The 2018 Dodge Challenger is a legendary muscle car that has withstood the test of time. Although it’s loaded with high-tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, retro exterior styling separates the Challenger from the pack. It’s essentially a modern take on the 70s-era Challenger that dominated the muscle car scene.
Tire-shredding performance capabilities make this big coupe even more exciting. With the arrival of an AWD-equipped GT model, the Challenger can now be driven even in snowy weather. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting ride.
New Features for 2018?
For 2018, Dodge has released two new variants of the Challenger. Featuring wider performance tires, the Hellcat Widebody is designed to offer improved handling on the street. Meanwhile, the high-powered Challenger SRT Demon is specially engineered for competitive drag racing. When high octane fuel is used, it can develop an insane 840 horsepower.
To the delight of longtime Challenger fans, the popular Plum Crazy paint color has also been reintroduced into the lineup.
SXT – $28,100
If you’re looking to ride in style without breaking the bank, the base Challenger SXT will get your attention. Its V6 engine packs just enough performance for you to have fun. Some of the notable standard features include smartphone integration, a backup camera, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen.
GT – $34,000
Featuring all-wheel drive, the Challenger GT is perfect for the drivers who need to travel in bad weather. Heated and ventilated leather seats help you to remain relaxed throughout the year. HD radio, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen, and rear parking sensors are also found on the GT trim.
R/T – $34,500
The V8-powered Challenger R/T enables you to experience an enhanced level of performance. Aside from the Challenger R/T’s extra muscle under the hood, it also benefits from a sport exhaust system. In terms of features, the R/T model is equipped similar to the base model.
R/T Scat Pack – $40,000
Many people consider the Challenger R/T Scat Pack to be true performance bargain. It’s powered by an even bigger Hemi V8 engine.
SRT 392 – $50,500
Although the SRT 392 comes equipped with the same engine as the R/T Scat Pack, an upgraded air intake and adaptive suspension dampers aid its performance. The Challenger SRT 392 also comes loaded with several nice features, including an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and custom driving modes. Meanwhile, blind-spot monitoring gives you an extra sense of security on the highway.
SRT Hellcat – $67,400
The Challenger SRT Hellcat’s supercharged V8 engine is its main attraction. Unique styling cues help distinguish the SRT Hellcat from the rest of the lineup.
SRT Hellcat Widebody – $72,590
An extra-wide set of tires enable the Challenger Hellcat Widebody to maintain better traction. Extended fender flares further accentuate the Challenger Hellcat Widebody’s aggressive stance.
SRT Demon – $84,400
Dodge engineered the SRT Demon for the sole purpose of drag racing. It boasts the most powerful engine in the lineup. Although the SRT Demon doesn’t come standard with rear seats, they can be added for just a dollar extra.
If you prefer fuel savings over sheer performance, stick with the base Pentastar V6 engine. It’s rated by the EPA to return 19 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, all-wheel drive lowers the GT model’s fuel economy to 18 mpg in town and 27 mpg on the open road.
As expected, the available V8 engines are noticeably less efficient. While the 5.7L V8 engine will return a combined 19 mpg, the larger 6.4L version delivers a combined 18 mpg. Rated to return only 13 mpg in the city, the supercharged Challenger Hellcat is definitely not an economical choice. Keep in mind that the more potent V8 engines also demand the use of premium unleaded fuel.
Developing a total of 305 horsepower, the base V6 engine feels quite peppy in everyday driving situations. Upgrading to the 5.7-liter, HEMI V8 engine enables you to experience stronger acceleration off the line. It pumps out a brawny 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the larger 6.4-liter HEMI engine develops a thrilling 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Atop the lineup sits the supercharged Hellcat engine, which unleashes a monstrous 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
While all V6 Challengers come equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, most of the V8 models can be fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as well.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger is one of the safest performance cars on the market. It received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2018 Chevrolet Camaro
From a performance standpoint, the Chevrolet Camaro’s lighter design enables it to offer better handling on the street and at the track. However, you’ll experience a smoother ride in the 2018 Dodge Challenger. A larger cabin also allows the Challenger to offer more space for your friends and family.
2018 Ford Mustang
The 2018 Ford Mustang is a great all-around muscle car. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine enables the Mustang to offer just a bit better gas mileage than the Challenger. Furthermore, only the Ford Mustang offers automatic emergency braking.
While the Mustang is nimbler than the Challenger, it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive. A roomier backseat gives the Challenger yet another edge over the Mustang.
2018 Nissan 370Z
Some drivers will prefer the smaller Nissan 370Z’s crisp handling. However, it’s not nearly as comfortable as the Dodge Challenger. Taller drivers may desire more space to stretch out. When it comes down to acceleration quickness, the Challenger can easily leave behind the Nissan 370Z.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger is a fun car that turns heads. Everyone on the road will notice its throwback styling. Appearance upgrades, such as the iconic Shaker Hood and race-inspired T/A package, transform the Challenger into an even more eye-catching ride. Plus, a number of beautiful paint finishes are available, including Octane Red Pearlcoat and Go Mango.
Unlike tiny sports cars such as the Subaru BRZ, the Challenger is spacious enough to accommodate four adults. Although the Challenger’s exhilarating performance cannot be overlooked, a smooth ride makes it a more than worthy daily-driver.
While the Challenger has plenty of adoring qualities, it’s important to mention the car’s flaws.
With a curb weight of roughly 4,200 pounds, the Challenger is certainly not a light car. When attacking twisty roads, you’ll quickly notice the Challenger’s extra weight. It can’t match the agility of a legitimate sports car. These traits make the Challenger a less skilled performer on race tracks.