Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Horrifyingly plastic interior
Enjoy the sounds of a uniquely tuned dual exhaust
The interior is quite comfortable, if dark
Car and Driver
The 2009 Dodge Challenger's interior seats are what all automakers should aim for: comfortable, supportive, and spacious. Unfortunately, not all aspects of the Dodge Challenger's interior are as well received in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com as those plush front buckets.
The folks at Chrysler would like you to think that the Challenger Dodge can seat five (hence the five seatbelts), but in reality, this sporty coupe is better suited to four. Leading the way in the 2009 Dodge Challenger are a pair of front bucket seats that reviewers rave about. Cars.com holds nothing back when talking about the "excellent leather seats with good side and back support" that they feel are "easily the best [they've] seen in a Dodge." On the Dodge Challenger SRT8, Car and Driver reports that the "thick, high-backed Alcantara-and-leather performance seats...glue the driver in place regardless of lateral forces," while the Dodge Challenger "R/T and SE models also feature comfortable and nicely bolstered bucket seats." In terms of space, Cars.com attests "head and leg room also are great up front, but foot room is more moderate in back." Automobile Magazine agrees, claiming that "pushing the front seats too far back causes rear legroom to disappear in a hurry," and noting "anyone beyond booster-seat age will be too big for the middle rear spot." The one mark against the 2009 Dodge Challenger comes from ConsumerGuide, where reviewers find that rear-seat "entry and exit are sporty-coupe awkward."
Many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate great surprise at the overall level of practicality afforded by the 2009 Dodge Challenger. The Dodge Challenger's trunk is particularly noteworthy, and ConsumerGuide says "for a sports coupe, Challenger has impressive trunk space" that "offers more room than many midsize sedans." Automobile Magazine also mentions "the generous trunk space (16.2 cubic feet) and fold-down rear seatbacks…impart some genuine practicality into this sports machine." Cars.com feels compelled to tell "the practical muscle car buyer" that the 2009 Dodge Challenger's "rear seats split and fold down," which improves overall storage capacity at the expense of seating capacity.
One frequent gripe with domestic cars is that their overall quality lags behind that of competing imports. While this has changed markedly in recent years, the Challenger Dodge still suffers from a disappointing lack of overall refinement. The materials quality is lambasted more than fit and finish in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, as ConsumerGuide feels that the "Challenger's cabin houses plenty of cheap plastic, but everything is nicely assembled." Jalopnik's reviewer also slams the "horrifyingly plastic interior," while Car and Driver says that the Dodge Challenger SE's "mostly black interior features some silver-painted plastic that does less to warm up the interior than to reflect its cheapness." Fortunately, ConsumerGuide points out that Dodge Challenger "R/T and SRT8 are available with chrome, faux carbon fiber, and suede accents that help dress up the interior a bit."
One area where above-average build quality and engineering shines through noticeably is cabin quietness, and in this category, many reviewers are impressed by just how quiet the Dodge Challenger is. ConsumerGuide calls the Dodge Challenger SE "surprisingly refined," and says it's "nearly silent when cruising." Motor Trend also refers to the Dodge Challenger as a "refined car" with a "much quieter" ride than the competing Ford Mustang. Of the noises that occasionally invade the cabin, one of the most prominent is the note from the "tuned exhaust system" that Jalopnik declares "sounds great in the lower gears."
The front seats on the 2009 Dodge Challenger are top-notch, but calling the plastic interior even mediocre is a stretch.