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Many drivers would agree there’s nothing quite like a muscle car. They’re strong, sleek, and nowadays, they aren’t void of any of the features found in your typical SUVs, sedans, etc. Very few manufacturers continuously develop muscle cars, and nobody keeps outdoing itself like Dodge. As a household name that began at the turn of the twentieth century, it’s been a long and wild ride for this world-renowned manufacturer. The 2022 Dodge Challenger is the continuation of what is considered arguably one of the most important vehicles to ever exist. It got its start back in 1969 and experienced two lengthy hiatuses before returning to the market in 2008. Each year, thousands of loyal muscle car enthusiasts rely on Dodge to develop the modern-day vehicle of their dreams, which is an ideology many manufacturers have seemingly left in the past.
The 2022 Dodge Challenger is available at the starting price of $30,825.[a] If you want choices, then you won’t be let down because the Challenger is available in twelve trims. From the base level up to the top-tier model, there’s plenty of customizability in how you go about your shopping. Additionally, there are five powertrain configurations spread across all twelve trims, and of course, a muscle car wouldn’t be complete without available manual transmissions.
There’s plenty to say about the 2022 Dodge Challenger’s performance. With five available powertrains at your disposal, there are options for the thrill-seekers, the Sunday drivers, and the cautious fuel savers. The base powertrain is tame in comparison to its larger and more powerful siblings, but it’s a beast nonetheless. This 3.6L V6 engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and you’ll be hitting the road with 303 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque under your belt. While there’s a host of optional powertrains to select from, this V6 will save you money upfront and in the long run, with the best fuel efficiency of the bunch, thanks to its EPA-estimated ratings of 19 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
Not feeling the V6 engine and want something with more power? The 2022 Dodge Challenger can be fitted with one of four available V8 configurations, two of which are Supercharged and one with a high output. The first of the four is a 5.7L HEMI V8, codenamed the “Eagle,” which can be paired with either an 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Swapping out the base V6 for this engine will give your Challenger nearly 24% more horsepower and 53% more torque output. One more step up will get you the 6.4L V8 engine dubbed “Apache,” coming with the SRT 392. Going for this V8 engine gives the Challenger 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque; however, if these ratings weren’t impressive enough, the supercharged V8 engines push the bar higher.
Shoppers who are drawn to the Challenger Hellcat likely aren’t interested in any engine but the supercharged 6.2L V8, the “Hellcat.” As mentioned, the Hellcat is available in two configurations, one being a high-output supercharged variant. The first configuration is the regular-output supercharged 6.2L V8, which pairs with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission. Although these engines are reserved for the pricier Hellcat models, it has the performance to match, with 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. Especially when paired with the manual transmission, this is one of the most powerful manual muscle cars you can purchase.
Of course, as impressive as the Supercharged Hellcat engine is, the High-Output variant takes things further. While this particular powertrain is only available with an 8-speed automatic transmission, it’s expectedly the most powerful of the bunch. If it's within your budget, you’ll be more than pleased with the maximum 807 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque you’ll be working with.
No stones have been left unturned with the Challenger’s interior. Comfort, connectivity, luxury, and everything in between, are all represented and accounted for. For a muscle car, it’s surprisingly spacious, with the 2022 Dodge Challenger including an impressive 16.2 cu.ft. of cargo space. This much cargo space means you can do more with your muscle car than you may think; whether you’re going out of town for the week or simply shopping at the grocery store, you’ll have enough space. The Challenger is spacious not for just cargo, but for yourself and passengers too. As the driver, you’ll be given 42 inches of legroom and 39.3 inches of headroom. Passengers in the rear row will have to climb into the back row because of the lack of four doors on the Challenger, yet this muscle car remains respectably spacious, with back seat passengers seeing 37.1 and 33.3 inches of headroom and legroom.
Purchasing the base-level Challenger admittedly doesn’t get you heated or ventilated seats, but what you do get is a pleasant 6-way power-adjustable seat with 2-way power lumbar support. Given the lower cost of the base model against the pricier trims, it’s convenient that Dodge hasn’t cheaped out on the seat’s mechanics. Moving your way up the list of trims means you can upgrade to an 8-way power-adjustable seat, with the added luxury of 4-way power lumbar support. Both front seats can be heated and ventilated too, but not on the base trim as stated. However, Dodge has also given a tremendous amount of attention to ergonomics, and the result is performance seats designed to replicate more natural human posture, promoting better back health than most seats on the market while being tremendously comfortable too.
Shoppers who invest in Challenger models with an automatic transmission will be treated to a couple of amenities more reminiscent of a traditional muscle car. Behind your steering wheel, you can opt to add paddle shifters for switching gears, and your electronic shifter will be crafted to look more like the iconic ‘T-Shifter’ shift stick. This blends modernism with a retro and undeniably timeless design, and it’s sure to please both new and old fans of the Challenger. Additionally, the Challenger can be fitted with six different types of steering wheels, each offering different designs and material textures such as leather and suede.
The 2022 Dodge Challenger’s interior is filled to the brim with technology. Muscle cars may seem retro to some, but there’s nothing retro about what you’ll find here. Inside of the Challenger, you’ll have either a 7 or 8.4-inch infotainment center depending on the model you’ve selected. Features that you’d want in a 2022 vehicle are here, such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
For media playback, Dodge has gone above and beyond by giving drivers a choice between three audio systems. The base audio system is a basic setup, albeit with decent six speakers, and the other two systems are provided by Alpine Audio and Harman Kardon. Jumping from the base speaker system to the Alpine one is a significant leap in quality that sees nine speakers fitted in your cabin, running through 506W of power. Alternatively, the sky is the limit with the Harman Kardon premium audio system, which increases the number of fitted speakers to nineteen, not including the two separate subwoofers for bass channels, all running on a beastly 900W of power.
When handling a vehicle as powerful as a Challenger, staying safe should certainly be a priority. Dodge has crafted a durable frame utilizing strong steel materials, which wraps around the full vehicle, including the roof, and has offered a generous amount of advanced safety features to select from. Some of the available safety features designed to make your life easier include the Full-Speed Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, a ParkView Rear Back Up Camera, Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Path Detection, Automatic High-Beam Headlamps, and lastly, Adaptive Cruise Control. Each feature is a crucial addition and highly encouraged for drivers to opt for, and when combined, you’ll have one of the safest muscle cars on the road today.
The first available feature, the Full-Speed Collision Warning with Active Braking, is a system designed to trigger an audible alert if you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle. This beep will be loud enough to get your attention, and the moment a driver hears this alert, they should apply the brakes immediately. If the situation isn’t rectified by the driver in time, Active Braking intelligently senses a potential impact and will apply your vehicle’s brakes as a last resort. Adaptive Cruise Control will slow down your vehicle when the driver in front of you slows down, but like regular cruise control, it’ll then bring you back up to your predetermined speed.
Automatic High-Beam Headlamps turn on your high beams in times where you need visibility, yet the system is aware of oncoming drivers and lowers your beams accordingly. For traveling on the freeway, which is where the Challenger can truly shine, you can opt for Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection. With both features, you’ll be aware of the vehicles encroaching your blind spot, and you’ll use this information to determine the best moment to cross lanes. The Rear Cross Path Detection works in tandem with the standard ParkView Rear Back Up Camera, too, meaning you’ll have greater visibility of the surroundings behind your vehicle, and you’ll receive visual and audible alerts if a vehicle passes by.