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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Hi all! New to this Forum. I’m thinking about buying a used R/T with auto trans for a fun weekend ride. The stock performance would be fine and want to personalize it for sure with wheels, trim, graphics etc. Ideally a shaker hood would be my preference but not a deal breaker. I’m open to any years and just want to get the most reliable and trouble free one as I’ll be retired and on a limited income. Really appreciate your input.

Haven’t had a muscle car since 1972 when I had a 13-second ‘Cuda.
 

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2018 Challenger 392 Shaker B5 Blue
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Depends on your budget. But you can get a used 2018 or 2019 with low miles for the lows 20’s. If you’re looking for cheaper, then try 2017 and under
 
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2021 Challenger Scat Pack, 2019 Challenger SXT AWD
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Lotta dudes probably know more about it, but I believe the earlier 5.7 engines had issues stemming from the MDS system, so perhaps the first few years’ models are best avoided?
 

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I’m no expert, but I’d avoid 2009,2010, they had issues with valve seats dropping and camshaft issues on the early 5.7 engine. But yeah if you can afford it would look for 2016 and up.
 

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2016 Challenger R/T Plus Shaker
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I would aim for 2015 or newer if possible, the earlier Challengers are probably getting up in miles. I had a 2012, and it was trouble free, and currently a 2016 R/T Shaker is my daily driver. Both were and are very reliable and enjoyable cars, but the upgrades that went into the '15 and up Challengers made it my preference. The most important thing is to carefully check the prospective purchase over for anything that might cause expensive repairs to be necessary. On an older car, some small stuff may be needed, so I wouldn't let that be a deal breaker. Good luck with your Challenger search.
 

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'15 and newer will have the updated interior / amenities / telematics

the '14 and earlier can be glitchy for Keyless Go fob issues and IP cluster backlighting (EL sheet) going bad.
-rocker cladding is prone to warping and cracking (parts are starting to be discontinued for those parts)

and more and more I've read instances that the '11 and some earlier '12 5.7s seem to have the MDS lifter issues (wearing down camshaft lobes if the roller tip fails)

any point is vehicles driven year round in the snow belt areas - rust in the rear quarter, ahead of the rear wheel well is a problem area for any year
 
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I agree, ’15 and up. Pre ’15’s are showing rust issues around the rockers & fenders so look closely for paint bubbles if going in that direction.
 

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2019 Sublime Shaker, 2010 Plum Crazy R/T Classic, 2010 Detonator Yellow R/T Classic
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Woah, can I say something for the earlier R/Ts? I currently own two 2010 Challenger R/Ts that have NONE of the issues mentioned above. In all, I have owned 15 Challengers, 8 of them pre-'15 models, 5 of which were R/Ts. All were problem free for me, except one car I had to replace the rocker panels because they did warp. None had rust, none had any MDS issue (I did do the recall on the timing chain tensioner though), yes, they were a bit bit more crude than the latest versions but I just bought a 2010 Plum Crazy Purple Classic with only 22,000 miles for just at $19,200. There are some great deals to be had out there.
Now it is possible some of those items listed in the previous comments above me are true and accurate for what they have witnessed, but like the engine issues, there are a TON of high mileage R/Ts available out there, would they have lasted this long with serious engine problems?
Yes, there are early Challengers out there that have the rusting issue, it's well documented and I have seen a few on 2nd hand dealer lots. No doubt, however, not enough time has really progressed to ensure the post '15 cars won't also be saddled with this issue. I have owned 7 of the '15-'19 models, still have one in my garage too. The rockers are different, so are the mounting tabs but the sills still have the dang foam filled cavities of all my early Challengers.
I will say, the '15 and up Challengers drive really well, built to a high level compared to the earlier models and the technology built in is pretty damn good.
These are great cars and you can get one fairly inexpensively, do your homework and shop wisely. -Steve

1013071
 

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2012 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
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Woah, can I say something for the earlier R/Ts? I currently own two 2010 Challenger R/Ts that have NONE of the issues mentioned above. In all, I have owned 15 Challengers, 8 of them pre-'15 models, 5 of which were R/Ts. All were problem free for me, except one car I had to replace the rocker panels because they did warp. None had rust, none had any MDS issue (I did do the recall on the timing chain tensioner though), yes, they were a bit bit more crude than the latest versions but I just bought a 2010 Plum Crazy Purple Classic with only 22,000 miles for just at $19,200. There are some great deals to be had out there.
Now it is possible some of those items listed in the previous comments above me are true and accurate for what they have witnessed, but like the engine issues, there are a TON of high mileage R/Ts available out there, would they have lasted this long with serious engine problems?
Yes, there are early Challengers out there that have the rusting issue, it's well documented and I have seen a few on 2nd hand dealer lots. No doubt, however, not enough time has really progressed to ensure the post '15 cars won't also be saddled with this issue. I have owned 7 of the '15-'19 models, still have one in my garage too. The rockers are different, so are the mounting tabs but the sills still have the dang foam filled cavities of all my early Challengers.
I will say, the '15 and up Challengers drive really well, built to a high level compared to the earlier models and the technology built in is pretty damn good.
These are great cars and you can get one fairly inexpensively, do your homework and shop wisely. -Steve

View attachment 1013071
Uh...15?? So even if you owned two at a time, driven by two diff family members, you had each for a year ‘n a half? That’s some wild turnover!
 

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2019 Sublime Shaker, 2010 Plum Crazy R/T Classic, 2010 Detonator Yellow R/T Classic
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I was moving a lot over the world and it was hard for me to keep cars. The life of a deployed airman.... I liked specific year models/colors/options. I had 1: 2008 Hemi Orange SRT, 3: 2010 Detonator Yellow Classic R/Ts, 1: Plum Crazy Purple Classic R/T, 1: 2010 B5 Blue SRT, 1: 2012 Stinger Yellow SRT, 1: Header Orange R/T Shaker, 3: 2015 Sublime Green R/Ts (2 were Shakers), 1: 2016 Silver SXT, 1: 2017 Yellow Jacket Yellow R/T Classic, 1: 2017 Yellow Jacket T/A, 1: 2019 Sublime Green R/T Shaker. Oh and I am single, no kids, no pets. Easy to sponsor habit, errh, I mean hobby!!
 

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I can only speak for a 2018 Challenger T/A (5.7L) I owned. The only issues I had were the U-connect screen turning off and sometimes freezing mid-drive. This started to occur between 12-18k miles. It had a recall which I had it serviced for but that didn't quite fix it. It did however reduce the amount of times it made my U-Connect screen malfunction. After the recall service, it would happen twice a month average. Not a huge deal breaker but annoying when you can no longer adjust your radio volume, heat/air con, etc unexpectedly.
 

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2012 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
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Easy to sponsor habit, errh, I mean hobby!!
Ha!
I wonder if there was a favorite in that lot. You must have had quite a loss each time you had to turn around and sell, so “thank you for your sacrifice!”
(I mean that to be funny to pay off my witty joke, but also mean it literal reals 🤘🏻)
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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Hi all! New to this Forum. I’m thinking about buying a used R/T with auto trans for a fun weekend ride. The stock performance would be fine and want to personalize it for sure with wheels, trim, graphics etc. Ideally a shaker hood would be my preference but not a deal breaker. I’m open to any years and just want to get the most reliable and trouble free one as I’ll be retired and on a limited income. Really appreciate your input.

Haven’t had a muscle car since 1972 when I had a 13-second ‘Cuda.
General rule is to avoid buying the 1st MY of a new or revised model. The 1st year cars can have issues that get sorted as the year progresses. Or the improvements get rolled into the 2nd year's production run.

The 3rd year is the model year I consider the most mature, unless the model line continues essentially unchanged for another year or more.

However, if you buy a used car with some miles on it the chances are better if it is not manifesting any issue that might be due to a first MY car that the car will not manifest any issues that might be due to the first MY car.

Maybe. Depends upon the miles. A low miles/garage queen car could manifest new model issues as you add miles.

And a 3rd, 4th MY car is not immune from a new car issue so again a low miles/garage queen car of any vintage: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on; is a risk.
 

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I can only speak for a 2018 Challenger T/A (5.7L) I owned. The only issues I had were the U-connect screen turning off and sometimes freezing mid-drive. This started to occur between 12-18k miles. It had a recall which I had it serviced for but that didn't quite fix it. It did however reduce the amount of times it made my U-Connect screen malfunction. After the recall service, it would happen twice a month average. Not a huge deal breaker but annoying when you can no longer adjust your radio volume, heat/air con, etc unexpectedly.
REALLY??? oh man, I had that problem on my 2012 (finally dumped the Uconnect for an after-market). Guess I was hoping the newer cars didn’t have the same issue seeing how you’re pretty much stuck with the UConnect on 2015+.
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Hi all! New to this Forum. I’m thinking about buying a used R/T with auto trans for a fun weekend ride. The stock performance would be fine and want to personalize it for sure with wheels, trim, graphics etc. Ideally a shaker hood would be my preference but not a deal breaker. I’m open to any years and just want to get the most reliable and trouble free one as I’ll be retired and on a limited income. Really appreciate your input.

Haven’t had a muscle car since 1972 when I had a 13-second ‘Cuda.
There are no year models for the Challenger which were plagued by problems and to be avoided.

Any Challenger can have its share of mechanical issues that can be a real pain to deal with or watch out for, but these types of problems span many year models and even affect other car models that use the same components as a Challenger, so it’s not practical to try to nail them down to specific years in the Challenger to try to avoid when shopping.

That being said, as other have pointed out, there are going to be year models which may provide a more positive owning experience, whether through driving or maintaining or even reselling. And as a general rule, that will be the newer year models, more specifically 2015+ and newer.

2014 and older Challengers will have the 5 speed NAG1 transmission in the autos, and 2015+ autos will have an 8 speed trans from ZF.

There is nothing wrong per se with the NAG1, but it is an old Mercedes Benz design that hasn’t been state of the art since the late 1990s.

The ZF trans is superior in almost every way, and so the year models built with it will be more fun to drive and hold their value better on the used car market.

The 5.7L engines remained mostly unchanged across the 2011 and 2015 refreshes, but the SRT engines went from 6.1L to 6.4L in the 2011 refresh. So if shopping for the biggest engine available in any given year Challenger, the 2011 and up models will be the ones to shop for that.

If you think you will ever upgrade the car to the point of needing a modified tune to control the engine, or if you think you will ever want to run hotter engine tunes with stock parts, you will have to buy an unlocked engine controller to allow that in the 2015+ models.

2014 and older Challengers can have their engine controllers modified (with a handheld tuner or otherwise) without any special unlocking measures.

The 2014 and older models (the 5 speed NAG1 autos) also have a separate controller for the transmission. As such, the transmission’s operation can be adjusted and altered to suit your driving tastes without having to pull the transmission out or change internal parts. How soft/firm the gears shift, what RPM the car upshifts at WOT, etc. are all modifiable parameters for the 2014 and older cars’ transmissions.

The 2015 and up models with the ZF 8 speed have an integrated controller module and thus cannot have their operating parameters easily modified. Nevertheless, that should not be construed as a vote against the ZF and in favor of the NAG1 instead. The ZF is a better trans, period.
 

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I’m no expert, but I’d avoid 2009,2010, they had issues with valve seats dropping and camshaft issues on the early 5.7 engine. But yeah if you can afford it would look for 2016 and up.
The 09-10 engines are the same as what they’re using now.You’re thinking about the 03-08 engines.

I have a 2010, and I believe at some point they had issues with timing chain covers failing, but a replacement was covered by a recall. So just make sure any recalls were already completed.
 
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I'd honestly go for a 2017 and up if you can afford it. It has Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and the sweet active exhaust. 2016 and older has a pretty bad stock exhaust that barely makes any sweet V8 noises.
 

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