Are you looking for a performance car in time for summer? There’s nothing like American muscle to cruise the straights and crush the corners in the warm weather.
The market has never been better, either. While the classic pony cars are undeniable in their cultural imprint, to say nothing of their timeless style, they just can’t compete with today’s offerings.
The Mustang is as timeless as it is modern. The Camaro is a technical marvel. However, what you really want is the 2019 Dodge Challenger.
Keep reading for 9 reasons why it’s the muscle car to get.
The Mustang has had a few different iterations offering completely different takes on Ford’s pony car. When discussing its style, you need to be clear which generation you’re referring to, as each represents a different approach.
Chevrolet has been even less consistent with the Camaro. It seems that they’re constantly redesigning the front-end in response to dissatisfied customers. While the general silhouette may not have changed much, its grill is constantly under redesign.
It’s refreshing, then, that Dodge has stuck with the same design since reintroducing the Challenger in 2008. It’s big, it’s fierce, and it’s undeniably a Challenger.
Larger than its Michigan-bred brethren, the Challenger is a statement. It has an imposing presence, commanding attention wherever it goes.
The biggest attraction to American muscle cars comes from their raw power. Traditionally, the European and Japanese manufacturers depended on turbochargers to make the most out of their smaller engines, whereas the Big Three relied on big, powerful engines to move their cars.
Fuel emission standards, coupled with innovations to the internal combustion engine, have seen turbochargers used more regularly, helping to offset fuel-use while still providing ample power.
There’s a time when suggesting a pony car with an inline-four would have gotten you kicked out of Detroit, but not anymore. Both the Camaro and the Mustang offer turbo-four engines on their base models.
The Challenger? Not so much.
The base model features the 3.6L Pentastar V6, good for 305HP. Not bad for around $28,000. And it only gets better from there.
There are two V8 Hemi’s available, each upping the output accordingly. The 5.7L Hemi is good for 375HP, while the 392 Hemi found in the R/T ScatPack makes the jump to 485HP.
Still looking for more? Dodge has you covered.
Where Ford and Chevy turned to forced-induction to make small engines focused on fuel economy, Dodge went the other way. They bolted a supercharger to a 6.2L Hemi and wound up with an eye-watering 717HP.
If you’re still not satisfied, seek help. Also, seek out the Hellcat Hemi Redeye version of the 6.2L V8. It increases its output to an astounding 797HP. That’s nearly 800HP in a production car!
Whatever Dodge inventory your dealership has, rest assured that it’ll satisfy your horsepower needs.
While Dodge has remained truest to their muscle car roots of the Big Three, they haven’t eschewed advances in technology altogether.
Dodge’s UConnect interface makes it easy to integrate your phone using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The 7″ touchscreen display makes it easy to navigate through settings, though the optional 8.4″ display is even nicer. (Download the Dodge Challenger manual here.)
A 276-watt Alpine system comes standard, offering plenty of power. A 506-watt option, also from Alpine, is available, but real audiophiles will want to splurge on the Harmon Kardon system. It features two sub-woofers in the trunk and 900-watts worth of power.
When contemplating the sheer amount of power offered, safety’s likely to become a concern. It’s nice to be reassured that the Challenger was built to be more than a powerplant on wheels.
Anti-lock brakes and stability control help keep all that power under control. As well, additional features available include:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Lane departure warning
- Automatic high beams
- Forward collision warning
- Rear Camera
- Overhead/front-impact/side-impact airbags
The Challenger is a safety-first vehicle!
5. Four-Wheel Power
Every gear-head knows that real cars send their power to the back. Rear-drive is as traditional to pony cars as peeling away from a green light.
However, modern demands have made all-wheel-drive a popular layout. Having the option to divert power to either of the four wheels makes accelerating out of corners a breeze.
Maybe Ford and Chevy don’t agree, but Dodge has made this option available. While only available with the V6, it does offer more flexibility for those looking for a car that can handle difficult weather.
6. Fuel Efficiency
Anyone looking for an engine worthy of more than 400HP has clearly chosen output over fuel efficiency. You don’t buy a Hellcat to hypermile it.
However, the Pentastar V6 gets relatively good mileage of 26MPG. Considering it’ll get you from 0-60MPH in about six seconds, that’s not bad at all.
You don’t choose an American muscle car for its value, per se. You choose it because it’s big and powerful.
However, being able to get more than 300HP with rear-wheel-drive for under $30,000 is hard to argue with.
Even the Hemi-powered ScatPack is a relative bargain. While any car that approaches $40,000 isn’t necessarily entry-level, you do get almost 500HP.
The Challenger is big, as it should be. Larger than both the Mustang and Camaro, it is a commanding presence. This translates into a far more comfortable interior than those other two offer.
A rear-bench accommodates three in the back, making the Challenger a proper five-seater. Need a family car but still want to have fun driving? It’ll easily fit a child-seat.
Finally, the Challenger succeeds over the Camaro and Mustang with its pony car pureness. It doesn’t rely on dozens of sensors and computers to keep it flat through the corners. It doesn’t need cylinder deactivation or trick engineering to produce adequate amounts of power.
It’s simply what it is: a big engine producing large amounts of power in a large, comfortable chassis.
Final Thoughts on the 2019 Dodge Challenger
If you’re in the market for a pony car, the 2019 Dodge Challenger is the way to go. It offers power, presence, and, surprisingly, practicality at a great price.
For more info to help with your car needs, visit the Automotive Shopping page on our site.