Used 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Pros & Cons
- Strong V8 engines, topped by the new 707-hp Hellcat
- supple, quiet ride
- room for four adults
- huge trunk.
- Poor rearward visibility
- beefy size dulls acceleration and handling.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2015 Dodge Challenger boasts a rare mix of talents, combining the power and attitude of a muscle car with the refinement of a luxury coupe.
Paying homage to the past while still being fully up to date is a pretty tough feat, yet the 2015 Dodge Challenger manages to do just that. This retro-styled muscle car sports updated styling this year. That seeming oxymoron means it has swapped out its previous 1970-style grille and taillights for 1971-inspired units that, to our eyes, work even better. Yet underneath those classic lines the Challenger is completely modern with its keyless ignition, infotainment system and eight-speed automatic transmission, the latter allowing a big coupe with a near-500-hp V8 to earn a 25 mpg highway rating.
This year also brings a much-improved interior with higher-quality materials, and that new infotainment system is the same highly regarded 8.4-inch touchscreen interface used in most other Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep products. The Challenger's base V6 engine carries over, but there's a new Challenger R/T "Scat Pack" edition, which provides the same 485-hp V8 as the SRT 392 but at a lower price point. Rumbling in with the biggest stick of all is the new SRT Hellcat, which sends a pavement-rippling 707 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via a supercharged 6.2-liter V8.
Put one of these boffo V8 engines under the hood of just about any car and you'd be guaranteed to have something that's a blast to drive. But what really impresses us is the Challenger's measure of practicality. Unlike its admittedly smaller Chevy and Ford rivals, the Challenger offers an adult-friendly backseat, a large trunk and a quiet, comfortable ride that all make this boulevard bruiser a fine daily driver and road tripper. True, the 2015 Dodge Challenger isn't quite as athletic when you're driving enthusiastically around tight turns. The Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang boast sharper handling (particularly in their respective track-oriented Z/28 and GT350 guises) and simply aren't as bulky. But they also have tight backseats and firmer rides.
All three of these cars are very impressive. But it's the Challenger that best represents the modern take on a classic American muscle car. It's got the ability to do John Force-worthy burnouts, the most identifiable heritage-based style, composed ride and handling and that big interior space that's ideally suited for cruising this big country of ours. And, if that's still not enough for you, there's the Hellcat, which allows you to brag to your friends that you've got more ponies under the hood than a Lamborghini Aventador. If you're shopping for a 2015 performance coupe, the Challenger is a must-see.
2015 Dodge Challenger models
The 2015 Dodge Challenger is a five-seat coupe that is offered in seven trim levels: SXT, SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat.
The SXT starts with the V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a 7-inch configurable dash display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, full power accessories, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 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, a 5-inch touchscreen interface (Uconnect), voice commands and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The SXT Plus adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, performance suspension and brakes, foglights, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping adjustments, an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen and an upgraded sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Challenger R/T essentially starts with the SXT equipment and adds the 5.7-liter V8 engine and 20-inch alloy wheels. Opt for the Challenger R/T Plus and you'll get the same upgrades as the SXT Plus.
Available for the SXT Plus and R/T Plus is the R/T Classic package, which adds old-school dual R/T side stripes, 20-inch classic five-spoke wheels, xenon headlights and upgraded leather upholstery with simulated suede inserts. Also optional on both the SXT and the R/T is the Super Track Pak (not a typo), which features unique 20-inch black wheels; higher-performance suspension, steering and brakes; and, for the SXT, the body-color rear spoiler, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.
The R/T Scat Pack trim starts with the R/T's features and adds a more powerful V8, 20-inch wheels, an upgraded suspension, Brembo brakes, active exhaust system, front and rear spoilers, performance-oriented stability control programming, front sport seats, Bluetooth audio, a navigation system, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and an upgraded sound system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.
Optional on the Scat Pack is the Leather Interior Group, which includes the upgraded leather/simulated suede sport seats, heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping adjustment. Also available is the Scat Pack Appearance Group, which features different wheels, a gloss black grille, xenon headlights and "Bumble Bee" rear stripes.
If you're into the Challenger for nostalgia's sake, the R/T, R/T Plus and Scat Pack can all be equipped with a "Shaker" hood, conical intake filter and Shaker exterior graphics as well.
The Challenger SRT 392 starts with the Scat Pack with the Leather Interior Group and adds a unique hood with center scoop, forged 20-inch wheels, improved Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, adjustable driver modes and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
At the top of this meaty food chain is the Challenger SRT Hellcat, which starts with the features of the SRT 392 and adds a supercharged V8, two key fobs that control engine output (black is reduced power, red is full power), a unique hood with a center scoop and air extractors, black rocker panels, larger front and rear spoilers, remote start, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind-spot/rear cross-path monitoring and the Harman Kardon audio system.
Other option packages (depending on trim level) include the Driver Convenience Group (power-folding mirrors, xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, blind-spot/rear cross-path monitoring, remote start) and the Technology Group (automatic wipers, automatic high-beam headlight control, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning). Individual option highlights (depending on trim level) include a sunroof, xenon headlights, the Harman Kardon audio system and a navigation system (includes HD and satellite radio as well as smartphone app integration). There are also a variety of special Mopar parts and styling enhancements from which to choose.
Performance & mpg
All 2015 Dodge Challengers are rear-wheel drive. The base SXT is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 305 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 23 mpg combined (19 city/30 highway).
The Challenger R/T gets a 5.7-liter V8 and a standard six-speed manual transmission that harnesses 375 hp and 410 lb-ft. When hooked up to the available eight-speed automatic, the 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 5.8 seconds. Although that's respectable, it's still about a second slower than what you can expect from a V8-powered Camaro or Mustang. Fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (16/25) for the automatic and 18 mpg combined (15/23) with the manual.
The Challenger R/T Scat Pack and SRT models get their swagger from a 6.4-liter V8 that produces 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and an eight-speed automatic is optional. In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped SRT 392 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is impressively quick, if still a bit off the pace of the top Camaro or Mustang. SRT fuel economy estimates stand at 18 mpg combined (15/25) for the automatic and 17 mpg combined (14/23) for the manual.
The Challenger SRT Hellcat packs a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that cranks out 707 hp and 650 lb-ft. With only so much traction available from the 275-width rear tires (the Viper, with less power, has 335-width rear tires), we got a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds with the automatic. More telling of this car's capability is the 11.9-second, 123.4-mph quarter-mile performance. The EPA says you'll get 16 mpg combined with either transmission.
Every 2015 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, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and a forward collision warning system are available. The added functionality of the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen potentially includes remote vehicle access, emergency assistance and stolen vehicle locating.
In Edmunds brake testing, an R/T came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, a short distance, though that's typical for a performance car with summer-rated tires. An SRT8 392 did even better, at 106 feet, while a Hellcat was right there with 108 feet.
In government crash testing, the Challenger received a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Challenger its top safety score of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact and side-impact crash tests. The IIHS gave the Challenger its second best score of Acceptable in roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests. In the small-overlap front-impact test, the Challenger received the second lowest rating of Marginal from the IIHS.
One of the 2015 Dodge Challenger's signature traits is its excellent ride quality. You could take this big coupe on an all-day road trip 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 springing at least for the SXT Plus, as it includes firmer underpinnings. Otherwise, the Challenger actually handles rather well. This is especially true of the higher-performance versions, which provide a crisp, responsive and confident drive on a curvy road. Still, none of them will let you forget about the car's sheer bulk, especially on narrow roads. The Mustang and Camaro are more agile and less imposing around tighter turns.
The V6 model is obviously less thrilling than the V8s, but with 305 horses on tap, it can certainly hold its own. If you've got one of the V8s under the hood, though, you'll be treated to a proper muscle car experience. The standard R/T's 5.7-liter V8 accelerates smartly and makes lovely noises, while the Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat's gonzo V8s are off the charts in both respects. Although the manual transmission is easy to operate, it does have somewhat long throws and doesn't like to be rushed. As such, those who plan on running quarters on Grudge night may want to consider the speedy automatic gearbox, which snaps off much quicker shifts.
This year's refresh has given the Challenger the stylish cabin it has long deserved. A driver-centric theme is evident in the canted center console and configurable central dash display. Automatic-transmission cars sport a T-handle that recalls the selector used in the original 1970s Challenger. Moreover, the small-diameter, well-contoured steering wheel makes for a pleasant interface between car and driver. Overall materials quality is very good, and the dash features handsome metallic accents. Another notable improvement is the use of Dodge's superb 8.4-inch, multifunction touchscreen. It features large virtual buttons, an intuitive layout and fairly quick responses. Even the base 5-inch screen works pretty well.
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 sport seats have better side bolstering and are also covered in leather and simulated 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. The trunk is also generously sized; at 16.2 cubic feet, the Challenger's cargo hold is positively enormous for this segment, rivaling some large sedans for hauling capacity.
Our chief complaint with the interior involves rearward visibility, which is tough due to the Challenger's high beltline and chunky rear roof pillars. However, the available rearview camera and parking sensors are a huge help when maneuvering into a parking spot.
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Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.1%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestAcceptable
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintAcceptable
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
Every Dodge Challenger gets a significant makeover for 2015, and one version goes completely, supersonically 707-horsepower insane. That nutty one is the SRT Hellcat: a supercharged exaggeration of the resurrected Challenger that's been in production since 2008. It's not only the most powerful Dodge ever made, it's the most powerful production muscle car made. Ever.
On regular Challengers the styling updates for 2015 are inspired by the 1971 Challenger; the grille features spilt elements and the taillights are now separate LED units. And the interior sees dramatic improvements with loads of added features. But the Hellcat gets its own hood with a large scoop and vents, skips the split elements in the grille for better cooling and has a hole inside the left inner headlight to feed cold air to the beastly 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8.
What Is It?
Let's restate the essentials one more time for effect. Based on the refreshed 2015 Dodge Challenger, the SRT Hellcat takes performance to ludicrous levels with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces 707 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque. No, that's not a typo. Seven-hundred-and-seven horsepower.
Besides the performance upgrades, the Hellcat comes with all the standard features from lesser Challenger models and a few that are optional. These include 20-inch wheels with high-performance Pirelli tires, xenon headlights with automatic high beams, heated and ventilated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, a blind-spot monitor and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. It's comprehensively equipped save for color choice, the addition of a navigation system and the replacement of the standard six-speed manual transmission with an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic for $1,995.
The single most delectable option, however, is the eight-spoke, hyper-black, forged aluminum 20-inch wheels. They appear to be ripped off a Le Mans winner and make the Challenger SRT Hellcat look as if it were dominating the Pro Touring class at the Street Machine Nationals. They're flat-finish awesome atop an already intimidating monster.
Hellcat prices start at $60,990 including destination and the gas-guzzler tax, which is more than double the cost of a base, V6-powered Challenger SXT. But by the standards of current production cars with 700 hp or more (of which there are only seven, not including the upcoming, but closely related, four-door Charger SRT Hellcat) it's absurdly cheap. After all, the next cheapest car with more than 700 hp, the 730-hp Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, is available at the no-haggle price of $319,638.
How Does It Make All That Power?
The power-hungry engineers at Dodge's SRT performance wing dug deep into their bag of treachery for the Hellcat.
They started with the stout Hemi engine block that's one of the few left still made from iron and therefore rugged enough to withstand the supercharged maelstrom. Then they upgraded all the engine internals, starting with a forged steel crankshaft with 3.6-millimeter shorter throws than the one used in SRT's 6.4-liter naturally aspirated Hemi. That shorter stroke accounts for the modest drop in displacement and some of the drop in compression ratio from 10.9:1 in the 6.4 to 9.5:1 in the Hellcat. Throw in special forged alloy pistons and a pair of specially prepped aluminum cylinder heads and all that's left to add is the supercharger itself.
While most current supercharged production engines use a version of Eaton's Roots-style lobed supercharger, the Hellcat Hemi uses a Lysholm-like twin-screw compressor co-developed by Chrysler and IHI of Japan. The efficient screw compressor is geared to turn at 2.36 times engine speed while producing a maximum of 11.6 psi of boost. That's good enough for 707 hp at 6,000 rpm, while the maximum torque rating of 650 lb-ft comes in at 4,000 rpm.
One of the main goals in the engine's development was to sustain very high levels of performance for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, which is the typical run time for track day groups. According to the SRT engineers, the Hellcat achieved this goal even in the most oppressive summer heat of Texas.
Texas, Hawaii, Missouri, New Hampshire, Alaska... pick any state you like. This is the most powerful engine ever built for an American performance car expected to sell more than a handful a year. And John Hennessey, Jerrod Shelby and Steve Saleen aren't selling their supercars for $60K.
Can You Hand It Over to a Valet?
Power is routed to the limited-slip differential and the rear wheels via a high-capacity Tremec six-speed manual transmission that is lifted from the SRT Viper parts bin and enhanced with additional cooling. A ZF-designed but Chrysler-built (that's why it's a TorqueFlite) eight-speed automatic transmission with manual control is available as an option.
In order to unleash the maximum power, the driver must have the red key fob in his possession — that's red with an "R" as in "rabid." With the normal black key, power is tempered down to a more sensible 500 hp. And 500 hp is still 15 hp more than the 485 offered in the Challenger SRT with the 6.4-liter Hemi with the new "Scat Pack" option.
That still ought to be plenty enough to keep the parking valets entertained.
Just How Fast Is It in a Straight Line?
Edmunds has experienced the Hellcat twice on the drag strip, once with the eight-speed automatic at the press preview in Portland, Oregon, and once with the six-speed manual transmission at our usual Southern California test venue.
On Portland Raceway's quarter-mile drag strip, the automatic-equipped Hellcat simply shot forward using the simple technique of hitting the Launch button in front of the gear selector, pushing hard with the left foot on the brake pedal, stomping the gas pedal to the floor, then releasing the brake pressure completely. Wheelspin is moderated by the launch control system and shifts are violently quick. All you have to do is steer and keep your right foot firmly planted.
After our acceleration run, the in-car performance meter gave us an estimated quarter-mile time of 11.4 seconds. This supports the NHRA-certified 11.2-second run that SRT claims to have achieved on street tires. We're told that the top speed is 199 mph and it's not electronically limited. There's only so much air even 707 hp can push.
The six-speed Hellcat proved much more, well, challenging to launch. The Tremec transmission in the test car needed mighty heaves to find its gears, and it was particularly easy to blow the 1-2 upshift. The clutch is heavy and unforgiving, only fully engaging at the very top of the pedal's long travel. You can literally feel the tendons in your legs tightening as you strain against the clutch pedal. And your left leg can tire in regular traffic.
Using the Launch program with the manual transmission is practically as straightforward as with the automatic — and the process is practically identical. But there's simply no way to shift manually as efficiently and cleanly as the automatic does. So there's more tire smoke, less instant rocketry and, yes, less raw acceleration.
A 12.8-second blast down the quarter-mile with a spectacular 118.4-mph trap speed with the traction control on is nowhere near slow. And zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with a slight blue-gray haze accompanying the car is still quick. But it's simply not as quick as the automatic car felt and self-reported up in Oregon. And it may be that another manual-equipped Hellcat with a fresher clutch and transmission may be easier to manage on a drag strip.
But as it stands, if you want to go really, really quick on a drag strip with a Challenger SRT Hellcat, then go with the two-pedal car.
How Does It Handle When the Road Gets Curvy?
The usual arguments against cars like the Hellcat are, "What would you possibly do with all that power?" and "Where could you even enjoy it?" Answers to those arguments were readily apparent at Portland International Raceway.
In the interest of safety, the front straightaway was interrupted by a right/left chicane, which limited our top speed. This meant that the road course session was purely about handling characteristics. Normally, a car that weighs 4,439 pounds (according to Chrysler) isn't ideal for corner carving, but the Hellcat exceeded expectations. At the limit, the car feels balanced even though the weight is biased 57 percent toward the front. Understeer only rarely intrudes, and the big Challenger reacts exceptionally well to trail braking deep toward the apexes.
Back at our test track at home, the Hellcat showed surprising capability. The 69.9-mph rip through the 600-foot slalom is astonishing for a car this size, particularly since its 0.92g skid pad orbit is humble.
The Hellcat rotates gracefully and predictably, helping to point its nose through turns. Transitioning between brake and gas requires restraint to keep the car on its intended path, but not so much that you feel as if you're defusing a bomb with the toes on your right foot. Give it too much gas and the tail swings wider, but it does so in a controllable manner. Pushed further into a raucous powerslide, the Hellcat's stability control will abruptly shut the fun down.
With stability control disabled, recovering from a slide is neither terrifying nor particularly difficult, thanks in part to the slower-than-typical steering ratio. Although it requires more steering input, it does give drivers the feeling that they have plenty of time to react. Nervous twitches and wild oscillations would have to be intentionally induced. It doesn't corner with the kind of urgency and quickness characteristic of sports cars weighing much less, but it is just as rewarding in a more leisurely style.
Relative to similarly powerful cars, the Challenger Hellcat is under-tired, and the 275/40ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tires used at all four corners are tiny. For instance, the 2014 SRT Viper GTS's V10 is rated at "only" 640 hp and weighs about 1,000 pounds less, but runs 295/30ZR18 front and vast 355/30ZR19 rear P Zero tires. Chevrolet's supercharged, 580-hp Camaro ZL1 comes equipped with 285/35ZR20 front and 305/35ZR20 tires.
The Viper is notorious for snap oversteer at the limit; when all that tire lets go, it's gone. In contrast, the narrower tires on the Hellcat give up early, easily and manageably. Of course it's effortless to overwhelm the rubber with the tsunami of power available, but in a way the lack of massive rubber keeps the Hellcat's handling tamer and safer than cars that are pursuing the outer limits of adhesion.
The Challenger Hellcat is also equipped with epic binders. The front discs are 15.4-inch vented and slotted rotors clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers. The rear discs are at 13.8 inches in diameter, also slotted and vented, and use four-piston Brembo calipers.
But hauling 4,400-plus pounds (almost 1,200 pounds more than a C7 Corvette coupe) down from speed is not easy, especially considering the big Dodge coupe's modest-size tires. Still, our shortest stop from 60 mph was a sterling 109 feet. That's overachieving.
How Does It Drive on the Street?
Around town, the SRT Hellcat is comfortable and well-mannered, especially when you consider its performance potential. This is achieved thanks to several drive settings that can be selected and customized through the large center-mounted touchscreen. The default Drive mode is the most comfortable of the settings, with lighter steering, smoother gearchanges, softer suspension tuning and a more gradual delivery of power. Sport and Track modes incrementally increase performance by altering these same settings, and drivers can also tailor them to fit their particular preferences in Custom mode.
Even in the most aggressive Track mode, the ride quality is far from harsh, with road imperfections felt but not intrusive. The heavy steering effort is a bit tiresome, and the abrupt shifts when accelerating can be problematic on longer drives, making the default mode better suited to road trips.
What the Hellcat has in abundance (beyond all that power) is amazing sounds. The exhaust system is heavy on resonance and vibrato; this car always sounds melodious and eager. If you're a person who likes to rev their Harley Davidson in tunnels, the Hellcat is the automotive equivalent — but you don't need the tunnel. If you're the type of person who finds a slight drone annoying at cruises, we suggest blipping the throttle regularly to inject some chaos into the commute and soothe your soul.
What's the New Interior Like?
The Challenger is a significantly larger car than either the Mustang or Camaro. Its 116-inch wheelbase is almost 9 inches longer than the 2014 Mustang and 3.7 inches longer than a 2014 Camaro. Hit the history books and this Challenger, inspired by the 1971 Challenger, is 6 inches longer in both wheelbase and overall length than that car.
But there's still not much rear legroom. So think of this as a huge two-seater with occasional accommodations for a couple more, very forgiving, passengers.
That said, the interior upgrades for 2015 are considerable. Materials quality sees a huge improvement, as do the overall design and usability. The dashboard still runs from door to door, but it is much more contoured now, and the center console now sweeps upward to almost meet it. Exclusive to the Hellcat are stamped aluminum trim panels on the dash and center console that feature a handsome engine-turned pattern.
The steering wheel is also much more attractive, and the buttons are better integrated and easier to operate. It was a little thick at the 9- and 3-o'clock positions, though, and the shift paddles are mounted too high for our tastes. To use them you are forced to keep your hands at a less than optimal 10 and 2 o'clock.
Does It Get the Latest Technology Features?
The centerpiece of the cabin, however, is the sharp 8.4-inch touchscreen (base Challengers get a 5-inch screen) that is canted slightly toward the driver. This latest generation of the Uconnect infotainment system has been praised as one of the best available, and the Hellcat adds even more features to it.
Easily accessible by a physical SRT button just in front of the shifter or a hot button on screen is a very comprehensive set of performance menus. The sheer amount of data available rivals that of the tech-oriented Nissan GT-R, but in the Hellcat, that information is easier to access and read. The time slip menu is particularly smart, as it logs your quarter-mile times and trap speeds, while the temperature gauges are more useful, especially if you're on track. Alongside the SRT button on the center console are other redundant buttons that are used more often or urgently, like the launch control button.
The main gauges are just as attractive as the rest of the interior, though the speedometer isn't all that legible at a glance. Fortunately, the driver information display between the gauges provides a digital speed readout that can be read in an instant. If there were one item we would like to see, it'd be a better gear indicator when in Manual mode, as it's easy to lose track of which of the eight gears you're in.
The Hellcat's seats feature an excellent mix of firm support and long-distance comfort. Side bolstering is aggressive, but even larger occupants won't find them confining. The passenger seat is mounted too high, however, and there is no height adjustment. On the plus side, the front seats come with ventilation as standard and provide hours of comfortable touring. The large 16.2-cubic-foot trunk ably accepts several large suitcases.
What Safety Features Does It Offer?
Standard safety features on all 2015 Dodge Challenger models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Standard on the Hellcat but optional on most supporting Challengers are a forward collision warning system, a blind-spot monitor, hill-hold assist, automatic high beams, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.
Also, it's quick enough to flee from most any bad guys unless they're driving a LaFerrari.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
Dodge claims it has a target of 20 mpg on the EPA highway fuel economy cycle. Final testing is pending, but let's be frank: There's no way any human who would buy a car like this will get 20 mpg in the Hellcat.
After driving over 450 miles with the manual transmission Challenger SRT Hellcat (showing off for anyone who recognized the car, doing a few burnouts and spending a lot of time on SoCal freeways) we averaged 13.2 mpg.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: This top-performing Camaro packs 580 hp and handling that outpaces both the Ford and SRT, though it'll likely lose in a drag race against the automatic Hellcat by 1.4 seconds. In terms of visibility, convenience and interior quality, it also comes up short.
Ford Shelby GT500: The Mustangs are about to get a full redesign, but the GT500 remains a formidable opponent. With 662 hp, it started this latest muscle car power war but it's a full second slower than the claimed performance of the automatic Hellcat in the quarter-mile.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
If too much is barely enough for you, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is your car. It dominates other muscle cars in this class when it comes to straight-line acceleration, interior quality, passenger accommodations and cargo capacity. Besides being wildly entertaining on a racetrack and attractive in a sinister way, it's also pleasant as a daily driver.
Beyond that, even though the current Challenger body has been around since 2008, it's still a fantastic-looking car. It still attracts gawkers and admirers and now, thanks to the subtle "supercharged" badges on the front fenders, it's more intimidating than ever.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
As tempting as all that horsepower may be, the Hellcat's $60K price tag puts it in some exclusive territory. Better make sure you're fine with owning the drag strip, as there are cars at this price point that will leave the Hellcat in their tracks when the road turns twisty.
So stay off twisty roads. Problem solved.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Overview
The Used 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is offered in the following styles: SRT Hellcat 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl S/C 6M).
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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Dodge Challenger?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.