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#3438878 - 07/28/14 08:02 PM A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 1777
Loc: KY
My son and I were driving to Chicago to attend the Tottenham Hotspur FC vs. Chicago Fire game so just for giggles I rented a V6 Challenger for the weekend. Herewith my review...

I'll begin by noting that the 2015 Challenger receives some significant upgrades besides the availability of the mega-horsepower Hellcat; the 8 speed ZF autobox and a "Super Track Pak" are now available with the V6. And a new interior manages to look both more modern and more retro at the same time. The exterior receives a few tweaks as well.

As for the 2014 I drove, I can sum it up in two words: Big Cruiser. And I don't mean that as a slam. The thing is huge- 198" long and 4,000 pounds. Still, the 305 bhp Pentastar does a decent job of moving the big sled down the road; while a 0-60 in the mid sixes and a 15 second quarter mile cannot be considered even remotely fast, it is adequate for this car's intended purpose. And it is relatively efficient, averaging 29 mpg at an 80 mph cruise. The 5 speed automatic works OK, but it isn't all that responsive in manual shift mode. And I still think that the sideways autostick function is beyond moronic; left to downshift, right to upshift? Which imbecile gave the green light to that?

Handling is again, adequate. While I would prefer much tighter shock damping and roll stiffness, the person who buys this car is never going to come close to pushing it to its modest limits(heck, the person who buys this car probably thinks "understeer" is a band that used to open for Pearl Jam). Steering effort was high(which most drivers think-wrongly-equates to steering feel) but not very communicative. Still, it was fine for the type of driving this car encourages. Ditto for the brakes. And the car is a brilliant interstate cruiser, quietly soaking up most every road imperfection with little to no floating or wallowing- it felt almost European as opposed to a domestic land yacht.

I liked the interior; the cloth seats(with power lumbar support) were at least as comfortable as the base seats in my wife's E90 328i but not nearly as comfortable as BMW Sport seats or the chairs in my MS3. The base sound system sounded remarkably good. The trunk is cavernous, and the lid uses gas struts so no hinges intrude on the trunk space.

Summing up,the Challenger V6 is just not my kind of car, but it is perfect for the demographic it is aimed at. As for me, if I had the money and garage space I'd buy an SRT just to take to cruise nights and for longer trips with two passengers.
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1995 318ti Club Sport
1975 2002A
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1996 Speed Triple

Hers:
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#3438890 - 07/28/14 08:13 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2246
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
if you think that autostick layout is dumb, you should she version ford has on the current gen explorer(and probably more models, but that's the only place I've seen it)

first you drop the shifter down to M, (ok, not terribly odd)
to actually shift, there are +/- thumb buttons on the side of the knob.

My brother Bought a '13 Challenger R/T Blacktop (Hemi) Last Summer to replace an 06 Mustang GT as his DD, as the mustang wasn't heavy enough to smooth out the rough roads on his commute(LOTS of HEAVY road Contstuction for the next several years) and in his words the Mustang was beating him up on a daily basis.

He's Driving from his place in Dallas to here in OH at the end of the week, and has to decide weather to take the Challenger, or his 07 Dakota Quad Cab (4.7HO) in the past the truck has been his HWY Cruiser.


Edited by earlyre (07/28/14 08:26 PM)
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#3438915 - 07/28/14 08:28 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: earlyre]
ThirdeYe Online   content


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 7423
Loc: Walker, MI
Originally Posted By: earlyre
if you think that autostick layout is dumb, you should she version ford has on the current gen explorer(and probably more models, but that's the only place I've seen it)

first you drop the shifter down to M, (ok, not terribly odd)
to actually shift, there are +/- thumb buttons on the side of the knob.

My brother Bought a '13 Challenger R/T Blacktop (Hemi) Last Summer to replace an 06 Mustang GT as his DD, as the mustang wasn't heavy enough to smooth out the rough roads on his commute(LOTS of HEAVY road Contstuction for the next several years) and in his words the Mustang was beating him up on a daily basis.

He's Driving from his place in Dallas to here in OH at the end of the week, and has to decide weather to take the Challenger, or his 07 Dakota Quad Cab (4.7HO) in the past the truck has been his HWY Cruiser.


Modern GMs have that same shift layout. In the 2011 Malibu I drove, it had a "M" selection with the +/- on the knob that you'd push with your thumb. That one was a 6-speed auto mated to a 2.4 Ecotec.
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#3438926 - 07/28/14 08:36 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: ThirdeYe]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2246
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: ThirdeYe

Modern GMs have that same shift layout. In the 2011 Malibu I drove, it had a "M" selection with the +/- on the knob that you'd push with your thumb. That one was a 6-speed auto mated to a 2.4 Ecotec.


Same Transmission.
sort of.
that car has the 6T70, the Explorer uses the 6f55
GM and Ford Co-Developed this line of 6 speed automatics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM-Ford_6-speed_automatic_transmission


Edited by earlyre (07/28/14 08:36 PM)
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Mine to Maintain:
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#3438930 - 07/28/14 08:39 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: earlyre]
Miller88 Online   content


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 6861
Loc: Onondaga County
Originally Posted By: earlyre
if you think that autostick layout is dumb, you should she version ford has on the current gen explorer(and probably more models, but that's the only place I've seen it)

first you drop the shifter down to M, (ok, not terribly odd)
to actually shift, there are +/- thumb buttons on the side of the knob.

My brother Bought a '13 Challenger R/T Blacktop (Hemi) Last Summer to replace an 06 Mustang GT as his DD, as the mustang wasn't heavy enough to smooth out the rough roads on his commute(LOTS of HEAVY road Contstuction for the next several years) and in his words the Mustang was beating him up on a daily basis.

He's Driving from his place in Dallas to here in OH at the end of the week, and has to decide weather to take the Challenger, or his 07 Dakota Quad Cab (4.7HO) in the past the truck has been his HWY Cruiser.


The escape/focus ( and everything else that uses that one) is actually worse.
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#3438969 - 07/28/14 09:01 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: earlyre]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 1608
Loc: Central PA
Originally Posted By: earlyre

Same Transmission.
sort of.
that car has the 6T70, the Explorer uses the 6f55
GM and Ford Co-Developed this line of 6 speed automatics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM-Ford_6-speed_automatic_transmission


Yeah and th Taurus you can get paddle shifters. Pull back to upshift push to downshift. Really should make no difference - in the end it's just a switch.
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#3439011 - 07/28/14 09:40 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2246
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
"stupid Flappy Paddle" shifters > +/- Buttons on the side of the shift knob.

they are small/close enough together, I could see myself accidentally hitting the wrong one...
_________________________
Mine:
09 Mercury Sable : .5qts PP(old) 5w30, 5qts PPPP 5w20, Wix 51516
Mine to Maintain:
03 Pontiac Vibe : 4.5 qts PP(old) 5w30, Fram Ultra XG4967

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#3439048 - 07/28/14 10:25 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
RamFan Offline


Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 1573
Loc: Illinois, U.S.A
I'm sorry, but since when is 0-60 in the 6s not considered fast?
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#3439067 - 07/28/14 10:47 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 9238
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: MCompact
And I still think that the sideways autostick function is beyond moronic; left to downshift, right to upshift? Which imbecile gave the green light to that?

My mom's C300 has the same setup. The only explanation I can come up with is that moving a manual shifter to the right always means moving up the gears, and moving it to the left always means moving down. There isn't the same kind of correspondence between forward/back and up/down.

shrug
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#3439072 - 07/28/14 10:50 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: RamFan]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 1777
Loc: KY
Originally Posted By: RamFan
I'm sorry, but since when is 0-60 in the 6s not considered fast?


Since about 1995 at the absolute latest.
If it makes you feel any better, my lightly modified MS3 takes @5.2 seconds to get to 60, and I don't think it is very fast either...
_________________________
Mine:
1995 318ti Club Sport
1975 2002A
2007 Mazdaspeed3
1999 Wrangler Sahara
1996 Speed Triple

Hers:
2009 328i

Son's
2004 X3 2.5

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#3439081 - 07/28/14 11:03 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: RamFan]
grantsburg Offline


Registered: 09/24/11
Posts: 42
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: RamFan
I'm sorry, but since when is 0-60 in the 6s not considered fast?


The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTC crew cab can hit 60 in the mid 6s. Nuff said. grin

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#3439091 - 07/28/14 11:16 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9426
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: MCompact
As for the 2014 I drove, I can sum it up in two words: Big Cruiser. And I don't mean that as a slam. The thing is huge- 198" long and 4,000 pounds.


Umm........you say 198 inches long is huge? My little Buick is 200 inches long and I consider it a little car. ???

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#3439095 - 07/28/14 11:24 PM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: Merkava_4]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 1777
Loc: KY
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4

Umm........you say 198 inches long is huge? My little Buick is 200 inches long and I consider it a little car. ???


To each his own. I've owned a 1967 Riviera as well as a 1974 Monte Carlo, but I much prefer cars less than 180 inches long that weigh in at 3500 pounds or less- preferably much less. Big anodyne sedans don't interest me in the slightest.
I guess you consider a two ton coupe to be a flyweight?
_________________________
Mine:
1995 318ti Club Sport
1975 2002A
2007 Mazdaspeed3
1999 Wrangler Sahara
1996 Speed Triple

Hers:
2009 328i

Son's
2004 X3 2.5

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#3439144 - 07/29/14 01:17 AM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: MCompact]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9426
Loc: Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: MCompact
I guess you consider a two ton coupe to be a flyweight?


Although it's heavier than my Buick, I don't consider the new Challenger to be a large car no.

I grew up during the 70s and we had some large cars back then.

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#3439196 - 07/29/14 05:37 AM Re: A Weekend With a 2014 Challenger V6 Rental [Re: Merkava_4]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 15184
Loc: Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: MCompact
I guess you consider a two ton coupe to be a flyweight?


Although it's heavier than my Buick, I don't consider the new Challenger to be a large car no.

I grew up during the 70s and we had some large cars back then.


If you ever see a 70's Challenger in the flesh you will realize that the 'new' one is HUGE!

Probably the main reason I didn't buy one, they are gigantic compared with the original. But the payoff is a cavernous interior and trunk, and they ride sweetly. They also lack some key features of my car, like anti dive and anti squat at both ends.

But 30 mpg is amazing...
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