2017 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus - Modern Muscle Car

You would think, with the horsepower wars alive and thriving, that a rear-wheel drive V6 engined automatic transmission coupe would be a yawnfest for sure. Boy was I wrong! Dodge upgraded the Challenger coupe back in 2015 with all kinds of go-fast goodies and interior upgrades. I recently got to test drive what you might consider to be their “entry-level” SXT Plus coupe.
2017 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus coupe (Photo: Motor News Media Corporation)
No “R/T”, no “SRT”, no “Hellcat” (oh-mi-gawd!) V8. Just a normally aspirated Pentastar 3.6L V6 engine bolted to a TorqueFlite 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission. The SXT and SXT Plus are the only two Challenger models equipped with the V6 – there is no manual gearbox option. No turbo or supercharging for the engine either. When it was delivered to me for my week-long review, I sincerely thought that I would be grossly disappointed. But as I quickly learned after a few minutes behind the wheel, that this car was still a lot of fun to drive! Plenty of power, responsiveness and balance! Of course being the speed freak that I am, and having driven the more powerful variants of this coupe over the years, I wouldn’t sneeze at more ponies under the hood. But I have to tell you, there is NO SHAME driving a Challenger V6 coupe!

Iconic exterior styling cues for the Challenger include: heritage-inspired split grille surround; projector headlamps with halo light-emitting diode (LED) surrounds; projector fog lamps; heritage-inspired split LED tail lamps with Gloss Black surround; retro and high-impact exterior colors ranging from Sublime Green and B5 Blue to TorRed; and nine wheel options, including 20-by-9-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels in Hyper Black II finish.

For those of you keeping track of the available Challenger coupe models for 2017, they include SXT, SXT Plus, R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker, T/A (new), R/T Plus Shaker, T/A Plus (new), 392 HEMI Scat Pack and R/T Scat Pack, T/A 392 (new), 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker, SRT 392, and SRT Hellcat.

The Challenger utilizes a rigid unitized steel body. Control hardware consists of an independent SLA arrangement in front, with a high upper “A” arm, coil spring over gas-charged monotube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar with lateral and diagonal lower links and dual ball joint knuckles. At the rear, a five-link independent suspension includes coil springs, gas-charged monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar and isolated suspension cradle works to keep the Challenger firmly connected to the road.

Inside the Dodge Challenger is an enthusiast-designed cockpit featuring world-class materials, execution and technology, also inspired by the interior of the 1971 Challenger. The cleanly-executed instrument panel features an aluminum-stamped driver’s bezel that establishes the driver’s cockpit. For a high-tech look, an innovative 7-inch TFT instrument cluster screen extends through the driver’s bezel and provides a customizable display. The all-new gauge cluster features an analog speedometer and tachometer that straddle the TFT customizable instrument cluster and provide a heritage-inspired “tic-toc-tach” look with throwback radial numbering and concave shape. Additionally, the center stack neatly houses the five-inch and segment’s largest available 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screens.

A trapezoidal-shaped, aluminum-stamped, high-sill center console provides Dodge Challenger’s interior with a fresh, asymmetric look, while the leather-wrapped surface and French-seamed accent stitching exudes craftsmanship and style. With its unique elevated design, the all-new center console houses additional controls for the Uconnect touchscreen above with ergonomically located redundant button and knob controls for audio and climate functions. A media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and auxiliary audio input is neatly housed inside the center console’s armrest.

Dimensions & specifications:
  • Wheelbase: 116.2; overall length: 197.9; width: 75.7; height: 57.5
  • All vehicle measurements are in inches.
  • Engine: 3.6L V6 – 305 hp at 6,350 rpm and 268lbs-ft of torque at 4,800
  • Transmission: six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic
  • EPA Fuel Economy: 3.6L V6 – 19 city/30 hwy
  • Cargo capacity: 16.2 cubic feet
  • Safety features

Dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, dual head curtain side-impact airbags, driver inflatable knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, rain brake support, ready alert braking, all-speed traction control, electronic stability control, automatic headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, intelligent battery sensor, keyless Enter ‘n Go, engine immobilizer, LED daytime running lamps, tire pressure monitoring system, and vehicle security alarm. SXT Plus adds projector fog lamps and universal garage door opener.

Optional safety features add Bi-Xenon high intensity headlamps; remote engine start, navigation system, automatic high beam headlamp control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection, forward collision warning, ParkSense rear park assist system, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, and adaptive cruise control.

Warranty:
  • Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile
  • Powertrain: 5-year/100,000 mile
  • Corrosion: 5-year/100,000 mile
  • Roadside Assistance: 5-year/100,000 mile, 24-hour
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By Ken Chester Jr., Motor News Media Corporation

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2017 Dodge Challenger SXT photos:






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