16 Best & Worst Dodge Challenger Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Dodge Challenger is a burly muscle car that began in 2008.

It sports a vintage appearance, muscle-car road manners and great V8 powertrains. 

In this article, we’ll be analyzing all of the best and worst model years of the Challenger.

2023 Dodge Challenger

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Dodge Challenger Are:

The best Dodge Challenger model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. The worst model years of the Challenger are 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2009, and 2015. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Dodge Challenger?

2023 and 2022 Dodge Challenger

The 2023 and 2022 Chargers are the final installments of the third generation introduced for 2008 – they are also the most advanced and most reliable models to date.

There are numerous trims to choose from including, SXT, GT, R/T, and SRT, and the high-end R/T and SRT trims.

Prices range from approximately $33,000 to $90,000.

The entry-level SXT, priced at $32,695, is the most popular trim of the bunch.

However, the R/T Scat Pack edition is a top-pick offering a perfect blend of engine power and premium features. Adding the Widebody appearance package would make the vehicle look more powerful and intimidating.  

Fuel efficiency varies depending on engine but EPA estimates average around 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 30 MPG for highway driving. 

2023 Challenger:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2022 Challenger:

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2022 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“I was hesitant to buy the Challenger given mixed reviews on some web sites. However, this is an excellent vehicle with plenty of room and a nice ride. The look of the car is timeless!”

2021 Dodge Challenger

The 2021 Challenger has several V8 engine choices, a surprisingly roomy cabin (for 4 adults), and many options for customization.

There are a total of 9 Challenger types to choose from: Coupe, R/T, R/T Scat Pack Widebody, R/T Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, SRT Hellcat Widebody, SRT Super Stock, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Hellcat Redeye.

Owners have praised this model year for the following aspects: spaciousness, interior, appearance, value, handling, and steering.

Notable safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Collision Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The model also secured a perfect 5-star rating from the NHTSA based on a series of collision tests.

EPA estimates average around 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 30 MPG for highway driving. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2021 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“Wow, this car is a handful. I have the Scatpack Widebody in Go Mango, and it gets SOME LOOKS! It’s big, it’s bold, it’s powerful. How does it drive? The adaptive suspension is great, although the Track Mode doesn’t get as stiff as I would like. The big 305 tires will grip for days, despite the car’s 4,250 lbs, so it handles nicely. The adjustable steering is perfect because I don’t like the stiff, hard feel in Track Mode, so I can dial it back to Street or Sport mode anytime. The steering does give pretty good feedback and feel compared to my 2016 Challenger. The engine is powerful and throaty–it has torque for days and you can enjoy cruising with very little throttle input. The large seats are comfortable and supportive (although they are a little high), and the back seat can actually fit 3 people…”

2021 Challenger

2020 Dodge Challenger

The 2020 Challenger has plenty of power under the hood with several V8 engine choices. Its also comfier and roomier than the Camaro and Mustang.

It comes equipped with a wide range of advanced driver safety aids as well as one of the best infotainment systems on the market.

All-wheel drive is available and so too are ventilated seats.

New to this particular model year is a limited edition 50th Anniversary package and a new 807-horsepower SRT Super Stock trim.

There are 5 primary trims to pick from: SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, and SRT Hellcat.

EPA estimates average at 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 30 MPG for highway driving.

The 2020 Challenger secured a perfect 5-star safety rating from NHTSA.

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2020 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“You don’t need the bigger horsepower except for maybe bragging rights. SXT 3.6 has 305 hp and 156 top speed ( don’t need to go that fast anyway). I had a hellcat super nice car but SXT keeps me out of trouble and still has the speed, luxury and comfort that satisfies the sports feeling.”

2020 Challenger

2019 Dodge Challenger

The 2019 Challenger is a reliable model year that saw the introduction of lots of new features and updates.

This includes the debut of a 797-horsepower SRT Hellcat Redeye model, a dual-snorkel hood and 10-horsepower increase for other Hellcat variants, and a Widebody version of the R/T Scat Pack trim.

Additional offerings include Brass Monkey and Stars and Stripes appearance packages, as well as an all-wheel-drive option for the base SXT trim.

Auto critics have praised this car for its great balance of performance and practicality thanks to its large trunk and rear seats.

Owners, on the other hand, liked this model for its interior, spaciousness, appearance, comfort, handling, steering, and acceleration.

Noteworthy safety features include Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. 

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2019 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“Exceeds all expectations. Power to spare. Rides like a dream and accelerates like a champ!”

2018 Dodge Challenger

The 2018 Challenger comes in many beefy engine choices, including the monstrous 840-horsepower Demon trim. It also offers one of the most comfortable rides when compared to its muscle-car rivals.

Notable additions for 2018 include the introduction of a Hellcat SRT Widebody model, a Performance Handling package (for the 5.7-liter V8 variants), and a larger standard touchscreen infotainment system.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities have also been integrated to all model years, on top of a pre-installed rearview camera.

There are 7 major trim levels for this model in total: SXT, GT, R/T, R/T 392, SRT 392, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Demon.

Fuel consumption varies from trim to trim, but EPA estimates average at 23 MPG for combined driving, 19 MPG for city driving, and 30 MPG for highway driving.

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2018 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“I love my 2018 Challenger. I love all the technology and it is a powerful car. It is easy on the wallet when it comes to miles per gallon. No regrets, so far. I am a Challenger fan now. Wish me luck!”

2018 Challenger

2017 and 2016 Dodge Challenger

The 2017 and 2016 Challengers are top picks. Both have received minimal complaints according to NHTSA data, and both have received excellent owners reviews.

These models benefit from the major overhaul of 2015, which introduced new models and improvements however they lack the teething issues that came with it.

They also have an updated Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

Both models offer powerful engine choices, spacious cabins, an enormous trunk, and a comfortable ride.

2017 Challenger:

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2016 Challenger:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 87 / 100

2016 Challenger, Edmunds review:

“It has dual identity, it can be your Sunday/show car or it can be your daily driver. This car is an absolute joy to get in. I went with the SXT Plus with Trac Pack. The Trac Pack gives it the same suspension as the R/T model, bigger 20′ tires, bigger breaks. This car commands attention in B5, ( classic blue). I have had people knock on my door at home randomly to ask me about it. I am 6 ft 2″ and find this to be one of the roomiest cockpits I have ever sat in, not just sports cars but all cars…”

Consumer Scores For Best Dodge Challenger Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Dodge Challenger4.5 / 5.04.7 / 5.0NA
2022 Dodge Challenger4.5 / 5.04.7 / 5.085 / 100
2021 Dodge Challenger4.4 / 5.04.7 / 5.087 / 100
2020 Dodge Challenger4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.087 / 100
2019 Dodge Challenger4.6 / 5.04.7 / 5.083 / 100
2018 Dodge Challenger4.8 / 5.04.7 / 5.084 / 100
2017 Dodge Challenger4.6 / 5.04.7 / 5.083 / 100
2016 Dodge Challenger4.8 / 5.04.7 / 5.087 / 100

Related: Dodge Challenger in Snow and Winter Driving? (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Dodge Challenger?

2010 Dodge Challenger

Based on auto industry data, the 2010 Challenger is statistically the most problematic model year ever produced.

Owners reported frequent engine stalling, excessive battery drain, sporadic loss of power and acceleration, braking issues, and a structurally defective engine system, leading to unrepairable engine damage.

Below is a report that goes into detail about the owner’s experience with his model:

“My 2010 Dodge Challenger rt will stall when making a slow right hand turn, which in turn the vehicle loses power steering and power brakes. This has happened four times in the last three years. This appears to be a common problem per the online Challenger blogs. I called the dealership and they said they have not heard of this problem and suggested calling the manufacturer. Needless to say this is very dangerous. I don’t know what to do as the dealer cannot replicate intermittent problems.”

The 2010 Challenger had a total of 406 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 26 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Premature timing chain failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Stalling while turning

2010 Challenger

2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Dodge Challenger

Next on this list of the worst Challenger cars is a batch of 4 model years: 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. 

All of these models had a wide range of electrical problems including a bad alternator, a defective door lock actuator, faulty power window mechanisms, headlight flickering, and loss of instrument cluster power.

Below is a report that talks about various electrical components malfunctioning simultaneously:

“Car has had intermittent electrical issues, headlights flashing, dashboard losing power, car alarms in and out. Most recently it stalled while driving on a country road. Was able to restart after a while. It stalled again while driving on the highway. Took the car to the dealership but they stated my alternator was not a part of safety recall t36, even though I was having those exact same issues.”

Here is another report that talks about a faulty window operating mechanism:

“Passenger window will go down about 1/4 of an inch every 10 seconds when the door is closed and the vehicle is unlocked. This caused the battery to drain.”

  • The 2011 Challenger had a total of 253 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 37 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2012 Challenger had a total of 319 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 74 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2013 Challenger had a total of 229 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 39 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2014 Challenger had a total of 193 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 30 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Alternator went out
  • Leaking fuel
  • Battery discharging
  • Power steering pump failure
  • All lights turned off on the dash
  • Bad totally integrated power module (TIPM)
  • Water entered the engine
  • Cylinder misfire
  • Engine ticking noise
  • Air conditioning blows hot air
  • Airbags did not deploy
2014 Challenger

2009 and 2008 Dodge Challenger

The 2009 and 2008 Dodge Challengers were widely affected by the infamous Takata airbag recall.

The faulty airbags were known to explode, firing metal shrapnel into the cabin.

While numerous widespread recall campaigns were initiated to respond to this issue, a lot of Challenger owners were left to wait for unreasonable periods of time due to the limited availability of parts. 

Here is an owner who is left without any recourse due to limited parts availability:

“Nothing happens Dodge will not repair the problem. Dealership said waiting on parts. Left with no way to travel. Do I have any recourse I can take?”

Car stalling issues were widely reported too, owners reported this would usually happen when coming to a stop or driving at slow speeds.

Here is what owners had to say:

“Vehicle stalls randomly while coming to a stop. Oil light illuminates car losses all power steering and breaking.”

“Car suddenly dies/stalls – warning lights come on (various speeds from 20 to 70 mph) most often associated with a small bump in the road (restarts easily)”

  • The 2009 Challenger had a total of 164 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 24 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2008 Challenger had a total of 16 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 5 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine shuts down while driving
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Replacement key will not work
2009 Dodge Challenger

2015 Dodge Challenger

The 2015 Challenger, despite being statistically the least problematic model on this list, suffered from 3 prominent problems: a defective driveshaft, a faulty rearview camera, and cylinder misfires.

Here is a report that talks about the model’s driveshaft:

“The contact owns a 2015 Dodge Challenger. The contact stated while driving the vehicle at various speeds, there was a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. The contact stated that there was no warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic where it was diagnosed with needing the driveshaft replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was informed of the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in a recall. The failure mileage was approximately 49,700.”

This next report shares details about a defective rear view camera:

“My back up camera works when it wants to sometimes and then other times it’s all blurry and can’t see. Also I get a light on for my brake system that goes on and off.”

Finally, this third report talks about an owner’s experience with cylinder misfires:

“Cylinder 2 misfire culminated in a diagnosis of a chewed camshaft. Known but unacknowledged issue with poor lubrication to the lifters — owner normally forced to pay for camshaft and lifter replacement.”

The 2015 Challenger had a total of 158 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 27 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Clutch went out
  • Transmission not working
  • Thump coming from rear end

Related: Where Are Dodge Challengers Made? (Solved & Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
Recalls
(NHTSA.gov)
2023 Dodge Challenger
2022 Dodge Challenger3
2021 Dodge Challenger5122
2020 Dodge Challenger2151
2019 Dodge Challenger1503
2018 Dodge Challenger6904
2017 Dodge Challenger11523
2016 Dodge Challenger18892
2015 Dodge Challenger271586
2014 Dodge Challenger301935
2013 Dodge Challenger392295
2012 Dodge Challenger743196
2011 Dodge Challenger372536
2010 Dodge Challenger264067
2009 Dodge Challenger241647
2008 Dodge Challenger5163

What Problems Do Dodge Challengers Have?

  • Alternator went out
  • Bad totally integrated power module (TIPM)
  • Engine shuts down while driving
  • Power steering pump failure
  • All lights turned off on the dash
  • Water entered the engine
  • Cylinder misfire
  • Leaking fuel
  • Battery discharging
  • Engine ticking noise
  • Air conditioning blows hot air
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Clutch went out
  • Transmission not working properly
  • Thump coming from rear end
  • Premature timing chain failure
  • Transmission failure
  • Stalling while turning

Related: 11 Most Common Dodge Challenger Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Dodge Challenger?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Ford Mustang9.2$27,770 – $55,570City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 22 – 32
Subaru BRZ8.7$28,595 – $32,795City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 27 – 30
Toyota GR868.3$27,900 – $32,000City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 27 – 31
Mazda MX-5 Miata8.2$28,050 – $38,950City: 26 /Highway: 34 – 35
Nissan Z8.2$39,990 – $52,990City: NA /Highway: NA
Chevrolet Camaro8.1$26,400 – $73,300City: 13 – 22 /Highway: 20 – 30
Dodge Challenger8.0$30,545 – $66,045City: 13 – 19 /Highway: 21 – 30

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 10 Sports Cars With the Most Interior Room (With Pictures)

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/dodge/challenger

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/dodge/challenger

https://www.edmunds.com/dodge/challenger/

https://www.kbb.com/dodge/challenger/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2023/dodge/challenger

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Dodge/Challenger/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/dodge/challenger/

https://www.cars.com/research/dodge-challenger/recalls/

Author:

  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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