This modern version of the old Mopar muscle cars of the late sixties and early seventies has the old ones beat six ways from Sunday. These new ones incorporate that great look, sound, and feel with modern technology, handling, electronics, and powertrain enhancements to create what we were all striving for back in those "not so good old days."
I purchased my Dodge Challenger RT new in May of 2013.I have never purchased new before. This is my first new car in my life, and will likely be my last. I tend to keep my vehicles long term, and there isn't enough muscle poweron the planet to pry my hands off of this vehicle. I have always wanted one of these since helping others build their muscle cars back in the 70s. I could not afford one then. It only took forty years, but was well worth the wait! I got this one in Jazz Blue Pearl (a dark blue, very nice). It has the 5.7 liter Hemi, 6 speed manual transmission, 20 inch wheels, 730N sound system (includes GPS NAV), leather heated seats, etc. The EPA mileage figures are 17/23. I have never gotten less than 22 in local service. Ihave gotten 26 on a trip of 160 one way miles. The engineers got things right with this one. The sound of it is awesome right from the factory. This is completely original, as delivered. I have made no modifications to it. I tdoesn't need any. Handling is very good. It is a big car. Very solid, and heavy. Wind (we have LOTS of it here) doesn't bother it. The car handles very well and is quite capable. It will easily outhandle most. In full on racing, probably some of the other "hot rods" could beat it. However, once you drive this one, you will likely not be too interested in the Ford or Chevy offerings, not to even mention the foreign stuff. I am tall, being 6'4" and I have headroom! A couple of inches, but that is enough. I can sit upright. Cannot do that in the others. Most cars require me to recline the seat a notch to keep my head out of the headliner. This one has room enough for two large people, and we are not bumping shoulders. Plenty of leg room, and it is quite comfortable to drive. Caveat--I am not a race driver, nor am I an abusive driver. I have not done burnouts, and other mayhem. I like to move along and not waste time, and I am a somewhat performance oriented driver. This car suits my style perfectly. The suspension is such that it handles the winding roads just fine, with no effort. Other vehicles trying to stay ahead of me are outside their lanes, and I am lazily winding along without any effort at all staying exactly where I want to be. The car is responsive and powerful. Variable valve timing gives you power from idle on up.Sixth gear is a REALLY tall gear, and is useful for highway speed cruising only. 1400 rpm at 55. 1600-1650 at 65. Downshift to 5th for passing. You have all the go needed when you do that. Try this one out, you will be impressed. They sure have made some improvements to say the least!
Safety & braking
This car has antilock brakes, of course. It also has electronic stability control and traction control. I have never "gotten into the antilock" feature of the brakes on any of my vehicles. I have fairly good feel of the road, and have not locked up the brakes, even during hard braking for some of the less intelligent among us. I did an avoidance manuever once that showed the value of the electronics. I missed the offender and never once slid out or had control issues. Everything stayed hooked up and solid, just like it was supposed to. Impressive because there wasn't much margin left there. Not so for the law enforcement vehicle behind me. He just about tagged the guy, and came sideways in a panic stop. Ticket time for sure! I stopped because I thought there had been a crash (I am a fire responder and have been for the last 39+years). The officer couldn't believe how things just stayed right (His Crown Vic did not have all the electronics, or they didn't prevent potential control issues). The electronics on this vehicle works! Lesser vehicles would have been headed for the repair shop, or the wrecking yard.I was closer to the problem than the one following me, and he had a closer call than I did. Thank you Dodge for that safety system. Yes, for play time, it is possible to turn off the electronics, but I would not do so. Besides, I want to have this car for a long long time.
Front seat room
I am a large person, being 6'4" tall and about 250 lbs. This car fits me great, with plenty of room and comfort. I am the driver always (I live alone) and don't often have anyone else with me, although on occasion, I have a passenger. Even with large passengers there is plenty of room in the interior. I have a couple of inches of head room, which is pretty unique. Most cars require me to recline the seat a notch or two in order to avoid having my head in the headliner. I DID NOT purchase a vehicle with a sunroof. That device eats up 2 inches of head room, and I would be right there. Besides, we get a lot of rain here on the coast and I would be afraid of leaks.
The seats are supportive, and I have the 6 way power driver's seat. It is easily adjustable for position and has the adjustable lumbar support. I cannot imagine anyone not being able to be comfortable. There is also plenty of leg room in the front seats. The back seats are useful in a pinch, but if I had a family, this would likely not be the best choice of vehicle for me. Although I love driving it, and looking at it!
Driving position & visibility
I have the "rear park assist" feature on this car. This is in no way a complaint, but due to the wonderful styling on this car, the visibility to the rear is not very good. The rear park assist helps. Small back window, and large pillars in back create big blind spots.You couldn't have the styling without them, but be aware that it is not easy to see for backing manuevers. I have adapted well, and I believe most would. It is not bad, but when looking for something to complain about, this is about it. The visibility out the rear and to the rear sides (blind spots) is not the best. Not the worst I have seen either, though. You have to make allowances and adjust for this. Would I allow this particular "shortcoming" to influence my purchase decision. Absolutely not! The positives outweigh the negatives by several orders of magnitude!
This vehicle may not be for everyone. However, I did not buy it for everyone. I bought it for me, and I am well satisfied. I would suggest to anyone that before judging it, to give it a good look. Take one for a test drive and see how you like it. I don't think you will be disappointed. I wanted one for quite a while, and was completely surprised at how great it was. I was impressed and continue to be impressed. Dodge got this one right. I have the RT with manual transmission. My preference. You have the option of the automatic if you want it. You can also get a 6 cylinder. In my opinion it is a sin to put a 6 cylinder in a muscle car, but that is no ordinary 6 either. It is quite capable in its own right. However, if you want a manual transmission, you have to get the Hemi. Darn........ :-)