The 2018 Dodge Challenger GT is a worthy Mopar and its main competition is the Mustang and Camaro. It has handsome good looks, handles well for a muscle car, is both retro and stylish, and quick enough. If you don’t need the performance of a V8, the V6 is a worthy competitor and makes for a good daily commuter.
This week, we got our hands on the new Dodge Challenger GT.
The Dodge Challenger GT remains unchanged except for a standard rearview camera. It also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Features & Options
The 2018 Dodge Challenger GT ($33,495) comes standard with automatic headlights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and 60/40-split folding rear seats. Tech features include Bluetooth capability, a rearview camera, two USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system.
The GT employs the V6 and is the only Challenger with all-wheel drive. The GT trim adds 19-inch wheels, foglights, rear parking sensors, upgraded brakes, heated and ventilated front seats, and leather upholstery. GT buyers also get a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, performance-related in-car apps, and satellite and HD radio.
This tester came with the GT interior package ($995) adding a leather steering wheel, Harman/Kardon premium sound ($895), nine-inch speakers with subwoofer, 506-watt amplifier, and Nappa Alcantara performance seats. We also enjoyed the Challenger body stripe ($395) and navigation ($795). Total MSRP including destination: 37,670.
We would opt for the GT interior package every time. For just under $1,000 it provides nice upgrades, making the Challenger GT a comfortable place to spend your commuting time. The leather steering wheel and seats make the cabin feel a bit like a luxury coupe. The front seats are outstanding, especially in Nappa leather, for driving enthusiasts. They kept us firmly planted during spirited driving. There’s a high-tech 8.4-inch touchscreen upgrade in the GT model with sharpened resolution and quicker infotainment software.
The Challenger GT cabin is quiet at highway speeds even with winter-rated tires on all four corners. We were glad it was equipped with them when the spring snow hit this week. The premium sound system and nine-speakers filled the coupe’s cabin as we made it through city traffic.
If you need to haul lots of passengers, the rear seat is tight and only acceptable for hauling adults a short distance. Getting into the back is a tight fit and the contortions could cause you to see the chiropractor. The Challenger doesn’t have the best rearward visibility when on the road either, but the new-for-2018 rearview camera solves the backing-up issue.
The trunk has 6.2 cubic feet of cargo space and is much larger than the Challenger looks like it would offer, more space than some midsize sedans.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Challenger GT is powered by Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V6 producing 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated with an eight-speed TorqueFlight automatic transmission. EPA fuel mileage estimates are 18/27 city/highway and 21 combined mpg.
The GT’s 305 horsepower doesn’t sound like a lot compared with its sibling V8s, but it’s a capable sports coupe able to handle the commute. The V6 won’t eat you alive at the gas pump and it has enough power for any driving situation, short of a drag race from the stop light with a Hellcat or Scat Pack.
The GT with its 3.6-liter V6 is a fun ride with a compliant suspension, yet still firm enough to handle fairly well in the corners. With its paddle-shifting eight-speed automatic, there’s enough power to still feel like a muscle car. The GT isn’t short on acceleration for passing, even in Colorado’s rarefied air. The Challenger GT is an easy car to live with that exudes a lot of style and gets lots of attention from other drivers.
Challenger GT is stable and predictable even on the twisty mountain roads west of Denver. The car offers all-wheel drive for all-weather capability and makes a good daily commuter that won’t break the bank with a purchase price well under $40K.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger GT offers plenty of fun for the money and performed surprisingly well for a V6. Handling is impressive on two-lane mountain roads due largely to the all-wheel drive. In terms of drivability, the Challenger GT is an acceptable, if not enjoyable daily commuter.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy