2009 Dodge Challenger

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15 CITY / 22 HWY
Overall Quality
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Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • V-6-powered SE and 5.7-liter V-8 R/T models join the 6.1-liter V-8 SRT8 model
  • 6-speed manual transmission newly available
  • Hill Start Assist standard with manual transmission
  • Remote engine starting now offered
  • MyGIG Multi-Media Infotainment system now called UConnect GPS
  • Color choices expand from three to nine
  • Available mechanical limited-slip differential replaces brake lock differential
Dodge revived the Challenger nameplate for 2008 and expands the lineup for 2009. Styled to evoke the classic \"pony car\" of 1970-74, the 2009 Challenger provides competition for the Ford Mustang. The 2008 model was offered only as a limited-edition, high-performance SRT8 model, but now adds a smaller V-8 engine, a V-6 engine, and an available manual transmission. The Challenger is available as only a 2-door coupe with rear-wheel drive and seating for 5. A convertible model is rumored to be in the works as well, possibly for the 2010 model year.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Dodge Challenger adds SE and R/T models for 2009 and the SRT8 carries over. Standard equipment on the SE includes cloth upholstery; air conditioning; cruise control; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; 140-mph speedometer; 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat; manually adjustable front passenger seat; power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; auxiliary input jack; 60/40-split folding rear seat; Touring suspension; and P215/65R17 tires on aluminum wheels. The R/T model adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; 160-mph speedometer; fog lamps; body-colored rear spoiler; Performance steering and suspension; and P235/55R18 tires. The SRT8 model adds leather upholstery with fabric inserts; heated front sport seats; 276-watt audio system with 6 speakers; Sirius satellite radio with one-year subscription; power heated mirrors; Keyless Go push-button starting; remote engine starting (with automatic transmission); carbon weave and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; outside-temperature display; iPod interface; Dodge's UConnect Phone hands-free cell phone link; auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; Xenon automatic headlights; limited-slip differential; electronic vehicle information center with Dodge's Reconfigurable Display; Brembo brakes; 180-mph speedometer; black rear spoiler; fog lamps; theft alarm; High-performance suspension; and P245/45ZR20 all-season performance tires on forged aluminum wheels.

Many of the higher line models' features are available as options on lesser models. Other options include a sunroof; Dodge's UConnect GPS hard-drive radio and navigation system with real-time traffic; 13-speaker Kicker audio with 6-disc CD changer, 322-watt amplifier, and 200-watt subwoofer; and P255/45R20 rear tires (for the SRT8). The R/T and SRT8 are also offered with a Trak Pak that includes the manual transmission with Hill Start Assist; limited-slip differential (for R/T); aluminum pedals; and a 3.73 rear-end ratio for the R/T with 18-inch wheels or a 3.92 rear-end ratio for cars equipped with 20-inch wheels.

The 2009 Dodge Challenger offers a choice of three engines and three transmissions. The base SE model has a 3.5-liter single-overhead cam V-6 engine that makes 250 hp at 6400 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. It is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Dodge quotes EPA fuel-economy estimates of 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

The Challenger R/T model uses an updated version of Dodge's 5.7-liter overhead-valve Hemi V-8 engine. When teamed with the standard 5-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick manual shiftgate, that engine produces 372 hp at 5200 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. When paired with a new optional 6-speed manual transmission, horsepower increases to 376 at 5150 rpm and torque rises to 410 lb.-ft. at 4300 rpm. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway for the automatic transmission and 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway for the manual transmission.

The Challenger SRT8 uses Dodge's 6.1-liter version of the Hemi V-8 engine. It cranks out 425 hp at 6200 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. It is EPA-rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway with the 5-speed automatic with AutoStick, and 14 mpg city/22 mpg highway with the 6-speed manual. Dodge says the 5.7-liter V-8 engine will propel the Challenger from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, while the 6.1-liter V-8 engine cuts that time to 4.9 seconds.

The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 comes standard with advanced multi-stage front air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags that cover both seating rows; and a tire-pressure monitor. Anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control and electronic stability control are optional on SE, standard otherwise.

As of this writing, the 2009 Dodge Challenger has not yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Standard on the 2009 Challenger SRT8 is Dodge's \"Reconfigurable Display.\" Located in the vehicle information center, this feature displays what Dodge calls \"performance pages.\" It can provide readouts of lateral and longitudinal G forces, 1/8- and 1/4-mile time and speed, 0-60 mph time, and braking distance. Dodge's UConnect GPS system can be controlled through a 6.5-inch touch screen or by voice commands. It has a 30-gigabyte hard drive that stores music and picture files, as well as map information for the built-in navigation system. The navigation system is available with real-time traffic through Sirius satellite radio. Dodge says the hard drive can hold up to 6700 songs. Gracenotes file management software adds song, artist and album information to the music files. A voice-memo recorder feature is also included.


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