"Over priced, over weight, underwhelming"2.0 starson by shotnoise
Pros: Sounds great; looks great (if looks could kill the Mustang and Camaro would be dead). Best back seat of the three retro-pony cars.
Cons: Overpriced. Terrible gas mileage. Family sedan handling and braking. Sub-par acceleration for the class. Bland, faceless interior.
Summary: This car would be the class leader if only you could just stare at it from the outside while your friend (or wife) rev'd the motor so you could listen to that wonderful exhaust note.
The problem starts when you climb in. The seats are uncomfortable (at least for my 6'4" frame). Many of the driver controls hare on the center console and have exactly the same look and feel. Why have a voice-dialing function but require you to take your hand and (more importantly) your eyes off the road to find the button needed to activate it. Once you get settled in and start the car, you revel in the sound (they should give whoever designed that exhaust system a raise!), but you quickly realize that the clutch is rather numb and that the gearbox is clumsy.
Out on the road you find that the engine is great fun for melting the tires but runs out of breath at the top end. Because of this, the new 2011 Mustang GT will leave the Challenger eating dust in both the 0-60 and 1/4 mile runs. The ride is plush for a car of this supposed performance orientation, but that is not what this car is supposed to be about. Once you try pushing this car very hard in the corners you find the car understeers with the determination of a bulldog. Both the Camaro SS and the Mustang GT will easily drive away from the Challenger on a road coarse. This is in part the chassis tuning, but it is primarily the fact that the Challenger is saddled with the bulk of the 300C, forcing it to carry between 600 and 800 lbs more weight than its nearest competitor. This also gives the Challenger the longest stopping distance from 60mph.
In closing - the Challenger SRT8, in my opinion, pulls off the retro-pony car theme much better than the ubiquitous Mustang or the outrageous Camaro. Unfortunately, the interior and performance lag far behind either of its two main competitors. Compared to the smaller, lighter Mustang, for example, he car is priced closer to the Mustang GT500 but gets it's butt kicked by the more common (and SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper) Mustang GT.
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