2013-2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Review

today we’re taking a look at the very retro 2013 Dodge Challenger srt8 now this particular runt is the 392 model which means that we have a 6.4 liter engine under the hood according to this little badge here Dodge is also calling it a 392 cubic inch Hemi the engines good for 470 horsepower so let’s dive under the hood let’s dive inside and take it for a spin [Music] the retro theme continues around the back and even though I’m not really a
fan of cars from the time period that

this car is trying to imitate I have to admit this car is really sexy looking up front we have a very retro front end with round headlights round turn signals but of course a plastic grille because this is 2013 not 1973 the srt8 treatment gets you to forty five forty five our 20s up front and help you apply that power to fifty five forty five our twenties out back there are only two retro things you’ll find into this hood the first is the engine badging because of course Chrysler decided to go retro and display the displacement of this engine in cubic inches rather than leaders on the badging of this engine the second thing are push rods because

this engine is still a pushrod v8 engine

although it is a thoroughly modern design from Chrysler it’s essentially based off the regular Hemi engine that’s found in the Chrysler 300c as well as the Challenger and the Jeep Grand Cherokee but this one’s been bumped up to six point four liters still has two spark plugs per cylinder and is mated to either your choice of a Tremec 6-speed tr6060 transmission or a five-speed mercedes automatic this isn’t just a bored-out version of the old 6.1 liter engine you used to find into this hood Chrysler did do a number of tweaks like including the multi displacement system if you get your challenger with the automatic transmission since ours is the manual we don’t get that one but our fuel economy still beats that five-speed Automatic thanks to an extremely tall sixth gear versus that old 6.1 liter engine power is up from 425 horsepower to 470 horsepower and we get a whopping 90 more pound-feet of torque from this engine course Chrysler does want you to run this on premium but it will operate

safely on regular unleaded just expect a

power reduction as you’d expect from a muscle car all that power is sent to the rear wheels only there’s no all-wheel drive option and we are charged a $1000 gas guzzler tax with this vehicle if it wasn’t obvious from the outside let’s start off our interior tour by saying that the Challenger is a very large vehicle it is of course essentially the two-door version of the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300 which are very large vehicles themselves now all of those are essentially a Chrysler reimagining perhaps of the Chrysler LHS so large vehicle and they borrowed mercedes-benz s-class and eClass parts to jam under the hood so the suspension components are fairly closely related to the s-class and the e-class in terms of design that should really tell you how big this vehicle is that all makes the Challenger much bigger and much heavier than the Mustang or the Camaro our particular challenger srt8 weighs about 4,200 pounds which honestly is fairly light for a modern vehicle like this but that is considerably heavier than the Mustang GT which is around 3,600 pounds
or so compared to the Mustang and Camaro

the challengers interior is fairly
competitive in terms of parts quality as well as fit and finish we still get a slightly rubbery dashboard here this isn’t exactly the best interior that Chrysler has ever done but then again the Mustang and Camaro interiors are really not that special either we get a fake aluminum trim here in the center console and because Chrysler has not redone the interior of the Challenger for 2013 like the charger and Chrysler 300 we still get their old 6-inch UConnect radio instead of their large 8-inch touchscreen unit over here on the driver’s side we have one of the best steering wheels I’ve ever held in my entire life and I’m being perfectly honest about that one this steering wheel has nice thick chunky grips you know we have perforated leather in the middle nice soft leather on top the only down points

on the steering wheel really are the

plastic trim this plastic metal trim on the bottom of the steering wheel has some rough edges on the bottom and that not terribly nice but the rest of the steering wheel honestly is so good that I can forget those plastic bits and of course the Challenger also has a heated steering wheel standard which is controlled by this little button here in the center console that really makes driving the Challenger a joy the back seats the Challenger are pretty comfortable for a two-door car now remember this is about the same size as a BMW 6-series this is a pretty big car I’m 6 feet tall this front seats adjusted for me and my knees aren’t really touching this front seat the bottom cushion and the back cushions in this car aren’t strangely shaped either now a common trick for two-door coupes that try and seat 4 is that they will change the shapes of these rear seats and they won’t be normal seat shape they’ll have these really strangely shaped thigh boosters that sort of cause you to be curled up and they’ll have back cushions that are really curved over so that way you’re sort of leaning forward as well that doesn’t happen the

Challenger I can sit upright but my hair

is brushing the ceiling in the middle and it’s you know something that I could do for maybe half an hour to an hour or so on a car trip without too much of a problem if you’re a smaller person and these tiny side windows don’t bother you you could probably do this for an extended period of time these really are fairly good seats we also get an armrest and cup holder in the rear which is another nice touch that you don’t find in vehicles like this very often the other thing that we get is the middle seat in this car and I’m going to sit in here so you can see now my head is touching the ceiling when I’m sitting in the middle seat but I can still fit back here and most importantly this car is wide enough that you could fit two adults on either side of me as always you should spend some time in the car before you decide to buy to make sure that that driver’s seat is comfortable for you in the Challenger we do get a tilt telescoping steering wheel with a very good range of motion we also get a power driver’s seat with a four-way adjustable lumbar support although all Challenger models have a manual recline
mechanism in the driver’s seat these

seats are severely bolstered but these seats are fairly wide and sized for normal American adults so you shouldn’t really have a problem in these seats unless you’re fairly skinny and you feel like you’re not really being gripped in that driver’s seat enough it’s now time for our exclusive trunk comfort index with the Challenger there’s immediately a problem because this retro design as you can see gives you more of a trunk hood than an actual trunk hatch like you’d find in a modern Vee Nicoll means the step in height for the trunk is quite high it’s a good thing that I’m six feet tall so I can get in the trunk of course this trunk is 16 cubic feet again paying homage to classic vehicles with an enormous trunk although there is no trunk handle on the inside of the trunk or this leading edge of the trunk lid here so it’s really difficult to close this trunk lid if you’re outside the vehicle because there’s really nowhere to grab on to other than that dirty outside of the trunk the Challenger score is a solid eight out of ten points in our exclusive trunk comfort index because this trunk
is huge

again this is a sixteen point something
cubic foot trunk which makes it decently bigger than a Camaro or a Mustang I have the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight in here with me and you could still fit two journalists in this trunk in addition Chrysler has used trunk hinges that don’t impact the cargo area which means if you can fit it in this trunk the lid should close and when you close the lid on yourself it won’t hit your knees all challenger srt8 models come standard with Chrysler’s 6.5 inch you connect system now this is their older last generation systems this is not the same as the UConnect 8.3 inch that’s bound in the Chrysler 300 as well as the new challenger the system does have navigation as you can see with XM satellite traffic as well we also get a Bluetooth phone interface as you’d expect we also have voice command for our navigation entries as well as our phone entries there are no voice commands in this version of UConnect for searching for particular songs or artists or playlists or genres like there are in ford sync product but you can voice command things like go to the next track and change source etc we also have a hard-disk for storing music files on this particular system you can rip them off your CD or transfer them from the USB port this particular UConnect

system also offers two USB ports we have
one right here in the dash and another in the center console as well as the usual auxilary input here BMW and challenger fans alike are probably going to dislike my comparison of the six series to the Challenger for a wide variety of reasons but it makes perfect sense in my mind primarily because the Challenger is so much larger and heavier than a Camaro or a Mustang this car seats 5 of course you have a middle seat back there the rear seats are actually usable for kill human beings in the Challenger and the Challenger is considerably heavier than a Mustang the Mustang g/t despite being down on power and torque from this challenge are only 414 horsepower with that 5 liter v8 is just about as fast to 60 as this challenger because it only weighs around 3,600 pounds and our challenger weighs in around 4,200 pounds now 4,200 pounds means that this car has a better ride than the Mustang honestly I prefer the way that this car rides to either the Camaro or the Mustang primarily because it’s very well composed but it is definitely a little softer than those others again it’s very much like BMWs current large sedan rides like the BMW 650 are the Challenger has an active suspension system and what

that means is in all four struts in this

vehicle there’s a little electronically controlled valve and that valve can adjust the damping characteristics of the struts on all four corners or globally any time the car chooses based on both the computer zone algorithms as well as driver input via a little button here in the center console that allows you to choose a softer or a firmer setting to the damping now that doesn’t change the spring rates in this vehicle so of course the the characteristics of the suspension are going to be quite different from something like a fairly stiffly sprung vehicle like a Corvette or the new supercharged Camaro or a Shelby Mustang of course power is what the Challenger srt8 is all about and with 470 horsepower and 475 feet of torque this car is exceptionally fast and it sounds incredibly good while you’re doing it again thanks to that large displacement engine now there’s there’s really no way that a turbocharged engine can compete with this and of course the supercharged engine is going to get that supercharged whine which I personally like but some people think interferes with the aural sensations going on in a sports car that brings us neatly to performance numbers now Chrysler says the Dodge Challenger srt8 will run 0 to 60 in the high fours but in our testing we range between 4.3 and 4.5 seconds 0 to 60 with a quarter mile around 12 point 5 seconds now of course the big thing to keep in mind

here is that we do have the six-speed
manual mission equipped Challenger which means that the zero to 60 times in quarter-mile times of this vehicle are very dependent on your driving style as well as traction because this car probably could go faster if it had wider rear tires and grippier rubber you know 4.3 seconds to about our fastest time in this vehicle it happened with an awful lot of wheel spin and that’s you know even with the stability control enabled in this particular vehicle that goes the same for any vehicle that’s over about 400 horsepower and is two-wheel drive so you’re going to have exactly the same problem in something like a BMW m5 a BMW m6 for sure the Jaguar XKR is you know mustangs corvettes Camaros etc you know once once you’re around that almost 500 horsepower and nearly 500 pound feet of torque and you’re you’re trying to do that with just two-wheel drive grip is your enemy in terms of handling it’s important to remember that the Challenger is significantly heavier than the Camaro and the Mustang and the standard Challenger srt8 model only comes with 245 with tires all the way around now our particular tester here has the optional staggered rubber which puts wider tires in the rear and that not only helps your acceleration time

but it also helps your handling as well

but this vehicle still isn’t as good of a handler as the Camaro or the Mustang even so however this is personally my preference because of its softer and and honestly more civilized ride now the Mustang hasn’t a live rear axle which means that over broken pavement it can sometimes get a little bit unsettled shall we say now the Camaro with its independent rear suspension doesn’t really do any better than the Mustang in situations like that but this particular Challenger with its Mercedes essentially designed rear suspension performs admirably well over a wide variety of pavement types and pavement surfaces and is surprisingly agile I would say on these winding mountain roads as I said before our challenger wears of $1,000 gas guzzler tax and that’s thanks to our EPA numbers of 14 in the city and 23 on the highway with a combined rating of 17 miles per gallon however we’ve been averaging a decent amount better than that in our six-speed manual transmission equipped vehicle thanks to an extremely tall top gear with averaging around nineteen point eight miles per gallon and Mick’s driving as well as zero to sixty testing in quarter-mile testing in driving on these fun winding mountain roads where you’re

you know really giving the engine an

awful lot of gas so our fuel economy is actually somewhat surprising for this vehicle if you do decide to get that five-speed automatic transmission in your Challenger then you’re going to lose one mile per gallon on the highway in your EPA numbers and based on our quick informal testing of a dealer provided automatic equipped challenger we noticed a decent reduction in fuel economy around two to three miles per gallon our quick and formal tests in my mind the only valid reason for getting the 5-speed automatic transmission over the 6-speed manual is if you’re missing your left leg because this manual transmission is just that good the thing about the Challenger is that it’s just very easy to drive and very easy to live with the clutch is neither too firm nor too soft the suspension is nice and comfortable the seats very comfortable you know we have a wide range of adjustability the transmission is an excellent transmission with ratios that match this engines characteristics pretty much as perfectly as you can get so what’s my bottom line on the Challenger is it worth 45 grand in my book honestly I think it is I mean this is definitely the American muscle car that I would buy and that’s primarily because as much as I like the Mustang GT the suspension is just a bit too harsh for me and the car is a bit too small for me as well I’m really not that big of a person but I do like a comfortable seat a little bit more room and I do like the idea of having real usable back seats the ability to jam a fifth person in the Challenger really seems like a
good idea to me as well I mean it’s not

something that you do all the time and that fifth person really won’t be very comfortable in the back but if you need to you could in this vehicle and you just can’t in a Camaro or a Mustang that’s been our quick take at the Dodge Challenger srt8 be sure to check out the full review as well as news reviews and more at the truth about cars calm

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