While the Hellcat has been receiving all the praise and glory, Dodge has quietly revamped the entire Challenger lineup. They sent us a factory fresh SXT Plus to play with for a week, and it changed our perceptions about V6 muscle cars.
Not much can be said about exterior styling except don’t change what works. The Challenger SXT Plus is easily identifiable thanks to a retro inspired exterior. Revised for 2015, LED lighting has found its way into the taillights and four halo rings up front. A throwback to the seventies Challenger, the low and wide front end looks like nothing else on the road.
Inside is where the changes really happened. When the Challenger launched in late 2007, it was easy to spot which interior pieces were shared with other Dodge and Daimler-Chrysler products. Today’s Challenger is ergonomic and comfortable. An 8.4” screen above the center console controls the Uconnect system. Seats have great bolsters and soft leather. Door panels are still on the tall side, but careful attention to their contours fools the eye into making them shrink.
Technology is where the SXT Plus package really makes the Challenger a smart buy. It upgrades the wheels to polished 20” units wrapped in summer performance rubber. A number of convenience options also include rain sensing wipers, remote start, forward collision avoidance, sunroof, adaptive cruise and the 18 speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. The list of additional content goes on from there, and at it looks great on paper.
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In the real world, this much added content does have a negative effect on performance. Chrysler’s traditional 3.6-liter V6 will run forever with minimal maintenance, but it only offers moderate output. Horsepower taps out at 305, which is decent for a modern car, but torque is only 268 lb-ft. An eight speed automatic transmission and a 2.62 differential make up for the lack of twist by offering a pleasing 30 mpg.
Taking performance into consideration, this is not a fast car. It is a big and comfy coupe with all the bells and whistles. You won’t be spinning any tires or winning any races, but you will have a stylish and well appointed daily driver. The suspension is tuned for daily duty, and it has a typical amount of roll through the corners. If you want the HEMI ride, the parts are easily swapped out.
For a heavy coupe, 30 mpg is a nice achievement. If you need every option under the sun, pricing for the SXT Plus starts at $36,165. To find a two-door with this level of content and economy at this price is a hard task, so stop by your local Dodge dealer and try it out for yourself.
(Image Source: FCA Media)