The Dodge Challenger Is Dying a Very Slow and Painful Death
The Challenger is one of the American automaker’s two cars slated for retirement and revamping. Perhaps because of this iconic powerhouse’s discontinuation, Dodge Challenger sales have dwindled. Still, interest remains in the 2023 model because it’s one of the few V8-powered muscle cars customers can buy new. However, the drastic sales drop isn’t encouraging for its expected replacement. It also isn’t a proper sendoff for one of America’s favorite sports cars.
Here’s a look at the Dodge Challenger’s slow and painful death.
2023 Dodge Challenger sales are dwindling
Car sales vary based on industry trends and other factors. That means no vehicle will always be a top seller. However, Dodge Challenger sales are much lower than most would expect this year. Last month, the car sold 3,692 units, down nearly 32% from the same month in 2022. Recent reports show the 2023 Dodge Challenger has sold 35,351 units this year, down 42,279 units from last year.
Besides the Hornet, which sold only 584 units last month, the Challenger is the worst-selling Dodge model. The Durango is also more popular, selling 5,491 units. And the Charger, which is also being discontinued, moved 5,638 units last month. It has sold 63,646 units this year, up by 1.10%.
Are outdated powertrains to blame for lower Dodge Challenger sales?
One potential reason for the slumping Dodge Challenger sales is it’s an outdated vehicle. Of course, enthusiasts love fast cars, but most consumers would like a more fuel-efficient option. The 2023 Challenger comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine making 303 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. It also has rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Next on the engine list is a 5.7-liter V8 producing 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Dodge pairs this powerplant with a six-speed manual transmission. The 2023 Challenger also offers other engine options, including the iconic Hellcat. The most potent is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 harnessing 807 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque.
Regarding fuel economy, the Challenger base model averages 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. That isn’t bad, but gas mileage decreases as the engines grow more powerful.
Is the 2023 Challenger overpriced for what it provides?
Pricing might be another factor in the Challenger’s low sales. Dodge starts the base model at $32,465, an attractive MSRP for a powerful vehicle. Still, that price might be too steep for a nearly dead model.
One of its drawbacks is that it has only two doors, making it less practical. Of course, plenty of successful two-door sports cars exist, but perhaps consumers want a four-door option from a car as large as the Challenger.
Additionally, if shoppers want real power, they must upgrade to one of the more expensive Challenger trims, which can cost over $70,000.
Overall, the 2023 Dodge Challenger is an appealing option for enthusiasts. But in an era when most consumers want practical, fuel-efficient transportation, the muscle car is a dying breed.