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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
While the Challenger hasn't been rated by either of the U.S. agencies, it includes a good set of safety equipment.
Items included on all Challengers include electronic stability control; front, side, and side-curtain airbags; and anti-lock brakes. Top-end SRT8 models also get some performance/safety enhancements, with Brembo brakes and Hill Start Assist. A driver's knee bag is also included, and a rearview camera system and blind-spot monitors are available.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has tested the Challenger and has given it an excellent five-star crash-test rating, with five-star results for all tests save the four-star number assigned to rollover resistance. However, the NHTSA notes that, "During the side impact test, the driver door unlatched and opened. A door opening during a side impact crash increases the likelihood of occupant ejection."
The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has not tested the Challenger, but the structurally-related Dodge Charger has fared well according to the agency.
Outward visibility is one significant concern, given the Challenger's high shoulders, thin wide windows, thick rear pillars, and rather low seating position. One concern for buyers of the 2012 Challenger may be visibility. It can be hard to see blind spots when changing lanes, as well as the rear of the car when backing up, or even the front of the hood when parking.
Outward visibility is a weakness of the Challenger's high-shouldered design, but safety equipment is generous.