodge Challenger Overview

The rear-wheel drive 2009 Dodge Challenger is available with a V6 or two different HEMI V8 engines, depending on the trim. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on the base SE, while a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic are available on R/T and SRT8 models. The Challenger SE with an automatic transmission gets 17/25 mpg city/highway, which is typical for V6-powered cars in its class. Critics agreed that the 250-horsepower V6 isn’t up to the task of moving the Challenger, especially at higher speeds. They preferred the 372-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V8 for its potent power and were very impressed with the 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI V8, saying it makes the Challenger incredibly fast. Test drivers noted that while the Challenger isn’t as nimble as some cars in its class, it still offers composed handling for a car of its large size.

Reviewers liked the retro styling inside the 2009 Challenger. They liked the amount of passenger space inside the five-seat Challenger, saying its back seat is more spacious than many other 2009 affordable sports cars. Cargo space, at 16.2 cubic feet, also impressed reviewers when the Challenger was new. The 2009 Dodge Challenger comes standard with cruise control, keyless entry, power locks and an AM/FM radio with CD player. Features available on higher trims or as options when the Challenger was new include a power sunroof, keyless start, remote start, heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, heated front seats, navigation, Bluetooth, an auxiliary input, a CD changer, satellite radio and an upgraded audio system.

See the full 2009 Dodge Challenger specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like retro styling and want a larger cabin than what many sports cars offer, the 2009 Ford Mustang is also worth a look. Like the Challenger, the Mustang has powerful V6 and V8 engines that reviewers liked. The Mustang also received praise for its accurate steering and athletic handling. The Mustang also edges the Challenger out with a slightly better safety score.

For shoppers who value nimble handling over straight-line performance, the 2009 Nissan 370Z is a good option. Test drivers loved its sporty driving dynamics, though a few said its stiff suspension affects the ride quality. The 370Z’s high-quality cabin was well-liked by critics when it was new.

Compare the Challenger to the Mustang and 370Z »

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