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Hello all! I'm new here and did introduce myself on the newbie section. I see some familiar names here and a new Challenger friend named Chris1992 recommended this site to me. Cause, apparently on some other site I tend to cause controversy wherever I go. lol This is the thread I've cut and pasted here that lit the fire, which bust into flames and basically fell into uselessness after awhile. The intention of the post is clear if you read it. It is simply my own impressions of my testing out of the different Challengers. And so I will leave it as is without edit, as I originally posted it a few weeks ago. Not much of my opinion has changed since then other than I'm still debating some key options (auto or manual, colors). I'm very close to putting my money where my mouth is and any further helpful comments/opinions/facts will be kindly received and appreciated. Thank you in advance. Prepare for one long post. Here it is...

Hello everyone. I took a few days off from posting to relax my mind and to give you all a break from me too.

IT'S A LONG POST!

Warning over.

I did what I said I was going to do and went back to a local dealer and re-re-tested some Challengers to narrow it down on my decision. I made an appointment beforehand and the dealership was accommodating. What I asked for was test drives in an SRT auto, SRT manual, R/T auto, R/T manual. I also brought along my lifelong best friend/brother as I knew he would provide me with his truthful opinions as a passenger. Plus, he's really great as an artist and creative thinker and will be helping me to design some of my future exterior designs. He was very valuable in helping tell me how the car felt from a passengers perspective. But most of all, it was interesting to see his reactions when I pushed the cars. hehe (by the way, he's a proud owner of a 2002 bug eyed automatic WRX wagon).

I'm going to do my best to not make this all too long winded but...it will be!

So here it goes. If you hate long posts and/or me stop now and move along. I know I learned a hell of a lot doing this new round of testing and I hope some might find some useful insights from it. All I can say before I get into this review is that it is as honest a review as you'll ever get.

Nothing I'm going to say in ANYWAY means I'm dishing your car or you if it's not what I like! To those that think I'm "on your side" cause I picked what you consider the right car...well sorry but I don't pick sides here. I'm simply picking my own preference. I fully respect everyone's choice. Even at the end of the day...I may be proud to be in one camp over another. It's all still great times with the Challengers in my view.

Now why did I just put out that disclaimer? Cause I'm registered on a couple forums and I'm cut and pasting this same message...and well some forums are more...shall we say...flame retarded than others and I have no control of it but I don't want the thread to end up in a pissing contest. Not my intent. I'm here to share in a shared experience of our beloved Challengers.

Now on we go...

I will go through each car as I tested them. I had the dealer put me in an SRT automatic first. R/T auto second, SRT manual third, and R/T manual fourth. No strong reason for my order preference other than I figured I'd put SRT first to see how much difference there might be going from the top of the line to the mid-level.

One thing I should note here. Each test drive was just me and my buddy and not with a salesman which was great to be able to not feel inhibited to push the cars and talk freely about the experience without that sales pitch going on from the backseat.

First up...

SRT8 automatic - (Silver with black hood stripes) The car felt positively HUGE for some reason, maybe because...hell I don't know really it just did. It certainly felt HEAVY too. I could feel the guttural power within the motor as I pulled it out and gave it some gas. It pushed my friend in his seat and he seemed to dig it (his first ride in a Challenger!). As a passenger, my friend's observations mirror my own almost totally so for the sake of these reviews I won't go to much into all his thoughts except where I feel they may be of interest.

Now driving this Auto SRT8 was a very linear and LARGE in charge experience! It was BIG feeling. I've been in Challengers before but this one felt B-I-G...well you get my point. The exhaust note was decent but I'd want more and an aftermarket one would be a must.

The bad side? Well we both felt the seats were kind of too restrictive for everyday driving. His comment was that it was "hard to turn in the passenger seat and talk to someone in the back". The lateral side supports did start to grate on my nerves a bit the longer I drove it. I understand the point of them in the car and all but still this is how I felt personally. Another area I didn't like was the LARGE feeli....well you get the point.

Seriously though I was pretty surprised that I liked the automatic trans in the SRT8. It was smooth and powerful feeling all the way through gears. But at the same time, didn't feel fast fast you know? Felt luxury Challenger car fast, not "all hell breaking loose" fast. It was more powerful feeling than fast if that makes sense.


R/T Classic automatic
- (Deep Water Blue) "Ah, nice seats dude!" These were the perfect blend. The car also of course sits a bit higher and looking out the window is a different experience than the SRT8 was. The car also felt smaller than the SRT8 did. It was immediately more comfortable to be in for me. We pulled away from the dealership and there was that unmistakable automatic transmission rush of speed! And it felt definitely lighter and faster if not as deeply powerful than the SRT8 did. But it's not to say I felt the SRT8 was better. How do I say it? The SRT had a deep sense of power while the R/T had a speedy feeling in it. Think SRT as a Full Back and the R/T as a Running Back. Best I can come up with here. Both different, neither better depending what you like. In this case, I preferred the R/T's quick feeling. It was light on it's feet and moved like a gust of wind.

The automatic, like the SRT, was very smooth and linear and puts you in your seat very well. For me I felt more "G-forces" compared to the SRT (which I felt an initial push back and then nothing as if it was designed that way so you stay in control in a race?). My friend felt that the SRT8 pushed hard from a launch and then shortly after let him go and then it was not much going on after first gear. Whereas in the R/T he said he felt it pushing him back from the launch like the SRT (a bit less though) but after 1st gear he still felt the pin, unlike the SRT which let go after launch. So here, the thumbs up goes to the R/T.

Now I preferred the look and feel of the seats but also I prefer the less appointed R/T's door handle area as well as the leather arm rest cutout vs the SRT's suede arm rest cutout. I like how it made me feel like I was in a more stripped down version of a muscle car and not a loaded up luxury muscle car. Once again, my preference as it harks back to the early 70's stuff in a very authentic way.

The exhaust note was not satisfying enough and would need an aftermarket one.

SRT8 manual
- (B5 blue) A different beast. This is of course gonna feel different than the automatic. I was expecting the same BIG feeling but it felt smaller than the Silver SRT automatic for whatever reason. It still felt as heavy though. My friend and I both were enjoying it and it's improved exhaust burble until I launched it from a stop, shifted hard into second gear and then...WHEEL HOP!!! That crap sucks! It did not like hard launches going into second gear! This is unacceptable on a car costing this much dough!

I love the brakes by the way on the SRT's compared to the R/T's. But the R/T's were very acceptable if you don't head to head compare them like I did.

My biggest like of the this SRT manual for me was that it didn't feel as big as the other SRT8! heh

But seriously, I liked the car until...WHEEL HOP! But I also didn't think it was exceptionally fast feeling (again, like the Automatic). It sounded really deep and it had that powerful SRT feeling in it though. Sleeping Lion for some reason?


R/T Classic manual -
(TorRed) "Wow this baby is hot looking!" Going again from the interior seats and ride height of the SRT into this R/T was like a revelation. This is the one I like MUCH better. Now some of you might well know that my past rides in SRT's and R/T's have always resulted in me feeling that the R/T launches harder with more pin back and has always put the bigger grin on my face. But this time...well, was the exact same thing! Surprise.

Honestly, from the start of the ignition...it sounded meaner than the SRT. I prefer the exhaust note of the 5.7. From the first pull away out of the dealership, to the large empty parking lot to do burnouts, to hard launches (NO WHEEL HOP hurrah!), to cruising. This car felt so righteous! I always felt in control no matter what I was doing with the car...but barely. It was like controlled chaos! Utter fun and it might have been the TorRed but it got the most looks. (the B5 got the second most looks). From the way it sat up higher, to it's looser suspension (more fun!), to it's exhaust note, to it's shifter throws. All of it felt like "the one". At one point during the drive I was compelled to get out and just look at it and open up the hood. What a beautiful Challenger car and an awesome test drive. My buddy's first comment was to smile really big and get giddy laughing, and then to say what I felt at the same moment..."dude this is how I envision the old Cuda's to drive like!" It has that feel and presence to it.

It was probably more a grin machine than the R/T automatic version at least on a brief test drive...but...well read on later and I'll touch on this.

Again, this is how I felt before about the R/T's vs SRT's I drove and it was cool to find that all is consistent still. I think, and many can attest around here, that I've been letting my brain talk my gut out of certain stuff. From the day I seen the new Challenger, it was an R/T. It reminded me of my favorite car (a Cuda). From the day I went on the forums I started to second guess what I already knew I liked most. Credit to those that originally told me that I already knew. You know who you are. Nothing is more true than to listen to your own heart on stuff like this.

I went home excited to have it all worked out as far as R/T over SRT.

Until...my dreaded brain kicked in again. *doh!*

I knew there was one dealer who has a black SRT manual that I can get for invoice or better. He offered me before to take it home and drive it for a day. So the very next day after my test drives, with the excitement still running in my head I figured I HAVE to take it out for a loooong test drive for that kind of deal right? Now, I lurked around in regards to the wheel hop issue and I understand it's an issue for a large many manual SRT owners. I've never experienced it in any of the 6 speedl R/T test drives I've done.

So now I'm figuring my brain might try to justify the SRT for that kind of deal on the SRT8. But I go and pick it up to take it for longer ride. First thing I found was NO wheel hop with this one! No matter how hard I launched and shifted and mashed it. No wheel hop. This car had a couple miles on it. I was the only one who drove it before and now again. But this time I was without a salesman where I could feel more comfortable with it.

It definitely felt much like the B5 SRT I tried. Heavy and powerful feeling. Still, not a strong enough exhaust note compared to the R/T for me but whatever, it was good enough. So I took it to my friends house to take him for a cruise. We found a back road and did some 0-60 runs with the EVIC. My best was 5.32. Not too good I don't feel. I'm not the worst stick shift driver either. I didn't have that much wheel spin so what the f??? I tried about 10 launches and most of them with minimal wheel spin and on EVIC I seen mostly 5.9's! So depressing for a 6.1! I know the R/T's both felt faster but I didn't do any 0-60 runs. Hmmm. I've seen many posts about how the R/T's are some times doing better than the SRT's at least in automatic trim and now I definitely believe it.

But this wouldn't stop me from buying the SRT as I'm aware that it's not the fastest car on planet earth and neither is the R/T. But buying a Challenger is about getting the total package. I'm so fortunate to have such great dealers to deal with that have allowed me such great test drives! Now this SRT test drive was VERY eye opening and reinforced my feelings of the R/T. I never felt "comfortable" in the SRT's. And I'm not talking about the seats again. No, I'm talking in the sense that they don't feel like "me" that it's "right"....*Mr. T voice* "And Demon has to be Demon fool!"
found

Another very important piece of the puzzle I discovered from the 3 hour long test drive of the SRT was that I'm not so sure I want a stick shift. At least I know for certain if I was to buy an SRT I would want it in automatic because the stick in the SRT's (all those I tried) required more attention and just had a certain feel about the whole process that honestly grew tiresome after the end of the night.

Now I know I didn't drive the manual R/T for the same amount of time but the whole time I did the shifting experience was much more pleasurable and smoother and more natural.

Oh and the SRT...(granted I was not driving slow for much of the time) but the EVIC showed that I only averaged 12 miles per gallon! I put $10 in it before returning it to the dealer though. I put 70 miles on it. From 1/4 tank of gas to empty. And the $10 put it right back to 1/4 tank at $2.41 gallon.

I need to say this here. The price of the SRT vs the R/T had nothing to do with my final choices. I like the R/T better in most every way, price has NOTHING to do with which one I like more. I did not justify anything with picking the R/T over the SRT. In fact, I tried hard to justify that I should get the SRT for such a great price!

I guess I'm one of those rare cats that actually would have got an SRT and regretted it later, because they didn't listen to their hearts. I would have smacked myself in the head later and said, "I could have had a (R/T) V8!"

Now at this particular dealership they don't have any R/T's on the lot but do have one SE in Deep Water Blue. I'd never driven an SE. But I was with my youngest daughter (who by the way also MUCH prefers the R/T for various reasons too) and we wanted to sit in it. Once the salesman let us do that I figured why not ask for a test drive in the SE, right? So he said "sure" and away we went.

I gotta tell you all. I'm VERY impressed with the V6 power and speed for such a large, heavy car! My daughter really likes the automatic feeling Challengers vs the manuals and coming out of the SRT she was much more comfortable. To be honest, so was I. The damn thing had a pretty good exhaust note for a V6 auto too! I was happy in it. It's a Challenger with the 318 you know what I'm saying? lol So to anyone stupid enough to say it's not a Challenger I say, go drive one and just appreciate it as a cruisin' Challenger with good to very good performance, and forget if you can that it's a V6. Pretend it's a V8 and it may make you smile as it did for me and my daughter. I can now say I have a newfound understanding why someone would want this kind of Challenger. I got love for it now, where before I said I did for the looks, but I never gave it a second thought beyond that. But it really is a bargain for the right kind of Challenger person. I gotta say to all those who have a SE that I have...RESPECT!

Ok. So the looong post is almost over. Where does this leave me in my rather Challenging Challenger journey?

I now know I want an R/T. I also know I want the Nav system. I know I DO NOT want a sunroof. I know I want leather seats. I know I want EVIC. I know I want radio controls on the steering wheel. I also know some of the stuff I want to do with the exterior mods and engine mods.

What I still don't know is if I want Brilliant Black, Deep Water Blue, TorRed. or Inferno Red. (nothing new here folks move along)

But what I now have is a tough decision between the Manual or Auto. Both offer great advantages over the other. With the stick being a fun street car that may become tiresome after a year or so but is the one to have for some wheel chirping, tire smoking, street muscle car fun. Or the Auto that will in most cases outrun a manual, that is smooth and effortless, that offers a somewhat fun autostick feature, that pulls like a winged demon from a launch. With the manual I already like the exhaust note and might not replace the stock one right away, where the auto I would to be happy with the tone. The Auto I can start up from my house to warm her up.

Yup a tough call and this is the decision now that I'll have to wrestle with. The colors, any of them, I will dig and enjoy. I know where I'm leaning (and why) but I'll leave that for another day. The day I tell you what I got. The day I post pics of it!

Thanks for sticking with the post if you did.
 

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First off, I found that to be a great read.

I'm registered on a couple forums and I'm cut and pasting this same message...and well some forums are more...shall we say...flame retarded than others and I have no control of it but I don't want the thread to end up in a pissing contest. Not my intent. I'm here to share in a shared experience of our beloved Challengers.
That's the goal here. To share our experiences and love for the Challenger - regardless of differences in models - and respect others opinions.

How do I say it? The SRT had a deep sense of power while the R/T had a speedy feeling in it. Think SRT as a Full Back and the R/T as a Running Back. Best I can come up with here. Both different, neither better depending what you like. In this case, I preferred the R/T's quick feeling. It was light on it's feet and moved like a gust of wind.
Of course watching them drag race side by side we know the SRT is quicker, and accelerates at a faster rate - continually expanding the distance. But, even in professional reviews (if you can call them that) I've read that the 5.7 revs quicker, with snappier response. You add-in different suspension tuning, ride height, engine and exhaust sounds, etc. and I certainly can understand how it can feel faster when using all your senses.

SRT8 manual - ....shifted hard into second gear and then...WHEEL HOP!!! That crap sucks! It did not like hard launches going into second gear! This is unacceptable on a car costing this much dough!
To be fair, there are a lot of things that can affect this... road surface, road temp, tire temp, tire pressure, etc. As you say, the other SRT you drove didn't have any wheel-hop.

Another very important piece of the puzzle I discovered from the 3 hour long test drive of the SRT was that I'm not so sure I want a stick shift. At least I know for certain if I was to buy an SRT I would want it in automatic because the stick in the SRT's (all those I tried) required more attention and just had a certain feel about the whole process that honestly grew tiresome after the end of the night.
Same for me. I love driving manuals, occasionally, but for a daily driver it is just an inconvenience IMO. And I GOTTA have my remote start.

I gotta tell you all. I'm VERY impressed with the V6 power and speed for such a large, heavy car!
If I could get the options I want on an SE, I'd be happy with it for a daily driver.

What I still don't know is if I want Brilliant Black, Deep Water Blue, TorRed. or Inferno Red. (nothing new here folks move along)
I've narrowed my choice down to Black, Silver, DWB, or TorRed. I'd really like the Inferno Red, but need to see many more in person first - in every pic I've seen the front and rear fascia are a slighter darker color than the body. It's a slight difference, but I notice it instantly. Maybe it just shows more in pics due to the light-waves that the human eye can't see. :shrug:

Anyway, great second post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh my God! I haven't gotten yelled at or called any bad names yet? lol.

Glad you liked the review. It was honest and all based on my own impressions. Now having said that, I think you may well be right about the SRT's being actually faster (and they should be if driven correctly I say).

Also, Dave...Inferno Red is one of my favorite Challenger colors! I've seen it in person many a time. I can say with no uncertain honesty that if you love the rear end of the Challenger (and who doesn't besides a hater), the ass end in Inferno Red is just super mean looking! I really like this color. It's on other Dodge vehicles but for some reason once you see it in person on a Challenger? It's killer good. Has a lot of different looks depending on the lighting too. (did I just sell myself on Inferno Red?)

TorRed is a GREAT color but I feel the taillights blend a bit too much and take away some of that cool rear end look.

Black is...well awesome! And may end up my choice at the end of the day.

Dark Titanium is my "dark" horse favorite. No other color, to my eye, shows off the great lines and cuts on the Challenger as well as DT!

DWB is a great color especially in full sun and at night it's sinister as well. But is more another person's color than for me. I like it from afar. lol

Silver is ok but needs some stripes or something IMO to help out. But yes, I can see myself in one. hehe

Hemi Orange is just so Flyers. And I'm a Devils fan so...it's out! lol

Stone White is cool but needs like the silver needs. Plus, someone in my area has one and I've seen him around a couple times already.

Yellow? No.

Plum Crazy? No.

B5? Not exactly "me" but an awesome color nonetheless.

Personally, I'd love to see a nice "beetle shell" green! Maybe I'll custom paint whatever I get? heh

Thanks Dave!
 

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truthfully, if they offered an SE in B5 then that would be what I would be driving. I could see the Plum Crazy too. Next would be the Dark Titanium, then the black, which is what I have now, since it was a used car when I bought it.
 

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Also, Dave...Inferno Red is one of my favorite Challenger colors!
You may have noticed the site colors are biased towards Inferno Red. lol
I just need to see a few more in person to check how well the paint matches in different light.

I'm not going with the Classic, or B5 would be near the top of my list.

I saw one dark titanium up close and it didn't do anything for me.

Personally, I think Silver shows off the lines the best. It may not grab attention like TorRed, or Hemi Orange, but like a black and white photo, your eyes are drawn to the details.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dave, that B5 in your sig...now that B5 is freakin' awesome looking! The stripes and T/A are just...well it makes my heart sing. THAT B5, yes I would own in a second!:p

Your right about the DT also, as there are times when it can look rather too subdued in certain conditions (like rain). Silver is very plain when it's plain to me but once touched up with some nice...er touches then it can be one of the best I agree.

Decisions decisions eh Dave? heh
 

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Hi Demon,your post was much better than any from car magazines.Which model to pick
and color that was mine big problem to.After few months I did finally make decision.
I have R/T manual TorRed .First choice on color was Inferno red but nobody had that
time on lots and factory was close for few months.Still TorRed color is great,have lots compliments from people....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Demon,your post was much better than any from car magazines.Which model to pick
and color that was mine big problem to.After few months I did finally make decision.
I have R/T manual TorRed .First choice on color was Inferno red but nobody had that
time on lots and factory was close for few months.Still TorRed color is great,have lots compliments from people....
Thanks for the great great compliment on my review!

I do regret one thing (and I caught some heat for it on other forum that talk). After learning that these cars need proper break in periods, I feel I should not have pushed them to the limits such as I did. BUT on the other hand I would not have found out such and important thing as the wheel hop issue. Sure I could have read about it on a forum, but experiencing it under a driving condition I'm likely going to do once in a while (read: a whole lot! lol) is a whole 'nuther animal! So I'm glad I did what I did at the end of the day. :neener:
 

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#1- dont for a second believe you are the only one to pound on a new car during a test
drive, especially one of the current pony cars. from what i have read they are
for the most part broken in at the factory which is why they have a 500 mile break in period

and #2- yeah i agree
 

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Inferno Red is the color choice if you can find one........We bought the SE-G Challenger in Inferno Red over the Black R/T .

The color is a sure head turner, and looks differant from full sun to partly cloudy days. And at night it looks Black at times. Car seems to grab and bend light. We get people looking at it, and the first thing out of there mouth is" Whats that color called? "

Weve done the car show thing with our Challenger in the tail end of summer 2009. Both shows parked with other Challengers that were SRT-8 and R/T's in other colors. We won 2nd place the first show ( under open class 2000's and newer ) A 725 hp Mustang won first.
And took first at the next show we did, again parked with Challengers. The other Challenger owners even noticed how much the Infero Red grabs the show.

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey PartyCC! Love your ride. You are so right about how the Inferno morphs into different shades so awesomely! Here's some shots I took with my iphone of Inferno Red.

It also reminds me of my favorite...IRON MAN
!










I like all the rears but the Inferno has the most muscular and mean looking one IMO!









Here it has a twinkle in it's eye...



The Demon is in the details.

 

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I never found you to be a "pain nor Disruptive" on the other sitezzzz....Some guys just think the SRT is what everyone should own and all others are junk....I personnally love them all, it all comes down to personnel wants, needs and finances. Steve

Dave, that B5 in your sig...now that B5 is freakin' awesome looking! The stripes and T/A are just...well it makes my heart sing. THAT B5, yes I would own in a second!:p

Your right about the DT also, as there are times when it can look rather too subdued in certain conditions (like rain). Silver is very plain when it's plain to me but once touched up with some nice...er touches then it can be one of the best I agree.

Decisions decisions eh Dave? heh
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I never found you to be a "pain nor Disruptive" on the other sitezzzz....Some guys just think the SRT is what everyone should own and all others are junk....I personnally love them all, it all comes down to personnel wants, needs and finances. Steve
Why thanks Steve! As you know, I'm impartial myself and love them all but for M/E it's all about the R/T (hey that's cool I think I might use that again :lol:
 
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