The thought of having a muscle car with a V6 engine under its hood might seem sacrilegious to many enthusiasts, however, there’s a reason why they exist. For example, the entry-level 2022 Dodge Challenger SXT has a V6 under the hood, but it also has the same classic American styling at its more muscular stablemates and gets decent fuel economy.
But who cares about fuel economy and looks when you have the option of a 400-plus horsepower V8, right? Sure, but there’s some merit to buying the Challenger SXT if you don’t care about having neck-snapping power. Let’s take a closer look and see if the base-model Challenger is worth buying.
Is the 2022 Dodge Challenger SXT fast?
While the 2022 Dodge Challenger SXT is not a genuine race car or crazy muscle car, it’s still fast enough to be fun. Tucked between the front fenders of the Challenger SXT is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that pushes out 303 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to the rear wheels, however, there is an option for all-wheel drive.
In Car and Driver’s testing, the 2015 Challenger SXT – which has the same powertrain – was able to get from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and down the quarter-mile in a respectable 14.8 seconds. No, that’s technically not very fast by modern muscle car standards, but you’ll be able to blow the doors off the 2022 Honda Civic sitting at the light next to you – whether they know that they’re racing you, or not.
Its comfortable ride and massive trunk area are highlights
In case you don’t think that the Challenger SXT’s engine is anything to write home about, you might like everything else it has to offer. According to Kelley Blue Book, every 2022 Challenger comes standard with 18-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone auto climate control, and a seven-inch infotainment screen.
Apple Carplay and Android Auto are also standard equipment as are a pair of USB ports and a six-speaker sound system. Not impressed yet? In that case, you’ll have to sit inside a Challenger to get the full experience. Despite the fact that the front buckets are made of cloth, they are very comfortable and there’s even plenty of space for the rearseat passengers. One feature that is sure to surprise you is the amount of trunk room the Challenger has.
The large trunk area measures at 16.2 cubic feet which, for reference, is only slightly smaller than the trunk found in the current Honda Accord (16.7 cubic feet).
The Challenger SXT makes a great daily driver
While many muscle car enthusiasts will likely look over the 2022 Dodge Challenger SXT and all of its base-model glory, they would be remiss in doing so. While the SXT doesn’t have the same tire-shredding horsepower as its siblings, or even the same aggressive aesthetics, it makes for a great daily driver. Speaking of fuel economy, the Challenger SXT can garner an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which means it’s easy on your wallet during long commutes.
Overall, with a starting price under $30,000, we would say that the Challenger SXT is worth buying if you want muscle-car looks without all of the raucous power and sportiness. All things considered, the SXT might still seem sacrilegious, but there’s a reason that it’s still part of the lineup.