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The Dodge Challenger has been around for a long time now, but the muscle car’s tenure will come to an end next year. That’s right; Dodge is discontinuing the Challenger after the 2023 model year. Perhaps it’s an appropriate time to do so, given the overly familiar model’s refusal to change with the times, like the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. In addition to the almost overstayed welcome of the model, critics have a few other complaints about the 2023 Dodge Challenger. 

What handles better, the Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger?

The Dodge Challenger might produce higher horsepower figures across comparable trims than the Ford Mustang, but it can’t compare in terms of handling. The Dodge Challenger is bigger, heavier, and more cumbersome than the comparatively dainty Mustang, making for less sporty handling. 

A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, like the R/T Scat Pack, shows off its retro lights and wide stance on a cobblestone road.
A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat | Stellantis

U.S. News goes as far as to call the 2023 Dodge Challenger’s handling “unimpressive.” That makes sense, with some Widebody Hellcat variants weighing as much as 4,500 lbs. In comparison, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 weighs around 3,793 lbs. As a result, the Mustang and Camaro are far more well-suited for track work than the Challenger. 

It should be said that the Dodge model has no business handling as well as it does. The brute’s platform is a long-term loaner from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and packs independent suspension, unlike the S197-generation Ford Mustang. Moreover, the upper-tier Challengers pack sports-oriented equipment like adaptive dampers and Brembo brakes to get as many corner-ready credentials as Dodge could out of a brick.   

The 2023 Dodge Challenger lacks cabin quality, compared to sports car rivals

According to U.S. News, the 2023 Dodge Challenger’s cabin is “low-quality and aging.” A glance at the latest model’s interior compared to models past confirms this conclusion. The 2023 Challenger’s interior looks very similar to a 2016 iteration.    

Moreover, Car and Driver called the latest Dodge muscle coupe’s cabin materials “déclassé.” More so than material quality, the Challenger’s interior’s aesthetic hasn’t been updated since 2015. For instance, familiar drivers will find the 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen in the same place as previous model years and the same style of analog gauges. 

Are Dodge Challengers safe cars?

The Dodge Challenger isn’t known for its safety scores. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) testing, the 2022 Dodge Challenger earned “Marginal” and “Acceptable” scores in crashworthiness categories like driver-side front impact. 

Still, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2021 model a five-star safety rating. Beyond crashworthiness scores, the large coupe has a lack of standard safety features. According to TrueCar, equipment like blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation, and rear cross-traffic alert are optional for the Dodge model. Those features are standard on many other vehicles. 

Also, U.S. News says the Dodge Challenger’s rearward visibility leaves much to be desired. As a result, the Challenger isn’t the safest option in the sports car market. However, the large coupe offers optional all-wheel drive (AWD) with V6-powered models, a valuable feature for inclement weather. AWD isn’t available on the Challenger’s closest competitors, the Camaro and Mustang. 

Is Dodge discontinuing the Challenger in 2023?

Unfortunately for fans of the Dodge Challenger, the automaker is discontinuing it after 2023. However, the marque will release several special edition “Last Call” models to celebrate the namesake. 

What do you think of the last Challenger? Tell us in the comments below!


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