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  • William Kinton
    Automotive Editor - December 11, 2018

    2019 Dodge Challenger OVERVIEW

    The 2019 Dodge Challenger is one of the last pure American muscle cars you can buy. It's unapologetically big and brash, and it's available with some serious firepower under the hood. At the same time, it's quite comfortable and can be fit with luxurious touches, making it a fantastic highway cruiser capable of eye-watering speeds.

    What's New for 2019

    For 2019, Dodge has released a new trim of the Challenger with even more power, the SRT Hellcat Redeye, which features 797 horsepower. Dodge has also discontinued the Demon trim. The R/T Scat Pack is now available with the same Widebody package that the SRT Hellcat has access to, while the SXT and GT trims are now available with either rear- or all-wheel drive. Additionally, all SRT Hellcat models get a new snorkel hood, and Scat Pack models get the "power bulge" aluminum hood with heat extractors. Rear-wheel-drive Challenger R/T and GT models receive standard high-performance suspensions.

    2015 Dodge Challenger

    Choosing Your Dodge Challenger

    The Dodge Challenger line is vast and deep, with nearly $60,000 separating the least expensive SXT models and the hardcore, top-of-the-line SRT Hellcat Redeye. The biggest differences between these models is the amount of power at your disposal. Starting from the bottom, the SXT and GT models receive a 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower, while the R/T is the entry point for a V8, as it's equipped with a 375-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi. Moving up the line, the R/T Scat Pack gets a larger 6.4-liter 392 Hemi V8 with a very healthy 475 hp, while the infamous SRT Hellcat gets 717 hp from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, a 10 hp bump over the previous model year. Finally, at the top of the mountain is the SRT Hellcat Redeye, with 797 hp from a re-worked version of the standard Hellcat's engine.

    While the V6 models and the SRT Hellcat Redeye are limited to an eight-speed automatic transmission as the only option, all other V8 models come standard with a six-speed manual. The automatic does remain optional in these trims, but it will cost you $1,595. Additionally, all-wheel drive is available for an extra $3,000, but that configuration is only offered on the two V6 trims.

    Many packages exist across multiple trim levels of the Challenger, from the SXT to the Hellcat Redeye. The Plus Package is offered on most trims, but the contents and prices of the packages do change from trim to trim as standard features are added to successive trim levels. A package that does exist consistently on multiple trims is the $495 Cold Weather Group, which adds heated seats and a heated steering wheel to the SXT, GT, and R/T trims.


    The SXT is the entry-point for the Challenger, starting at $28,990 (all prices include the $1,395 destination charge). As previously mentioned, the SXT gets a V6 with 305 hp; it's a big number, but keep in mind that this is also a big car. If you ask for a Challenger at the rental car counter, this is probably the one you'll get. The SXT comes reasonably well equipped for a base model, with features like keyless entry, cloth sport seats, dual-zone climate control, a sport suspension, a six-speaker audio system, and a seven-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    The SXT gets access to quite a few packages that add serious content. First up is the $1,095 Blacktop Package, which includes a variety of appearance changes like black 20-inch wheels, a black fuel-filler cap, a black spoiler lip, a black grille, and black instrument cluster rings. They also give you a leather steering wheel, fog lights, and a 3.07 rear axle ratio for better acceleration. There's also the $1,095 Driver Convenience Group which adds blind-spot monitoring, fog lights, HID headlights, rear park assist, power mirrors, a remote start system, and a garage door opener, as well as the $1,295 Technology Group, which adds adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic high-beams.

    The $3,000 Plus Package adds almost everything offered in other packages to the SXT. On this trim, you get 20-inch aluminum wheels, an upgraded speaker system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, performance brakes, heated front seats and steering wheel, Nappa leather sport seats, rear park assist, satellite radio, and some interior trim upgrades. Keep in mind though, that choosing the Plus Package will also force you to get the Driver Convenience Group. Standalone options include a sunroof for $1,295 and an upgraded Alpine speaker system for $995.


    Starting at $31,690, the GT was formerly posed as the Challenger with all-wheel drive, but is now available with rear wheel drive as well so it's basically just an SXT with more content. It's immediately distinguishable with its unique hood and aggressive front splitter, but it also gets a performance suspension and steering set up to make it sportier. The GT still has cloth seats, but also comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, remote vehicle start, a universal garage door opener, and rear park assist.

    Packages include the same Blacktop Package as the SXT, though slightly cheaper at $995 due to the removal of features that are standard on the GT. The Driver Convenience Group stays the same price, but now only adds blind-spot monitoring, HID headlights, and power mirrors, while the Technology Group also stays the same price, but adds forward collision warning. While the rear-park assist, universal garage door opener, and remote start are now standard features, the GT's Plus Package keeps the price the same at $3,000 by also including the Dodge Performance Pages to the infotainment system to allow for customization of driving styles, as well as the inclusion of ventilated Nappa and Alcantara performance seats that are nicer than the ones in the SXT's package. As with the previous trim, adding the Plus Package will force you to add the Driver Convenience Group as well.

    One additional package that's not offered on the SXT is the $1,495 Performance Handling Group, which adds unique black 20-inch wheels, bigger Brembo four-piston brakes with black calipers, and a high-performance suspension. Standalone options include the option to get red brake calipers for $495, a stripe down the side of the car for $395, navigation for $1,095, the power sunroof, and a Harmon Kardon premium speaker system with a subwoofer for $1,595.


    The R/T is the entry-point for the V8-powered Challengers, starting at $35,690. Instead of a V6, the R/T gets a 375-hp, 5.7-liter V8 that's paired to a six-speed manual transmission. As mentioned earlier, the automatic is still available, but all-wheel drive is no longer an option from here on out. It's largely equipped the same way as the GT, with the performance hood, splitter, suspension and steering, and the Blacktop Package and Plus Packages are basically unchanged in price and content as the GT.

    There are changes to some of the other packages that are offered across other models. The Driver Convenience Group has risen in price to $1,295, as it now adds the Rhombi Illuminated Air Catcher Headlamp that provides cool air to the engine. Additionally, the price of the Technology Group has fallen to $495 for manual models as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning aren't available with manual-equipped cars. The Performance Handling Group remains the same price, but adds a new rear axle and rear axle ratio to the mix.

    The R/T also features several new packages that aren't available on lower trim levels. They include the $1,495 Performance Plus Package which builds off of the Performance Handling Group by adding black forged wheels and stickier Pirelli summer tires as well as the $1,295 R/T Classic Package, that adds polished aluminum wheels, a side stripe, HID headlights, and some extra Challenger badges. There's also the $2,500 "Shaker" Package that includes the famous "Shaker" style hood and intake, new badges and decals, and some appearance changes like a black grille and fuel door. Additionally, the $3,400 T/A Package adds a black satin hood, roof and trunk lid, air-catcher headlights, a cold-air intake, T/A decals and badges, and a black grille, fuel door, and spoiler. Last of all is the Rear Seat Delete which removes the largely useless rear seat and related hardware for 50 pounds less weight to carry and a cargo net for $1. Individual options include many of the options found on previous trims, but add front strut tower bracing for $695, a hood-pin kit for $425, and a variety of decals, graphics and wheels to help you make your Challenger your own.

    R/T Scat Pack

    The R/T Scat Pack starts at $41,390 including a $1,000 Gas Guzzler Tax, and includes the largest naturally aspirated engine in the Challenger line-up: a 6.4-liter V8 with 475 hp. Alongside this monstrosity, the R/T Scat Pack includes line lock and launch control, heated cloth seats and leather steering wheel, and four-piston Brembo brakes. Additionally, the interior features the 8.4-inch infotainment screen, instead of the seven-inch screen found in the lower trims. Otherwise, the trimmings are generally similar to what the lower trim levels offer.

    Packages begin to be shaken up a bit at this level, but the R/T Scat Pack is still offered with the same "Shaker" and T/A Packages as the R/T, alongside the same Technology Group, Driver Convenience Group, and Rear Seat Delete Package offerings from before. A Plus Package is also offered on the R/T Scat Pack for $1,695, and includes the Nappa and Alcantara seats, a door trim panel with ambient lighting, and a power adjustable steering wheel. New packages include the $6,000 Widebody Package that flares out the fenders and adds wider wheels for extra grip, adaptive dampening widebody suspension, six-piston Brembo brakes, and a performance shift indicator. If you'd prefer some of those goodies, but could live without the widening of an already wide car, the $2,200 Dynamics Package will give you upgraded six-piston brakes and wheels, albeit ones that aren't as wide as the ones in the Widebody Package. New individual options include adaptive dampening suspension for $995, some additional graphics options, and a performance spoiler for $695.

    SRT Hellcat

    If 475 hp isn't enough for you, you're in luck. Enter the infamous SRT Hellcat, starting at $61,745 (including a $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax), with 717 hp courtesy of a 6.2-liter supercharged V8. The Hellcat will do the quarter mile in just 11.2 seconds in standard configuration, and will reach a top speed of 199 mph. It also gets the six-piston Brembo performance front brakes, the adaptive dampening suspension, and the 8.4-inch infotainment screen with SRT Performance pages as standard equipment as well. Believe it or not, despite this car's price, the standard seats are still covered in the same houndstooth cloth as the SXT.

    The Hellcat has access to the same Driver Convenience Group, Technology Group, and Rear Seat Delete Package as the previous trims, and the Plus Package is basically the same as the one on the R/T Scat Pack. The Widebody Package remains $6,000, but only adds the fender flares, wider wheels, and Widebody-specific suspension as the adaptive suspension is now standard. The two new packages include the Alcantara Appearance Package for $1,795, which adds an Alcantara steering wheel and seats, and the $1,795 Laguna Leather Package that gives you nicer leather seats with more color options than you get with the Plus pack.

    SRT Hellcat Redeye

    At the top of the trim ladder is the new SRT Hellcat Redeye, which starts at $72,745. The Redeye gets an extra 80 hp, boosting the power to 797 hp and it comes standard with the eight-speed automatic transmission. This extra power allows it to hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, pass the quarter-mile mark in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, and continue to a top speed of 203 mph. However, like the Hellcat, the Redeye still gets the same performance cloth seats in standard configuration.

    Packages are slightly different with the Redeye. The Driver Convenience Group remains the same, but the Technology Package has its price increased to $1,295 while at the same time losing the access to adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning. However, the Widebody Package is the same as the "regular" Hellcat, as is the Plus Package, Rear Seat Delete Group, Laguna Leather Package, and Alcantara Appearance Package. There's also the free Lightweight Package, which adds a lightweight washer fluid bottle, but it also makes you get the Widebody Package, sunroof, and upgraded Harmon Kardon speaker system, all of which add extra weight.

    CarsDirect Tip

    The real sweet spot for the 2019 Dodge Challenger is with the R/T Scat Pack. It's $6,000 more than the regular R/T, but the extra horsepower makes a huge difference for this large muscle car. It may be hard to believe that 375 horses aren't enough, but the Challenger can easily surpass two tons, making it weigh as much as some larger SUVs. With 475 hp, it'll feel much more like the muscle car you want.

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