2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: The Upside of Being Big

October 05, 2009

challenger trunk.jpg

I recently lamented about the Challenger's largeness (as a lot of us car buffs have). Really, if this thing was 500 pounds lighter, 10 inches less lengthy and a few inchesshorter, it would go a long way towards being more of a pony car/sport coupe competitor. But even the old Challengerwas too big to be considered a pony car, even though its rivals back then were also the Mustang and Camaro.Well, this past weekend I discovered a few practicaladvantages the Dodge has over its familiar rivals.

Me and the girlfriend did some shopping as well as our laundry (see glamorous beauty shot) and the Challenger's trunk easily handled those domestic duties. The Challenger's capacity measures around 16 cubic feet to the Camaro's 11 and the Mustang's 13. And later that evening, four of us went out for dinner and the average-sized adults in backwere quite comfortable, no doubt due to the long wheelbase, ample headroomand high seat cushion. Its rear legroom spec's out at around 33 inches versus 30 inches for the other two. Doesn't seem like much of a difference, but what that spec doesn't tell you is how the Challenger'sseat offers more supportunder one's legs.

So that's all good, butpart of the price paid for that roominess comes upwhile parking. If anyone from Dodge is reading this take note:the Challengerneedsa reverse park assist system (and/or a rearview camera) as the high deck and cheeky rear roof pillarsmake ithard to judge when you're parallel parking or backing into a tight spot in a lot.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 11,886 miles

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Dodge Challenger in VA is:

$149 per month*
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