The 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is literally many things:
Two-door sporty coupe, one of the last of a dying breed of big cars powered by big muscle, retro-themed mid-life crisis mobile.
But one thing it isn’t:
When a bright yellow Challenger SRT8 with the 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 (425 horsepower) under the hood and a 6-speed manual transmission show up at your door…
…it will be a difficult challenge for you to resist getting some seat time behind the wheel.
Also it can be a hard task to move throughout the city with this Challenger unnoticed.
Aside from the availability of the “Plum Crazy” purple paint job, very little changes occurred for the Challenger, which was introduced in 2008 as a 2009 model.
1. How Much is a Dodge Challenger SRT8?
The price nowadays is around $29,588, in which are included standard features such as ABS, an antiskid system, traction control, front-side airbags, curtain-side airbags, air conditioning, 20-inch wheels, heated front seats, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, satellite radio, a wireless cell phone link, a functional hood scoop, a spoiler, a dual exhaust, and some more features.
Also, there are options included like the paint ($225), the $695 SRT Option Group (white face gauges, upgraded audio), the Special Edition package ($275, unclear what it includes), the 6-speed manual transmission (includes 3.92 axle ratio, hill-start assist, and Track Pak, $695), 6-disc CD changer with MP3 capability, the $590 Uconnect media center (navigation system with real-time traffic information, hard drive, and iPod adapter), and the $1,300 gas-guzzler tax.
That gas-guzzler tax is well earned, the EPA mileage numbers are 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
I was unable to measure real-world fuel-economy during my test.
However, there was something that I was able to measure…
2. 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 Review
…and that was the acceleration.
But there were no surprises here:
The Challenger did not disappoint.
Step on it, and the Hemi raises holy hell as the car leaps forward under the power of 420 lb-ft of torque. Woodward Avenue awaits.
The shifter is on the notchy side, and a skip-shift feature annoys at part throttle, although it’s easily defeated with an extra squeeze of the throttle.
And once we are speaking about the brakes, they are strong and smooth, as I noticed when an inattentive driver wandered into busy traffic from a cross-street and forced me into a full-on panic stop.
About the ride and handling, they remain, well, I can say challenging (pun intended).
As a problem here can be considered the size and weight, and the Challenger just isn’t tossable.
You will find yourself always concerned about the corners of the car, and where they are placed.
However, this doesn’t mean the Challenger is a slouch, it slides through the twisties with purpose.
But its rivals like the Ford’s Mustang and the Chevy’s Camaro are more fun to throw into corners.
All that heft that is close to 4,000 lbs really makes the ride some favors. Around town, the Challenger is stiffly sprung, but never punishing, and it’s a pleasant enough highway cruiser.
Anyway, I can say pleasant enough in terms of ride.
Noise can be an issue:
The V-8 sounds charmingly old-school at low speeds, and sounds tremendous when triggered.
However, when you take a highway cruise in sixth gear, noise is a bit annoying.
I’ve had the pleasure to see Metallica live twice, so it’s debatable as to which is louder…
…the car or the band.
3. Also, on this model you can find other sacrifices…
The low roof hinders headroom and visibility, especially to the rear, and the heavily bolstered seats wear on drivers a bit on long trips.
Legroom can be considered above average up front, but pity those poor souls who are relegated to the back, probably the children.
And what disappoints for the most part is the Challenger’s interior.
It can be described as a sea of black hard plastic, that is little to entertain the eye.
The cloth stripes on the front seat that match the paint brighten the interior, but also have a tacky look. The pistol-grip shifter evokes the past, but it, also, seems cheesy.
Same goes for the cupholder lights that pop on at night. Fortunately, the black-on-white gauges save face.
Still, this was not enough:
As I find some other complaints that can go out to the Uconnect system…
…it’s not as user-friendly as Ford’s Sync.
Cargo space can be considered as a plus, the center console is decently sized, and the rear trunk offers plentiful space, once you come to grips with the problems posed by the high liftover.
The Challenger is categorized in the group of pony car, like its rivals: Camaro and Mustang…
…but really, that’s inaccurate.
This Challenger is a 1970 muscle in 2010.
It is intended to evoke the past while still offering modern creature comforts. The interior is bland, the fuel economy is laughable and the handling compromised by heft.
But enthusiasts and lovers aren’t supposed to care about such things.
For straight-line speed and old-school visceral thrills, this is your ride. Otherwise, I can point you in the direction of a boring mainstream sedan.
But then, that’s just too subtle.