2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus (962)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus. The perception of those I have talked with about this car boiled down to a simple “resale value” is not as good with Chrysler products as it is with other brands. Well I’m not sure that is true but rather a perception based on past years where Chrysler was a struggling company as one of the big Three in America. Perhaps the perception is based on the fact that the initial cost has been less than other brands for many years.

Then an interesting thing happened – new management came aboard and saved the company – borrowed money to do it and paid it back. Then Daimler Mercedes-Benz took over in 1998 through 2007 and infused not only money but management and design people who took the company to an all new level. That was a great thing that revitalized Chrysler and it is now a healthy company under the management of Chrysler Group LLC headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Consider the clamor over new car companies like Hyundai and Kia, as an example, and consider Chrysler has a depth of experience since its incorporation in 1925.

Great new designs and quality and engineering launched the company back into the market in an impressive way. So – perceptions are not always based on good vision and this Challenger is a good example of the quality of this American Icon of cars.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 75%, Other 25%. It is assembled in Sterling Heights, MI U.S.A., Classification is Midsize. Cars from Dodge: Avenger, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Nitro and Viper.

Handling & Performance:

This will bring back the feeling of muscle cars of the past that have been dressed up with new technology that is a part of the advancements made by all car makers collectively. The result is there is no perceptible difference in how well cars in class perform and handle. In particular this Challenger rumbles in a voice that signals its power to impress.

Styling:

You either love the unique Chrysler design idea or you don’t. And apparently there are a lot of folks who like the distinctive look of these automobiles. Jay Leno was one of the first to own a Challenger and has several in his Garage. Chrysler has been one, if not the only one, of the car companies to dare to look different.

Case in point – I was testing a Japanese made car and an observer came to me and asked why cars today all look alike. That is NOT true when it comes to Chrysler products. I’m sure many will agree that is a good thing in America. Ford and GM do the same and I suggest that is the exceptionalism of the American Spirit – “To be different” because they are the pioneers who lead and don’t follow.

Fit and Finish:

Plastic like all cars today because that is most cost efficient but nicely done as the materials get better every day.

Cost:

It is aggressively price competitive in class.

Conveniences and comfort:

All features are well placed and easy to use.

Consumer Recommendation:

Muscle cars are a relatively small field and this is where GM, Chrysler and Ford have maintained American Heritage cars of the golden age when our love affair with the automobile was born. If this is your thing the Challenger is a bit of history with far more sophistic power plant and other technical advances in driving safety with such developments like stability and traction controls and a super braking systems. This is a fun car to drive that excites the muscle car lover.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Challenger RT $30,000, Chevrolet Camaro $33,000, Ford Mustang GT $35,000, Ford Shelby GT500 $54,000, Hyundai Sonata $26,000, Hyundai Gensis Coupe $33,000,  Infiniti G Coupe $40,000, Nissan 370Z Touring Coupe $37,000.

Good News:

Unique, muscle car sound and performance that follows all at the same time it delivers good fuel economy for a performance car.

Bad News:

There is a perception of some consumers that Chrysler products have less resale value.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 375 horsepower HEMI V8 engine, 6-speed manual transmission, traction and stability control, hill start assist, 4-wheel disc Anti Lock heavy duty brakes, performance steering and suspension, tire pressure monitor, keyless entry, sentry key with theft deterrent, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, power 6-way driver and 4-way lumbar adjustment, front side front and rear airbags, leather wrapped shift knob and steering wheel with audion controls, Uconnect audio AM/FM/CD/MP3 with 6-speakers and serius XM satellite radio including 1-year subscription, power windows and locks, 12 volt outlet, 18” aluminum wheels with all season performance tires.

Gas Stats:

$4.19 / Gal avg.  Feb. 11, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

15 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $29,995.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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