The 2017 Dodge Challenger is pure muscle car, through and through. From the aggressive, retro styling to the range of increasingly big and powerful engines, Dodge has built a rumbling, roaring, tire-smoking beast. Yet the Challenger still has comfortable seats and all the modern features buyers expect.
The real story with the Challenger is the range of available powertrains, which includes a V6 and three V8 engine options. The base 3.6-liter V6 makes a respectable 305 horsepower, and, for the first time ever, is available with all-wheel drive. The V6 is the only engine option that can be paired with AWD, but it means that buyers who live with snow and ice can finally get their hands on a muscle car that's drivable all year round.
Stepping up from the V6, the Dodge Challenger can be had with either a 5.7-liter V8, making 375 horsepower, or a 6.4-liter V8 that makes an impressive 485 horsepower. Optional for both of these engines is another tip of the hat to Chrysler/Dodge muscle cars of the past: the Shaker hood. This adds a cool-air induction scoop that's mounted to the top of the engine and extends through a cutout in the hood. At the top of the Challenger line is the absolutely bonkers 707-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 in the Challenger Hellcat. No other new car offers as much power for as little money. Quad exhaust tips and some unique styling cues help set the Hellcat apart.
An extensive list of extra performance options can be added to upgrade the Challenger's brakes, suspension and handling. Four- and six-piston Brembo brakes are available, as well as sport-tuned steering and suspension, and even a shorter rear-axle ratio for buyers chasing even faster acceleration. The trip computer can be upgraded to report 0-60 mph times, g-force loads and other performance numbers.
Of course, the 2017 Dodge Challenger has much more to offer than just the bits that make it go fast. Keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system come standard. Heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery and upgraded interior trim can be added to make the car more comfortable. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration is available and can be matched with available premium audio systems. The options don't stop there, though: a rearview camera, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and xenon headlights are all also available.
The Challenger is uniquely appealing for anyone after that American muscle-car look and feel, but the extensive list of trims and powertrain, appearance, and interior options come in so many combinations that figuring out exactly which version to buy is a daunting task. Fortunately, Edmunds is here to help you find the right 2017 Dodge Challenger to put some tire smoke in your life.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.