The Dodge Challenger is an iconic American muscle car that was first introduced in 1970.
This cult classic is synonymous with excessive power, style and performance.
How does the Challenger perform in snow and winter driving? Let’s find out...
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Here is the short answer to whether the Dodge Challenger is good for snow and winter driving:
The Dodge Challenger is a solid choice for driving in snow, specifically the AWD models. Features such as Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control and Anti-Lock Brakes enhance its winter driving ability, however its 5.2-inch ground clearance will limit it to lighter snow conditions.
Is a Dodge Challenger Good in the Snow?
With the available all-wheel-drive system, the Challenger can easily get you through winter, its all-wheel traction and hefty weight combine to provide a composed ride.
The main benefit of an AWD system in snow and ice is its ability to get the car moving in the first place as there is an increased chance one of the tires will gain traction.
Rear-wheel-drive versions of the Challenger are less capable in winter conditions. These versions may offer similar performance in lateral grip and braking however they are more prone to fishtailing in slippery conditions.
The Challenger’s traction control helps you to accelerate efficiently on slick surfaces by maximizing your forward or reverse tractive capabilities and thereby reducing wheelspin.
The Challenger has an average ground clearance of 5.2 inches and this will limit its ability to drive in heavy or thick snow, however for snowfall under 4 inches, it is more than capable.
Since the Challenger can range from $35,000 to $85,000, you should make sure you understand which version is best suited to your needs before purchasing.
For an optimal winter driving experience, we recommend opting for AWD models and would advise looking into the ‘Driver Convenience Group’ package that provides additional safety features.
What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?
Here are some helpful features of the Challenger that can assist driving during the winter months.
Available All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
The Challenger SXT and GT can be equipped with all-wheel drive.
This is especially useful for getting out of snowed-in parking spots or tackling unplowed roads.
Cars with all-wheel drive gain a significant traction advantage over rear-wheel drive cars.
It will be easier to accelerate and avoid sliding with all-wheel drive.
Traction control is most useful in the rear-wheel drive versions of the Challenger.
It will prevent the rear wheels from spinning excessively by applying brakes and cutting power.
Traction control is standard on every Challenger and can be turned off or adjusted in different drive modes on high-performance versions of the Challenger.
The Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat versions of the Challenger struggle for traction in dry conditions, so traction control may be used more often as a launch tool.
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) found in the Charger works hard to keep the vehicle from spinning out or losing control.
It does this by using various sensors to measure steering input and vehicle speed.
Using these sensors, it can predict a situation where the car may become unstable, and takes appropriate action before the driver loses control.
ESC then acts by applying the brakes and/or decreasing engine output to prevent a spin or slide.
Every Challenger is equipped with electronic stability control and this includes an integrated electronic roll mitigation system.
Daytime Running Lamps
Daytime running lamps are standard on every 2021 Challenger, located at the front of the car these lights come on whenever the vehicle is running.
They have a distinctive “halo” appearance that marks the Challenger from a distance and are a great safety feature for daytime winter driving.
The purpose of daytime running lamps is to increase the visibility of your car, so that other drivers can see you on the road.
Fog lamps and high intensity discharge headlamps are available as part of the “Driver Convenience Group” on every Challenger.
Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are available as part of the “Driver Convenience Group.”
Blind-spot monitoring alerts drivers when approaching vehicles are entering or currently traveling through the driver’s blind spots. An amber light on the side-view mirror glass helps drivers detect nearby vehicles.
Rear cross traffic alert notifies drivers of lane changes behind them.
When visibility decreases during winter months, these features can help drivers make better decisions in traffic while focusing on slippery roads.
Uconnect is Dodge’s infotainment and navigation system which gives drivers access to a whole host of technology.
Uconnect becomes more useful during extreme weather as it can offer navigation cues to avoid the worst conditions.
Drivers are given directions for safer routes based on weather conditions and road maintenance.
The “Plus Group” allows buyers to add an 8.4″ touch screen that operates with the popular Uconnect system.
Emergency services are easily summoned at the push of a button and roadside assistance is also available, giving drivers peace of mind through the winter months.
Other features like theft recovery are offered in comprehensive subscription packages.
Does a Challenger Have Snow Mode?
The Challenger has a series of different driving modes, including “Sport” mode, but it does not come equipped with a snow mode at this time.
The competing Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro do have snow modes, but neither are available with all-wheel drive.
Nonetheless, exercising caution, controlled use of the trottle and keeping the traction control systems enabled should be enough to keep your Charger operating just fine during the winter months.
Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on a Challenger?
There are plenty of options for extra winter accessories on the Dodge Challenger, especially since the introduction of all-wheel drive in 2017.
You can install:
- Snow tires
- Snow socks
- Snow chains
Snow tires are the most common winter accessory and can help the vehicle turn with much less sliding and stop within a shorter distance due to its increased traction.
Many winter tires can be studded with small metal bits that improve traction on ice and packed snow. It is important to check local regulations because tires fitted with studs may be illegal during certain months.
- Always make sure you are selecting the proper size tire for your vehicle to avoid rubbing fenders or causing incorrect speedometer information.
- Always have new tires balanced by a professional.
How Much Snow Can a Challenger Handle?
The Challenger will do well in light and moderate snow. Its limited ground clearance will hamper its ability to drive through deep snow, even though the all-wheel-drive versions have more ground clearance than higher-performance versions.
We would advise not driving the Challenger in snow deeper than 4 inches.
The Challenger with all-wheel drive is a good choice for winter if you want a stylish vehicle and are familiar with the handling characteristics of a large car.
Its weight gives it a surprising advantage in low-traction situations when accelerating. However, the weight can work against the Challenger when braking or turning.
Please also read our article: Chevrolet Camaro in snow and winter driving
How Does the Challenger Handle Low Winter Temperatures?
The Challenger SXT, GT and R/T should be expected to perform in winter temperatures with no issues.
The SRT and Scat Pack models will be extremely difficult to drive without winter tires. Their thin tire profile and overwhelming torque make it very difficult to find traction in snow.
If the vehicle has issues during winter months, you may have:
1. A dead battery
2. Oil with inappropriate viscosity
3. Contaminated fuel
Your local service department should be able to quickly diagnose and fix these issues.
Can a Challenger Drive on Ice?
The Challenger will handle ice as well as any other vehicle.
The all-wheel drive versions will do much better, however even with traction control – a rear-wheel-drive Challenger will be more prone to sliding uncontrollably and fishtailing.
Studded snow tires are one of the best solutions for driving on icy roads.
Does the Challenger have 4WD?
The Challenger does not have four-wheel drive (4WD). The Challenger uses an automatic all-wheel drive system that engages under certain conditions.
The vehicle is rear-wheel drive until wheel slippage is detected or the outside temperature drops below 40℉.
What About Older Challenger Models and Winter Driving?
The oldest Challengers from the 1970s are extremely valuable cars that would not do well in snow. It would be surprising if anyone wanted to drive one in adverse conditions due to their collector value.
When the Challenger returned in 2008 for a full production run in 2009, it was offered with a V-6 or two V-8 engines, however it wasn’t until 2017 when the first AWD Challenger appeared on the market.
The Challenger GT was the first AWD muscle car.
Does the Challenger Need Snow Tires?
Yes, it would make sense to put snow tires on a Challenger. Look for snowflakes on the tire’s sidewall, which will mark a true winter tire. These tires will make the vehicle much safer in snowy conditions.
Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a Challenger?
A Challenger cannot be fitted with a snow plow for the following reasons:
1. The vehicle is small: Although the Challenger is a big coupe, it is small compared to proper plow vehicles.
2. The car is low: The Challenger will struggle to pull itself through deep snow.
3. No aftermarket support: There is no existing plow mount for a Challenger.