You know you want American muscle. You know you want a car that can deliver more power than the competition and you know there’s only one brand who can provide this. That brand is Dodge and that muscle is offered in the form of the 2016 Charger and newly restyled 2016 Dodge Challenger in Miami.
Both are powerful, both are fast as hell because both feature the Hellcat SRT engine. Why would Dodge offer the same engines in two very similar vehicles? There are enough differences between the two that they can appeal to unique audiences.
While both these muscle cars offer the best in performance and power, there are a couple of major differences between the two. The first is that the Charger is offered as a sedan which makes it a more family friendly choice.
It’s been clear from Dodge’s marketing that this is the direction they’ve wanted to the Charger to take. This is fine because it does nothing to deter the purists who enjoy the Challenger’s original coupe stylings. Restoring the Challenger to its glory as America’s great muscle car is celebrated by so many already.
Let’s take a look at what both have to offer in terms of style, power, fuel economy and technology. Given most consumers today make their decisions based on these features, let’s see what brings these two together and what sets them apart.
Challenger – Coupe
Charger – Sedan
While both cars can easily fit a family of four, Dodge is making it clear that the Charger is going to be the more family friendly choice of the two by being the only one to offer a sedan body frame. While the Challenger is modeled off it’s classic 1971 original stylings, the Charger offers more room for a family affair of fun. This doesn’t make one any less powerful or take away from any of its attitude. In fact, quite the opposite is apparent.
Dodge has always made family cars and they’ve also always made muscle cars. They understand that the desire for power doesn’t lessen just because one becomes a parent. Without compromising power, Dodge recognizes that priorities do change. Safety and practicality matter more to a parent so these features are more prevalent in the Charger than in the Challenger. This means a couple more inches of legroom for rear seated passengers, technology that the whole family can share and
However, the Challenger purists will be pleased to find out that there is no talk of changing their coupe design. Offering the same power in both models means that no matter who you’re expecting to ride with you, there will be a fit for you.
Challenger – High Tech
Charger – Passenger Friendly
I get it, that isn’t an easy “yes” or “no” and here’s why: both the Challenger and Charger come equipped with top technology because Dodge understands that it’s important to every new consumer regardless of who’s also in the car with you. The major differences are this: because the Charger is marketed to families, the technology is suited for what those needs will require.
The Challenger explores technology a little differently because their driver is likely to be different. This technology includes Bluetooth Integrated voice command. The Challenger also offers more options to the technology packages like Harmon Kardon Green Edge Amplifier, 9 or 18 Premium Speakers with Subwoofers, SRT Cluster with 7-inch Driver Information Display. These changes are what makes the difference between Dodge catering to the driver or to the passengers. Both are important but only one matters more to the consumer.
It goes without saying that fuel economy is important to every consumer. And even though buying a performance vehicle means it’s not a top priority, it’s still good to know that Dodge has made the 2016 Charger and Challenger model more fuel efficient than in their hey-day. Advanced engineering and innovative technology meant better design for fuel consumption. Both the Challenger and Charger operate on an 18.5-gallon fuel tank.
The SXT and SXT Plus trims on the Challenger offer the best EPA mpg at 19/30 city/highway however, the SE trim on the Charger provides the same EPA mpg and even one mile better on the SXT Charger offering 31 highway mpg.
Let’s start where your journey begins, the performance. You could’ve bought any sports car, American or European. You could’ve ventured to the tiny little fast engines that deliver amazing performances and you would be exhilarated, but you wouldn’t have been fully satisfied and that’s because you wouldn’t be driving a Dodge.
Dodge has been making American performance vehicles for decades. No other brand can compete with the performance cars that Dodge puts out these days. Offering four engines on both the Challenger and Charger, each one determined to deliver a jaw-dropping, adrenaline-pumping, heart-pounding performance.
The first engine offered is a 3.6L Pentastar V6. As the base engine, it delivers a solid 305 horsepower and 268 lb/ft of torque. The base, standard engine, the lowest you can get is still 305 horsies and there’s nowhere to go from here but up. This is why you choose Dodge.
This Pentastar offers new design that is lightweight, compact and refined with dual overhead camshafts, high-flow intake and exhaust ports. The Pentastar doesn’t short on fuel economy either, offering 30 highway mpg.
From Pentastar to HEMI. To quote Ron Burgundy, that escalated quickly. Although, why not, right? You’re here because you’re interested in power. The 5.7L HEMI V8 produces 375 horsepower and features smart technology when mated to TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and Fuel Saver Technology. Automatically switching this system to four-cylinder mode during slower driving speeds creates better fuel efficiency.
Next, a 6.4L HEMI V8 offers best-in-class horsepower, 485 with 475 lb/ft of torque and can get to 60 mph in 4 seconds. There’s no softly purring kittens here. This is a full, gutterul anticipation of something much bigger. This is the engine you want when it’s time to wake the entire neighborhood with your machismo aggression.
There’s only one choice left. You could imagine that this engine delivers 5 or even 600 horsepower, but why would I even bother writing this last sentence if it were something so obvious? The progression tells us it’s going to offer more horsepower, be devilishly delightful and sinfully aggressive. So, what is it?
The final engine choice for the ultimate performance is the Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT Hellcat V8. It is the extreme engine of any American made vehicle. It delivers the most horsepower Dodge offers for the everyday buyer and even then….707 horsepower is a lot of hellish power. It is the most powerful muscle car. Ever. (queue every great American anthem now)
Challenger – $26,995 – $64,195
Charger – $27,995 – $67,645
As you can clearly see, the Challenger is priced lower than the Charger, so if you’re looking to penny pinch without compromising style, power or value, is the Dodge to choose. Also, the Challenger offers 10 trims all at different prices with different packages to totally customize to your lifestyle. The Charger only offers 7 trims and all which come at a higher price.
The Challenger is speaks to a faster, younger audience while the Charger holds its own as a family powerhouse. Either one you choose, it’s win. Dodge isn’t in the market to disappoint their drivers. They are in the market to impress.