2011 Dodge Challenger Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Dodge Challenger

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 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 305 hp @ 6350 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Dodge Challenger

  • The 2011 Dodge Challenger may look like a muscle car and go like a muscle car, but its ability to also be a grand American touring coupe cements its status as the most livable of the reborn pony cars.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V6 and V8 engines; compliant ride; spacious and comfortable cabin; huge trunk; upscale interior quality; distinctive exterior styling.

  • Cons

    Compromised rear visibility; handling not as sharp as rivals.

  • What's New for 2011

    Telling your friends you bought a V6-powered 2011 Dodge Challenger is no longer something to be embarrassed about, as an all-new, more powerful and more efficient base V6 engine debuts. The SRT8 model gains a more powerful V8 engine as well. All Challengers benefit from extensive changes made to the suspension, steering and brakes, resulting in a more rewarding car to drive. There is also more standard equipment for 2011, along with reshaped seats and a more comfortable steering wheel.

Full 2011 Dodge Challenger Review

What's New for 2011

Telling your friends you bought a V6-powered 2011 Dodge Challenger is no longer something to be embarrassed about, as an all-new, more powerful and more efficient base V6 engine debuts. The SRT8 model gains a more powerful V8 engine as well. All Challengers benefit from extensive changes made to the suspension, steering and brakes, resulting in a more rewarding car to drive. There is also more standard equipment for 2011, along with reshaped seats and a more comfortable steering wheel.


When the latest Dodge Challenger first debuted for 2008, many people dismissed this reborn nameplate as being too big, too heavy and not a sharp enough handler. But it turned out that there was plenty of appeal hidden underneath that retro-styled sheet metal. With its spacious interior, comfortable seats, compliant suspension and abundant power, the Challenger represented both the rebirth of a classic American muscle car and the classic American coupe. Now, for 2011, the Challenger sees a host of changes that remedy many of the previous faults while firmly keeping its lovable muscle car experience intact.

Benefiting from extensive changes made to its suspension, brakes and steering, the 2011 Dodge Challenger is more capable of keeping up with its rivals when the road takes a turn or two. Even if the road is straight, there's still a lot to like this year. First of all, the base V6 model is no longer a source of automotive shame. The new "Pentastar" 3.6-liter V6 presents a significant improvement in both power (up 55 horsepower to 305 hp) and fuel economy, and is now competitive with its rivals' base engines. Meanwhile, Dodge has added "392" to the top-dog SRT8 model's name to match its 392-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8 now rumbling under the car's hood. It cranks out the power to the tune of 470 hp and 470 pound-feet of torque.

If it were us, though, we'd still stick with the midlevel Challenger R/T and its smaller 5.7-liter V8. The SRT8 is pretty darn cool, but it's really just overkill given its price, and a muscle car with a V6 will always seem a little wrong. Having said that, you can't ignore the Challenger's competitors. The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is certainly more of an event car, with the flashiest styling inside and out. The 2011 Ford Mustang is still the most well-rounded choice, giving up some of the Challenger's comfort for more of a performance and handling edge. The 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is also worth considering for those who like the idea of a muscle car in a modern wrapper.

So it definitely comes down to personal taste, but if you're looking for the muscle car that can double as a big, comfy coupe for ferrying kids to school, venturing on a whim to Utah or embarking on a shopping expedition to Target, there has rarely been a more practical way to lay a pair of giant black stripes upon the pavement.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Dodge Challenger is a five-seat coupe available in three trim levels that each correspond to a different engine: SE, R/T and SRT8 392. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, remote ignition (requires the automatic transmission), full power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control, rear A/C outlets, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an eight-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

The optional Connectivity Group adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Rallye package includes those features plus automatic headlamps, foglamps, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a six-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system. The Super Sport Group adds 20-inch chrome-clad wheels and performance-tuned suspension, brakes and steering.

The Challenger R/T gets a V8 engine, automatic headlamps, foglamps, heated mirrors, the SE's Connectivity Group and all of the SE's Super Sport Group equipment minus the wheels. The R/T Plus package adds 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats and the Boston Acoustics system. The R/T Classic package adds different 20-inch "heritage-style" wheels, matte-black side stripes, a different grille, hood scoops, xenon headlamps and the rest of the R/T Plus equipment. The Super Track Pak (not a typo) includes higher-performance steering, brakes, shocks, tires and stability control programming.

Optional on both the SE with Rallye package and the R/T is the Sound Group II, which adds a seven-speaker Boston Acoustic sound system with a touchscreen interface and 30GB of digital music storage. Either an integrated Garmin navigation system can be added to that touchscreen unit or an upgraded Chrysler navigation system that includes real-time traffic and weather. The Electronic Convenience Group adds power fold-away mirrors and expanded trip computer information. A sunroof is also optional, along with a variety of special Mopar trim pieces and styling enhancements.

The Challenger SRT8 392 gets all the R/T's basic equipment, but adds xenon headlamps, unique 20-inch wheels, sport seats, an upgraded trip computer with real-time performance data, hydraulic power steering (versus electrohydraulic), upgraded brakes and suspension, and a one-day driver training course at the Richard Petty Racing School. The Track Pak adds a six-speed manual transmission. The SRT Option Group II adds a 13-speaker Kicker surround-sound system with a subwoofer. The regular Challenger's Sound Group II and both navigation systems are also available.

The SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition gets special blue or white paint, full body stripes and other special exterior trim, two-tone white-and-blue leather upholstery and interior trim, and special "392" seat embossment.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Dodge Challenger SE is powered by a new 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard. The Challenger's EPA fuel economy estimates were not available at the time of this writing.

The Challenger R/T gets a 5.7-liter V8 good for 372 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque when connected to the standard five-speed automatic. The six-speed manual transmission available when ordering the Super Track Pak Group increases output to 376 hp and 410 lb-ft. In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped Challenger R/T went from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds; the automatic raises that to 5.8 seconds. For 2011, this engine -- when equipped with the automatic -- includes fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology.

The Challenger SRT8 392 gets a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard and a six-speed manual is available with the Track Pak. In Edmunds testing, an automatic-equipped SRT8 392 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.


Every 2011 Dodge Challenger comes standard with antilock disc brakes (size and power differs based on trim and certain option packages), stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the SRT8 392 came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet.

The Challenger has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) were a perfect five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection for driver and passengers.

Interior Design and Special Features

Unlike the Dodge Challenger's distinctive-looking exterior, the interior is quite bland. A few styling cues, like the large beveled dashboard and distinctive shifter knobs, are reminiscent of Challengers past, but overall the interior experience pales in comparison to its retro-themed rivals. Rearward visibility, because of the car's chunky rear roof pillars, is also poor.

Despite a slightly confusing audio interface, however, the interior is quite functional and its materials are of decent quality, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. The new gauges for 2011 ditch the original Timex Indiglo illumination in favor of a more Casio cobalt-blue glow. A more important advancement this year is the new, smaller-diameter steering wheel that's better contoured to fit the driver's hands.

The front seats in most Challengers are wide and flat, which doesn't do much for lateral support, but they're exceptionally comfy for long-distance drives. The SRT8s have better bolstering and are also covered in leather and faux suede. The rear seats are surprisingly roomy for two adults, with good headroom and decent legroom. The backseat also features a 60/40-split-folding back, a fold-down armrest and a middle seat for tiny/good-natured folks. At 16.2 cubic feet, the Challenger's trunk is positively enormous for this segment and is bigger than those of many midsize sedans.

Driving Impressions

While all 2011 Dodge Challengers are blessed with a ride quality that's comfortable enough to keep your mom happy when picking her up from the airport, the base tuning of the SE is pretty floaty. We highly recommend going for the Super Sport Group's performance-tuned suspension, which brings with it more responsive steering and brakes. Or you could just get the R/T, which comes standard with those upgrades, plus the big V8 that, as expected, will have your mother screaming with anger or delight as you tear away from Arrivals. That goes double for the new SRT8 392. Whichever Challenger you choose, though, you're getting a car that provides keener handling than it did last year -- just not to the same degree as the more agile Mustang or Genesis Coupe.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Lots of problems

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my '11 SE model with less than 7000 miles on it. (It turned out being wrecked). I have had two recalls (which came after the problems started and the dealers didn't know how to fix). Just recently, my alternator died and I couldn't find an aftermarket one, so the mopar alternator cost over $500. The radio was not at all powerfull so I had to put in an aftermarket amp which may have lead to the Alt. breakdown. Lots of frustration and disappointment! The blind spot is huge and is hard to back up to park. On the bright side I love my car when it is running. Haha! I always get compliments on it and I think it rides better than the CTX Caddie.

R/t classic gwe

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T 2dr Coupe (5.7L 8cyl 6M)

Love this car. Green with envy color. I live in NYC and get people taking photos all day long. It is just beautiful. And when I am on the highway, the engine just purrrrrs. No problems. Plenty of power, torque, plenty of room inside. My only real complaint is the steerting wheel is not the most comfortable, like they are in most modern cars.

Too many recalls

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

I've had my 2011 Challenger since the end of 2011 and still have less than 15,000 miles. My wife stays at home and this is not a commute vehicle. I had problems with the door handles and wiring harness before the recalls even came out. Now the torque converter gave itself up internally. After taking back twice dealer is replacing the torque converter only and "flushing" the transmission. Antioch Dodge in Northern California is not the right place to get proper service done right the first time.

Modern muscle

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.4L 8cyl 6M)

I absolutely love my SRT8. Has enough power to throw you into your seat but still can get over 20 mpg if you're easy on the throttle. I love the styling and love the fact my kids can fit in the back. I also have the Green With Envy color and get compliments on my car all the time at the pump.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Green with envy

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 2dr Coupe (6.4L 8cyl 6M)

Still practically new. Car gets a lot of attention specially with the green color. The 6.4L has a lot of power and sits you back in the seat any time you want to. Love the car it's comfortable, powerful, and large enough for my family to enjoy.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Year old and still #1

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Challenger 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

Purchased July 2011, have 17k miles on the hub with NO problems in quality, performance & reliability. Added a CAI and HHO to the V6 and it came alive after 8k miles of break in. For a V6 it turns 0 - 60 in 6sec flat all day long. It will bury the needle with a little effort approaching the 140mph mark. Dodge did it "RIGHT" with this combination. Can honestly admit that the Challenger can hang with the Mustang or Camero of equal equipment any day of the week and in most cases walk away in second gear and never look back.

Talk About The 2011 Challenger

2011 Dodge Challenger Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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