In an automotive world awash in SUVs and pickup trucks, the Dodge Challenger is a fond throwback to an era when coupes were as common as sedans. Add in modern engines and advanced technologies, and today’s Challenger is the ideal combination of performance, style, and uniqueness. Buying a used Dodge Challenger is even more appealing.
In this article, we’ll look at the origins of the Challenger, why a used Dodge Challenger for sale makes sense, and explore Challenger trims and features.
History of the Dodge Challenger
Hop into a time machine and head back to the 1960s. Ford launched the Mustang in 1964 to huge success. Realizing it was losing sales, General Motors hurriedly released the Chevrolet Camaro two years later. In 1967, Ford adapted the Mustang into the Mercury Cougar, and GM used the Camaro to create the Pontiac Firebird. But something was missing, a competitive offering from Chrysler. It took a few years, but in 1970 the Dodge Challenger was released, and Mopar fans now had a sports coupe that could take on Ford and Chevy.
Dodge designed the Challenger to be larger and more spacious than the Mustang and Camaro, a tradition that carries on through today. And, the Challenger was available with numerous engine options, another bit of heritage that Dodge still recognizes.
Unfortunately, the 1970s brought America’s first energy crisis and increasing emission regulations. The country fell out of love with pony cars, and the Dodge Challenger was discontinued after 1974. Despite its short existence, the original Challenger is a treasured example of a classic car among enthusiasts.
The Challenger was reborn in 1978 as a rebadged, four-cylinder Mistubishi, but car fans will gladly skip over these six years as a marketing error by Chrysler.
Rebirth of the Dodge Challenger
Seeking to rekindle consumer fondness for the original Chrysler pony car, Dodge redesigned Challenger for the 2008 model year. While clearly inspired by the Challenger of the 1970s, this new Dodge brought a crisp, modern design to a car brand that needed rejuvenation. Equipped with only a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8, the entire first-year production run of the new Challenger sold out before the first one ever left the factory.
Dodge’s timing was perfect as Chrysler once again had an option to the ever-popular Mustang and the company got a jump start against the Camaro that was brought back to life for 2010.
With the pony car segment heating up, Dodge refreshed the Challenger for 2015. The SRT-8 performance trim went away in favor of the SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat models. The five-speed automatic transmission is replaced with an eight-speed automatic that improves performance and fuel economy. In addition to a new grille that embraces the 1971 Challenger, the updated model now features quad-LED Halo headlamps and LED taillights. Modern updates are also added inside, where the Challenger benefits from the well-regarded Uconnect infotainment system with available navigation.
Buying A Used Dodge Challenger
While purchasing a used car is standard procedure for savvy shoppers, the Dodge Challenger makes a particularly appealing case for buyers looking for a coupe. It begins with value. Even when new, Challengers have relied on a simple formula of a lot of horsepower for the money. Add in the depreciation that hits most new cars, and you’ll quickly answer “yes” to the question of “Should I buy a used Dodge Challenger?”
Also, consider there are practical aspects of Challenger ownership compared to the competition. You’ll appreciate more significant trunk space over the Camaro. And, the Challenger has a spacious backseat that can comfortably carry two or three passengers. Just try putting a child car seat in the back of that Ford!
Of course, no one can predict the future, but it’s clear to see that the automotive industry is embracing electric vehicles. Recognizing this trend, a Dodge executive earlier this year predicted that the days of high-powered V8s are numbered. While he offered no timeline about the demise of gas-fed horsepower, the EV revolution means that today’s Challenger might possibly be tomorrow’s collector car.
From efficient but still fun six-cylinder power to over-the-top Hellcat performance, a Challenger is about having something for everyone. To make buying a used Dodge Challenger easier, let’s look at this car’s different configurations.
Dodge Challenger Engine Options
A Challenger hallmark has always been a choice of engines, and thankfully there isn’t a four-cylinder powerplant insight. With that in mind, let’s dive into Challenger engine options. There may be some output differences between models, which is while you’ll see a range in the horsepower (HP) information. Also, we’re focused on Challengers since the 2015 model refresh.
Base Challengers come with a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 303-305 HP. While this may seem tame compared to the model’s other engine offerings, a zero to 60 time of 6.4 seconds is certainly respectable.
Of course, most people associate the Challenger with eight-cylinder power, and Dodge is more than happy to oblige. Offering 372-375 HP, the 5.7-liter V-8 provides plenty of oomph. Torque is healthy, too, at 400-410 lb-ft.
Challenger’s 6.4-liter V-8 steps owners up to a solid 485 HP and 475 lb-ft of torque.
People buy a used Dodge Challenger Hellcat primarily for one reason: power. Your “average” Hellcat features a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 making 707-717 HP and 650-656 lb-ft of torque. Need we say more? But of course, we will. Extreme versions of the Hellcat provide over-the-top power. How about 797 HP and 707 lb-ft of torque for the Hellcat Redeye, and horsepower gets bumped to 807 for the Hellcat Super Stock.
Dodge Challenger Models
While we’ve covered what goes under a Challenger’s hood, let’s look at the sometimes overwhelming choice of models (sometimes called trim levels). As you go up the trim level, equipment, power, and price increase. Again, we’re looking at models since 2015. Also, expect some equipment differences between the same trim levels from different years. Here’s an overview.
- SXT: The starter Challenger comes with a V-6 engine and an automatic transmission. Other equipment includes keyless entry, power driver’s seat, Uconnect infotainment systems, and dual-zone climate control. Depending on the year, the car’s rear-wheel-drive setup could be upgraded to an all-wheel-drive.
- GT: This step up from the SXT includes all-wheel-drive, upgraded brakes, and larger tires (19-inch). Cabin upgrades include leather upholstery (with heated seats in the front).
- R/T: V8 power in a Challenger begins with the R/T and its 5.7-liter engine. This model also gets performance upgrades that include bigger brakes, a limited-slip differential, modified exhaust, and 20-inch wheels. Want to buy a used Dodge Challenger Scat Pack? Then you’ll find that the R/T Scat Pack has the 6.4-liter V8 awaiting you under the hood along with a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and rear spoiler, among other upgrades.
- SRT: On top of the equipment in the R/T Scat Pack, the Dodge Challenger SRT 392 offers even beefier Brembo brakes as well as an adaptive suspension. You’ll also find extra cabin goodies like leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and an enhanced sound system. When it comes to the SRT Hellcat, there’s only one thing to say: it’s got that supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood.
Keep in mind that you may come across additional trim levels with names like Plus, R/T Shaker, and R/T T/A. These are variations of the above models with extra equipment or features.
Discover Our Selection of Used Dodge Challengers for Sale Please note that our inventory changes frequently and is subject to prior sale. Be sure to ask us about incoming used Dodge Challenger models.
Buying a Used Dodge Challenger at Trust Auto
At Trust Auto, Challengers are a favorite with both our staff and customers. We understand that this Dodge may not be for everyone, but for those that favor a non-SUV with performance and value, it’s the ideal car. If car shopping involves a used Dodge Challenger for sale in Maryland, then Trust Auto Sales is the must-visit dealership.
Buying a used car in Virginia? Buying a used car in Washington, DC? Then the best-used cars are just a short drive away. Buying a used car in Pennsylvania? Buying a used car in New York? Then learn how our remote shopping services can help you find the perfect vehicle without ever leaving home.
When your search calls for the best-used car dealership near me, Trust Auto in Sykesville is the answer. From Baltimore and beyond, we’re the used car dealer that focuses on you. Call or stop by today to explore our extensive selection of high-quality vehicles.