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Used 2014 Dodge Challenger Review

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2014 Dodge Challenger

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Dodge Challenger

  • The 2014 Dodge Challenger boasts a rare mix of talents, combining the power and attitude of a muscle car with the refinement of a luxury coupe.

  • Pros

    Supple, quiet ride; room for four adults; glorious V8 engines; huge trunk; distinctive exterior styling.

  • Cons

    Bland interior; mediocre handling; outdated touchscreen electronics interface; past-its-prime automatic transmission.

  • What's New for 2014

    Aside from some minor equipment adjustments, the 2014 Dodge Challenger is unchanged.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Dodge Challenger

What's New for 2014

Aside from some minor equipment adjustments, the 2014 Dodge Challenger is unchanged.

Introduction

Don't get us wrong: If you're drawn to the Dodge Challenger simply because you miss laying patches in your high school parking lot, you won't be disappointed. We'd avoid the base V6 for this purpose, but either of the two available V8s should do the trick. The R/T's 5.7-liter version delivers up to 376 horsepower and great value, while the SRT8's 6.4-liter, 470-hp monstrosity is an even worthier heir to the big-block V8s of yesteryear. Particularly with the pistol-grip six-speed manual shifter in hand, a V8-powered Challenger hits all the right Woodward Avenue notes.

But that's to be expected. What's unexpected is how civilized the Challenger can be. Whereas its principal rivals, the admittedly sharper handling Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, have tight backseats and firm rides, the larger, softer Challenger will cosset four adult passengers like a luxury sedan. Even the base Challenger V6 makes for a perfectly pleasant cruiser, while the V8 models are kind of like a less wealthy (or more practical) man's Mercedes-Benz CL-Class. If you can forgive its uninspired interior, the 2014 Dodge Challenger will reward you with a uniquely well-rounded variation on the muscle-car theme.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Dodge Challenger is a five-seat coupe offered in four main trim levels: SXT, R/T, SRT8 392 and SRT8 Core.

The SXT starts with the V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, full power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The optional SXT Plus package adds foglights, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated visor mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an upgraded sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The SXT also offers a number of other packages. The Super Sport Group includes 20-inch chrome wheels (with performance tires); a rear spoiler; a 3.06 rear axle ratio; performance-tuned suspension, steering and brakes; a Sport mode for the transmission and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. If that's not sinister enough for you, consider the Sinister Super Sport Group, which substitutes 20-inch painted wheels.

Continuing with the SXT packages, the Interior Appearance Group (also offered on R/T) includes metal-accented pedals, a car cover, upgraded floor mats and a T-handle shifter. The Rallye Redline edition is a Super Sport Group variant with the metal pedals, the T-handle shifter, red-accented black wheels, a big red exterior stripe and available red leather upholstery. The Electronics Convenience group includes heated mirrors, remote start and displays for tire pressure and outside temperature. The Sound Group II package features an upgraded seven-speaker sound system, and it can be paired to an optional 6.5-inch touchscreen interface. The optional navigation system employs the same touchscreen.

The Challenger R/T reverts to 18-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, non-heated seats and the entry-level speakers, but it upgrades to the 5.7-liter V8 engine and otherwise enjoys the same features as the SXT Plus. The R/T Plus package adds a security alarm, rear parking sensors, and the rest of the features of the SXT Plus that aren't already standard. The R/T Classic package includes the R/T Plus items as well as 20-inch "heritage-style" wheels, black side stripes, functional hood scoops and xenon headlights.

The R/T Super Track Pak (not a typo) includes higher-performance suspension/steering/brakes and performance-oriented stability control programming. The R/T Blacktop edition comes with the Super Track Pak and adds black 20-inch wheels, black exterior trim (including the ordinarily silver fuel door) and a "matte graphite" body stripe with red edges. The R/T Redline edition can be had with or without the Super Track Pak, and it features 20-inch black wheels with red trim, a body stripe similar to the Blacktop's, a body-color grille surround, metal pedals and the T-handle shifter (automatic transmission only).

Individual option highlights for the SXT and R/T include a sunroof, xenon headlights, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and a variety of special Mopar parts and styling enhancements.

The Challenger SRT8 392 starts with the R/T Plus's basic equipment and adds the 6.4-liter V8 engine, launch control, performance-oriented stability control programming, high-performance brakes and steering, adaptive suspension dampers, xenon headlamps, unique 20-inch wheels, sport seats, an upgraded trip computer with real-time performance data, full hydraulic power steering (versus electrohydraulic in the others), the Sound Group II (including the touchscreen) and a one-day driver training course at the SRT Track Experience. Optional are the navigation system, the sunroof and the thumping Harman Kardon audio system.

The SRT8 Core is meant to be a stripped-down, more affordable SRT8 392, so it loses supposedly superfluous standard luxuries like xenon headlights, foglights, the adaptive suspension and Sound Group II. In fact, the Core's interior is closer to the base SXT's equipment level -- it even comes with the entry-level six-speaker audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2014 Dodge Challengers are rear-wheel drive. The base SXT is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 hp and 268 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/27 mpg highway).

The Challenger R/T gets a 5.7-liter V8 and a standard six-speed manual transmission that harnesses 376 hp and 410 lb-ft. When hooked up to the available five-speed automatic, the "Hemi" V8's output drops slightly to 372 hp and 400 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. Quick as they are, both times are still a bit slower than what you can expect from a V8-powered Camaro or Mustang. Fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15 mpg city/25 mpg highway) for the automatic, with the manual getting 18 mpg combined (15 mpg city/23 mpg highway).

The Challenger SRT8 models get their swagger from a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped SRT8 392 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is impressively quick but still a bit off the pace of a similarly powered Camaro or Mustang. Fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg combined (14 mpg city/23 mpg highway) for either transmission.

Safety

Every 2014 Dodge Challenger comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors are optional across the board, but a rearview camera is not available.

In Edmunds brake testing, the SRT8 392 came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 106 feet.

In government crash testing, the Challenger received a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety, although there was some concern about a driver door that came unlatched during testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

In contrast to the Challenger's brash exterior, the interior is oddly generic. A few styling cues, like the large beveled dashboard and distinctive shifter knobs, are reminiscent of Challengers past, but overall, there's a distinct lack of panache. Due to the Challenger's high beltline and chunky rear roof pillars, rearward visibility is also lackluster.

We're not enamored of the somewhat crude touchscreen interface, either; it's too bad the related Charger sedan's much larger (8.4-inch) and easier to use touchscreen isn't offered. However, the interior is generally quite functional, and the materials aren't bad. Moreover, the small-diameter, well-contoured steering wheel makes for a pleasant interface between car and driver.

The front seats in most Challengers are wide and flat, which doesn't do much for lateral support, but they're comfy for long-distance drives. The SRT8's have better side bolstering and are also covered in leather and faux suede. The backseat is remarkably roomy for two adults, with good headroom and decent legroom. It also features a 60/40 split-folding back, a fold-down armrest and even a middle seat for tiny or exceptionally good-natured folks.

At 16.2 cubic feet, the Challenger's trunk is positively enormous for this segment, rivaling some large sedans for hauling capacity.

Driving Impressions

One of the 2014 Dodge Challenger's signature traits is its excellent ride quality. You could drive this big coupe all day and feel as if you never left your sofa. The default suspension tuning of the base SXT is pretty floaty, however. As such, we recommend going for at least the Super Sport Group's performance-tuned suspension. Sportier Challengers actually handle rather well, though they'll never let you forget about the car's sheer bulk. The Mustang and even the chunky Camaro are noticeably more agile around turns.

If you've got one of the V8s under the hood, though, you probably won't be too concerned about the Dodge's cornering characteristics. The R/T's 5.7-liter V8 accelerates smartly and makes lovely noises, while the SRT8's 6.4-liter V8 is off the charts in both respects. We love the pistol-grip manual shifter as well. Pity the aged automatic transmission doesn't rise to the same level. The automatic-only V6 model is obviously less thrilling than the V8s, but with 305 horses on tap, it can hold its own. If you'd rather cruise the boulevard than mix it up with Mustangs on twisty back roads, the easygoing 2014 Dodge Challenger makes a strong case for your hard-earned cash.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 7 reviews) Write a Review


First v6,impressive

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

Great car fun to drive,only negative thing is really bad blind spot,when backin out of parking spot you can not see anything coming upon rear right side .just hope they see you an stop




Very well rounded car

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

Nice car for the money. Smooth, quiet ride. Very good power for a V-6.




Muscle car for those that appreciate muscle cars

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

It has the nostalgic look but with newer technologies. It's the only muscle car that has a real back seat and ample trunk. It is a great riding car for trips and handles well but because of its weight would not be the best choice for taking curves. Seems like Dodge should be able to get a bit more mileage out of the RT model 5.7 L engine. Still looking for the right one for the right price as the 2014 RT Centennial I almost purchased had balky shifts on the upper gears



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Jazz blue beast

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

I love my Challenger! I special ordered a R/T base with some options (HID Headlights, Sound Group II, Sunroof). Power from the 5.7 is adequate, but it isn't exactly fast considering how heavy the car is. I solved that little problem with a ProCharger, now it moves with authority like an SRT8 (490 wheel horsepower), but without the insurance costs. It's big, roomy, and for the most part, comfortable. Enormous trunk. I do have a hard time finding a comfortable driving position for long drives though. The car would benefit greatly from either more telescoping in the steering column, power adjustable pedals, or moving the shifter (6spd) back farther toward the driver. The car rides like a Cadillac. Optional HID headlights work very well, and are bi-xenon, so you get both low & high beams in HID. Optional mid-level stereo (Sound Group II) is absolutely amazing. You can crank any type of music up to full volume with no distortion. The first thing you'll want to do is toss the 18" "green" low rolling resistance Michelins in the garbage, and get a set of proper tires to keep from roasting rubber. Then, you'll need to get a Barton shifter to keep from constantly missing 3rd, and to eliminate the ridiculous throw from 4-5. A skip shift eliminator or programmer is also mandatory. I didn't buy a manual transmission to be forced to shift from 1 to 4!!!!!!! Bluetooth "works", but takes quite some time to pair. And quite some time again when it un-pairs right after you get out on the road! And don't bother turning off the incoming SMS message alert... no matter how many times you turn this confounded feature OFF, it still breaks into the music for EVERY single text message. A new aftermarket head unit is in my near future. The voice recognition sucks. If you need to call "home", good luck. I'm not sure how the engineers who designed the voice recognition system talk, but I have tried every conceivable way of saying "home", and the car simply refuses to call home. There is an option that allows the car to learn your voice. It's a joke, don't bother wasting your time. I love the retro styling, but it does make for some LOUSY outward visibility to the sides. Lane changes are basically floor it and pray you can get ahead of whoever may happen to be in that ENROMOUS blind spot. If blind spot detection had been available in 2014, I'd have ordered it for sure. If you get the 6spd (of course you did, who buys an automatic muscle car?!) do yourself a favor and get the resonators removed right away. It makes the car sound like it should have from the factory. There is no drone on the 6spd (autos drone and sound like crap when MDS kicks in, you're better off leaving the stock exhaust in place)




Rt classic auto

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Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

Have owned my RT classic for three years and have over 9,000 miles on it. The car is great looking black with red side stripe. Rides very comfortably and I average 27 mpg highway at 70 to75 mph. The 5.7 motor also runs on regular gas as apposed to the larger motors that require premium gas. The interior is very good quality, red and black leather. The dash board some complain about being out dated, but looks similar to the original 70s. As I wanted to stay looking like the 70 challenger I went with the classic with the polished mags , and don't mind the older style dash. Car runs great goes when you want it to and can be used as a every day driver. Only complaint is the exhaust isn't load enough.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Soaked in my challenger

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Dodge Challenger

So far I had a heating problem where the heat system would start blowing cold air.Took 4 trips to the service center and it is still not fixed a hundred percent.Next all the bearings fell out of the seat.Had to wait a week for parts.Then I got a recall notice telling me the alternater could stop working with no notice shutting the car down completely.Imagine driving out 95 and all the sudden you have no power steering,power brakes,no ABS system,No windshield wipers and no lights.And Dodge told me this was not putting me in harms way.It took 4 months to get replacement parts.Also the alternater could catch fire at any time.Next the airconditioning system started blowing a water mist into the cab of the car.At first I was told all systems do that,I told them BULL.They came back and told me the drain on the system was clogged.They said because of this the duct system had mildew in it and would have to be disenfected. Charged me over 200 dollers.Three wekks later I have mist again.WOULD NOT BUY ANOTHER DODGE EVER.



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Gas Mileage

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  • 27
  • highway
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