Dodge lovers are awaiting the brand new 2015 Challenger, but we recently had the chance to test-drive the 2014 R/T model before next year’s update.
Since the third generation Challenger returned in 2008, we’ve been in love. As with most who see a Challenger, the first impression is “Wow!” It’s just a beautiful vehicle, so it’s definitely our favorite-looking muscle car on the streets. Dodge excellently re-invented the 1970’s icon with a modernized look.
The version delivered to us was the R/T Blacktop edition, which is essentially an optional package that can be added for just $2,000. It includes blacked-out features such as the black aluminum rims and a gloss black fuel filler door, as well as Mopar Stripes with red outlines, and an accent color grille.
The base-model Challenger comes with a Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, producing 305 hp, and paired with only a five-speed automatic, but the R/T steps it up. It features a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, good for 376 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, and comes in a six-speed manual… though an optional five-speed automatic is available as well. We weren’t able to get behind the wheel of the SRT, but it sports an even bigger 6.4-liter V-8 that churns out 470-hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Now, that’s muscle!
The Challenger shown here in a stealth-looking Granite Crystal Metallic exterior, while the interior is done in a similar in Dark Slate Grey. While its exterior appearance has such style, the inside is quite simplistic. There’s a lot black plastic throughout, though detailing such as a white speedometer and dials, carbon fiber paneling, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are nice touches. Overall, the interior is a little underwhelming, though.
The real joy with owning one is driving it. It’s just fun. It has ample power and turns heads, making it perfect for road trips or just cruising on Sunday afternoon. As most loyalists already know, you won’t be beating out top-of-the-line Camaros or Mustangs in a drag race, but if you purchased the Challenger, it’s probably not why you bought it. Though, Dodge did just announce the upcoming 2015 600-hp SRT model… so, it may finally give those other muscle cars a run for their money.
As far as updates, the 2014 model doesn’t really differ from the previous year, aside from the further options like the Super Sport Group and Shaker packages.
Overall, out time with the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T was just a whole lot of fun… and we can’t stress enough how cool it looks. For the entire week, we received nothing but compliments. For just over $36,000 for the model shown here, or $26,500 for the base model SXT, the Challenger is definitely an affordable muscle car that anyone can have fun with… young or old.
Specials thanks to Dodge, who provided the vehicle, insurance and tank of gas for this review.