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2008 Dodge Challenger Photo
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$34,803
BASE MSRP
$37,320
Quick Take
One look at the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 makes you want to stomp on the throttle and light up its big fat radials. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features

unmistakably the Challenger from any angle

Cars.com »

handsome retro styling

Edmunds »

looks spectacular in orange

Car and Driver »

direct, heritage-inspired connection to the original

Motor Trend »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$37,320 $37,320
MSRP $37,320
INVOICE $34,803 Browse used listings in your area
2-Door Coupe SRT8
Gas Mileage 13 mpg City/18 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas V8, 6.1L
EPA Class Midsize sedan
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 2
Body Style 2dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.6 out of 10
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The Basics:

TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove the Dodge Challenger to offer you a definitive opinion on this modern-day muscle car. This review compares the 2008 Challenger SRT8 with other vehicles in its class (or those coming soon) to offer you the best advice even when other reviews present conflicting opinions.

The focus for the all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is performance. That is why for 2008, Chrysler is offering the most potent pony car it can, period. The SRT moniker comes from Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology group--a band of merry men who give the Dodge Viper its venom while adding extra spice to the exclusive SRT performance versions of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Caliber.

For the Dodge Challenger, 2008 marks the nameplate's return after a 35-year absence. The most-remembered Challenger is the 1970 model fitted with legendary 426-cubic-inch HEMI V-8. It is fitting that 2008 Challenger reflects the aura of the original. While some have criticized the new Challenger for not reaching far enough in terms of styling, we've seen the 2008 next to a 1970 edition, and we can assure you that the cars are worlds apart. However, while we're fans of the exterior, the interior styling didn't go quite far enough for us.

Muscle cars and pony cars (named after the original 1964 Ford Mustang) aren't really supposed to make perfect sense. Decidedly practical people always ask in a condescending tone, "Why do you need all that power?" Obviously, these folks don't get it. That's OK, not everybody will. Muscle cars are about having fun, and the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is fun.

But even the traditional muscle cars of the 1960s had a practical side--so does the Challenger SRT8. Built off of the same LX platform as the larger Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, the Challenger is the largest two-door coupe around (interior-wise). Adults will fit in its backseat, and seating three across isn't out of the question.

The 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8's 6.1-liter HEMI's power (425 horsepower, identical to the rating of the 426 HEMI from 1970) is a thrilling, throbbing engine, and it's teamed well with the six-speed automatic transmission. Expect 0-60 mph times in the low 5-second range with 1/4-mile times in the low 13s. Top speed is estimated to be around 170 mph. Handling is surprisingly adept, and since the wide, flat design tells you exactly where the Challenger sits in a lane, it's easy to zip in and out and give other drivers a first look at this muscle car. Just be prepared to answer repeated questions at every stoplight--and to rev the engine for gawkers, too.

Performance is expected to improve in 2009 and beyond, as a larger-displacement HEMI is expected, along with a six-speed manual transmission.

Likes:

  • Modern muscle car styling
  • HEMI horsepower
  • Dynamic handing
  • Roomy seating for five
  • Available before the Camaro

Dislikes:

  • No manual transmission until 2009
  • Interior not as dramatic as exterior
  • SRT8 model is pricey
  • We waited so long...
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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