Base SE models have the same retro muscle-car silhouette as the others, but they're a little bit more sensible, with a low base price and 25-mpg fuel economy on the highway, while still providing satisfying enough acceleration for most everyday driving. The V8 models however have a different attitude, with a rumbling exhaust sound, tremendous torque just off idle, and a true muscle-car feel. Thanks to Chrysler's multi-displacement system, which shuts down some of the cylinders during coasting or cruising to save fuel, the 5.7-liter engine also is capable of 25 mpg on the highway. The R/T can get to 60 mph in less than six seconds according to Dodge, while the SRT8 can do it in less than five.
You sit rather low in the 2010 Challenger, and the car's tall shoulders lend a protective feeling. Front seats have plenty of space for the largest folks, and although technically the Challenger is a 5-person coupe its back seat can be quite tight, and entry and exit from the back seats can be a challenge. The trunk however is huge and easily accessed; Dodge says it's as big as that of the Charger sedan.
The high-performance SRT8 model that's at the top of the Challenger model range is truly where the muscle-car cues all come together. The SRT8 includes hood stripes, a rear spoiler, a functional hood scoop, a satin chrome grille and special SRT-design 20-inch alloy wheels, and the appearance extras make the most of the blunt, aggressive shape and low, wide stance. Hues like Hemi Orange pearl coat paint reach back to the original muscle cars.
Standard features across the Challenger model line include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, side airbags and side-curtain bags. The bargain-priced SE isn't luxurious but it includes nearly all the features that are expected at its price level, including keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, power foldaway mirrors and a CD/MP3 sound system with auxiliary input. In addition to the V8, suspension, steering, and wheel upgrades, the R/T adds fog lamps, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob and extra interior illumination,
The SRT8 adds a host of extras in addition to the performance improvements, including HID headlamps, power heated mirrors, a remote start system, heated leather seats, UConnect (Bluetooth) hands-free, steering-wheel audio controls and a media center with hard-drive system and Boston Acoustics sound. Kicker upgraded speakers with a subwoofer are optional.