As for the V-6, it carries over with the stronger, 305-hp version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that was introduced last year. For the most part it feels (and is) just as strong as the V-8 versions of these cars were just a few years ago.
All along, the Challenger has always been a little more of a touring coupe than the other muscle cars or pony cars—and we feel like the interior changes of the 2015 lineup, collectively, take it further in that direction. In all, the standard 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT, SXT Plus, and R/T models feel almost like luxury coupes—refined, comfortable, and very finely detailed. They’re quiet, too, except for some engine noise when you want to hear it, which is when you’re accelerating hard in the V-6 and on all but gentle low-rev cruising in the V-8.
The entire Challenger lineup—all except the Hellcat—gets electric power steering for 2015. While we’re not as fond of the way it feels on center, and they seem to have tuned all forms of feedback and kickback from the system, it’s weighted nicely and most drivers should find it just fine.
V-6 models have the full look, but fuel-efficient, affordable practicality
Those V-6 and entry V-8 models offer a nice juxtaposition against the fury of the Scat Pack and SRT 392, and the sheer outrageousness of the Hellcat—and we can’t help but wonder why anyone would choose a Honda Accord V-6 Coupe over a Challenger SXT V-6.
As for those upper-performance models, they definitely make some sacrifices in the name of better body control under power, but it amounts to a little more road noise and a somewhat more jittery ride. The engine note is ever-present in those cars as well; but who doesn’t want that?
Of course, a taste of the performance in the Hellcat, and in the rest of the Challenger lineup, is just the start. These are well-balanced mid-size coupes that really do function well as daily drivers (for those not too far into the Snow Belt). With great cabin comfort, looks that are even more focused back on 1971 and '72, and an interior that also takes lots of retro cues but gets far classier and more cockpit-like, with soft-touch materials throughout—as well as updated infotainment and displays—the Challenger keeps up on all your modern connectivity and entertainment needs.
But really, with the Hellcat, the driving experience, the sound of the engine, and the accessibility, yet the potential to churn those tires at any instant: Well, that’s entertainment.