2008 Dodge Challenger Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Dodge Challenger Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Challenger Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.1 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 425 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Dodge Challenger

  • The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is exactly what a modern version of an old muscle car icon should be -- comfortable, athletic, stylish, fast and with an exhaust soundtrack that'll make you forget about the standard 13-speaker audio system.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Nostalgic exterior styling, ripping performance, agile handling for such a big car, strong braking, comfortable ride, generous cargo capacity.

  • Cons

    Narcolepsy-inducing interior styling, automatic transmission only, initial purchase prices will likely be well over list, poor rearward visibility.

  • What's New for 2008

    For 2008, Dodge brings back the Challenger. With a 425-horsepower V8 and handsome retro styling, this reborn muscle car gives the Dodge boys something to be proud of.

Full 2008 Dodge Challenger Review

What's New for 2008

For 2008, Dodge brings back the Challenger. With a 425-horsepower V8 and handsome retro styling, this reborn muscle car gives the Dodge boys something to be proud of.


Did you miss out on the original 1970-'74 Dodge Challenger? Or maybe you had one back in the day, sold it and now regret the sale? Well, thanks to the Dodge boys who share a similar nostalgic sentiment, you get a second chance with the 2008 Challenger.

Those familiar with the old Challenger know that it was a belated response to Ford's wildly successful Mustang, which was launched some six years earlier. Size-wise, however, the brawny Challenger was closer in size and weight to a 2-ton muscle car than a lithe pony car. Big V8s were the engines of choice, including the legendary 426 Hemi V8. Unfortunately, this model's life was shortened by the era's gas crisis and more stringent emissions regulations.

Despite arriving into an eerily similar climate, there's no need to worry about the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 merely being a poser's visual link to the past -- it sports standard "Hemi" V8 power, rear-wheel drive and the right sound burbling from its rectangular exhausts. Initially, it will only be available in ultra-high-performance SRT8 form, meaning its 6.1-liter (around 370 cubic inches for you old-school types) V8 makes 425 horsepower. A less powerful (and less expensive) R/T model will debut next year.

The Challenger is based on Chrysler's LX platform, which is also used for the 300 and Charger sedans. Its wheelbase is 4 inches shorter than the Charger, though with an estimated 4,140-pound curb weight, the new model is frighteningly similar to its forbear in sheer bulk. Of course, the '08 Challenger does come with features previous Mopar designers could have hardly dreamed about, such as stability control, side curtain airbags and an available hard-drive-based navigation system that can also store music and video files.

In addition to having more features, the new one also differs by being fairly athletic and able to go around corners without scraping the Goodyear lettering off the tires. And thanks to its massive Brembo brakes, it can also stop from 60 mph in significantly less than a football field's length. Sadly, also unlike the old Mopar, you can't get a manual transmission. Instead of a pistol-grip Hurst to grab gears with, you get a five-speed automatic with Chrysler's AutoStick mode.

Overall, however, we like how the 2008 Dodge Challenger impressively combines the visceral and visual excitement of the past with modern engineering, safety and convenience features. We have no doubt that it will live up to the hype, though the accompanying dealer markup and limited availability will make this $38,000 car that much more dear. Shoppers not willing to deal with all that could simply pick up a Ford Mustang GT or GT500. Or even better, one could be patient and wait a year until the new Chevrolet Camaro will be available. At that point, the domestic pony car wars will once again be in full swing.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Dodge Challenger is a large five-passenger sport coupe available in a singular, high-performance SRT8 trim level. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels wearing 245/45 high-performance tires, a sport suspension, a rear spoiler, xenon headlights, leather and heated front sport seats, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. Also standard is a 13-speaker premium audio system with six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Options include a sunroof, the MyGIG combination navigation and music server system, and ultra-performance summer tires.

Powertrains and Performance

The Challenger SRT8 is powered by a 6.1-liter V8 that sends its prodigious 425 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission. The latter features Chrysler's "AutoStick" manual shift capability.

Dodge claims that the V8 vaults the Challenger to 60 mph in the low 5-second range and through the quarter-mile in around 13.5 seconds. Fuel economy, should a potential buyer care about such things, is an expectedly dismal 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway.


Antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability control and front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are all standard.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the exterior is enthusiastically nostalgic, the Challenger's interior is rather narcoleptic. There's a faint echo of the original Challenger present in the 2008 version, but in total, the cabin is somber and dull with only a few metallic trim pieces and orange seat accents to spruce up what is otherwise a sea of gray. There was certainly no effort to answer the Mustang or upcoming Camaro's retro interiors, but the Challenger at least provides good-quality materials. The well-bolstered sport seats covered in leather and faux suede are also better than those found in the cheaper Ford. The rear seat features a fold-down armrest and a split/folding back that opens up to the 16.2-cubic-foot trunk, making for impressive cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Performance is thrilling, as one would expect. Provided there's sufficient grip, the 2008 Dodge Challenger lunges off the corners and swallows the straights, its sustained thrust complemented by long riffs of resonant mechanical music. However, we'd appreciate a rev-matching feature for the transmission to make downshifts smoother when running along a curvy road.

For such a big car, the Challenger handles itself well, with minimal body roll and a surprisingly comfortable ride. Braking is up to the task as well. Large (about 14 inches front and rear) Brembos fitted with four-piston calipers provide powerful stopping power. The brakes also automatically keep their pads closer to the rotors when driving in the wet.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

I've been a Mustang guy all my life. So this is a walk on the wild side for me. But have been very pleased so far. Great road car. Took it on a 1,400 mile road trip the 2nd weekend it had it. Got 22 mpg and it rides great on the slab. Got lots of looks. Mine is Hemi Orange. So it kind of stands out. I usually drive manual muscle cars too. But the 5-speed Autostick is impressive. I manually shift it more than half the time. With an open air element, headers, and a cat-back system she really sings out over 4,000 RPM.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'm in love!

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

As a former BMW and Acura driver, I am accustomed to quality and reliability along with performance. I must say, this Dodge is the best car I have ever owned! It's comfortable, quiet and fast. It is also the best looking car on the road. The dealer service is also outstanding. Dodge has finally done it!

Miles of smiles

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

I have to say I have driven muscle cars all my life. Never has there been a time I have driven a car that is powerful, comfortable, reliable and such a social stigma around all walks of the general population. I believe it lets many of us older boomers relieve our young adult childhood. The new Challenger SRT8 is everything I could ask for and then some. I never got 20 miles to the gallon on the hiway with my old 1970 Cuda and I must say there is no way to measure the comfort and reliabilty comparing the two. If you have a chance to even test drive an SRT8, Just Do It!!!!!!!!!!

Love it

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

I've always owned american muscle cars and this is hands down the best I've ever experienced. Perfect combination of classic styling with 21st century performance & features. I can't even stop for gas without having someone come over and drool on it for 5 minutes. I give fuel economy a 10 because it gets as good or better than I expect. I didn't buy it to get 20mpg! If it gets 10mpg, I'm happy (I'm getting about 16 or so average). And who cares if anyone is comfortable in the back seat, this is a 2 seater! The back seat is for your jacket or dog. Rides like its on rails, I've gotten the lateral g-meter up to .75 on an offramp so far and that's not even trying hard. Dodge hit a homer!


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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

Chrysler did this one right! Gut wrenching acceleration, comfort, conveyance, looks, style, value and uniqueness! All BMW's, Porches and Mercedes look basically the same. None have the pizazz of the Challenger. Hand stitched leather and a painted orange engine block to name a few. It's also usable; I drive it to work everyday, moved my daughter to college (the back seats fold down opening into the truck) and go out to dinner. After that, I leave 99% of cars in the dust in a cloud of white smoke. It's like Clark Kent turning into Superman!

2008 challenger srt

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.1L 8cyl 5A)

Although it has a lot of muscle power it can't breathe at 5300 feet where I live in New Mexico. No dome light. Built in cup holders don't fit any known cups. Seats are nice but built for large people. Steering wheel design stinks because the spokes are located right where you rest your fingers around the wheel. Steering wheel is adjustable but does not go down low enough for a 5'6" person to sit low and still see over the wheel. No spare tire. Doors don't want to stay open when exiting. Can't keep the wheels clean because of the brake dust. Needs stickier tires because the rear end swings around too easily. Tranny not user friendly.

Talk About The 2008 Challenger

2008 Dodge Challenger Discussions See all Started By

Per this Edmunds article http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=106045, it seems that our buddies at DC are thinking of re-introducing the Challenger. Ohhh, drool-slobber. I was the pro...

2008 Essen Auto Show: Geiger Cars Dodge Challenger (Inside Line)...

I haven't purchased a Challenger but get updates on the latest news. I am excited for the 2009. Here is where I signed up for the updates - http://www.dodge.com/en/2008/challenger/get_updates/...

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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