Reader Question: Challenger Thoughts?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Nunya asks: What are your thoughts on the reliability/dependability of the 2018 Dodge Challenger?  I’ve always been a Honda girl, but ever since they went to the CVT transmission, I was turned off.  I was told to avoid the CVT transmission at all costs, as it is factory sealed and not serviceable.  I purchased a 2015 Toyota Camry a little over a year ago and, although it hasn’t given me any problems, I just don’t like it.  I find it “blah.”  I’ve always liked the look of the Challenger, more so than the comparable Camaro or Mustang.  I wanted something “fun” to drive but I don’t want to be stupid about it. Thanks!

My reply: I love the Challenger!  I much prefer it to the Camaro, which is almost a Corvette at this point, with a useless back seat and an absurdly tiny trunk. The Mustang is better in this respect but it’s still marginal as other than a purely personal car. The Challenger is a massive car – a huge, brooding thing – with back seats you can use to carry passengers (as opposed to a gym bag) and a ’70s-style trunk that can take 2 bodies out to Jersey to be dumped at a rest stop off I-95.

The presence – and style – of the thing can’t be beat, either. It doesn’t just have balls. It is balls. My choice would be a Scat Pack with the 6.4 Hemi and six-speed, in orange or purple. But any Challenger is a great Challenger, including even the base V6, which you can get with AWD if you like.

The Challenger has another thing in its favor. It is basically the same car today as it was back in ’07 – no major updates since then – and that’s good because it means you have a track record to ease your worries and it means this car has a lot less of the obnoxious Big Brother tech you’d find in a “new” new car.

I think you’ll find it very fun – especially vs. the stuff you’ve been driving!

PS: I agree with you about the CVTs, even leaving aside long-term durability issues. They are about as fun as diet Jell-O.

Hope this was helpful!

. . .

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  1. Make sure you stick with the newer Challengers.
    There was an issue (and eventual recall) with some older models, ~2012, where the timing chain tensioner on the 5.7’s would fail and thus destroy your top end due to the interference engine. That was fun to happen at 80mph.
    That said, it was a gorgeous car. Roomy up front. Hauled when you stood on it, usually with some tire spin, and sounded beautiful.

  2. Love the Challenger myself, just do I finally get a Coupe or get another ragtop (Mustang)

    Nunya, what trim and trans are you thinking about getting now?


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