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For nearly 50 years, the Dodge Challenger has delighted muscle car enthusiasts from across the country. A lot of drivers are drawn to its classic styling. Impressive comfort and an available AWD system make the 2019 Challenger even harder to pass up. As always, it continues to offer endless excitement on the road. While the Challenger is a fun car, the competition has become even stronger. Does the new Challenger live up to its iconic nameplate?
What's New for 2019?
Sadly, the ultra-powerful Demon model has been removed from the lineup. The good news is that Dodge has introduced a new SRT Hellcat Redeye model, which is essentially an upgraded version of the regular Challenger Hellcat. Dodge also now offers all-wheel drive on the base SXT model.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Dodge Challenger – The Pros
1. V-6 Models Are Great for Everyday Commuting
Rated to deliver up to 30 mpg on regular gas, the V6-powered Challenger is an ideal muscle car to drive on an everyday basis. It focuses on saving fuel opposed to delivering a tire-scorching performance. Nevertheless, there's enough power on tap to ensure strong acceleration when needed. Aside from saving fuel, you can also benefit from the V6 Challenger's lower cost of maintenance.
2. V-8 Engines Galore
If you're a diehard muscle car fan, you may not be able to live without the sound and performance of a V8 engine. Fortunately, three different V8 engines are available for the 2019 Challenger. While the 5.7-liter Hemi engine is the most economical, the 6.4-liter variant cranks out an exciting 485 horsepower. Atop the performance ladder sits the supercharged Hellcat engine. The new SRT Redeye model develops an insane 797 horsepower.
3. Widebody Kit Enhances Handling
The optional Widebody package isn't just for show. It transforms this big muscle car into a more sportier driving machine. While the Challenger's available sports-tuned suspension helps reduces body roll, you will experience especially good handling with the Widebody package. It allows the installation of extra-wide tires, which have more grip. When you take the Challenger Widebody on a road course, you'll immediately notice how well it takes curves.
4. Available All-Wheel Drive
Like an old school muscle car, the 2019 Challenger comes standard with rear-wheel drive. This is a big selling point for the drivers who enjoy smoking the back tires. However, an optional AWD system takes the Challenger's versatility to the next level. When snow is in the forecast, you'll be able to remain on the road. Rivals, such as the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, do not offer all-wheel drive.
5. Big, Comfortable Coupe
Coupes are not known for providing a lot of passenger room. The 2019 Challenger is an exception to this rule. Even large drivers will have no trouble fitting behind the wheel. Comfortable seats make the Challenger an even more fulfilling muscle car. Although the two-door Challenger isn't as practical as a sedan, there's still enough space for families. The Challenger's great ride quality elevates its appeal. You will love how well the suspension absorbs bumpy asphalt.
6. Retro Styling Still Looks Great
Although the 2019 Challenger is a modern muscle car, its retro styling will cause you to take a trip back in time. There's no overlooking its resemblance to the original 1970 Challenger. A number of appearance upgrades are available. The Shaker Hood will catch everyone's attention. Meanwhile, a satin black hood and black wheels highlight the special-edition T/A model. Some of the throwback paint colors include Yellow Jacket Clearcoat, Plum Crazy Pearlcoat, and Go Mango.
7. Base SXT Model's Value
Customizations make the upper trims levels very appealing. However, drivers on a budget should not disregard the 2019 Challenger SXT. It's not your typically base model. You'll love its stylish exterior and and feature-packed interior. Dodge's fantastic Uconnect touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now comes standard. You will also enjoy a backup camera and a a power-adjustable driver seat. Prices for the Challenger SXT start at less than $28,000.
8. Uconnect Infotainment System
Even the least expensive 2019 Challenger gives you Dodge's top-rated Uconnect interface. By integrating your phone, you'll be able to stay connected while on the road. It's a plug-and-play system that doesn't require a lot of effort on the driver's behalf. While the standard 7.0-inch screen is nice, the available 8.4-inch display is even easier to read.
9. Nice Sound Systems
Music has the ability to elevate your driving experience. The 2019 Challenger gives you multiple premium sound systems to choose from. While the 276-watt Alpine sound system will keep you entertained, an upgraded 506-watt Alpine unit is available. Meanwhile, a 900-watt Harman Kardon system tops the lineup. Two powerful subwoofers enable you to truly feel the deep bass.
10. Large Trunk
The 2019 Challenger is among the most practical performance cars you'll find. Drivers will certainly benefit from its large trunk, which provides more than 16 cubic feet of storage space. If you decide to pack your bags and take a long road trip, the extra room will certainly come in handy. Of course, you can also pile the trunk with plenty of shopping bags.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Dodge Challenger – The Cons
1. Heaviest American Muscle Car
Even the lightest version of the 2019 Challenger weights at least 3,900 pounds. Because the Challenger is so bulky, it doesn't handle as well as a small sports car. When you take curves, the extra weight becomes very apparent. While the Challenger excels on the drag strip, it's not athletic enough for the track. In order to outrun other cars on a road course, you must take advantage of the Challenger's brute power.
2. Some Models Are Costly
In the world of performance cars, the Challenger is seen as a great bargain. Nevertheless, some models are still more expensive than the average car buyer can afford. Prices for the supercharged Hellcat model start at more than $58,500. Meanwhile, Dodge has priced the new Hellcat Redeye model at more than $69,000.
3. Some Models Return Low Fuel Economy
Drivers who care about getting the best fuel economy should choose the V6-powered Challenger. The V8 models are obviously not as good on gas. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in the city, be prepared to spend more money at the pump. When equipped with a manual transmission, the R/T Scat Pack model delivers only 14 mpg in town. Expect the supercharged Hellcat model to be slightly less economical. Furthermore, premium fuel is an absolute requirement.
4. So-So Outward Visibility
Like most cars in this segment, the Challenger doesn't provide great outward visibility. When looking over your shoulder, anticipate encountering a few blind spots. While the standard rearview camera is convenient, you'll find the optional blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert to be even more helpful.
5. Big Doors Are Wide and Heavy
The Challenger's large doors add to its coolness. Unfortunately, you'll find the doors to be quite heavy. When opening the doors in tight spots, you also must pay close attention to your surrounding.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The Challenger's key rivals remain the 2019 Ford Mustang and the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro. Both of these competitors deliver sportier handling. However, they do not provide as much passenger comfort as the 2019 Challenger. Passengers will find the Camaro's backseat to be especially confined. In terms of straight-line acceleration, the 2019 Challenger will have no trouble hanging with these longtime rivals. While styling is a matter of personal preference, only the Challenger has a true retro appearance.
Despite not being a perfect muscle car, the 2019 Challenger is well worth the money. While the V6 version will save fuel, you'll have even more fun driving the V8 models. Great practicality makes the Challenger an even more rewarding performance machine. A rumbling exhaust note adds to the Challenger's excitement. There's also a ton of space on the inside. Some helpful safety features are offered as well, including forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. Although the Challenger is fast and powerful, it's not the most nimble car on the track. In contrast to the Mustang and Camaro, the Challenger does not offer a convertible model.
• Why buy a 2018 Dodge Challenger? w/ pros vs cons