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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Outward sightlines are hampered by thick pillars, fixed rear headrests, a low roof, and a long hood
Car and Driver
Available safety features include ABS, traction control
The SE has four-wheel discs, but ABS is an option
As of this writing, very few 2009 model-year vehicles have been crash-tested by either NHTSA or the IIHS, and the list of to-be-tested vehicles includes the 2009 Dodge Challenger lineup. Although crash-test data isn't available, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the 2009 Dodge Challenger features an acceptable collection of safety equipment.
Unlike many car models, which tend to have standardized safety equipment lists across all trim levels, the Dodge Challenger offers different standard equipment between the SRT8, R/T, and SE trims. On the base Challenger Dodge SE, the standard safety equipment includes "four disc brakes," according to Automobile Magazine, but they are very disappointed to discover that "ABS is an option—a pretty shocking bit of cost-cutting in an otherwise well-equipped car." ConsumerGuide mentions that additional safety features on the Dodge Challenger SE include "dual front airbags, front side airbags, [and] curtain side airbags." ConsumerGuide reviewers add that moving up to the V-8-powered R/T version of the Challenger Dodge brings "antilock 4-wheel disc brakes" and "brake assist," along with an "antiskid system." The top-of-the-line 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 heaps on additional safety features, including "Hill Start Assist, which helps manual transmission cars launch more securely on inclines," as listed by Motor Trend, and upgraded Brembo brakes. Cars.com also reports that the Dodge Challenger "SRT8 has traction and stability control to avoid spinning the tires and [keep] you headed in the right direction," a valuable feature in a car as prone to wheelspin as the 2009 Dodge Challenger.
The new Challenger Dodge offers varying safety features across the trim levels, but all three suffer from less-than-ideal driver visibility. Several reviews read by TheCarConnection.com lament the poor visibility, with ConsumerGuide leading the way by reporting that the Dodge Challenger's "roof design severely limits visibility to the rear corners." Car and Driver agrees and expands upon that criticism, finding that the "outward sightlines are hampered by thick pillars, fixed rear headrests, a low roof, and a long hood."
The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 comes with all of the expected safety gear, but you’ll have to pay extra for lifesaving ESC in the SE model.