As a child in 1969 I went with my dad when he picked up a new 1970 Dodge Charger. I sat in an orange car that I later learned was a Challenger. I've owned a lot of cars over the years, including a new 1997 Trans AM WS-6, which is a beautiful car until you have to do any engine work. I can say the Challenger is arguably the best new car I've ever owned. It is huge, it's larger and weighs as much as my truck, a 1st gen 5.9L Durango, yet it gets almost 24 MPG on the Interstate. It has many bells & whistles never thought of in 1970, and it's the best looking retro muscle car in my opinion. Due to size and weight, it's not as fast as the smaller Camaro, but to each their own.
I have always been a Chevy man, but, this Challenger sold me from the first test drive.It has been so much fun to drive and the looks and comfort can't be beat. The gas mileage of this R/T range from 19 all around to 25 mpg while on a 500 mile trip driving 70-75 in cruise mode. This car gets so many looks and thumbs ups from kids to the elderly.
I was in the market for a manual transmission car to drive to work (I also have an older Boxster). I wanted something fun to drive and safe that provided some driving fun. I went to look at the new Mustang and found an 09 Challenger in the used lot. I drove both, and just couldn't shake the fact that the Challenger is just a better looking car that provides the perfect blend of retro muscle car thrills. Yes, it won't outhandle or outrun the mustang, but I smile every time I look at it and love listening to the sound of the engine and the smooth ride on my drive home. Navigation and bluetooth phone are much improved. Soft handling that still corners well when pushed. Love this car.
This car is a real eye catcher. Within 2 weeks of first seeing the Challenger, I had one in my garage. I get compliments every time I take it out for a drive, and have had a few impromptu photo shoots in parking lots. Great acceleration. The exhaust configuration specific to the RT manual delivers a confident, but not obnoxious exhaust note. Interior noise is not an issue, even at hwy speeds. This is not a sports car, so you're not going to corner with a Mustang or Camaro, but you may find it more comfortable for cruising. After 10k mi, not 1 issue. Visibility takes getting used to. Hill start assist and skip shift are easily disabled (most if not all muscle cars have this.)
This car is fun to drive and just about everything I would want from it. It has good power but would like a little more acceleration from a dead stop with the V6 -- it is fast/quick but if the torque could be adjusted for more off the line speed that would be great. Gas mileage is good for a car of this type plus I love the sound of the engine.
Because the power delivery is so linear and the tires so grippy, it's easy to modulate the wheelspin with the throttle. Yet, this Challenger SRT8's 60-mph time and quarter-mile were both off our previously tested SRT8 with a five-speed automatic. This one didn't seem to have the pop or rush of the other. Perhaps a self-correcting check engine light observed the hour prior had something to do with it. (See note in Slalom comments for more detail.) Pistol-grip shifter feels robust but is easy to operate and accurate, even when rushed. Clutch is neither too heavy nor too light. Tachometer, however, is too slow to react to true engine speed, especially at wide-open throttle at the top of 1st and/or 2nd gear. As a result, it's easy to find the rev limiter prior to seeing the needle go past 6,250 rpm. Compared to 1st, a very quick 2nd and tallish 3rd gear, 4th feels very, very tall and the car lies down noticeably before crossing the finish line in 4th.
Brake pedal travel was unusually long from the get-go, but the system proved powerful and fade-free over six stops. In fact, the best stop occurred on the fourth attempt. Very little dive and no ABS hum or vibration.
If disabled at a standstill, ESP appears to be fully off. Amazingly quick turn-in and yaw response from such a large car, but it's the kind of front-end bite that can be trusted. Good balance right up to the limit, where the Challenger SRT8 pushes on-throttle and oversteers with generous on-throttle application. Nicely done. Steering wheel still feels too light and too large. *Note: Near the end of slalom testing, we heard a "ding" and observed a blinking check-engine light, followed by a rough idle. Condition persisted for about 2 minutes and seemed to remedy itself.