If you’re a Dodge fan, one burning question probably plagues you the most. Is the Charger or the Challenger the superior Dodge? It’s difficult to answer, especially if you’re standing on the car lot and have to make a decision. If that’s you, never fear. Consumer Reports says one 2021 model is superior to the other.
The 2021 Dodge Challenger
The 2021 Dodge Challenger boasts the old-school looks that classic-car lovers crave but with all the modern conveniences that are becoming harder to live without. That said, its wide frame is better suited to the track rather than winding roads.
The price range is surprisingly affordable at the lower end of the scale. It starts at $28,295, well within many consumers’ budgets. The high-end price of $58,995 is not, but it still gives potential owners plenty of options.
Dodge offers both a V6 and V8 engine on the Challenger. The performance range is also very diverse, and the SRT Hellcat Redeye can produce up to 797 hp.
According to Consumer Reports, “It might feel bulky in routine driving, but the Challenger proves surprisingly capable despite its heft. It snarls and hangs on in corners like a Rottweiler with a rib eye. Braking is exceptional.”
Despite all these great features, there are definitely some negatives to the 2021 Dodge Challenger. For one, visibility is dreadful. Though the body frame may look amazing, it also makes it hard to see out the windows. For passengers, that’s not a big deal. But drivers don’t have the luxury of overlooking this one major flaw.
Other areas that left Consumer Reports a little torn were stiff shifter and clutch, poor ride comfort, and loud noises while driving. The back seat is also an issue. It’s roomy enough — once you squeeze back there. Getting in and out can be an issue, so make sure you haven’t skipped yoga class.
The 2021 Dodge Charger
The Dodge Charger is still considered a muscle car, but it’s beginning to blend the lines between muscle and luxury. It comes with four doors, making entering and exiting easier than the Challenger, but the Charger still has that tough look that many Dodge vehicles are known for.
The Charger offers a wide array of engine options, ranging from the standard 3.6-liter V6 to a powerful Hemi 8. The 8-speed automatic shifts smoothly. The ride is also surprisingly quiet, but the Charger can still let out a powerful growl when it comes time to peel out.
It has plenty of room, especially in the trunk. On the flipside, the Charger is definitely not designed for the track. This is largely due to its size, so if you’re looking for something to race, the Charger isn’t it.
Also, visibility is still poor. Optional blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning goes a long way toward helping alleviate this problem, but only if you’re willing to pay more.
Which is the superior Dodge?
In this battle of the Dodge muscle cars, there can be only one winner. For 2021, the Challenger prevails. Sorry, Charger fans. It was a tough decision, but it all comes down to the reliability rating. If not for that, the Charger would be the clear winner.
The 2021 Dodge Charger scored a rating of only 4 out of 5 from Consumer Reports. That’s not terrible, but the Challenger earned a perfect score of 5.
Consumer Reports didn’t mention its reasoning for giving the Charger a lower reliability rating. A note attached stated, “Consumer Reports obtains its reliability data from a questionnaire that is sent to subscribers. In the questionnaire, we ask subscribers to note any problems with their cars that occurred in the past 12 months. They are asked to identify problems that they considered serious (because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime).”
Let’s hope Consumer Reports will go into more details later. In the meantime, the choice between the Charger and the Challenger might boil down to the amount of room you need.