A head-turner that’s still prac­ti­cal

Chal­lenger GT has a leg up on Ford, GM ri­vals Road

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - Wheels - Sam Mceach­ern

The Dodge Chal­lenger GT is a car that prob­a­bly came about due to hes­i­ta­tion from Gen­eral Mo­tors and Ford.

So far, the two big­gest of the Amer­i­can Big Three have yet to stick all-wheel drive into their pony cars. It’s not hard to imag­ine a few FCA higher-ups sit­ting around one day in early 2016 say­ing, “Chevy and Ford haven’t done an all-wheel-drive Ca­maro or Mus­tang yet, might as well do some­thing like that,” be­fore set­ting to work on what was as­suredly the most straight­for­ward re­search and de­vel­op­ment process the com­pany had un­der­taken in years. Af­ter all, the Chal­lenger rides on the same Chrysler LX plat­form as when it de­buted in 2008, which is shared with the Charger — a ve­hi­cle that has been avail­able with all-wheel drive since 2007.

Our ver­dict? It’s a weird pack­age, but there are a few good rea­sons why some of you might want one.

The Chal­lenger GT’S pow­er­train con­sists of a 3.6-litre Pen­tas­tar V6 en­gine that makes 305 horse­power at 6,350 r.p.m. and 268 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 r.p.m. There’s also an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and a “high-per­for­mance” all-wheel-drive sys­tem. The AWD sys­tem dis­en­gages the front axle with a clutch when it’s not needed, mostly to save fuel, so the Chal­lenger GT can still be 100 per cent RWD in cer­tain sce­nar­ios. There’s also a drive se­lect sys­tem with a Sport mode that changes the AWD sys­tem’s be­hav­iour and loosens up the trac­tion con­trol.

For what­ever rea­son, this AWD driv­e­train forces FCA to raise up the Charger and Chal­lenger by what looks to be about two inches in com­par­i­son to the RWD cars. It’s nice to have a bit of ex­tra ground clear­ance, es­pe­cially in the win­ter, but it looks a bit hi­lar­i­ous on the Chal­lenger, which is al­ready a huge car.

That said, the 3.6-litre V6 moves this 1,866-kilo­gram coupe around pretty well. Most peo­ple at­tracted to this AWD GT model prob­a­bly just want to drive this thing to work and the gym and

the Ba­sics en­gine: out­put:

torque 3.6-litre Pen­tas­tar V6 305 hp, 268 lb-ft of

trans­mis­sion:

au­to­matic

Eight-speed

Fuel econ­omy (l/100 km):

12.8 city, 8.7 hwy, 11.0 com­bined

start­ing price: Price as tested:

$38,895 $45,275 look kinda cool do­ing it, and this pow­er­train is more than enough for that.

The Chal­lenger’s size means front pas­sen­ger room is as good as it’s go­ing to get in this seg­ment, the back seats are roomy enough, and the trunk open­ing is big for a coupe.

The Chal­lenger GT is noth­ing if not com­fort­ably equipped. The big, heated seats are like sit­ting on a leather couch and are just one stan­dard fea­ture that makes it a nice ob­ject to walk out to in the win­ter. There’s also a heated steer­ing wheel, Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto, and a six-way power seat with four-way lum­bar ad­just. The stan­dard 8.4-inch Ucon­nect sys­tem bugged out on us once, but it was fixed with a restart and didn’t show up again.

In short, the Chal­lenger GT is a big, spa­cious and rel­a­tively prac­ti­cal two-door that’s more us­able than its ri­vals from Ford or GM, but will turn more heads than any com­pa­ra­bly priced sedan.

love it

Com­fort­able ride Spa­cious cabin Well equipped

leave it

Eight-speed auto slug­gish around town

Numb driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence In-car dis­play bugged out on us

Dodge

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