2017 Dodge Challenger GT first drive review: Old dog, new tricks Page 3


While the firmer suspension makes this mid-size coupe based on a full-size car handle better, the Challenger GT still can't match the deft handling of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Those much newer rivals go beyond muscle car and pony car status and can be considered sports cars.

Given the GT’s intended use for inclement weather, perhaps this suspension would better serve the R/T model.

The use of the V-6 isn’t a deal breaker. That’s because this engine and transmission work well together. The V-6 offers satisfying power, and it can vault this car from 0 to 60 mph in around six seconds, which is still faster than most muscle cars back in the day. The 8-speed automatic transmission makes the power easy to tap into, too, with crisp, responsive shifts.

AWD at a premium

While the base Challenger SXT starts at $28,285, the Challenger GT costs at $34,685. It’s actually equipped more like the $31,285 SXT Plus model, which adds such features as a rearview camera, upgraded brakes, mesh aluminum interior accents, metal pedals, a tilt/telescoping heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated sport seats, the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, a 276-watt Alpine audio system with 6 speakers, and rear parking sensors. But it also gets nappa-grade leather seats, the Sport driving mode, the three-mode stability control system, and the cop suspension.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor first drive review: One of a kind on road and off

A Super Track Pack button is standard, too. It pulls up the brand's Performance Pages that track such information as 0 to 60 mph and quarter-mile times, g forces, current torque and horsepower use, and additional gauges of interest to enthusiasts.

For an additional $995, buyers can specify a package that adds Alcantara synthetic suede to the seats, three more Alpine speakers and 509 watts of power, and a sportier steering wheel.

2017 Dodge Challenger GT, Media drive, Portland, Maine, January 2017

2017 Dodge Challenger GT, Media drive, Portland, Maine, January 2017

Enlarge Photo
2017 Dodge Challenger

2017 Dodge Challenger

Enlarge Photo
2017 Dodge Challenger

2017 Dodge Challenger

Enlarge Photo

Spending almost $35,000 for a V-6 muscle car starts us dreaming about the 376-horse R/T model or, better yet, the 485-horsepower Scat Pack model, which costs only $5,000 more. It makes us wonder why Dodge wouldn’t offer the AWD system on any V-6 model as perhaps a $1,500 to $2,000 option.

That way, you could get sweet looking muscle car for $30K and go bombing around in the snow. It would offer a bit more chassis compliance, too.

It may not be new, but the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is one of a kind, at least among American muscle cars. It’s a big, spacious, coupe with killer retro looks that is genuinely fun to drive in the snow.

I’m just looking forward to a smaller, nimbler next-generation Challenger with perhaps a dual-overhead cam V-8 or a twin-turbocharged V-6. Sure, Dodge can throw in AWD, too. But all that would take development dollars, and I’m not sure Dodge has them to spend at the moment.


 
Follow Us

Take Us With You!

 

Related Used Listings

Browse used listings in your area.


 
© 2017 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by Internet Brands Automotive Group. Stock photography by izmostock. Read our Cookie Policy.