2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack: Review

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceOldie but Goodie
The Dodge Challenger is advancing in age. Yes, the original Challenger hit the streets almost 50 years ago, but we’re talking about the current rendition introduced in 2008. There have been a few refreshes along the way, but the vehicle is still built on the same platform from a decade ago. That said, the Challenger has aged amazingly well, and as Dodge continues to liven it up with more power and bright colors, this 2019 Dodge Challenger is certainly a vehicle that does not act its age.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
We spent a few days with a 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body painted in eye-catching Sublime Green. Optional extras on our test vehicle included the Widebody Package, Technology Group, Harman Kardon audio system, an 8-speed automatic transmission, a power sunroof and Scat Pack Bumblebee stripe for a total MSRP listed at $56,600. Competitors to the Challenger include the other American muscle cars — Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSo Sublime
Even though the retro-designed Challenger looks much the same as it did when it rolled out more than 10 years ago, it still grabs attention as a genuine muscle car. But even more eye-catching is the Sublime Green paint. Dodge put the first coats of Sublime Green on a Challenger way back in 1970, and it is one of several bright colors that the brand has returned to the mix.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceWide Body
An optional Widebody Package adds even more heft to Challenger’s muscle-car styling. The package runs $6,000 and includes large fender flares that add 3.5 inches to the overall width, as well as larger Brembo 6-piston front brakes, upgraded suspension and 20-inch Devil’s Rim forged aluminum wheels fitted with sticky Pirelli P-Zero tires. Not only does this package make the Challenger look even more aggressive, it greatly improves the handling of what is not a small car.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBig Power
There’s more to a muscle car than simply aggressive styling, and the Challenger Scat Pack has the power to backstop those strong looks. Under the hood lurks a 392 cubic inch 6.4-liter V8 engine producing a plentiful 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. A manual transmission is available, but our test vehicle was equipped with the 8-speed automatic.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRoaring Exhaust
Putting the right pedal down always results in a big smile from behind the wheel of the Challenger Scat Pack. The big V8 exhaust note blends perfectly with the muscular styling, as does the accompanying acceleration. A driver could turn off the traction control and easily burn through a set of tires, but even when the rear end breaks free this big car remains predictable and easily controlled.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBig Car
The Challenger is not a small vehicle — in fact, it is quite a bit larger and heavier than its Mustang and Camaro rivals. While some might see this as a detriment, the larger size certainly has its benefits. The cabin feels roomy with large front seats and plenty of space for storage around the seats.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceModern Interior
Granted, this vehicle design has been around a while, but Dodge does a great job keeping the Challenger interior updated with the latest technology. The car’s large center display screen is easy to use and navigate — in fact, we think FCA’s interface is one of the best in the industry. For the most part controls are intuitive with hard buttons for climate, radio tuning and drive modes. One annoyance: accessing the seat heaters require digging into the menu — something that should be easier, since turning on heaters is often a pre-drive step on cold mornings.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDrive Modes
Dodge also gives drivers the ability to fine tune Challenger’s driving dynamics via set driving modes or custom settings. The transmission, traction control, suspension and steering can be individually adjusted to meet the driver’s requirements. There’s an Eco button as well, but we would wager that it’s the most ignored button in a Dodge Challenger.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRetro Gauges
While the center display gives the Challenger a modern feel, Dodge designers kept retro styling in the driver’s gauge cluster with a speedometer and tachometer that look as if they were retrofitted from a ‘70s Challenger. Centered between the speedo and tach is a modern digital display for the trip computer and other useful functions.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRear Seat
The rear seat may be difficult to access — typically the case for most 2-doors on the market — although once inside occupants will find comfortable seats. Two adults can easily occupy Challenger’s rear seat without feeling cramped, and three could fit back there in a pinch.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBig Trunk
Another benefit of this large muscle car is trunk space. The opening is a bit on the small side, but there’s plenty of room for several large pieces of luggage or other cargo.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 8.5
A 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack in Sublime Green is not a vehicle for someone trying to be inconspicuous — if the bold styling and color don’t turn heads, the big exhaust note certainly will. With plenty of power on tap as well as fun, retro styling, the Challenger is a great option for those looking to stand out and enjoy the drive while not sacrificing modern conveniences.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Rear spoiler adds to the sporty styling.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Wide body provides a more aggressive stance.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Additional air intakes in the grille.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Sublime Green fits nicely in the Pacific Northwest.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Pirelli P-Zero tires on 20-inch alloy wheels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Accent black stripes are a nice touch.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Retro-styled fuel filler cover.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Spacious interior.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Wide Body
Retro gauges.

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