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2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

car Dodge Challenger SRT8 well
ZTSG 22/04/2022 Hatchback 178
My father is the biggest car madman you have ever seen. Over the years, he has accumulated something that people think of dreaming of a garage: Camaro in 1969, 300ZX in 1996, and now it’s the day he w...

My father is the biggest car madman you have ever seen. Over the years, he has accumulated something that people think of dreaming of a garage: Camaro in 1969, 300ZX in 1996, and now it’s the day he was published from the magazine The car that has been dreamed of since the beginning has released the original sketch: the new Dodge Challenger SRT8.2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

Now that Dodge has finally released this dream machine, was it really worth the wait? Let me answer it this way: when you roll up behind one on the highway or see one coming down a back road, are you gawking at the car for as long as it’s in your site line? If you are like any of the hundreds of people I saw along my drive in this eye-catching ride, the answer is undoubtedly YES.2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

This car is absolutely gorgeous from any angle. From the massive 20” wheels and giant 4-piston Brembo brakes to the signature Challenger rear flanks and the front end that is just plain menacing: the Dodge Challenger SRT8 is the biggest, baddest car on the road today. This car’s massive proportions dwarf everything else out there and for this reason – along with its retro styling that tugs at the heartstrings of all those old enough to appreciate the original – the Challenger is a win for a company that was on the brink of being just another Motown casualty.I’m not certain if it’s the Challenger’s style and proportions or the super-rare B5 Blue paint scheme of this example (just over 250 such SRT8s were built in 2009,) but from my experience, complete strangers will remind you of just how good looking this car is – almost every time I parked, a lengthy conversation would ensue.2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

So, this car is stunning to look at but does that actually translate to a fun car to drive? This question is a little harder to answer. Sure, cruising around town in the SRT8 is a blast. The slick shifting 6-speed manual transmission feels great with its tight gates and easy clutch take-up. The view over the long hood is surprisingly good and all-around visibility is much better than either the Camaro or the Mustang. The dash is well laid out with all the right gauges in all the right places, and the 6.5” touch screen GPS navigation system works as well as most: its intuitive and uses straight forward touch commands. Data entry is the typical State > City > Street address or selecting a point of interest by type > name, etc. I still long for the day when an OEM Navigation System works as well as Google Maps.2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review

The Challenger has a massive trunk with fold-down rear seats that can accommodate all of your gear easily, including two oversized golf bags – try that in the Camaro’s oddly shaped trunk opening. The 425 HP 6.1 Liter Hemi SRT8 engine puts the power down and sounds sweet doing it. Putting your foot into it brings an instant smile to one’s face as speed limits are quickly broken. However, at the end of the day this car is better suited to cruising to your favorite restaurant than it is pummeling back roads on the edge of adhesion. Though the sports suspension is well suited for a drive in the country, make no mistake about it: at 4,140 lbs, this car is heavy. The size of this ride translates directly into weight which is no small task to move around an apex.

My complaints for this car are very few considering that it was built using the same LX platform that underpins such recent examples as the Dodge Charger, Magnum and Chrysler 300. Though this cost-saving choice has led to some compromises, the overall design does work quite well. Weight of course is an issue that I hope Dodge can correct in future versions. However, my number one item to change would be the hand brake, or rather the lack thereof. Why Dodge decided to put a foot-operated parking brake in a manual transmission is beyond my comprehension. Not only does it alter my ritual of stop-park-power off but it takes up valuable real estate from the dead pedal, making it considerably less comfortable to cruise down the highway in 6th gear. The fake carbon fiber stripe package on the hood is also a pet peeve of mine and fortunately Dodge is offering a “Stripe Delete” option that lowers the price by a cool $250. I’ve also heard a lot of complaints from the magazines surrounding the car’s interior but I have to say that my opinion differs here. Sure, Dodge could do better, but I do enjoy the simplicity of the dash design and the relatively subtle interior for this segment. The pistol grip shifter feels great and the seats are well bolstered and comfortable. None of the interior design compromises for the sake of retro styling – such as those found in the new Camaro – exist here. The Challenger’s interior is modern, straight forward and it works.

In general, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 left a deep impression on me. Buy this car at a basic manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $43,680, which is much higher than the top models of the Camaro SS or Mustang GT, but with it, it can be said that the appearance is better and the interior plastic feel is lower. More, the sense of existence of the road is also stronger. Downgrading to the Challenger R/T with a slightly smaller 5.7-liter Hemi V8 will get a price point similar to the competition (basic suggested retail price of $30,860), but the power will also drop from 425 horsepower to 383 horsepower. For the cruising use of this car, the R/T model should be sufficient, but it is difficult for me to reject the addictive ability of the SRT8.