Dodge Chal­lenger

Ex­cit­ing T/ A & T/ A 392 bol­ster lineup

Chicago Sun-Times - - TO DRIVE - BY IRA SIEGEL

The Dodge Chal­lenger is a wildly pop­u­lar Amer­i­can mus­cle car with iconic sporty styling, a wide va­ri­ety of sa­vory trim lev­els and pave­ment- pound­ing pow­er­train choices.

For 2017, the Chal­lenger lineup grows to 14 trim lev­els with the ad­di­tion of the all- new Chal­lenger T/ A and Chal­lenger T/ A 392. The two new Chal­lenger T/ A mod­els bring le­gacy- in­spired styling and impressive per­for­mance up­grades.

The new T/ A mod­els fea­ture unique satin black ex­te­rior graph­ics and her­itage- in­spired hood pins. Up front are unique SRT Hell­cat- in­spired coldair in­duc­tion sys­tem “Air Catcher” head­lamps, but with LED- il­lu­mi­nated T/ A lo­gos.

With the Chal­lenger, there is a fla­vor for all pal­ettes. At the top end of the Chal­lenger line is the in­cred­i­ble SRT Hell­cat, pow­ered by a 707horse­power su­per­charged 6.2- liter V8 engine. The Chal­lenger Hell­cat will launch you from 0- 60 mph in just 3.6 sec­onds and does the quar­ter- mile in a blis­ter­ing 11.7 sec­onds. For the Hell­cat, the cost of own­er­ship is more than many can af­ford.

At the other end of the spec­trum is the Chal­lenger SXT. It comes stan­dard with a strong 305- horse­power 3.6- liter V6 engine and 8- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The V6 is no slouch and the 8- speed au­to­matic is very re­fined. With a start­ing price of just $ 27,000, and a nice list of stan­dard ameni­ties, the 2017 Dodge Chal­lenger SXT is a very nice mus­cle car.

If you want more power, Chal­lenger de­liv­ers with an avail­able nat­u­rallyaspi­rated 375- horse­power 5.7- liter V8, or nat­u­rally- as­pi­rated 485- horse­power 6.4- liter “392” V8.

All 5.7- liter V8- pow­ered Chal­lenger mod­els now fea­ture a ( new for 2017) 2.75- inch elec­tron­i­cally- con­trolled ac­tive ex­haust sys­tem to pro­vide a sig­na­ture Dodge mus­cle- car sound. With any of the V8- pow­ered Chal­lenger mod­els, you can choose between a stan­dard 6- speed man­ual gear­box and an avail­able 8- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

All Chal­lenger mod­els are fun to drive. Some more than oth­ers. Some have bet­ter brak­ing and han­dling. But all are big and heavy and you never for­get that when tak­ing cor­ners at speed. Chal­lenger is not as agile as some of its com­peti­tors, but it was not de­signed for carv­ing up twisty roads.

Chal­lenger’s cabin is sporty, wellap­pointed and spa­cious. There is con­sid­er­ably more head and leg room up front when com­pared to other cars in this seg­ment. Rear ac­com­mo­da­tions are a bit snug, though.

Some of the fab­rics of­fered in­clude Hound­stooth cloth, sport leather, per­for­mance leather/ suede and per­for­mance La­guna leather depend­ing on the trim level.

Chal­lenger’s mul­ti­me­dia dis­play is ei­ther a 5- inch touch­screen or an avail­able 8.4- inch touch­screen. Blue­tooth with voice con­trol is stan­dard in all Chal­lenger mod­els. Four au­dio sys­tems are fea­tured in­clud­ing an avail­able 506- watt Alpine sys­tem or 900- watt Har­man Kar­don sys­tem.

I have al­ways liked the Dodge Chal­lenger for its at­trac­tive ex­te­rior and in­te­rior styling, roomy and wellap­pointed cabin, and pow­er­ful engine choices. If you like mus­cle cars, you will love any trim of the Chal­lenger.

2017 Dodge Chal­lenger T/ A 392

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