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2019 Dodge Challenger Review

Dodge initially flexed its American muscle with the Challenger when it launched the car for the 2009 model year. While its styling has remained largely unchanged over the last decade, it continues to get regular updates. The 2019 Dodge Challenger offers the most affordable V-6 automatic and V-8 power plants in the segment, as well as a new class-exclusive, all-wheel-drive version. In addition, its high-performance SRT Hellcat model is more powerful than ever and now includes a second version called Hellcat Redeye that boasts the title of being the fastest and most powerful muscle car.

2019 Dodge Challenger pricing and trims

The 2019 Dodge Challenger has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $28,095 for the base model, the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) SXT. There are six trim levels, but unlike many models where features build up on each model to the most luxurious, Dodge puts its emphasis on performance with the Challenger. There are four different engines, with each one increasing in power and offering additional high-performance features that give the trim more speed and handling capability.

Trim SXT RWD GT RWD R/T R/T Scat Pack SRT Hellcat SRT Hellcat Redeye
Base MSRP $28,095 $30,645 $34,545 $40,245* $60,495* $71,945*
AWD Base MSRP $31,145 $33,695
Standard Technology Rear-Wheel Drive; 305 Horsepower, 3.6-liter V6; 4-Wheel, Anti-Lock Brakes; 2.62 Rear Axle Ratio Conventional Differential; Electronic Stability Control With Sport Mode; Sport Suspension; Houndstooth Cloth Seats with 6-Way Drivers Power; Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column; Uconnect Multimedia with 7” Touchscreen and 6 Speakers Rear-Wheel Drive; 305 Horsepower, 3.6-liter V6; Performance Brake Package; Performance Suspension; 3.07 Axle Ratio Conventional Differential 375 Horsepower, 5.7-liter V8; 3.90 Axle Ratio Anti-Spin Differential; High-Performance Suspension 485 Horsepower, 392 cu. in. V8; 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Performance Brakes; Electronic Stability Control With Configurable Drive Modes; Heated Steering Wheel; Uconnect Multimedia with 8.4” Touchscreen and 6 Premium Alpine Speakers 797 Horsepower, 6.2-liter V8; Power 4-Wheel Brakes with 15.4-inch front rotors and 13.8-inch rear rotors; 3.70 Axle Ratio Heavy-Duty Anti-Spin Differential; Competition Suspension with Adaptive Damping SRT-Tuned Three Modes 797 Horsepower, 6.2-liter V8; 2.62 Axle Ratio Heavy-Duty Anti-Spin Differential

All MSRPs are the lowest price for each trim and do not include the destination fee. 
*Price does not include mandatory gas guzzler tax.

The two lowest trims, SXT and GT, are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine and are aimed at buyers who want the muscle car look with some performance without compromising fuel economy. In fact, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT was ranked one of our best 6-cylinder cars for 2019. While rear-wheel drive is standard on all Challenger models, these two trims offer all-wheel drive as an option for those who want more secure handling on slick roads.

The Challenger R/T and the R/T Scat Pack feature many of the styling elements from Hellcat models that improve its performance, including a dedicated air intake and dual air extractors in the hood, and headlights designed to channel air directly into the engine bay. The R/T Scat Pack with the Widebody option utilizes the same Widebody option that has been available for the SRT Hellcat trim. It adds wider fenders and a rear spoiler to improve grip to the road, as well as suspension and chassis changes to further improve handling. For the 2019 model year, the Widebody option adds $6,000 to the starting price for both the R/T Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat models.

The two top trims, Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye, utilize the engine from the limited-production 2018 Challenger SRT Demon and pair it with an eight-speed automatic transmission to provide 797 horsepower in the 6.2-liter V8. The top-of-the-line Hellcat Redeye builds on this to be even more powerful, thanks to a larger air induction box with three sources of intake air, higher rpm limits, two dual-stage fuel pumps instead of one, more boost pressure and the largest factory supercharger of any production car.

What’s next? With six trim levels ranging from $28,095 up to $71,945, there is a wide array of choices in Dodge Challenger models to suit every taste. Regardless of your monthly payment, it’s important to research auto loans in order to thoroughly assess your options. Potential lenders could include Dodge financing, as well as your credit union or bank and online lenders.

And don’t worry about making multiple loan inquiries. As long as you submit your applications within the same 14- to 45-day window, applying to multiple lenders should only be considered as one inquiry on your credit report.

By completing an online form on LendingTree, you could potentially receive up to five car loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Dodge Challenger safety

In federal crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2019 Dodge Challenger received the agency’s best rating of five stars in side crashes and four stars in both frontal crash and rollover situations. As a result, both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models received an overall rating of five stars.

In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Challenger received scores of “good” for moderate overlap front and side crash tests, “acceptable” for roof strength and head restraints and seats, and “marginal” in the small overlap front, driver-side crash test.

All 2019 Dodge Challenger trims come equipped with the following:

  • Active head restraints
  • Advanced multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags
  • Supplemental front and rear side airbags
  • Supplemental driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags

Active safety features include:

  • Electronic stability control with brake assist. This system helps the driver maintain directional control in slick situations.
  • Rain brake support. When windshield wipers are activated, this system removes water from brake pads by applying a small amount of pressure to the caliper.

2019 Dodge Challenger competitor comparison

With 1960s styling, modern-day American muscle cars made a comeback about 10 years ago, with entries from the big three U.S. brands. Among the the muscle car competitors below, Dodge offers the most powerful engine in a base model, with only a small trade-off in fuel economy. In addition, the Challenger is the only model to make all-wheel drive available — a big plus for buyers who want the muscle car look without having to compromise wet-weather handling with rear-wheel drive. If all-wheel drive is a top priority for you, check out the best all-wheel-drive cars.

All three models that we compare below are somewhat stripped-down versions, though the Ford Mustang has notably fewer features as standard equipment on the base model, compared to Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

Dodge Challenger SXT RWD Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback Chevrolet Camaro LS
Base MSRP $28,095 $26,670 $25,000
Expert Scores 4 4.3 4
Standard Technology 3.6-Liter Engine; 4-Wheel, Anti-Lock Brakes; 2.62 Axle Ratio Conventional Differential; Electronic Stability Control With Sport Mode; Sport Suspension; Houndstooth Cloth Seats with 6-Way Drivers Power; Tilt/Telescope Steering Column; Uconnect Multimedia with 7” Touchscreen and 6 Speakers 2.3-Liter Engine; 3.31 Limited-Slip Rear Axle; Electronic Stability Control; Cloth Bucket Front Seats with 4-Way Manual Driver’s Seat; Manual Climate Control; 6-Speaker AM/FM Radio; Two Smart-Charging USB Ports 2.0-Liter Engine; Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control; Front Bucket Seats with 8-way Drivers Power and 4-way Manual Front Passenger with Power Recline; Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel; Single-Zone Automatic Climate Control; Manual Day/Night Interior Mirror; 6-Speaker audio system
Fuel Economy combined/city/hwy 23/19/30 mpg 25/21/32 mpg 25/22/31 mpg

All data references 2019 model years. All MSRPs are the lowest price for each trim named and does not include the destination fee. Expert scores average Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book (KBB) expert ratings when available. Standard technology refers to features available in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost. This is not an exhaustive list.

The bottom line on the 2019 Dodge Challenger

Though a decade since its introduction, Dodge Challenger has proven to be as timeless of a car as the classic 1960s version. For those wanting American muscle in their driveway, it is a solid choice at any trim level, while for those interested in a street-legal car that can also be taken to the racetrack, its Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye models will, quite literally, knock your socks off from their sheer power and performance.

As of press time, no on sale date had been announced for the 2020 Dodge Challenger, though Dodge has confirmed a 2020 model is planned. As a result, buyers should take into consideration the timing of a 2020 model and potentially try to negotiate a better price if they are buying a 2019 model close to the release of both the 2020 model and the 2020 calendar year.

 

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