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Used Dodge Challenger Overview And How To Buy At The Best Price
The return of the Dodge Challenger in the 2008 model year, nearly four decades after its initial debut, was welcome news for car enthusiasts both young and old. Its design is distinctly reminiscent of the iconic '70's muscle car. So is its available 425-horsepower V8 power. What's new, however, is the combination of these old strengths with modern-age feature refinement.
For those possibly interested in buying a used Challenger, here's a general overview of the reintroduced vehicle:
Used 2008 Dodge Challenger models are available in SRT8 form only. The SE and R/T models were then introduced for the 2009 model year, as was manual transmission for the SRT8. While the new Challenger's roof-line and long hood are mindful of the original, the Challenger is actually based on a shortened version of the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger platform.
The base Challenger SE is equipped with a 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine that's mated with a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard features on the SE include full power accessories, air conditioning, an 8-way power driver seat, keyless entry, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels and a CD/MP3 player.
Moving up to a used Challenger R/T model adds its robust 5.7-liter V8 that produces 375 horsepower and is coupled with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Other R/T features include a sport-tuned suspension and steering, 18-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and several unique exterior styling accents.
The top-of-the-line Challenger SRT8 was developed by Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology division and is outfitted with a 6.1-liter V8 that's good for 425 horsepower. Used SRT8's can be found with either the six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Also found in the SRT8 are Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, a stiffer suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, xenon headlights, heated front sport seats, heated side mirrors, cruise control, keyless ignition, leather and faux suede upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, exterior upgrades such as the scooped hood, Bluetooth and a 13-speaker premium sound system with a 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
Many of these upgraded features can also be found on lower trims that had added them as options. Depending on the model, other significant optional features found on used Challengers include a hard-drive-based navigation system with music and video file storage capability, a sunroof and high-performance summer tires.
In addition, used R/T models can be found with the Trak Pak, which includes the six-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, Hill Start Assist, a recalibrated performance steering system and bright pedal trim accents.
In terms of safety features, antilock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist and stability control are standard on the R/T and SRT8 models, optional on the SE. And side curtain airbags are standard on all models.
Used buyers should note the SE became the "Base" model in 2011 and the "SXT" in 2012, while a manual transmission option was made available for the SRT8 in 2009. For the 2009 and 2010 model years, the SE's 250-horsepower V6 has been considered a bit underwhelming for a muscle car. In addition, its transmission was a four-speed automatic in 2009 and a five-speed auto in 2010. In terms of both performance and fuel economy, this version isn't recommended. This situation changed significantly, however, with the new V6 introduced for 2011 (see below).
Also be mindful that the 2008 - 2010 models do not have the retuned suspension, upgraded steering and stronger brakes present in 2011 and newer models (in addition to the new V6). The SRT8 also got a more powerful V8 in 2011 as well. All Challengers also received reshaped seats and other interior upgrades, a more comfortable steering wheel and additional standard features in 2011.
This newer version is simply a more capable and engaging car to drive due to the engine, suspension, steering and braking revisions. And the V6 is no longer one to avoid. The new "Pentastar" 3.6-liter V6 is significantly more robust, pumping out an additional 55 horses to a total of 305, while also becoming competitive with its rivals base engines in terms of fuel economy. The SRT8 (now called the SRT8 392) also got a boost to a 6.4-liter, 392-cubic-inch V8 good for an impressive 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
In terms of overall pros and cons for the 2008 - 2010 models, positives would include its exterior design, strong R/T and SRT8 performance, comfortable drive, roomy rear quarters and generous storage space, while negatives would include a fairly bland interior, uninspiring V6 performance and poor rearward visibility.
Highlights of 2011 and newer models would include its strong V6 and V8 engines, comfortable ride, spacious cabin, large trunk and improved interior quality, while negatives would include poor rear visibility and handling not quite as sharp as the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang (although the trade-off is more room and a more compliant ride in the Challenger).
Overall, for those seeking a used car with a distinctive look, serious power and plenty of amenities, the Dodge Challenger is worthy of very serious consideration.
How To Get The Best Price On A Pre-Owned Dodge Challenger:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used Challenger at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.