CARS.COM — If there’s one thing we learned while thrashing a 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack for our V-8 Muscle Car Challenge, it’s that Dodge’s six-speed manual transmission is a handful. Literally, of course, but also in that it’s a burly, unforgiving stick shift just as you’d expect in a nostalgic coupe like the Challenger. Recently, we also had the opportunity to test the R/T Scat Pack’s eight-speed automatic counterpart, giving two of the three Challenge judges — myself and Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder — an opportunity to test the other side of the coin. Which transmission would we choose if it were our vehicle?
Related: The V-8 Muscle Car Challenge 2016: Performance
Looking at the price of each Challenger option won’t make the decision easier. The automatic transmission is $1,400, but its improved fuel economy — 15/25/18 mpg city/highway/combined EPA ratings versus 14/23/17 mpg — frees it of the manual model’s $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. An R/T Scat Pack with manual and destination charge starts at $39,990, and with eight-speed automatic, it’s just $400 more at $40,390. If price is the most critical aspect in your transmission choice for a Dodge Challenger, you’ll have to dig deeper for your vehicle.