2010 Dodge Challenger Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Dodge Challenger Buying Advice

The 2010 Dodge Challenger is the best car for you if you’re a Baby Boomer or auto enthusiast and want what is essentially a modern rendition of a classic muscle car.

The 2010 Dodge Challenger is basically a two-door-coupe rendition of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. That includes their rear-wheel-drive layout, 250-horsepower V-6 engine, and two versions of the Hemi V-8 -- a 376-horsepower edition in the R/T model and a 425-horse stormer in the SRT8. Unlike the sedans, however, the Challenger does not offer available all-wheel drive for added grip on wet roads. Updates for the 2010 Dodge Challenger are relatively minimal. The most significant is that the Electronic Stability Control antiskid system is now standard on all models, not just those with a V-8 engine.

Should you buy a 2010 Dodge Challenger or wait for the 2011 Dodge Challenger? The full range of Dodge Challenger models debuted for 2009, and conventional wisdom says few changes are in order for this niche model. On the other hand, the Chrysler 300 will be getting a major upgrade for 2011, and while the Challenger’s cosmetics may not change much, it’s possible the coupe will receive some of the sedan’s mechanical revisions, particularly its new Pentastar V-6 engine for the base model.

2010 Dodge Challenger Test Drive back to top

Interior:  The Dodge Challenger’s interior treatment is subdued yet gathers inspiration from the 1970 original; unfortunately it’s also a bit cheap feeling. The back seat is fairly roomy, yet (as in all coupes) entry and exit is hampered by the absence of rear doors. Trunk volume is spacious, though its flat trunk lid configuration tends to hamper loading of bulky objects.

The top-of-the-line SRT8 model features orange-accented bolstered leather sport seats and a reconfigurable display that affords instant feedback on 0–60 mph acceleration, 60–0 mph braking, cornering g-forces and quarter-mile times.

The 2010 Dodge Challenger offers a complete assortment of the latest features, including side-curtain airbags that cover both rows of seats. Available tech-based amenities include Chrysler’s Keyless Go keyless entry/starting, hands-free Bluetooth cell-phone interface, and an available navigation system with a 20-gigabyte hard-drive for digital media storage and a USB iPod interface.

Exterior:  Wrapped in unabashedly retro styling, the 2010 Dodge Challenger accurately channels the classic muscle car of the same name from the early 1970s. This means a wide, low front end with round headlamps and a high rear deck with equally wide taillights. Square edges have been rounded off a bit for the sake of aerodynamics, but short of a custom kit car, this is the most accurate “new” version of a classic car out there. It was originally unveiled as a concept model to overwhelmingly positive reaction at the 2006 North America International Auto Show in Detroit and was rushed to production with only minor styling changes.

For model-year 2010, automatic headlamps, an illuminated cup holder, and door handle lights become standard on the R/T version. New for the R/T is the Super Track Pack option that includes a six-speed manual transmission, a 3.06:1 rear-axle ratio, 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 performance tires, front and rear Nivomat self-leveling shock-absorbers, a larger rear stabilizer bar, performance brake linings, and an “ESC-off” stability control mode that liberalizes wheel slip for more enthusiastic driving.

Driving:  The base 2010 Dodge Challenger SE version comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift function. The SE performs adequately in most respects and suits drivers more interested in styling than speed. The 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T comes with a considerably stronger 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and five-speed automatic that will make a 0-60 mph run in under six seconds. The top SRT8 model packs a 425-horsepower 6.1-liter V-8 that remains easily in check around town but is quick to deliver amazing thrust when required; it can do 0-60 in just over five seconds. The SRT8 version and Super Tack Pack-equipped R/T models alternately offer a six-speed manual gearbox that works very well and includes a modern take on the old “pistol-grip” shifter.

The 2010 Dodge Challenger handles reasonably well for a car of its size and includes a full assortment of standard chassis control systems, including stability and traction control. The SRT8 features a stiffer riding, yet corner-hugging suspension, and oversized brakes with red-painted Brembo calipers.

2010 Dodge Challenger Prices back to top

The 2010 Dodge Challenger price range is $23,460-$41,955 (prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Dodge’s fee for the 2010 Challenger is $725).

The base V6-powered SE is the most-affordable entry and starts at $23,460.

The 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T starts at $31,585, while the 425-horsepower SRT8 carries a rather steep sticker price of $41,955, which is roughly 44 percent costlier than the base version.

2010 Dodge Challenger Fuel Economy back to top

The 2010 SE Dodge Challenger is rated at 17/25 mpg (city/highway). The 2010 Challenger R/T variation is rated 16/25 with either transmission. The SE uses 87-octane gas. Dodge recommends 89-octane fuel for the R/T model.

The SRT8 requires premium fuel, is rated at 14/22 mpg and is subject to a federal gas-guzzler tax.

2010 Dodge Challenger Safety and Reliability back to top

In government crash testing, the 2010 Dodge Challenger rates the maximum five stars for driver and passenger protection in both frontal and side impacts; it gets four out of five stars in rollover protection.

The 2010 Dodge Challenger received an “about average” rating for both initial quality and expected reliability by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm.

2010 Dodge Challenger Competition back to top

2010 Chevrolet Camaro: A reinvention of the classic 1960s Camaro, the modern-day version deftly combines a retro flair with modern engineering. The base V-6 engine delivers a healthy 304 horsepower and produces a throaty growl in the process. The V8 SS model is truly quick at 400 horsepower with automatic transmission, 426 with manual and is augmented by assorted performance upgrades. A convertible body style is a possible model-year 2012 addition. Base price range is roughly $23,000-$34,000.

2010 Ford Mustang: The long-running Mustang received a minor makeover for 2010 but retains its classic pony-car styling theme and is the only one of this bunch to offer a convertible body style along with its coupe. As before, buyers can choose between a fuel-friendly 210-horsepower V-6 and a biceps-flexing 315-horsepower V-8; either can be mated to a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. A hot-blooded -- but costly – Mustang Shelby GT 500 edition packs a mighty 540-horsepower V-8. Base price range is roughly $21,000-$47,000.