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$12,499 - $15,056
$25,195 - $29,995

Pros & Cons

  • Large trunk
  • Adult-sized back seat
  • Attractive exterior styling
  • Bland interior styling
  • Poor rear visibility




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Dodge Challenger Overview

A V6 engine comes standard in the base 2012 Dodge Challenger, while Challenger R/T and SRT8 models come with more powerful Hemi V8 engines. Critics agreed that the base V6 operates smoothly and provides more than enough power to keep up with muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard in the V6-powered Challenger, while R/T and SRT8 models are available with a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The base Challenger gets an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is slightly less than the fuel economy of comparably equipped 2012 sports cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Nissan 370Z. Most reviewers agreed that the 2012 Challenger is controlled through turns and offers precise steering. However, some auto writers said that the Challenger’s large size keeps it from delivering truly nimble handling.

Most test drivers wrote that the 2012 Challenger’s interior could use more visual appeal, though some noted that the cabin is well-assembled with high-quality materials. The five-seat Challenger’s passenger space is a boon in comparison with most sports cars, as reviewers noted that it offers comfortable front seats and a spacious back seat with good head- and legroom. Still, some auto writers said that thick roof pillars limit rearward visibility from the driver’s seat. With 16.2 cubic feet of trunk space, the Dodge Challenger has more room for cargo than most competing 2012 sports cars, and test drivers noted that it offers plenty of small-item storage spaces in the cabin. Critics said that most of the Challenger’s controls are within easy reach, but some thought that the available touch-screen audio system can be difficult to use. The 2012 Dodge Challenger comes standard with push-button start, proximity key, automatic climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary jack. Available features include a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, automatic headlights, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, navigation, a Boston Acoustics stereo system with a touch-screen display and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Other Cars to Consider

The Chevrolet Camaro earns some of the best safety scores in the class, and it’s available in coupe and convertible body styles. Like the Challenger, the Camaro is available with V6 and V8 engine choices, and critics loved the Camaro’s composed handling when it was new.

The Nissan 370Z doesn’t have as much trunk space as the Challenger or a back seat, but test drivers loved the 370Z’s powerful V6 engine and athletic cornering ability. The 370Z also earned praise for its attractively styled interior, which features upscale materials.

Compare the Challenger, Camaro and 370Z »

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