A head-turner that’s still practical
Challenger GT has a leg up on Ford, GM rivals Road
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
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.
Comfortable ride Spacious cabin Well equipped
Eight-speed auto sluggish around town
Numb driving experience In-car display bugged out on us