The Dodge Challenger is a modern American muscle car. Its iconic image paired with its rumbling nostalgic engine are timeless. By keeping up with modern technology it is competitive in its class. But if you are looking for a nimble navigator, avoid the Dodge Challenger.
This Dodge coupe is hyped up and in many ways it’s putting fashion over function, something we aren’t necessarily fans of. It’s definitely not the worst car out there, but it’s not as handy as others in it class like the Mustang or the Camaro.
Opt for standard?
The first red flag that something just isn’t quite right with the Challenger comes from Car and Driver’s review of the 2020 model. They wrote: “Believe it or not, we’d opt for the $1595 automatic, because it’s much more responsive than the slushy-feeling stick-shift gearbox.”
A high performance car with a reputation for having a robust engine and exciting power, sure. But what’s the point if the manual version isn’t as fun as the standard transmission?
The Dodge Challenger isn’t up to the challenge when it comes to a nice, handy driving experience. Drag racer? Maybe. But is it going to dominate a complicated obstacle course of cones? Probably not.
Complaints over the years
There have been some major complaints about the Dodge Challenger over the years. The Challenger’s complaints were pretty gnarly too. People have complained over the years and had problems with various model years.
Owners complain of the alternator failing at 50k miles. Also, many reported a bad totally integrated power module (TIPM) after around 43k miles, in addition to the engine shutting down while driving at 37k miles.
These are obviously some worrying complaints, and they all seem to be happening conveniently after the 36k mile 3 year bumper to bumper warranty expires.
Bad gas milage
If you are looking for an accelerating beast with great fuel economy, avoid the Dodge Challenger. This car has changed almost nothing since it first went into production. The gas mileage has changed, though –– it’s gotten worse.
The 2009 Challenger had an overall combined mpg of 20 with 17 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. Flash forward a decade to the 2019 model. After 10 years of innovation and advancement, the 2019 Dodge Challenger gets an overall rating of 18 mpg receiving 15 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway.
We understand that when you buy a muscle car you aren’t exactly hunting for the beast with the best fuel economy. But since this is a popular car that many use as their daily driver, you’d think that the fuel economy would have at least just stayed the same.
It’s not offered as a convertible
Others in the Dodge Challenger’s class like the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro give buyers the option to buy these models in their convertible form. At least not a factory built one.
As iconic as the Challenger is, the freedom of a droptop would be the cherry on top. But, alas, it’s not available. If you’re looking for a convertible coupe, avoid the Dodge Challenger.
Avoid the Challenger
The Dodge Challenger is undeniably popular. It’s the first ever to increase sales consistently year after year since its debut in 2009. It sports a powerful motor with proper performance capabilities, but it is one to avoid if you’re hunting for an efficient convertible with road-gripping agility and a graceful, dexterous handle.