- Retro muscle coupe, seats 5
- V-6 or V-8 power
- Performance suspension now available across all trims
The 2014 Dodge Challenger returns for the new model year with only a few small changes, and thankfully more of the same retro styling and big time horsepower.
There is something romantic about the notion of taking a big engine and stuffing into a car that’s designed to leave smoke behind in a straight line. The Challenger is somewhat built on nostalgia; the other pillars of American muscle, Mustang and Camaro, have styling elements that harken back to the golden age of muscle cars, but the Challenger is the only one that looks like it has a chance of actually blending in during that era. It has a long hood and a short deck-lid out back which gives the Challenger classic proportions. 18-inch wheels are standard, with 20-inch wheels optional. Fog lights, a sunroof, and HID headlights are also available. Buyers can also choose from an assortment of striping options, from hood-to-tail stripes to detailed dual body side stripes.
For a car to really be considered a muscle car it has to get it done under the hood, and the Challenger does that. There are three engine options, the first being a 305-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 which makes 268 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a five-speed automatic. R/T models get an upgrade to a 372-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 400 pounds-feet of torque (numbers jump to 375 and 410 respectively with the six-speed manual), mated to a six-speed manual or the five-speed automatic. Rounding out the lineup is the high-performance SRT which gets a 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 making 470 pounds-feet of torque. For 2014, the performance suspension and brakes is now available across all trim levels.
As you’d imagine, the fuel economy of a traditional muscle car is not its shining feature. The V-6 returns 18/27 mpg city/highway, while the 5.7L V-8 is surprisingly efficient for its size/power at 15/23 mpg city/highway. The top-end, 6.4L V-8 checks in just behind that at 14/23 mpg city/highway.
The 2014 Challenger offers automatic air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, a powered driver’s seat, and 60/40 split rear seats as standard features. Available interior features include satellite navigation, Uconnect hands-free system with Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, climate control, contrasting red leather accents, and milled aluminum pedals.
The Challenger’s crash test performance was good enough to earn it a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA. Challengers come standard with front, front-side, and side-curtain airbags, traction control, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes, while rear parking sensors are available to prevent unwanted run-ins with parking garage walls.