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The Dodge Challenger is on its way out of production after the 2023 model year. In comparison, the Ford Mustang is getting a new lease on life for the pony car’s seventh generation. Still, even with the end in sight, TrueCar gave the top spot in their ‘muscle car’ category to the Challenger, well ahead of the beloved Mustang.

TrueCar gave the Dodge Challenger the No. 1 spot in the ‘muscle car’ segment

Although Stellantis and Dodge are discontinuing the Mopar model, the Challenger snagged the No. 1 spot on TrueCar’s list of the best muscle cars for 2023. Unsurprisingly, evaluators appreciated a few things about the Challenger above all else:

  • Powerful V8 engine options
  • More spacious than competitors in the segment
  • Thoroughly customizable, with many trims to consider
A 2023 Dodge Challenger shows off its striped gray paint work and muscle car styling on a back road.
Dodge Challenger | Stellantis

However, the Dodge Challenger isn’t perfect; the Mopar model’s significant size and weight dull its handling compared to more nimble competitors like the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro. Moreover, the Dodge model’s limited suite of standard safety features and visibility leave something to be desired. 

Still, even with its issues, the Challenger scored first. Moreover, TrueCar gave the Ford Mustang the No. 7 spot on the list, behind vehicles whose ‘muscle car’ credentials are questionable, like the BMW M3 and Alfa Romeo Giulia. Many of the cars on the list seem more at home in the luxury sports sedan space.   

How much horsepower does a base Dodge Challenger have?

One of the Challenger’s most redeeming qualities is its abundance of horsepower in the V8 trims. The base Dodge Challenger SXT produces 303 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque from its 3.6L Pentastar V6. 

However, horsepower figures swell up to 375 and 485 in the V8-powered R/T and R/T Scat Pack, respectively. Still, die-hard fans with the budget and the need for more will opt for Dodge’s supercharged offerings, like the SRT Hellcat and SRT Hellcat Redeye. The Hellcat produces a tire-vaporizing 717 horsepower, and the Redeye bumps the number up to 797. At the summit of Horsepower Hill, the SRT Super Stock makes 807 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2L V8. 

Each of the Challenger’s engine options is available in its four-door sibling, the Charger. Incidentally, TrueCar gave the Charger the No. 2 spot on the list.  

Is a Challenger bigger than a Mustang?

The Dodge Challenger’s physical stature is a benefit and a detriment. The Challenger is bigger than a Mustang in every metric, including length, width, weight, and cargo capacity. As a result, the Challenger’s 16.2 cubic feet of storage capacity is much more accommodating than the Mustang’s 13.5. 

A blue 2022 Ford Mustang GT CS poses for a picture on a flight deck.
Ford Mustang GT California Special | Ford

However, even with the Challenger’s added back seat space and trunk volume, the model’s large size makes it less responsive and agile than the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro

Why is Dodge Challenger being discontinued?

The 2023 Dodge Challenger will be the last iteration before the automaker discontinues it. Unfortunately for fans, Dodge is focusing on more efficient and alternative energy projects, like the Charger Daytona SRT EV. Still, the Challenger nameplate will likely return as an electrified or hybridized option.


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