392 cu-in V8 makes the Challenger one quick car. Low-end torque has been improved yet still willing to rev. The 5-speed auto shifts quickly but abruptly, doesn't rev match on downshifts and won't hold gears in manual mode.
Quicker steering with a sharper feel, and excellent turn-in. Retuned shocks, new front control arms and bushings and a degree more negative camber up front help the SRT8 feel more lithe through corners than it should.
Always a Challenger strong suit, the SRT8's plush ride remains, despite the 2011 model's slightly stiffer setup. The increased damping actually seems more appropriate for the car's weight.
Wind and tire noise are reasonably quiet, the latter especially considering the SRT8's 3-season high-performance tires. The big V8 drones a bit in fuel-saving 4-cylinder mode. It also makes a ruckus (but in a good way) at full throttle.
The driving position is very good, and the new, smaller-diameter steering wheel is much appreciated. The front seats are plenty plush yet also have excellent lateral support. Controls are a bit dated, but are easy to learn and use.
This is a big car with a long and wide hood, so it's not always easy to tell where the car's edges are. Rear and rear-three-quarter vision also aren't great, and a rearview camera isn't available.
Seat Access & Space
Good front headroom and access to the seats. The rear seat is still difficult to hop in and out of, although made easier with new front seatback tilt/memory functions. Rear headroom is lacking, but it gets points for being a 5-seater.
Cargo & Storage
The Challenger's 16.2 cu-ft. trunk is impressive and the rear seats fold down. There's a large center console storage bin and front cupholders that grip drinks well, but overall the interior cubbies could be larger and more useful.
Although the controls work fine, the interior materials lack the kind of tactile feel that makes you think 'quality.' They aren't cheap, but they also aren't top-shelf. A reasonable tradeoff considering the Challenger's strong performance?
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