gettacar
4 weeks ago

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger – Battle of the American Titans

The Dodge Charger is one of the longest-running nameplates in the automotive world, being in production since 1966, and the Challenger came shortly after in 1970. These two American muscle cars are inarguably the most iconic ones ever produced by the Detroit guys. The beauty of these cars is offering options all the way from a 30 grand SXT trim, a family car that you can launch from any red light, to the $100,000 limited-run street-legal freak of an 840-hp tarmac-shredding monster called the Demon. 

While all that variety is a good thing, that also makes the purchase decision difficult. In this battle of the American Titans, we’ll have a look at all there is to this Dodge Charger vs. Challenger debate and find out which model and which exact trim is best suited for your use case.

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Looks 

The first obvious difference in these two legendary Dodge muscle car lineups is the number of doors each has. The Challenger, being the sporty of the two, has two doors. Still, Dodge has pretty cleverly given it usable back seats. When you are not on track, you can use this car as a perfect family hauler, something that you cannot get in many other two-door coupes. 

The Charger comes in a proper sedan layout. It has four doors, more interior space, higher cargo capacity and a more domesticated outlook. However, at the core, it is still a full-blown muscle car; you’ll find that out in the powertrain section. 

Dodge Charger vs. Dodge Challenger Powertrain 

Both these cars offer several different engine options, and all of them are available in both models. The difference is that the Charger, owing to two more doors and a trunk, is heavier and hence has a bit slower acceleration, and the Challenger is faster, with marginally improved handling. 

After discussing the common things across all trims, we’ll talk more about the engine options in the trims section.

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Suspension 

The base model SXT Challengers and Chargers come equipped with 235/55R18 All-Season Performance Tires, while the more powerful V8 models have 305/35ZR20 (107Y) All-Season Performance Tires. You can also get the 20” wheels on the lower models for an added price. 

The suspension setup in both these cars is also the same. The front has a multi-wishbone setup that uses the latest short and long arm suspension layout, the perfect suspension for balancing handling and comfort. In the rear, both these cars use an independent multi-link suspension setup. 

The only difference is that the Challenger, being more performance-focused, has a stiffer suspension than the Charger. This gives the Challenger a harsher ride but better handling and track performance. 

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Trunk and Cargo Space 

As Dodge makes these cars to be as practical as possible, both the Charger and the Challenger have decent-sized trunks. They are pretty much identical, with the Challenger having a 16.2 cubic feet capacity and the Charger offering a 16.5 cubic feet trunk. In a real-world scenario, that is enough carrying capacity for three to four full-size bags. In other terms, despite being sports cars, both these have a trunk roughly the same size as America’s favorite family hauler, the Camry. 

Part of the reason Dodge has given these cars such a generous trunk is that it is meant for carrying a set of drag slicks to the track. The concept is, you can drive the car to the track with the street-legal tires and then switch to the drag slicks that you are carrying in the trunk when you need the most performance from the car. 

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Interior and Features 

Performance is obviously the highlight of the Chargers and Challengers, but you can get the performance of a $100,000 Challenger from a modified Supra for like 30 grand. What a modified Supra (or any other project car for that matter) cannot provide you is the interior comfort of these cars. 

From a comparison point of view, the Charger has a more spacious interior, especially more roomy rear seats. The Challenger, being a coupe, is a bit cluttered in the rear, however not so much as to make it impractical. 

Other than that, both offer the same amenities in the cabin. The seats come standard in black, maroon, or brown leather upholstery, with Alcantara being an optional extra. You can also go for the $400 Black/Demonic Red seats for the ultimate racing theme inside the car. 

The infotainment unit in these cars is Dodge’s Uconnect 4C, an 8.4-inch touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay support, Android Auto integration, integrated Voice Command, Bluetooth Streaming Audio and SiriusXM. Navigation is not standard in any of the models and comes as a $995 optional extra. You can also opt for a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that costs $1,995. 

The sunroof is also offered as an optional upgrade and will set you back another two grand. 

If you opt for all the premium features, that does take the price up but makes these cars luxurious and comfortable while being high performers, thanks to Dodge’s massive engines. 

Dodge Challenger vs. Charger Gas Mileage 

If you have the same powertrain, the gas mileage will be the same for the Challenger and the charger. The base model SXT trim (with the 3.6L V6) has an EPA rating of 19 MPG city, 30 MPG highway and 21 MPG combined. If you go for the official Gas Guzzler 6.2L V8 Supercharged HO Engine in your Challenger or Charger, it will give you 12 MPG in city driving, 21 MPG on the Highway and 15 MPG combined, as per EPA estimates. 

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Safety Features 

As these cars are made for speed, Dodge has taken every step to make sure that these cars are safe at every speed. These include both active and passive safety features. The active safety features meant to avoid or reduce the intensity of a crash include: 

  • Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning With Active Braking
  • Lanesense Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Parking Assist with Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Automatic High-Beam Headlamps
  • Advanced Brake Assist
  • Ready Alert Braking
  • Rain Brake Support
  • All-Speed Traction Control
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control With Stop

If a crash does happen, Dodge has made sure that the car’s occupants are safe. The following passive safety measures take care of that.

  • Solid Safety Frame – The frame is built from high-strength steel with ample roof strength for maintaining the integrity of the passenger compartment in the event of a crash. 
  • Side Guard Door Beams – Reinforced steel beams in the doors minimize the impact from the side. These are connected to the reinforcement in the structure of the car.
  • Advanced Multistage Airbags 
  • Active Front Head Restraint 

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Dimensions 

Here’s a tabular comparison of Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Dimensions 

Dimension Dodge Charger (inches)Dodge Challenger (inches)
Wheelbase 120.0116.0 
Length 198.4197.9 
Width (Standard Body)75.0 75.7
Height 57.857.7
Ground Clearance5.25.2
Curb Weight (lbs)5,100 – 5,5003,858 – 4,454

In short, the Challenger is a little bit smaller and lighter than the Charger when equipped with the same engine and transmission. That’s because the Challenger has two fewer doors than its more domesticated sibling. 

Dodge Charger and Challenger Aerodynamics 

One more thing that we need to talk about before getting into the trims of these cars and their details is the aerodynamics. There are two things about these American Muscle cars that determine what kind of aerodynamics package they need. First is the engine. A supercharged Hemi 392 V8, the one in the top trims of the Charger and Challenger, takes in more than 30,000 liters of air per minute, and you need huge air intakes to channel all that air into the engine. That is accomplished by using some of the largest functional air intakes and hood scoops of any production car. 

The second problem with these American muscle cars is the rear-wheel drive. 797 horsepower is a lot of force to put to the road via a pair of wheels. That is accomplished by using huge rear spoilers that provide downforce and keep these cars stable at high speeds. 

Dodge Charger and Challenger Common Trims

The Charger is offered in seven different trims, and the Challenger has ten variants. The similarity is that if it is a Challenger, it will always be a 2-door coupe and all the Charger trims are 4-door sedans. 

The following three trims are available in both the Charger and the Challenger.

The Dodge Charger and Challenger SXT

The Dodge Charger SXT and Dodge Challenger SXT are the entry-level trims for both these lineups. These come with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine. It is coupled with Dodge’s TorqueFlite 8-Speed Automatic Transmission. This engine has a 292 to 303 hp output depending on the options you select. The SXT trim is available in both Rear-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive configurations.

The Dodge Charger and Challenger GT

The Dodge Charger GT and Dodge Challenger GT trim comes with the same engine and transmission, but this power plant is tuned to 303 hp as a standard option in this trim. This trims gets you performance suspension, larger 20-inch wheels, Performance Hood with Functional Hood Scoop and SRT Front Splitter, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and added performance tracking features in the infotainment system. You can get this trim with a rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive drivetrain.

The Dodge Charger and Challenger R/T 

The Dodge Charger RT and Dodge Challenger RT trim comes with a 5.7L Hemi V8 engine tuned up to 375 hp from the factory. Available only in RWD, this trim offers the option of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. 20-inch wheels, performance suspension, and an electronically-controlled active exhaust are standard on this trim. 

Charger-Only Trims 

Other than these three standard trims, the Charger offers the four following trims. 

The Dodge Charger SCAT Pack 

The SCAT Pack badge signifies that the car is quicker than 14 seconds to the quarter-mile. The SCAT Pack dodge Charger accomplishes this with a 6.4L (392 cubic inch) HEMI V8 engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The maximum power output of this engine is 485 horsepower. Other features offered in this trim include a performance-tuned suspension, 4-wheel Brembo 4-piston brakes, Line-Lock, launch control with launch assist, performance tracking pages in the infotainment hub, heated and ventilated performance seats and a heated steering wheel. 

The Dodge Charger SCAT Pack Widebody 

The Dodge Charger SCAT Pack Widebody trim comes with the same engine and transmission combo as the SCAT Pack but with wider and more aggressive fender flares, hence the name Widebody. These wider fenders accommodate the wider 11-inch wheels rather than the 9-inch ones in the standard body chargers. 

This trim can be recognized on the exterior by the Widebody Package with Performance Fascia, Mail Slot Air Opening, Fender Flares, Side Sills and Integrated Front and Rear Fender Flares. It also has Bilstein adaptive damping suspension with variable ride stiffness control and 6-piston Brembo brakes. The interior has all the features of the regular SCAT Pack. 

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody 

The Dodge Charger SRT aka Street Racing Technology Hellcat Widebody comes with the 717-HP Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT V8 and an 8-speed transmission to go with it. It has the same widebody package and brakes as the SCAT Pack Widebody. 

What’s different in this trim, other than the engine, is that it has the Widebody Competition Suspension instead of the Bilstein one on the SCAT Pack Widebody. 

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody 

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody has the same engine as the SRT Hellcat Widebody Challenger, but this time it is tuned to pump out 797 horsepower instead of 717, making it the most powerful 4-door sedan on the American market. 

It comes with all the features of the SRT Hellcat Widebody Trim plus an SRT PowerChiller, a system that uses the air conditioning to cool down the air entering the engine from the supercharger to increase engine efficiency. 

Dodge Charger Trims Specs Summary 

Trim Engine Power (hp)Torque(lb-ft) TransmissionEPA City/Highway (MPG)0-60 (s)¼ Mile Top Speed (mph)
SXT3.6L V6 292270Automatic 8 speed19/306.4 14.7s @ 99 mph155
GT3.6L V6 300/282282Automatic 8 speed19/305.2 14.6s @ 99 mph155 
R/T5.7L HEMI V8 370 395Automatic 8 speed16/255.2 14.5s @ 101 mph160
SCAT Pack6.4L HEMI V8 485475Automatic 8 speed15/244.313.6s @ 107 mph165
SCAT Pack Widebody 6.4L HEMI V8 485475Automatic 8 speed15/244.313.4s @ 108 mph165
SRT Hellcat Widebody Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT V8 717650Automatic 8 speed12/213.9 11.1s @ 125mph196
SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT HO V8 797707Automatic 8 speed11/193.610.6 @ 129 mph196

Challenger-Only Trims 

Other than the SXT, GT, and R/T, the Challenger has the following seven more trims. 

The Dodge Challenger R/T SCAT Pack 

The Dodge Challenger R/T SCAT Pack comes with the 6.4L (392 cubic inch) HEMI V8 Engine with 485 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. It has Brembo 4-piston brakes on all four wheels and Line Lock and Line Control Features. The front seats are heated and ventilated, and the steering is also heated in this trim. The infotainment system in this trim features performance tracking pages.

The Dodge Challenger R/T SCAT Pack Widebody

The Dodge Challenger Widebody version of the R/T SCAT Pack Trim has the same engine, transmission and other features. The exterior of this trim has the SRT front fascia and wider fender flares to accommodate the wider 11-inch wheels.

It also adds 6-piston Brembo brakes at the front and 4-piston ones at the rear.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat 

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has the Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT V8 Engine with 717 HP and a manual six-speed transmission. It features Line Lock, Launch Control, and After race chiller. You also get Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension with customizable ride stiffness settings.

It has 6-piston Brembo brakes at the front and 4-piston ones at the rear.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody 

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody comes with the same engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes as the SRT Hellcat. It gets wider 11-inch wheels and a widebody kit to accommodate them. All other features are the same as the regular Hellcat.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye gets the Supercharged 6.2L HEMI High Output SRT V8 Engine with 797 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It comes with a Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension with customizable ride stiffness settings, Brembo 6-piston brakes in the front and 4-piston in the rear, and has the SRT Power Chiller and after-race cooldown features. 

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody 

This trim has all the features of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye with wider 11-inch wheels and a Widebody kit.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock 

Most powerful of the entire Charger and Challenger Lineup, the Challenger SRT Super Stock has the same Supercharged 6.2L HEMI High Output SRT V8 Engine, but the supercharger on this car is the biggest in any production car in the world. That gives it a power output of 807 horsepower. It gets the same eight-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters as the other Challengers with the HO engines. It is also the only muscle car to come from the factory with drag radials as standard.

Dodge Challenger Trims Summary

Trim Engine Power (hp)Torque(lb-ft) TransmissionEPA City/Highway (MPG)0-60 (s)¼ Mile Top Speed (mph)
SXT3.6L V6 303270Automatic 8 speed19/306.214.5s @ 99 mph155
GT3.6L V6 303282Automatic 8 speed19/306.2 14.5s @ 101 mph 155
R/T5.7L HEMI V8 375395Manual 6-Speed 16/255.2 14.1s @ 103 mph160
R/T SCAT Pack6.4L HEMI V8 485475Manual 6-Speed 15/244.913.5s @ 109 mph 165 
R/T SCAT Pack Widebody 6.4L HEMI V8 485475Manual 6-Speed 15/244.713.3s @ 114 mph 165 
SRT Hellcat Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT V8 717656Manual 6-Speed 12/213.710.9s @ 126 mph 196
SRT Hellcat Widebody Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT HO V8 717656Manual 6-Speed 11/193.610.9s @ 126 mph 196
SRT Hellcat RedeyeSupercharged 6.2L HEMI HO V8797707Automatic 8 speedN/A3.510.6 @ 129 mph196
SRT Hellcat Redeye WidebodySupercharged 6.2L HEMI HO V8797707Automatic 8 speedN/A3.410.6s @ 129 mph203
SRT Super Stock Supercharged 6.2L HEMI HO V8807707Automatic 8 speedN/A3.2510.5 @ 131 mph203 

Dodge Charger vs. Challenger Prices 

The main difference in the price of Chargers and Challengers is that you can get the same powertrain in a Challenger for a couple of thousand dollars less than the Charger.

Here is a comparison of the prices of the various Charger and Challenger trims. These are the starting prices for each trim and can go significantly up depending on the optional extras you select. 

CHARGER 
Model Price
SXT$31,125 
GT$33,125
R/T$38,125 
SCAT Pack $42,800
SCAT Pack Widebody $48,795
SRT Hellcat Widebody $73,225
SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody $81,825
CHALLENGER 
Model Price
SXT$29,450
GT$32,450 
R/T$36,150
R/T SCAT Pack $42,225
R/T SCAT Pack Widebody $48,220
SRT Hellcat$61,850
SRT Hellcat Widebody $67,850 
SRT Hellcat Redeye$73,450
SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody $79,850 
SRT Super Stock $82,850 

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 

The Demon was a limited edition version of the Challenger that deserves a special mention because it is the single most notable muscle car ever made in America. It is the only car in the world that can do a wheelie in stock condition. 

At the heart of the Demon is the most powerful production V8 in the world, an 840hp Supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8. With that kind of power, the demon can dart from 0 to 60mph in just 2.1 seconds, making it the quickest non-electric production car in the world. Made for the drag strip, the Demon zips through the quarter-mile mark in 9.65 seconds at 140mph. 

Sadly, only 3,300 were ever made and sold for a shade under 85 grand each. However, now that the production run has ended, prices are even higher if you get to find one. 

Conclusion 

The Dodge Charger and Challenger are two of the most popular muscle cars available in the American market. The main difference between these two is that the Dodge Charger is a 4-door sedan and the Challenger a 2-door coupe; however, both are 4-seater, and even the Challenger has pretty practical and decently sized rear seats. 

The charger is a bit heavier than the Challenger, making a similarly equipped Charger a bit slower than the Challenger. Chargers are also slightly more expensive than Challengers. 

Dodge offers seven different trims in the Charger and 10 in the Challenger. These trims have different engines, transmissions, and other features, as detailed above. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Much Is A Hellcat?

The Dodge Charger Hellcat costs $73,225, while the Challenger Hellcat variants range from $61,850 t0 $&9,850.

What Does SRT Stand For?

SRT stands for Street Racing Technology. It is a term used by Stellantis-owned companies, including Dodge, for high-performance street-legal cars, typically intended for drag racing.

What Is A Hellcat?

Hellcat is a high-performance variant of the Dodge Charger and Challenger models.

How Much Is A Dodge Charger?

The price for a new Dodge Charger ranges from $31,125 to $81,825, depending on the trim you choose. Optional extras on a top-of-the-line Charger can drive the cost above $100,000.

How Much Is A Dodge Challenger?

The Challenger starts at $29,450 and goes up to $82,450 before optional extras.

What Is A SCAT Pack?

SCAT Pack is a designation for cars that are quicker than 14 seconds to the standing quarter mile.

How can you Test Drive a Dodge?

You need to be above 18 and hold a driving license to test drive a Dodge Charger or Challenger. You can schedule a test drive by going to the Dodge website

How Much Is A Dodge Demon?

The Dodge Demon had a price of $84,995 when it was in production. With only 3,300 of these exceptional machines ever made, expect to pay well above $100,000 for one.

How Much Horsepower Does A Dodge Demon Have?

The Dodge Demon is rated for 807 hp on regular fuel and 840 hp on racing gas. 

What Is A Muscle Car?

Muscle car is a term used for an intermediate-sized high-performance American car with a big engine, typically a V8. Historically muscle cars used to be rear-wheel drive, but now AWD variants are also available.

How Fast Is A Hellcat?

The fastest Hellcat, the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, does 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, and the standing ¼ mile in 10.6 seconds at 129mph. It has an electronically limited top speed of 203 mph.

What Is The Fastest Muscle Car?

The fastest production muscle car of all time is the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. It does 0-60 in 2.1 seconds and the standing quarter-mile in 9.6 seconds at a whopping 140 mph.

When Did The Hellcat Come Out?

The Hellcat was first introduced by Dodge in 2015.

Which Is Faster Hellcat Or Demon?

The Demon is faster than the Hellcat. 

How Many Miles Can A Dodge Charger Last?

With proper care and regular maintenance, the Charger can last 250,000 miles. 

What Does Sxt Mean On A Dodge Charger?

There is no official explanation of SXT, but the most plausible meaning is “Standard eXTra.”

How Much Is A 1970 Dodge Charger?

1970 Dodge Chargers go for anywhere between $15,000 t0 $40,000 depending on the car’s condition. Restored examples can even bring $70,000.

How Reliable Is A Dodge Charger?

The reliability rating of the Dodge Charger (current generation) is 89/100, which falls in the “great” category.

Buy a used car online