Why Do I Like This Car? - 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T Long-Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger Long Term Road Test

2009 Dodge Challenger R/T: Why Do I Like This Car?

September 11, 2009


For reasons unknown, I've been driving our long-term 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T for the last 5 days. OK, actually, it's because thebig coupegot covered in ashfrom Southern California's Station Fire and I kept neglecting to getit washed.

Yet, I think my laziness might be a window into my growing affinity for the Challenger R/T. I can't quite figure it out. This is not a sporty car. Suspension is soft, steering feel is not really there, and I'd never takethe Dodgeon a back road for the sheer fun of it. And with its 5.9-second 0-60 (5.5 with 1 foot of rollout) and 14.1-second quarter-mile, it's hardly the quickest car out there.

But somehow, every freeway drive I take in our Challenger R/T feels a little bit special.Mostly, I think it's the nicely executed exhaust(see video link below)for the 5.7-liter V8 (376 hp, 410 lb-ft) and the pistol-grip shifter. I've never driven a late-'60s/early-'70s muscle car, but with these two things, I can imagine it and feel a little of what it might be like.The oversize, un-nimble feel of the car and the broad, flat seats add realistic elementsto the experience -- or at least in my imagination they do.

And when I get tired of this (not that I ever really do), I can fall back on the Challenger R/T's very compliant highway ride and powerful air-conditioner.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 10,727 miles

SL Video: Camaro/Challenger/Mustang: Which One Sounds the Best From the Factory?

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