2009 Dodge Challenger
After last year's limited run of high-performance SRT8 models, Chrysler has filled out the Challenger's lineup, including two more trim levels for 2009: SE and R/T. This big, American two-door coupe seats five and is based on Chrysler's underpinnings to the Charger and 300 sedans. Competition includes the Ford Mustang and upcoming Chevrolet Camaro.
New for 2009
The Challenger fills out its lineup for 2009 by offering a V-6 and another V-8 option, a six-speed manual transmission, and push-button start.
Unlike the Charger sedan, which borrowed only a name from the muscle-car era, the Challenger was designed after the 1970 model, and it is unmistakably the Challenger from any angle. It has a broad grille and rear-end treatments.
Since the Challenger is based on the Charger, the coupe doesn't deviate too much from that sedan's dimensions. The Challenger is 197.7 inches long and 75.7 inches wide, longer and wider than the Mustang's 187.6-inch length and 73.9-inch width.
- Standard body-colored handles, front and rear bumpers, and mirrors
- 17-inch aluminum wheels (SE)
- 18-inch aluminum wheels (optional on SE)
- 20-inch aluminum or chrome-clad wheels (standard on SRT8, optional on R/T)
- Stainless-steel single-tip exhaust (SE)
- Stainless-steel performance dual exhaust with rectangular tips (R/T, SRT8)
- Polished-aluminum fuel cap (R/T, SRT8)
- Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights (standard on SRT8, optional on R/T)
- Black hood racing stripes (SRT8)
On the inside, the Challenger continues its retro-themed looks with its gauge cluster, black headliner and a slanted shifter console. In manual versions, the shifter features a unique "pistol-grip" design. Front-seat occupants sit in prominently bolstered seats. The SRT8 has exclusive leather sport seats with accent stitching and embroidered SRT8 logos.
Interior volume comes in at 93.9 cubic feet, with 16.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the truck (the same as in the Charger). This stacks up well against the Mustang's 84.7 cubic feet of passenger space and 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space.
- Standard air conditioning
- Standard power locks, mirrors and windows
- Standard remote keyless entry
- Standard 60/40-split folding rear bench with armrest and two cupholders
- Optional push-button starter
- Available cloth, leather or two-tone leather seats
- Optional voice-activated navigation and/or audio system (including touch-screen, voice commands, 30GB hard drive and navigation radio)
- Reconfigurable display can read 0-60 mph and quarter-mile times, braking performance, road-holding and lateral force (SRT8)
Under the Hood
Last year's Challenger was only available with the SRT8's 6.1-liter V-8. For 2009, the Challenger goes mainstream by offering a V-6 and manual transmission option. There's also a reengineered 5.7-liter Hemi with variable valve timing and an expanded multi-displacement system that allows the car to operate on four cylinders when less power is needed. Unlike its archrival, the Mustang, the Challenger has an independent rear suspension.
- 250-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 with 250 pounds-feet of torque
- 375-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with 404 pounds-feet of torque (with manual transmission; 370 hp with automatic transmission)
- 425-hp, 6.1-liter V-8 with 420 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-speed automatic transmission (SE)
- Five-speed automatic transmission (R/T, SRT8)
- Six-speed manual transmission (R/T, SRT8)
- All-disc brakes (Brembo brakes on SRT8)
- SRT-tuned suspension and steering (SRT8)
- Limited-slip differential (SRT8)
Safety features include:
- Standard side curtain airbags for front and rear occupants
- Standard electronic stability system (optional on SE, standard on other trims)
- Antilock brakes (optional on SE, standard on other trims)
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||August 29, 2008|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||September 1, 2008|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||August 21, 2009|
|Bob Golfen||AZCentral.com||November 17, 2008|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||September 23, 2008|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||August 31, 2008|
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