The 2018 Dodge Challenger

An Insider Review

My Weekend with a Muscle Car

I grew up during the 1970s. I’m all about some disco, bell-bottom pants, but most of all – classic muscle cars. I never had the opportunity to own one, and by the time I had the means to do so, classics like the Challenger were off the market (or at least the versions that I would have wanted). That’s why when Dodge re-released the Challenger around 2008, I was so excited.

It has taken a while, but I finally had the opportunity to drive one of my childhood dream cars this past weekend. It may have been the 2018 version of the Challenger, but believe me when I tell you that this car has that retro look that brings back a flood of positive memories from my childhood.

I drove from my house in Manassas Park with my 13-year-old son to the Safford Dodge dealership in Warrenton to pick up the Challenger for my “man loves muscle car” weekend. It was the SXT Plus version of the Challenger. My son commented that the car even looked “fast.” Oh yes, son. Indeed it does look fast – and, most importantly, it is.

Some Surprises Inside the Challenger

There were only two of us in the Challenger for the weekend since my wife politely declined to ride in it with me driving (a reflection of my driving skills rather than the car itself). That means we didn’t have the opportunity to use what looks like an incredibly large backseat (especially for a coupe).

The SXT Plus isn’t the most decked-out trim from what I understand, but you could have fooled me. It’s got a large touchscreen system in the dash and my iPhone easily synced up to the system and displayed my most frequently used apps on the screen. This version of the Challenger came with lots of the tech goodies that seem to be prevalent in new cars these days.

About Those Looks

I admit it. I felt pretty cool driving this thing around Manassas. We hit Tony’s New York Pizza for lunch and then I dropped my son off at the Splashdown Water Park to meet up with some friends. I then ran some errands and while sitting in the car exploring all the gadgets and gizmos, I looked up some info on the car.

It’s a brilliant color red that’s officially referred to as “TorRed” according to the Dodge website. The Challenger logo on the front of the car is scripted in classic/retro format. Honestly, if you transported the car back to the 1970s it would fit right in with the looks of vehicles (particularly muscle cars) at the time. While reviewing the Dodge website, I also found out that there are a ton of appearance and striping packages available with the Challenger. I’m a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy, so the clean and classic look on the one I was driving is just fine with me.

My Thoughts on Performance & Power

I wasn’t aware that the Challenger model I was driving was powered by a V6. I figured that a V8 or some other massive engine configuration was standard across all models. I was blown away by the power, acceleration, and responsiveness of the engine. After driving the car with a V6 under the hood, I’d definitely say it’s got plenty of power for my driving needs.

I easily kept up with traffic on I-66 when I wasn’t hitting the dreaded stop-and-go jams along the way. I started out with a full tank of gas for my weekend, and though I ended up going through that over the course of a couple of days, I felt like the mpg was pretty good.

My Scorecard on the Challenger

Interior: A

Exterior: A+

Performance: A

My Son’s Best (Funniest) Remarks About the Challenger
“Are you qualified to drive a car this fast?”

“Did you clear this with Mom?”

“I bet this thing could easily outrun the police.”

What the Experts Say About the 2018 Challenger
“Like a classic-rock song, the Challenger quickens the heart rate and stirs up nostalgia.” – Car & Driver

“The Challenger is a king among coupes with its class-leading passenger and cargo space. It’s a far more livable daily driver than its coupe/muscle-car competition.” –

“The Challenger is now the automaker’s sportiest car with a wide range of models, limited editions, and appearance packages.” –

Three Things I WASN’T EXPECTING with the Challenger
  1. Backseat is way bigger than I thought it would be.
  1. Huge number of trims/models available.
  1. Loaded up with tech features.

Closing Thoughts on My Time with the 2018 Challenger

If it’s not obvious by now, I loved every aspect of the 2018 Challenger. The car delivers classic/retro muscle-car looks and it’s definitely powerful. All the surprises I encountered during my weekend with the Challenger were positive, and I’m seriously considering getting one on a permanent basis. Whether my significant other agrees to that is a completely different story for another day.

Check out this Warrenton, VA, Dodge Challenger dealer if you’re thinking about getting one for yourself. You can also read more about the Challenger on the Dodge website.

Safford CDJR of Warrenton

Safford CDJR of Warrenton

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