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      05-12-2009, 03:56 PM   #1
zacbol
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Challenger R/T vs e92 M3

Not a comparison in terms of performance really (I don't think there's any doubt the M3 is in a different class), but some subjective thoughts I posted on Edmund's after having test driven a Challenger R/T last night (My g/f really wants one):

Given that I currently drive a 2008 e92 M3 (close enough to the e90 M3 currently in the Edmund's long term test fleet) and test drove the Challenger R/T last night, thought I'd offer a few subjective observations about the Challenger. I'll say on the whole I was quite impressed.

Few basic areas:
* The car is gorgeous. One of the best looking exteriors I've seen at any price. I love my M3, but the Dodge has a presence that the M3 just cannot match. It is huge though. I wouldn't want to have to parallel park the thing.

* I've read some negative comments about the interior, but I was actually quite impressed with it. Obviously, it's not at the level of the 70K BMW M3, but the fit and finish was quite good, generally good materials, comfortable seats (these were optinal leather), no panel gaps, I didn't notice any rattles. Having also recently sat in a base Camaro (V6 without leather), I thought the Challenger significantly better than that car in terms of interior quality. C-pillar was a bit of a problem in terms of rearward visibability.

* Drove a 6MT. Comfortable stick and reasonably precise shifts (I think its actually a bit better than the M3; the long throws on that car are my only complaint). It did throw me off that in neutral the shifter is off to the left a bit (I kept thinking I was in 1st when I was in neutral)

* Moderate body lean on tight turning. Certainly gave far less confidence and feedback than the M3 on tight turns (the m3 hunkers down and has fairly amazing grip at speed), but was actually much better than expected given the size and weight of the car. Steering feel was also heavier/better than expected.

* v8 rumble at speed was great. The M3 at 8000rpm is unbeatable IMO, but has more of an F1 sound. At low speeds, the Challenger make a far more appealing, classic V8 rumble.

* Given the even, but relative paltry torque of the M3 (295 ft lbs), the torque of the Challenger was quite fun. Responsiveness was good and it picked up speed quite well. Again, can't really match the M3 at higher RPMs but was completely adequate and the car never felt "slow" to me (as some have complained)

Having driven a C6 Corvette (with which I was quite underwhelmed) prior to getting my M3, i have to say I was very impressed with the Challenger. It's a very different car compared with the M3, but it put a similarly huge smile on my face and at less than half the price. I'll be interested to try the Camaro SS, but for now I'm a fan of the Dodge and if you're a fan of American muscle, I'd recommend checking it out.
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      05-12-2009, 08:26 PM   #2
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I agree that the Challenger is a beautiful car to look at. Especially in SRT guise. Can't comment on the driving experience as I haven't driven one. But, based on all the reviews I've read on the car, I wouldn't expect it to be anything more than UNDERwhelming.
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      05-12-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineweissM3 View Post
I agree that the Challenger is a beautiful car to look at. Especially in SRT guise. Can't comment on the driving experience as I haven't driven one. But, based on all the reviews I've read on the car, I wouldn't expect it to be anything more than UNDERwhelming.
Depends on what you're expecting. You don't pick up a John Grisham novel (not that I'd read him) expecting Tolstoy. You appreciate things for what they are. There are such things as simple pleasures.

I thought the car was a blast and don't think it pretends to be anything more or less than what it is.
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      05-14-2009, 07:31 AM   #4
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I thought that was a very well written review. It's tough to compare the two cars due to re fact that there is such a large delta in price. But just simply saying you enjoyed it in certain areas is really what matters. I've seen a few of the SRT model Challengers. They really are BIG cars. Seeing what some guys have done to the 6.1 hemi (TT, twin supercharge, internals) these things can become real monsters. Which is nice to see a new car in the mix. I personally was a little disappointed when they essentially used the same interior as the 300c. I wish they wouldve made it a little more distinguishable.
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      05-14-2009, 08:49 AM   #5
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[quote=zacbol;5109859]Depends on what you're expecting. You don't pick up a John Grisham novel (not that I'd read him) expecting Tolstoy. You appreciate things for what they are. There are such things as simple pleasures.

nice!
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      05-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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Had a run in with one Tuesday night on the interstate!

70 - 150, good bye! I walked about 15 car lengths on him. Gotta love the high rpm power of the M!

EDIT: My bad, it was a Charger w/ Hemi
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      05-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #7
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My friend just bought one...black and R/T trim. Although I would get the challenger over the new '10 Camaro, I wouldn't get it over the '10 mustang. To me the mustang is more refined (lol can't believe i just said that about an American-made car)and nicer looking.

For one thing... the challenger does have the American muscle personality. It's a big V8 and it's loud in the low RPM range. (like you said) Sounds REALLY aggressive and loud which is what I like. Design is really nice from the front (almost scary looking) and back...has the older generation Challenger look to it.

The challenger is way too big though..and very heavy. Even though it has 380hp 5.7L Hemi V8 engine...it's not enough to pull the heavy thing. The E92 M3 has a broader RPM range, more hp, and lighter while the Challenger R/T has less hp, heavier, and a lower RPM range than the M. Only advantage that the Challenger has the torque...but that's it. You would wreck.


..wow this is the most i've ever written in one post..........
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      05-14-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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Not really related but just want to share that I raced one from 80km - 150km in my Audi A4 2.0t with APR and beat him by 1 1/2 cars. So the RT is clearly not quick for an American muscle car due to it being a tank
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      05-15-2009, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eurotrash8 View Post
Not really related but just want to share that I raced one from 80km - 150km in my Audi A4 2.0t with APR and beat him by 1 1/2 cars. So the RT is clearly not quick for an American muscle car due to it being a tank
Agreed the Challenger is a bit of a boat and is not "fast" relative to most modern performance-oriented European and Japanese cars, but given the specs on the A4 (and I'm assuming it was a 2009) that still seems somewhat hard to swallow. You sure:
a) dude was racing you
b) it wasn't an SE (which has only a V6 and is downright slow)

That said, focusing on hard metrics on a car like this is somewhat beside the point. I would never get a Challenger if I was looking for the best handling, fastest car or if I was looking for a luxurious interior. It's appeal is hard to pin down...as i said in the original entry, all I knew was that when I got out of the car I had a stupid grin on my face. That's not nothing.
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      06-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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i have a 335 with drop in and airscoops and i raced a Charger SRT which is very similar numbers wise to a challenger SRT. lot more muscle than an RT and we were basically Dead Even. i had him off the light by 1/2 a car he had me by a nose through 3rd. I now have added a JB3 tune and im 100% sure i would walk an SRT challenger, charger, 300. Theyre way too heavy and dont have that flat torque curve like we do. You would embarrass a R/T dont even waste gas racing one.
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      06-03-2009, 07:45 PM   #11
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Good looking car, felt like a U-Haul Truck when i test drove it!
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