2016 Dodge Challenger Review
Pros & Cons
- Strong engine choices, topped by the insane 707-hp Hellcat V8
- actual room for four adults
- an enormous trunk, especially compared to rivals
- highly customizable thanks to a huge number of options
- relatively supple ride, especially on the highway
- touchscreen interface is packed with features and easy to use.
- Beefy size dulls the handling and acceleration
- hard to see out of the back
- a convertible isn't available.
List Price Range
$18,500 - $63,000
Used Challenger for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
SRT 392 2dr Coupe (6.4L 8cyl 6M)
Recently took delivery of my 2016 SRT 392, six speed manual. This is a very strong engine/gear box combination, much more than anyone will need for daily driving. The monstrous torque gets you addicted really quick because the car just moves so effortlessly in any situation. This engine is just perfect for this car. The exhaust note is loud from factory, at startup you know you're in for a treat. When cruising the car is quiet, there is some road noise but that's normal for cars like this - don't expect Lexus LS quiet. The manual gear box is very good, the ratios are close to each other and soon you'll be in 5th gear cruising around town, and 6th gear at freeway speeds makes it really quiet without any drone. The hydraulic clutch is also pretty good, and after you get used to the car you won't even feel the gear changes. The infotainment system is upgraded for 2016, now you can customize the lower row of icons just by dragging the ones you want down there. I think this uConnect 8.4AN is the best on the market by a long mile. No German or Japanese system comes close in features and ease of use. The climate controls in the SRT Challenger work very well - I can leave it in auto and it will take care of it. This is a car to keep for longer than most others because not only it looks great, but it sounds great as well and the engine noises are pure pleasure. FCA knocked this one out of the park, this is an icon of a car, renewed and modernized and it feels absolutely great. If you get one you won't regret it for a minute. 7/4/2016 - Update after about 6 months: Excellent, no issues whatsoever, great car!
SRT 392 2dr Coupe (6.4L 8cyl 6M)
I never thought I would own a Dodge, but the exterior styling of the Challenger sucked me in, the awesome power plant set the hook, and then the interior redesign in 2015 sealed the deal. It is no sports car, but it is true to muscle car heritage being big, smooth, with gobs of power. It makes a great touring car for two. I thought I wanted a Hellcat, but I was not going to pay $25K over MSRP, and after driving the 392, I have no idea what I would do 222 MORE horsepower. The 392 is a brute as it is and will light-up the back end with ease. So much so, it can be tough to not spin the rear in wet conditions. I decided on the 8-speed auto since my wife cannot drive a stick. This would NOT be the car to learn to row through a manual gear box with tons of power and a firm clutch. On top of that, the auto is quicker 0-60, quicker in the quarter mile, gets better mileage, and allows for adaptive cruise control which is great on the freeway. I love the rain sensing wipers since proper wiper speed to rain ratio is part of my OCD and the auto-dimming head lights are sweet. These are the best head lights I have ever had on a car, much better than my previous car which had HID lights (I do miss the cornering lamps on my last car, though). The front seats are very comfortable, but being a 2-door, they do not have power back adjustment. The car and doors themselves are large so getting in/out in tight city sized spaces can be tough and the cup holder can bang your shin. Getting in the back seat is challenging (no pun intended), but most passengers will forget about that when they get seated in the ultra soft leather... and then you slam their heads into the head rests a few times. :) The tranny is terrific over all, but sometimes it can shift a little hard and be a little snatchy on the throttle at lower speeds since it loves to use compression breaking on deceleration and the MDS shifting from 8 to 4 and back to 8 cylinder mode is sometimes noticeable. But it is typically very smooth...get on the gas from a stand still and she shifts quick and smooth launching you to 60 in what seems like a blink of an eye. The thing will throw down from 8th to 4th in a blink and putting car in track mode makes it even more aggressive holding gears longer. The Mercedes lineage shows through with a ride that is comfortable yet solid in standard mode and the dampers firm up nicely when in the performance settings. The exhaust note is just right and makes the coolest burble on down shifts when in track mode. Stand behind the car when the engine is cold, hit the remote start, and it barks to life with a crack that WILL make you grin ear to ear. The exterior styling makes me weak in the knees every time I see it and believe the design will prove to be a timeless (the sheet metal for the most part already has 8 years under its belt). The 2015 interior update makes it a great place to be as you eat up the pavement. I was a little disappointed in the Harmon Kardon stereo. A couple down points are that some of the controls are behind the shifter making it is easy to bump the shifter into manual mode. Some of the plastic exterior trim pieces could fit better and the plastic may not age very gracefully. The side mirrors are small as part of the style and there is a HUGE blind spot looking over your right shoulder to the rear quarter, but the blind spot monitoring/cross traffic alert/back-up camera help that...plus, you can use the accelerator to clear the blind spot, too. I really think the Chally is a car in a class by itself. If you are looking for a completely FUN car, great for long road trips, you can drive daily (except maybe ice), and shred some tires, it would seem pretty dang hard to go wrong with a Challenger SRT 392. Update 11/2016: I have about 6500 miles on the car now (I often commute on a motorcycle) and have not had any issues. Oil changes are spendy with the special Pennzoil it requires and an SRT filter, but I did it myself. I thought there was a full aero package underneath, but it was just a smallish panel under the engine compartment and cam off with I think 5 screws. The filter sits vertically, so there is a gush of oil that flows back over the filter body. Running in 4-cylinder mode makes the motor sound blah compared to the full octet of pumpers. The tranny is a little clunky in stop and go traffic and the rear diff makes some noise in full lock turns. Other than romping on it on ramps, I drive like a grandpa but generally in horrible traffic, so I'm getting about 15 mpg average mileage. I think you could break into the low/mid 20ish mpg range though on a long drive in ecomode with cruise control set @ 60 in the flats of northern Ohio with a tail wind. Every one rags on the Ford Sync system, but I liked the Sync better than the Uconnect that everyone seems to love. Any way you slice it though, this is a bad a$$ car. Oh, and be ready for pukes in Camaros that want to race.
SXT Plus 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
It has duel identity, it can be your Sunday/show car or it can be your daily driver. This car is an absolute joy to get in. I went with the SXT Plus with Trac Pack. The Trac Pack gives it the same suspension as the R/T model, bigger 20' tires, bigger breaks. This car commands attention in B5, ( classic blue). I have had people knock on my door at home randomly to ask me about it. I am 6ft 2" and find this to be one of the roomiest cockpits I have ever sat in, not just sport car but all cars. I generally drive no more than 7k a year in any car I have owned. I have owned everything from a Nissan 240sx to a Toyota Sienna. This car I have driven over 1200 miles in 3 weeks. I use every excuse possible to run out and get in it. Milk, shopping, pick up the kids. The kids, this is not a toy car, it is real. Every morning I drop off my 3 kids to school. They have no problem getting in and out and frankly like having there friends say "Dad has a cool car". :) Yes, the Camaro and Mustang are more sporty but I wanted a car that shows its roots in its styling, I can use it on a long drive for a weekend getaway with the whole family, that's 5 of us. (The trunk is HUGE, bigger than my Kia Optima trunk was) and was practical for driving to the train station for my daily commute. This car is fun. Period. Brings me back to why cars SHOULD ALWAYS be driven by humans, not automated robot cars. One thing - Con. Had to go back and mention it, I do get that V8 envy sound sometimes, not the speed but that sound.... oh that sound.
R/T Scat Pack 2dr Coupe (6.4L 8cyl 6M)
When I started shopping for a new car I was looking for something that isn't ordinary that offered a manual transmission. After reading reviews and comparison tests my first stop was the Chevy dealer to look at the Camaro SS. It is an awesome car to drive but not very good looking and small. I need a back seat and the Camaro has a package shelf with seat belts instead of somewhere to sit. So then I went on to the Ford dealer to look at the Mustang GT. I drove about a half dozen GT's set up in all the different configurations I also drove a couple Ecoboost equipped cars just for comparison. The back seat in the Mustang can actually be used as a seat for short trips so I was going to pull the trigger on a GT/PP but everyone I looked at either had too many options or not enough and every different car I looked at always had some fit to finish problems (panels not lining up, the grills being off and so on) the more I looked at these the more turned off I became. Then I headed to the Dodge store and started to look at the Challenger. I ended up with the Challenger because it was put together better than the mustang, has a real back seat, its a blast to drive, interesting to look at, and fast. I don't consider the Challenger a "pony car" like the others, so the size and weight do not bother me. I think of the Challenger similar to a 70's/80's "personal luxury coupe" like the Charger was marketed.