2013 Dodge Challenger | road test

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 by
2013 Dodge Challenger
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 110,000
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  • Last modified: December 8, 2014
  • Interior
    Editor: 75%
  • Exterior
    Editor: 90%
  • Quality
    Editor: 60%
  • Features
    Editor: 80%
  • Performance
    Editor: 80%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 85%

Review Summary:

We've never liked the concept of a with anything less than a 6.0 litre engine. The 2013 Challenger may have just changed that...

Pros

Exterior styling
Boot space in comparison to its competitors
Exhaust note
Built in 0 - 100 km/h timer

Cons

Power delivery wasn't the smoothest
Large C-Pillars create a massive blind spot

There have always been a few things we couldn’t get our head around. Modern art, why people point at their wrist when asking for the time, and why certain manufacturers fit anything smaller than a 6.0 litre engine into a muscle car. Having got the keys to a 2013 Dodge Challenger SE for the weekend, it was time to see, if fitting a 3.6 litre engine into one of the meanest looking muscle cars on our streets was a wise idea.

2013 Dodge Challenger side

Unlike the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the Dodge Challenger has stayed true to its roots. With a prominent bulge on its hood, numerous curves along its muscular body and a wide intimidating stance, the Dodge Challenger SE was nothing short of an absolute brute.

2013 Dodge Challenger rear

Finished in Pitch Black with silver racing stripes and grey 18” aluminium wheels, our Dodge Challenger SE was surely a looker and caught the eyes of many on the streets of the U.A.E. Besides the non-functioning air vents on the hood and the mighty tire wells that refused to fill up even with 18” rims; there wasn’t a whole lot to criticize as far as the aesthetics were concerned.

2013 Dodge Challenger driver door view

Being the basic model, we weren’t sure what to expect with the interior, but we stood pleasantly surprised. In spite of an abundance of hard plastics found along the dashboard and door panels, the design of the centre console and dashboard in general was one we seemed to like a lot.

2013 Dodge Challenger interior

Certain aspects of the interior were tailored to the hip and trendy youth the Challenger is targeted towards as well. For instance, illuminated cup holders for the driver and front passenger; a 6 speaker sound system that emitted more bass than you’d normally be accustomed to; and a decent amount of carbon fibre trim running along the centre console and gear shifter.

In terms of tech, the Dodge Challenger wasn’t a let down either. It made up for the lack of a multimedia screen with Push Button Start, Bluetooth, a speed sensitive door locking system, tire pressure monitors, cruise control and steering mounted audio controls.

2013 Dodge Challenger side-2

If for whatever strange reason you had disregarded the Challenger as an impractical family vehicle, you couldn’t have been further from the truth. Accommodating up to 4 individuals was an absolute breeze, and the practicality didn’t end there. With boot space measuring in at 459 litres, the Dodge Challenger SE boasted 80 litres and 139 litres more than the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro respectively.

However, the interior did come with a few flaws we couldn’t overlook. For starters, due to the enormous C-Pillars and minuscule side mirrors that magnified images, outward visibility wasn’t the best and there was always a risk you hadn’t spotted that motorcyclist in your blind spot when changing lanes. Moreover, though the cartoony instrument cluster looked brilliant during the day, the dim green backlit illumination made it rather tricky to read after sunset or before sunrise.

2013 Dodge Challenger grille

Our Challenger was fitted with a 3.6 litre V6 engine that produced 305 horsepower and 363 Nm of torque. Mated to a 5 speed automatic transmission and a Mopar exhaust system, the Challenger sprinted from a standstill to 100 km/h in a blistering 6.8 seconds. The 3.6 litre Challenger was no slouch. With a top speed of 220 km/h, it packed in a decent amount of performance to back its ultra cool exterior.

2013 Dodge Challenger 0 - 100 timer

As we mashed the loud pedal to the floor and filled the ears of those passing by with a raspy exhaust note, we were amazed to find the Challenger held on to each gear until it reached a ground shaking 6,500 RPM and then rewarded us with one of the nicest exhaust snorts we’ve heard in a while. Equipped with a built in 0 – 100km/h timer that could be activated effortlessly, the Challenger encouraged us to find empty roads and push it to its limits by improving shifting patterns to gain a better sprint time.

2013 Dodge Challenger Mopar exhaust

A well known stereotype with muscle cars is that they hate tackling corners and this was true with the Dodge Challenger as well. It wasn’t a very nimble car to throw into corners and on the few occasions we did, we had our foot ready to stomp the brake and correct the understeer. Power delivery wasn’t the smoothest either. On several occasions, we recorded that though constant pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal, there were times in the RPM range when the Challenger would wake up and abruptly lurch forward.

As our time with the 2013 Dodge Challenger SE drew to a close, our opinion on the 3.6 litre muscle car had changed drastically. It proved to be efficient in the city, practical with its seating capacity and boot space, and on top of all, a proper head turner. So if you’re in the market for a new car with a budget of AED 110,000, steer away from the family sedans every Tom, Dick and Harry go for and opt for the Dodge Challenger – go on, live a little…

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