2017 Dodge Challenger Review
Pros & Cons
- Many strong engine choices, including the gonzo 707-hp Hellcat V8
- Roomy cabin can actually accommodate four adults
- High degree of customization thanks to many trim levels and options
- Ride is pretty comfortable compared to its muscle-car rivals
- The Challenger is large and heavy, dulling handling and acceleration
- Rear visibility is somewhat compromised
- Unlike main rivals, a convertible is not available
Which Challenger does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4.0 / 5
2017 Dodge Challenger models
The 2017 Dodge Challenger is a five-seat, two-door coupe that harkens back to the good old days of the muscle-car era. A wide range of engines are available, but larger still is the number of trims and configurations for the Challenger. The main trim levels are SXT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat. Most trims have several subtrims that represent different luxury and performance upgrades. We'll do our best to break it down.
First up is the SXT, powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine (305 horsepower, 268 pound-feet of torque). Although the V6 Challenger isn't the fastest kid on the block, at least you'll be rolling with plenty of standard features. The SXT comes with 18-inch wheels, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power driver seat. Tech features include Bluetooth, a 5-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port.
Stepping up to the R/T adds a 5.7-liter V8 (372 hp, 400 lb-ft with the automatic and 375 hp, 410 lb-ft with the manual). Also included are 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, foglights and an active sport exhaust.
The R/T Scat Pack is the next rung up the ladder. It's powered by an even larger V8, this one displacing 6.4 liters (485 hp, 475 lb-ft). In addition to the stronger engine, there's Brembo performance brakes (four-piston front and rear), a sport-tuned suspension, a black decklid spoiler, sport seats, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and an Alpine audio system. Front and center in the cabin is an 8.4-inch touchscreen with the newest version of Uconnect, HD and satellite radio, two USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The SRT 392 model builds upon the Scat Pack's offerings, adding xenon headlights, a special air intake, power-folding mirrors, beefier front Brembo brakes (six-piston front), adaptive suspension dampers, a power-adjustable and heated sport steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, configurable driving modes, an 18-speaker audio system, navigation, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The SRT Hellcat is all about raw speed, evidenced by its whomping supercharged 6.2-liter V8 (707 hp, 650 lb-ft). It's also equipped with unique exterior styling, a sportier suspension, quad exhaust tips, automatic high beams and automatic wipers.
Not too crazy, right? Most of the above trims pair a new set of features with an increasingly more powerful engine. The fun part is that many of the features and performance upgrades from the upper trims are available on the lower trims as part of subtrims and packages themselves. Buckle up.
The R/T Shaker and 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker (a variant of the R/T and Scat Pack, respectively) add a Shaker hood with a large cold air-induction scoop extending through the hood as well as the Super Track Pak performance items (see below), black exterior trim elements and a sport steering wheel. Exclusive to the R/T version of this trim are the rearview camera, rear parking sensors, sport seats and satellite radio. The Scat Pack version gets the power-adjustable and heated steering wheel.
New for 2017 are the T/A and T/A 392 subtrims, which modify the R/T and Scat Pack, respectively. They include many upgrades from the Shaker variants, along with styling elements from the Hellcat, including the unique air intake that masquerades as a headlight.
Still with us? Going with the Plus versions of the SXT, R/T, R/T Shaker and T/A gets you a bunch of features. It ensures that all trims get 20-inch wheels, foglights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, the power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated sport seats, leather upholstery, the 8.4-inch touchscreen and its entertainment features and the Alpine sound system. The SXT also gets the brakes from the R/T. The R/T Plus Shaker includes imitation-suede seat inserts.
As we said, there are many features packages that add features to specific trims. We won't list them all, but here are a few notables:
For those who like to turn the volume up to 11, the Sound Group I (SXT, R/T, R/T Shaker, T/A) adds the Alpine stereo system, while Sound Group II (all Plus models, both Scat Pack models, T/A 392) adds a nine-speaker system. The same models are eligible for the 18-speaker audio system with the Premium Audio package.
Looking for more luxury and safety features? Try the Cold Weather package (SXT, SXT Plus, R/T), which adds heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Convenience package (all models except the SRT 392 and Hellcat) includes the xenon headlights, power-folding mirrors, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and remote engine start. The Technology package (all models except the Hellcat) adds adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, automatic wipers and forward collision warning.
The 2017 Challenger is all about performance, and there's no reason why the expensive trims should get all the fun. The Super Sport package for the SXT adds 20-inch wheels, a shorter rear-axle ratio, the performance brakes from the R/T, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles and a rear spoiler. The Super Track Pak (all SXT and R/T models) includes the Super Sport's features, as well as the rearview camera, rear parking sensors, sport-tuned steering and suspension, and performance reporting functions in the trip computer (0-60 timer, g-force loads, etc.). Upgraded brakes are available on R/T and above trims with this package.
The Challenger also offers a variety of retro-look side- and hood-stripe options as well. The Blacktop package (SXT models, R/T, R/T Plus) adds black-colored exterior trim and a few other extra features from other packages.
A sunroof and navigation system are optional on all Challenger trims. New SRT model buyers also get a one-day course at an SRT Driving Experience school.
|Overall||4.0 / 5|
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Challenger models:
- Blind-Spot Monitoring
- A light on either of the Challenger's side mirrors illuminates when a vehicle enters its blind spot.
- Forward Collision Warning
- An alert will sound and a warning message will display on the instrument panel when the Challenger detects an imminent collision.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- This system sounds a warning if a vehicle is approaching the Challenger from the side while it is traveling in reverse.