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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Dodge Challenger

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Expert's Rating


MPG 15 City / 24 Highway
  • Retro design
  • Smooth and comfortable ride
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Limited rear visibility
  • Basic-looking interior
  • V6 model doesn't get Manual transmission
The Dodge Challenger is one of the recent muscle cars released with a 21st century flavor. It's a two-door 2+2 seat coupe with the option of a V6 or two different V8 engines. What sets it apart from a number of other sports cars is its ride. While the car can be a bit heavy as it hits the apex of a corner, on the highway it is quiet as can be and composed over rough surfaces. That gets stiffened on the high end SRT8 model, but is an effective cruiser throughout the trim lines.


In fact, while the SRT8 feels more planted in corners, drivers may feel that the base SXT model turns more easily thanks to the lighter engine up front. The engines are also a major choice, ranging from 305 HP to 470 HP, leading to fuel economy numbers of 14 to 18 MPG in the city. The Dodge Challenger may not be the most costly muscle car off the lot, but it can hit hard at the tank.

See our picks for best coupes in the CarsDirect 2013 Coupe Buying Guide.

Nice features for the purist with a modern bent include the leather wrapped steering wheel with sound controls and gear shift in automatics. There are five seats, but Challenger owners may only want to use the middle seat for small children on short trips. In addition, there is a voice activated navigation and multimedia system that keeps eyes on the road without missing out on music or the next turn. In case of the worst, traction control can help the Challenger on the road during a skid, and the full complement of airbags helps protect occupants if it can’t.

The Ford Mustang GT has better braking and is faster to 60 MPH, but no power seats, navigation and a live rear axle can make the cabin uncomfortable. The Chevrolet Camaro has similar interior issues, as well as just two cupholders, but also brakes better. The Nissan 370Z doesn’t have the classic cachet of the Challenger, but is an all-around better handling car, though front-seat occupants might find a tight fit. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is weaker throughout the entire power band, but doesn’t feel as heavy in turns and has similar amenities.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Dodge Challenger
Starting price

2013 Dodge Challenger R/T

Recommended for: Buyers craving a V8, but who also want to be comfortable

The Dodge Challenger R/T upgrades the engine to a 410 HP V8 which gives good acceleration, and is available with a sportier suspension. Interior amenities are where it stands out. The speakers are upgraded and come matched with a stereo that also offers satellite radio compared to the SXT. For safety and ease of use, Bluetooth allows for handsfree calling. Makeup mirrors are now lit for late-night touch-ups, and seat-back pockets are standard. A number of options that are standard on the SRT8 can help Dodge Challenger R/T buyers choose a la carte packages.

2013 Dodge Challenger
Starting price

2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8

Recommended for: Those who like burnouts and leather in their car

The Dodge Challenger SRT8 is built with the idea that power is great, but getting it to the ground is critical. So the V8 puts out 470 HP, enough for sub-5 second zero-to 60 times, but the SRT8 comes with a limited slip differential to keep the power at the wheels. There's also multi-setting suspension system and steering wheel controls for gear shifts. Seats are heated and so are the side mirrors. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather for improved feel and is also heated. Parking assist is standard as is a programmable garage door opener, and high beams are also adjustable. Inside, a premium navigation system and speaker system with voice recognition are standard.

2013 Dodge Challenger
Starting price

2013 Dodge Challenger SXT

Recommended for: For those who want the look, but don't need the pop

The Dodge Challenger SXT is the base model, but is surprisingly well-optioned. The driver's seat has power adjustments and automatic climate control. Drivers on the go, or in cold weather climates, will appreciate the remote start on Dodge Challengers with automatic transmission. MP3 and auxiliary inputs are standard for music lovers. While the V6 "only" puts out 305 HP compared to other trims, it handles pretty well because the weight is reduced. Safety is a watchword, with all-disc brakes and front, side and side curtain airbags. Active head restraints are also standard in the event of an accident.

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