2009 Dodge Challenger Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Dodge Challenger Coupe

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Dodge Challenger Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 372 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Dodge Challenger

  • Comfortable, stylish and impressively capable in terms of performance, the 2009 Dodge Challenger is exactly what a modern version of an old muscle-car icon should be.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Nostalgic exterior styling, ripping performance with R/T and SRT8, agile handling for such a big car, SRT8's strong braking, comfortable ride, generous cargo capacity.

  • Cons

    Narcolepsy-inducing interior styling, poor rearward visibility, V6's frumpy four-speed automatic transmission.

  • What's New for 2009

    Dodge fills out the Challenger lineup for 2009 with the introduction of a base V6 model and midlevel R/T. Joining the pavement-searing SRT8 trim, the V6 trim sports a 250-horsepower V6, while the R/T boasts a 370-hp 5.7-liter V8. Also new this year is the availability of a manual transmission for the R/T and SRT8.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (57 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Fun car when it will

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

beware, after a year of good reliability my car like many others has developed wireless ignition node issues.W.I.N module. Sometimes the car will start and run and other days it will not. It started this at 36000 miles. After weeks of online info browsing I've come to the conclusion that this issue is rarely resolved correctly at the dealers and is not an issue I can fix myself do the the complicated programming and tools needed to do the job. As for now, I pay a payment for a car that is no where near as reliable as my 2nd car...a 2000 mustang with over 200,000 trouble free miles on it. This is my first dodge product and clearly my last.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

39 years later it was

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Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

As a child in 1969 I went with my dad when he picked up a new 1970 Dodge Charger. I sat in an orange car that I later learned was a Challenger. I've owned a lot of cars over the years, including a new 1997 Trans AM WS-6, which is a beautiful car until you have to do any engine work. I can say the Challenger is arguably the best new car I've ever owned. It is huge, it's larger and weighs as much as my truck, a 1st gen 5.9L Durango, yet it gets almost 24 MPG on the Interstate. It has many bells & whistles never thought of in 1970, and it's the best looking retro muscle car in my opinion. Due to size and weight, it's not as fast as the smaller Camaro, but to each their own.




Best new generation muscle car

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Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

Fantastic in every way. I have the track pack option with the 6 speed and larger rear differential. I ordered the car from dodge in 2008 and have had it for three years with only two tiny issues which are not even the fault of the vehicle. The keyless entry button had a short and the rt logo had the paint peel off on the grill. Otherwise awesome on gas for a v8and very comfortable...even room for cars seats for the kids. The shift linkage on the tremec is sloppy but I put in the hurst linkage and makes it good.




09 challenger

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Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I have had my car for 2 years now with 33,000 miles and no problems. I have been real happy with the car and I'm happy with the fuel mileage. I don't know why some guys complain about the interior design, this is not a luxury car it is a muscle car.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This car rocks

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Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I have always been a Chevy man, but, this Challenger sold me from the first test drive.It has been so much fun to drive and the looks and comfort can't be beat. The gas mileage of this R/T range from 19 all around to 25 mpg while on a 500 mile trip driving 70-75 in cruise mode. This car gets so many looks and thumbs ups from kids to the elderly.




Back to the 60's

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

As I have turned old with a good memory of days past, I decided to seek out a muscle (retro) car. out of the 3 offered in 2009 I selected the Dodge Challenger R/T, SWEET.



Full 2009 Dodge Challenger Review

What's New for 2009

Dodge fills out the Challenger lineup for 2009 with the introduction of a base V6 model and midlevel R/T. Joining the pavement-searing SRT8 trim, the V6 trim sports a 250-horsepower V6, while the R/T boasts a 370-hp 5.7-liter V8. Also new this year is the availability of a manual transmission for the R/T and SRT8.

Introduction

Thanks to the massive press coverage of last year's Dodge Challenger rebirth, you probably know as much about it as we do. But in case you missed all those headline road tests featuring the burnt-orange car, here's the skinny. Borrowing heavily from the styling of the original 1970-'74 Challenger, the reborn version sports similar lines and proportions. But you needn't worry about the 2009 Dodge Challenger merely being a poser's visual link to the past -- it can be had with Hemi V8 power, rear-wheel drive and the right sound burbling from its rectangular exhausts.

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's, though with a 2-ton curb weight, the newer model is frighteningly similar to its forebear in terms of sheer bulk. Of course, the 2009 Challenger has features that previous Mopar designers could hardly have 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. The new Challenger also differs by being fairly athletic and able to go around corners without scraping the Goodyear lettering off the tires.

Last year, Dodge offered just one model -- the top-level SRT8. For 2009, Dodge expands the Challenger family with a couple of less intimidating alternatives that make this retro-styled sport coupe more accessible to the masses. Starting things off is the new base Challenger, fitted with a V6 engine and four-speed automatic, a pairing as ill-suited as Charlize Theron and Gilbert Gottfried. You'll get 250 hp and a 25-mpg highway rating from this powertrain, but considering that you're stuck with four speeds, it's hardly set up for optimal efficiency. Sitting between the base car and the SRT8 is the best pick of the bunch: the new R/T, with its 370-hp V8. This year also brings back another Mopar icon, a pistol-grip-shifted manual gearbox. Available on the V8 cars, this tranny features six speeds.

Considering that the resurrected Camaro is set to debut next year, Dodge's preemptive strike with this full family of Challengers couldn't have come at a better time. And considering the cost of gasoline nowadays, we imagine the V6 model will be fairly popular. Overall, we like how the 2009 Dodge Challenger impressively combines the visceral and visual excitement of the past with modern engineering, safety and convenience features. Yes, there is competition in the form of the upcoming Camaro and the Ford Mustang. But for a modern take on the old muscle car, the Challenger certainly gets almost all of it right.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Dodge Challenger is a large five-passenger sport coupe available in three trim levels -- base SE, R/T and SRT8.

Standard features on the SE include 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power features, an eight-way power driver seat, air-conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a CD/MP3 player. The R/T gains a V8 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and steering, minor exterior enhancements and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The top-dog SRT8 ups the ante with even more power, black hood stripes, 20-inch alloy wheels, a sportier suspension and steering than the R/T, a limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, heated side mirrors, leather and faux suede upholstery, heated front sport seats, cruise control, keyless ignition, Bluetooth, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 13-speaker premium audio system (with six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls). Many of the upgraded features can be added on lower trims as options.

Other optional features, depending on the trim level, include a sunroof, ultra-performance summer tires, a 13-speaker premium audio system and the MyGIG combination navigation and music-server system. For the R/T, one may order the Trak Pak, which features a six-speed manual gearbox (in place of the automatic), a limited-slip differential, Hill Start Assist (prevents rolling back on hills with the manual), a recalibrated performance steering system and bright pedal accents. There are numerous Mopar accessories available, including a retro T-grip metallic automatic shifter.

Powertrains and Performance

The Challenger SE is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 with 250 hp and 250 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission for the SE is a four-speed automatic. The R/T sports a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that makes 370 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a five-speed automatic, with a six-speed manual available -- with the latter gearbox, the 5.7 makes 5 more hp. The SRT8 comes with a 6.1-liter V8 packing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, with transmission choices mirroring those of the R/T.

Dodge claims the R/T will rocket to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. We've timed an SRT8 with the automatic at 5.1 seconds to 60 and 13.2 seconds in the quarter-mile. Fuel mileage estimates range from 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the SE down to 13 city/18 highway for the SRT8.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes (with brake assist) and stability control are standard on R/T and SRT8 models and optional on the SE, while side curtain airbags are standard across the board.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the exterior is enthusiastically nostalgic, the Challenger's interior is rather bland. There's a faint echo of the original Challenger present in the 2009 version, but in total, the cabin is somber and dull, with only a few metallic trim pieces to spruce things up. 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 in the SRT8 are covered in leather and faux suede, while the rear seats in all models features a fold-down armrest and a split-folding back. At 16.2 cubic feet, the Challenger's trunk boasts impressive cargo capacity for this segment.

Driving Impressions

Break out the bell bottoms and peace signs -- it's 1970 all over again. With the V8 versions, performance is thrilling, as one would expect. Provided there's sufficient grip, the 2009 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 automatic 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 Brembos in the SRT8 (about 14 inches front and rear) are fitted with four-piston calipers and provide abundant stopping power. The brakes also automatically keep their pads closer to the rotors when driving in the wet, lightly wiping the discs off for improved braking in these conditions.

Read our Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2009 Challenger

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs