Car Review: 2013 Dodge Challenger is the all-around best in show and tell

While the 2013 Dodge Challenger is unchanged this year, that means it still has “muscle car” written all over it. But it’s a girl’s car too. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, January 14, 2013 — Where to start when talking about the super cool 2013 Dodge Challenger. The Challenger is unchanged this year and that means it still has “muscle car” written all over it, but to my delight it’s a girl’s car too.

It has power, speed and attitude that is good enough for any man or woman who wants to take to the road. Even if the competition in this market is the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, no worries. Heads will turn.

The 2013 Dodge Challenger is considered a coupe for five and comes in three trims that match up to the three different engines: the SXT, R/T and SRT8 392.

On the SXT you get a V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, rear A/C outlets, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a six-way power driver seat, including a power lumbar adjustment.

Options on this package are called the SXT Plus package and with this you get fog lights, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and additional techie offerings on the audio.

There is also the Super Sport group package with 20-inch chrome wheels, rear spoiler, performance-tuned suspension/steering/brakes, and those well-loved steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.

Take a look too at the Interior Appearance Package with additions like the T-handle shifter or the Electronics Convenience group with heated mirrors and remote start.

Up next, the Challenger R/T has a V8 engine and everything optional on the SXT Super Sport group while also adding automatic headlamps, heated mirrors and a USB/iPod interface.

The R/T Classic package adds to this mix the R/T Plus goodies, 20-inch “heritage-style” wheels, black side stripes, and functional hood scoops.

What is called the Super Track Pak also gives better performance suspension, steering and brakes and stability control programming and you can also opt for the Interior Appearance group too.

At the top-of-the-line, there is the Challenger SRT8 392 with all the R/T basics, but a larger V8 engine, of course, and 20-inch wheels, sport seats, hydraulic power steering and upgraded brakes and suspension.

Under the hood the 2013 Dodge Challenger SXT is a five-speed automatic with a 3.6-liter V6 engine putting out 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque.

On the Challenger R/T it’s a V8, 5.7-liter engine with 376 horsepower and 410 pound feet of torque on the standard six-speed manual or on the automatic it is 372 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque.

Behind the wheel of the Challenger SRT8 392, 470 horsepower and 470 pound feet of torque are whipped out of a 6.4-liter V8 with the six-speed manual coming standard, but a five-speed automatic an option.

For safety the 2013 Dodge Challenger has antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, and front and side curtain airbags.

While the exterior certainly shines, the interior is a bit simpler, but it is easy to navigate all the bells and whistles in quick order. There is still the large dashboard and those shifters you have come to love in years past, so overall everything is functional and well placed. The only standout problem is the somewhat poor visibility when looking behind.

The front seats are comfortable, but it is a muscle car after all, so keep that in mind. On the SRT8 you get a little better ride with leather and faux suede.

In the back, the seats are tight and for really tall passengers it might be a no go.  However, for a car of this class, the legroom is more than would normally be expected.

There is also the 60/40 split-folding back and the Challenger’s trunk is large with 16.2 cubic feet.

With enough power and stability to offer a wonderful drive and ride quality and handling that is impeccable, the 2013 Dodge Challenger is the all around best in show and tell.

Should You Need to Know: While this might be one tough ride, you can expect comfort on the inside and that means it really is strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.  

Miles Per Gallon: Combined miles per gallon came in at 18, but it was 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The price tag for the 2013 Challenger R/T Classic that I drove came in at $38,745.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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