Born in the late '60s as a muscle car, the Challenger has adapted well with time to take the changing trends head-on. Is there a best year Dodge Challenger?

The modern Challenger might still wear a muscle-car look on the outside. But it is refined and comfortable on the inside. With excellent ride quality and abundant features in the cabin, the Challenger impressively blends modern technology with retro design cues.

2015 is the best year for Dodge Challenger as it offers many advanced features in terms of comfort and safety. It achieves good scores in reliability and safety. The car is available in a broad range of trims suited for everyone from look-oriented buyers to serious performance enthusiasts.

There is a Challenger for everyone. Whether you want to show off to your friends with an aggressive and muscular car or are into some serious performance and speed, the Challenger is an excellent choice. The vehicle has many options and variants, so we hardly find two Challengers looking the same.

Car experts, who have spent quite a lot of time with different Challengers, believe it is a rugged and reliable vehicle. It can be used for everyday driving with the V6 engines. But for power-hungry car enthusiasts, many different variants can meet your performance and budget requirements.

Best Year Dodge Challenger

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2015 Dodge Challenger

The 2015 Dodge Challenger is an excellent option for car enthusiasts looking for a powerful sports car but do not want to forego day-to-day utility. As a two-door, muscle-car style coupe, the Challenger seats five passengers and offers good reliability, an enjoyable ride, and respectable fuel economy.

There is no missing the Challenger as it is one of the blockiest and largest muscle cars on the road today. But modern times have turned the Challenger into a touring coupe that is comfortable, larger and delivers a smooth ride. But if you are looking for muscle, variants of the 2015 Challenger help it retain its original power, which is enough to outrun the most powerful rivals.

The 2015 Challenger is available in ten, yes you read that right, ten different trims, with fourteen interior options and twelve different wheels. With so much customization, it is highly unlikely to find any two Challengers looking similar.

Style

The 2015 Challenger borrows many design cues from the classic '71 model and wears them gracefully. The projector headlamps with daytime running LED halos are probably the first to meet the eye. The split grille and a bulgy hood with a power scoop give the car a very aggressive, respect-demanding stance. Towards the rear, the taillights are surrounded by a black piano patch, giving the car a unique blend of a modern and vintage look.

The Challenger boasts a long nose, flat boot lid, and pillars that seem inspired by the '70s Challenger. The car is more faithful to its ancestors than any of its rivals, the Camaro and Mustang, which have changed considerably over the years.  

Step inside, and everything seems to become modern and advanced. The instrument cluster is the first to grab our attention, which is not a bunch of gauges but a customizable seven-inch screen. The dashboard and the panels are covered with high-quality soft-touch materials, making them luxuriant to the touch and soothing to look at. The reasonably sized 8.4-inch infotainment system in the middle of the dash has standard features like navigation and audio controls.

The center console is one thing in the interior that seems to have taken inspiration from the '71 Challenger. It is higher on the passenger side and is equipped with the shift lever, climate control, and a few other buttons and knobs.

Performance

Carrying forward the muscle-car reputation, there are no low-power options for the 2015 Challenger. You find the vehicle with a V6 or a V8 under the hood, rear-wheel drive, and handling that can take a little while to get used to. The vehicle satisfies all cravings of those who have a taste for American muscle.

All variants of the 2015 Challenger deliver a comfortable ride. Even the V8-powered, performance-oriented SRT Hellcat was surprisingly smooth and comfortable on the road. This comfort, however, comes at a small price; the vehicle seems to nosedive a bit too much during hard braking.

Speaking of numbers, the 3.6-liter V6 engine found on the SXT and the slightly advanced SXT Plus produces 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. It comes coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain makes launches lively and offers more than enough passing power at high speeds.

The R/T models come equipped with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, which produces 375 hp and 410 pound-feet of torque with the 6-speed manual transmission. With the automatic, the numbers change to 372 hp and 400 pound-feet. It feels significantly more powerful than the V6, especially when passing, and makes that nice V8 sound loved by enthusiasts.

An optional Super Track Pak package is available for the Challenger, which lowers the ride height, adds Bilstein shock absorbers, three-mode variable stability control, and bigger sway bars. This package is an excellent option to improve the handling and ride quality of the lower trims.

Among the higher trims are the 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker, R/T Scat Pack, and the SRT 392. All three of these trims are powered by an Apache Hemi 6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft  torque. These variants come with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

These variants are faster than the standard R/Ts and come with more performance-oriented features like quad-piston Brembo brakes for the R/T Scat Pack and 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker. The SRT 392 is equipped with six-piston Brembos for excellent stopping power.

The top-of-the-range SRT Hellcat, one of the most powerful muscle cars, is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that shells out a whopping 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Starting from a stop, 60 mph comes in only 3.7 seconds, and the vehicle is a quarter of a mile down in just 11.7 seconds, clocking 124 mph. This trim can be found with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Even with such a powerful engine, the Hellcat is surprisingly easy to drive and handle. It is designed to handle the power and not miss a beat even when pushed hard. As expected, the ride is firmer on the Hellcat than on lower trims to give additional traction and grip. However, its muscle-car-like design does not handle like an ordinary sports car and can require time getting used to when running on twisty roads.

Quality and Comfort

The modern-day Challenger is more a touring car and less a muscle car. The variants SXT and R/T fit the touring car description better as they are comfortable, refined, and have paid a lot of attention to detail. The cabin is well insulated and quiet and is mostly covered with high-quality, soft-touch materials all around. It is not all hush and quiet, though; you can hear the engine growl when your inner race car driver awakens.

The Challenger is a larger car on the outside, but it is not designed like a sedan on the inside. It has two doors, offers spacious seating for front passengers, and you can ride with three adults in the back seat.

The front seats seem to come out of a luxury car. They are spacious, very well-bolstered, and offer excellent comfort and support. However, slim drivers might feel a lack of side support due to the seat's width.  

The backseat has enough space, but getting there is a little challenging due to the swooping roofline. The front seat belts and high beltline also add to the difficulty. Once you get there, there is ample room to seat two adults comfortably and three if you don't mind rubbing shoulders with one another. However, the center hump on the floor will make life miserable for the center passenger on long trips.

Moving further towards the rear end, you will find that the 2015 Challenger has a huge trunk of 16.2 cubic feet. It is not too deep due to the car's low ride height but can easily accommodate a couple of large suitcases.

Safety

The 2015 Challenger is perceived as a retro muscle car, but that does not keep it from offering advanced safety features that most cars today. The Challenger offers a plethora of features that help it achieve impressive safety scores from federal testing agencies.

Numerous features that you find on an everyday premium sedan can be seen on the Challenger, including;

  • Frontal airbags for driver and passenger
  • Seat-mounted airbags to secure the pelvic regions for the driver and passenger
  • Front knee airbags
  • Hill-start assist
  • Anti Lock brakes with brake assist
  • Active head restraints
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic cross alert
  • Forward collision warning with automatic braking control
  • Rearview camera
  • Parking sensors with ParkSense assist
  • Emergency assist feature on the UConnect

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rates the 2015 Dodge Challenger as five-star for overall crash safety. The vehicle receives four stars for frontal crash and rollover and five stars for side impacts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the car a "Good" score for side-impact and moderate front crash. However, the testing body was not impressed by the driver-side small impact and gave the car a "Marginal" score.

Features

Dodge has designed the Challenger to cater to a wide range of buyers. There are three categories of the 2015 Challenger; hot, hotter, and probably, volcanic.

The base trim, SXT, is equipped with many features like:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Seven-inch screen in the instrument panel
  • Five-inch center screen with Uconnect and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power-adjustable driver seat
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic headlights

Step up to the SXT Plus, and you get:

  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 8.4-inch infotainment system with Alpine sound
  • Leather seating
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera

Beyond the SXT, the higher variants focus more on sportiness and performance. The R/T model gets a different engine and adds bigger brakes, a rear spoiler, and a shaker hood as an option if you like to make your Challenger Fast & Furious style with a visible engine.

Both the SXT and R/T models can be found with an optional Blacktop Appearance Package, which features:

  • Glossy black 20-inch aluminum wheels
  • Glossy black grille
  • Satin black fuel filler door and rear spoiler
  • Fog lamps
  • Black upholstery inside the cabin
  • Rearview camera
  • Paddle shifters

The R/T Shaker trim also gets similar features offered on the Blacktop Appearance package but adds on

  • The unique shaker hood
  • Performance-tuned suspension
  • Improved brakes
  • Triple-mode stability control

Next up the line is the R/T Scat Pack, which comes with an Apache Hemi 6.4-liter V8 engine. This variant also features:

  • Performance-tuned steering wheel and suspension
  • Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers
  • 180 mph speedometer
  • Performance Pages measure and display the car's performance like 0-60 times, quarter-mile times, and power use in real-time. This feature also lets the driver tweak suspension, steering, and transmission settings to ensure maximum performance.

One step above the Scat Pack is the SRT 392, also powered by a HEMI. This trim features:

  • Six-piston Brembo brakes
  • High-performance leather seats
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Harman Kardon audio system with 900-watt output
  • Flat bottom steering wheel

Fuel Economy

You will expect the Challenger to be quite thirsty, especially with the large engines that the vehicle houses. Quite frankly, it is thirsty, but not as thirsty as you would expect it to be.

The 3.6-liter V6 powered variants achieve good EPA ratings of 19mpg in the city, 30 mpg on highways, and 23 mpg combined.

With the 5.7-liter V8, the Challenger gets 16 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined with automatic transmission. However, the numbers change to 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined for the manual.

The 6.4-liter V8 gets 15 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on highways, and 18 mpg combined with automatic transmission. Swap in the manual transmission, and the numbers drop to 14 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.

The SRT8, which comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, has the following EPA ratings:

  • Automatic Transmission: 13 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined
  • Manual Transmission: 13 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined

Price Range of 2015 Dodge Challenger

Since the vehicle comes in various trim levels, there is a broad price range spectrum. 2015 Challengers start at around $18,000 and can go over $60,000 for the SRT8 Hellcat. Many factors affect the prices of the Challenger, including trim levels, location, optional features installed, and vehicle condition.

About THE AUTHOR

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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