2015 Dodge Challenger

More of a challenge into the Challenger

"Still wild and fun" said Issam

"Stylish, comfortable and a decent value, the SXT proves that even the "base" model Challenger makes a worthy case for itself"

We took both the 2015 Charger and Challenger out for a drive within one month of each other. We like to test those V6 engines in the Levant countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, as they sell more V6s than V8s than in the Gulf. We actually drove the Challenger last year in Portland; a top of the line and a beastly Hellcat with 707 hp. Now we are testing the SXT V6.

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT comes with a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6. It weighs just 1769 kg, has 305 hp and 363 Nm of torque. I jumped behind the wheel of the V6, which it left me wondering if a six cylinder would be enough to move the two-door muscle. It didn't take long to quell those doubts!

It handles pretty well for its size, though. The V6 engine doesn't sound too bad, either. And it is very refined. The Challenger SXT is more than just speed and performance figures. While it's supposed to be an American muscle car, it is instead the muscle car inexpensive. It doesn't make you worried about handling it or running out of fuel, and it is as comfortable as any modern luxury sedan

It's all about the way it looks; I'm being super honest. For classic style, by putting the 2015 model next to an early 70s Challenger, you would see a similar result. They match - except the modern appearance and touches, apparently.

This is a big muscle car, and if you've already decided you like it, then the throwback looks are likely a big reason why. It's the largest of the three muscle cars rear wheel drive coupes today, by a pretty wide margin. Whereas a Camaro's interior is similar to sitting in an oppressive bathtub and the Mustang's rear seats aren't much use for anyone over 1 meter, the Challenger has an actual, usable back seat with real headroom and three seatbelts.

Once you understand that the SXT is meant to make drivers feel relaxed and not to produce tire smoke, then you can enjoy a soft ride that soaks up lots of bumps. Not to say you cannot easily get the V6 SXT into mild, tire-smoking fun. Push that "Sport" button to the right of the volume knob and the gearbox starts to hang onto gears, and downshift quickly during braking.

The great 8.4 inch Uconnect system from elsewhere in the Dodge/Chrysler universe, as well as a T-handle shifter were equipped in our test vehicle. Though the interior's design is clearly retro, the level of technology on offer is impressive in what is still a fairly reasonably-priced car. Besides the above mentioned touchscreen, there is an 18 speaker Harman Kardon stereo and phone connectivity that works perfectly - no one seemed to have any troubles hearing me.

Verdict
Having just had the chance to drive the new 2015 Challenger SXT in Beirut, left me some words to say. What an interior, an improved job! Although you don't get that kick in the butt when you mash the gas pedal, this would be a great highway vessel and daily driver. Suspension felt a little soft for me, but that's a personal opinion. The 8 speed auto was amazingly smooth and with the track pack features, you can get more out of it than you think. Before you go bad-mouthing Dodge, go drive one, then decide! Price tag for the SXT is 59,000 $USD, R/T V8 is 73,000 $USD and the Challenger SRT is 93,000 $USD. The Hellcat version hasn't been rated yet.

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