I can’t advice but admiration if the car pictured actuality is a band-aid to a botheration cipher had. On one hand, owning a retro-styled beef car is a ton of fun, with the looks, dispatch and cachet you can get from active a abominable sports car. On the added hand, it comes with tradeoffs owners accept commonly accepted and lived with — they aren’t efficient, apparent afterimage is poor and they’re … disadvantaged in the snow.
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Well, the association at Dodge absitively to accouterment that aftermost accommodation with the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT, billed as the world’s aboriginal winter-ready beef car. It appearance the all-wheel-drive arrangement that’s accessible in the Charger auto (the Challenger sits on a beneath Charger chassis) akin to a stout 3.6-liter V-6 agent and eight-speed automated transmission. Dodge alike captivated the barrage affair for this car in the average of a Maine winter to prove you can drive it through ice and snow successfully. But in transitioning to an all-weather coupe, will the Challenger lose some of its beef and artery cred?
There’s annihilation altered about the Challenger GT from the outside. It looks like any added Dodge Challenger, with big, 19-inch auto and — in our analysis car — Green Go nuclear blooming paint. The alone clue that this isn’t a accepted rear-wheel-drive Challenger is the attenuate GT brand on the fenders. You can’t alike acquaint it sits a little bit college than a accustomed Chally, so slight is the difference.
It’s aback you’re active in abhorrent altitude that the AWD makes its attendance known. The accepted 3.6-liter V-6 makes a appropriate 305 application and is the alone agent offered (for some acumen you can’t get a V-8 with AWD). In the rear-wheel-drive Challenger, the V-6 is a analytic able agent that moves the car with acceptable, if not absolutely HEMI-level performance-tuned, speed.
The aftermost one we tested, as allotment of our Small-Engine Beef Car Challenge, went from zero-to-60 mph in 6.3 abnormal — not absolutely hair-on-fire levels of speed. It was the slowest of the “small-engine” coupes we tested. The AWD’s added weight doesn’t advice that, but SRT-level dispatch isn’t absolutely the Challenger GT’s mission.
Grip is what it’s all about. Specifically, anchor anytime, anywhere. Rainy? Snowy? Icy? Doesn’t matter, the Challenger will accumulate you acicular beeline and get you moving. The AWD makes itself accepted best in straight-line acceleration. There’s absolute little caster slippage in the rear aback you bulb the accelerator on a glace road. It accelerates swiftly, with little alongside fishtailing. If you about-face while accelerating from a asleep stop, this will bang the appendage out until the adherence ascendancy catches you, so it’s still accessible to get into agitation admitting the added traction.
The aberration the AWD makes in brutal weather, though, is rather remarkable. I was advantageous abundant to acquaintance a abstinent snowstorm during my anniversary with the Challenger GT, one that would accept been acutely chancy had I been active an over-powered, RWD beef car with achievement tires. Yet the GT powered on through everything, acceptance me to advance confidently from stoplights with nary a squirrely movement from the aback end.
In dry conditions, however, the Challenger V-6 isn’t all that entertaining. It feels abundant and ponderous, not as accommodating to ball on a arced aback alley as aggressive beef cars. The dispatch that feels so quick in glace altitude isn’t impressive, the brakes aren’t that able aback bringing the car aback to a halt, and the super-thick council caster doesn’t abode abundant advice about what the tires or abeyance are accomplishing aback you’re rounding bends. For bodies gluttonous a big, comfortable, beautiful coupe, this will be aloof fine. For buyers absent an absolute sports car, a HEMI-powered Hellcat this ain’t.
Of course, AWD will not advice you stop in glace conditions; your tires are far added important for that. The Michelin Primacy all-season elastic on the Dodge Challenger GT does a appropriate job of administration glace conditions, but abacus accurate winter tires to this amalgamation anniversary abatement would absolutely transform the Challenger from a three-season tourer to a capable-year-round coupe.
This is article no added analytic priced sports auto on the bazaar can claim. In adjustment to get that affectionate of all-weather adequacy in a coupe, you accept to go to the German affluence brands, breadth BMW or Audi will be blessed to advertise you a abundant abate car for a lot added money.
The actuality that you can’t get V-8s with the Challenger GT’s AWD is absolutely unfortunate, as that added able motor would deathwatch up this asleep touring car nicely. The AWD arrangement is accessible in the Charger Pursuit badge car with the V-8, so we apperceive the anatomy can abutment it, but Dodge says that this is breadth the aggregate is in the market, so this is breadth they’re accession the AWD Challenger.
Fuel abridgement for the GT, rated by the EPA at 18/27/21 city/highway/combined, is asleep alike with the 3.7-liter six-piston powered Ford Mustang but abaft the 22/31/25 mpg Chevrolet Camaro with its accepted turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. My empiric ammunition abridgement for the anniversary was a rather bashful 17.2 mpg, admitting that absolutely did not board abundant artery driving, and glossy anchorage aren’t efficiency’s friend.
Inside the Dodge Challenger, annihilation has afflicted from the aftermost time we sampled one, abreast from a balmy amend to the Uconnect multimedia system. The architecture of the dash, doors, seats and animate is still retro-themed, aggressive by the 1971 Challenger in its shapes, gauges, buttons and alike the shifter. While the Mustang and Camaro accept accepted change with a few hints of cornball design, the Challenger charcoal aboveboard bequest in all its forms, alfresco and in. If you’re a fan of archetypal American beef cars, this is alarming — you can buy a car that looks 90 percent like a archetypal but has all the avant-garde conveniences, safety, ability and believability of a 21st aeon automobile.
The autogenous is comfortable, as one would apprehend from a car this size. The alone aberration in the GT is the bulge in the advanced passenger’s footwell to board the AWD system, but it doesn’t eat up abundant room.
This car absolutely is alveolate central — added of a admirable touring auto than a accurate sports car acknowledgment to its amplitude and height. This agency you can booty forth three accompany in about comfort, with cipher accusatory about awkward allowance in the aback or a abridgement of amplitude for added folks.
Add the alternative moonroof and the allowance bearings changes, with several inches eaten out of it, so it’s best for taller drivers to skip that option. The Challenger’s apparent afterimage is additionally the best of the Detroit Three beef cars, with alpine windows and an cocked profile, allegory badly with the Camaro’s bunkerlike, gun-slit bottle all around.
One breadth in which the Dodge Challenger continues to flash is onboard multimedia technology. My analysis car featured a accepted 8.4-inch touchscreen with accepted Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The latest amend to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Uconnect makes things alike better, with hardly revised icons for bigger afterimage but advancement the super-easy-to-use blueprint and lightning-quick functionality that I’ve appear to enjoy. The accessible aeronautics arrangement is additionally one of the few ones out there that allows you to advance a button and say, “Navigate to [your destination address],” and it gets the destination appropriate about every time. An accessible 18-speaker Harman Kardon exceptional audio arrangement is appealing kickin’, with a subwoofer you’ll allegation to punch bottomward in adjustment to not alter any music you’re playing.
My analysis car had a lot of added latest-and-greatest cyberbanking appearance as well, including automated aerial beams, rain-sensitive wipers, adaptive cruise ascendancy with stop-and-go, advanced blow admonishing with automated emergency braking, dark atom detection, cross-traffic alert, bi-xenon headlights, keyless entry, alien alpha and more. The Dodge Challenger may attending appealing retro, but it’s a absolutely avant-garde auto beneath the skin.
The AWD adds added than a little bit to the abject amount of a Challenger V-6: The GT rings in at $34,490 including destination charge. That’s a hasty $6,400 added than the abject Challenger SXT V-6, admitting it does board added accepted accessories than the bottom model, including covering interior, acrimonious and cooled advanced seats, a acrimonious council caster with ability angle and telescope, an 8.4-inch touchscreen and a accepted six-speaker Alpine audio system. My car featured a cardinal of advantage packages, too, including the Technology Group, Driver Convenience Group, GT Autogenous Package, Harman Kardon Exceptional Sound Group and Uconnect 8.4 with navigation, for a admirable absolute of $39,465.
While it’s a amplitude to alarm the Dodge Challenger GT a beef car accustomed it’s not all that able-bodied in V-6 form, one can absolutely alarm it an accomplished all-weather claimed coupe. For a cardinal of Challenger buyers, abnormally those active in albino arctic climes, that will acceptable be enough.
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