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I took my wife's Jeep Commander in today to get an oil change at the dealership and thought I'd take a test drive or two while waiting. The dealership had some new 2011 SEs, R/Ts, and Charger V6s. I would have liked to have driven all of them, but I only had time to look at a few and drive the SE. Below are my impressions of the 2011 Challenger.

A few interior and exterior bits have changed on the 2011s and overall I can't say they're for the better, but they aren't make or break items to me. As for the exterior, the new door handles feel good, perhaps a bit higher quality than the 2008-10, but while I think they look good on the 2011 Charger, they detract from the lines of the Challenger, in my opinion. I'd call it a draw, although aesthetically they're a step backward, I think. Similarly, the new frowning air dam looks more aggressive, but less harmonious and retro than the 2008-10 smiling air dam. Again, I think it's a small step backward aesthetically, but it's not a big deal. The Ram's head is, of course, gone. I think the hood and wheels look fine either way, so I'd consider it a draw, once again. The Hemi badges are now italicized. I prefer the 2008-10 type version, but it's not a huge difference. There is a new exterior trunk release button, which seems superfluous to me. I suppose it could be more functional, but the 2008-10 trunk looks better to me. Overall, in terms of quality combined with aesthetics, I'd call it a draw among years.

Regarding the interior, the seatbelt seat captors are now more squared and look cheaper and less finished. Both seats now, however, can move forward which is an improvement; the mechanism looks and feels good. The leather is coarser and more distressed looking than in the 2008-10. I like the smooth leather better, but both are okay to me. The R/T has new trim around the radio, HVAC, and shifter. The quality seems a bit better, as it looks more like metal and less like plastic, but I'm not crazy about the new pattern, although I don't love the 2008-10 pattern either. Overall, I'd say it's a draw as far as the interior trim goes. The new steering wheel stalks look and feel cheaper, period, but it's not a big deal. The headlight knob and trunk release have the chrome surround, which looks a bit fancier, but they don't feel any better. Once again, I'd call it a draw. I really don't like the 2011 gauges. They remind me of an early '90s sci-fi font. Say what you will about the "boring" 2008-10 gauges, but at least they look classic. The new steering wheel is smaller and a three spoke with more buttons. I can't say I like it better or worse than the 2008-10. I don't love the old wheel, but I don't love this new one either. Again, I'd say it's a draw.

While overall I would say I prefer the 2008-10 Challenger aesthetically, especially when it comes to the available colors, the 2011 SE is better than its predecessor when it comes to performance. I wanted to drive a Super Sport Group SE, but they didn't have one, so I drove a Rallye with the Rallye stripe package. The 2011 SE has much better steering feel and handles better than is predecessor. There is no comparison here. The previous base SE and R/T feel floaty to me, but that is gone for 2011. Well done, Dodge! The 2011 V6 has dual exhaust, which looks and sounds great for a V6 and better than the 2010. Immediately, I found the new V6 to sound more like a muscle car engine and it has more torque and lower end grunt. In comparison, the 3.5 is actually smoother, quieter, and sounds more sophisticated, but one has to really wind it up to get adequate power from it. The new V6 has more grunt and is more American, but the 3.5 is smoother and more European. I wouldn't be surprised if the new V6 is substantially cheaper to make, but it does make more power by the seat of the pants feel. Overall, I like the additional power of the new V6 and the heavier steering feel and better handling.

In summation, I find the 2011 SE to be a small step backward in terms aesthetics, but a substantial step forward in terms of performance. No, the 2011 V6 is not an R/T, but it is closer to an R/T than the 2010 was.
 

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Thanks for the review. It was very interesting and informative.
 

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I took my wife's Jeep Commander in today to get an oil change at the dealership and thought I'd take a test drive or two while waiting. The dealership had some new 2011 SEs, R/Ts, and Charger V6s. I would have liked to have driven all of them, but I only had time to look at a few and drive the SE. Below are my impressions of the 2011 Challenger.

A few interior and exterior bits have changed on the 2011s and overall I can't say they're for the better, but they aren't make or break items to me. As for the exterior, the new door handles feel good, perhaps a bit higher quality than the 2008-10, but while I think they look good on the 2011 Charger, they detract from the lines of the Challenger, in my opinion. I'd call it a draw, although aesthetically they're a step backward, I think. Similarly, the new frowning air dam looks more aggressive, but less harmonious and retro than the 2008-10 smiling air dam. Again, I think it's a small step backward aesthetically, but it's not a big deal. The Ram's head is, of course, gone. I think the hood and wheels look fine either way, so I'd consider it a draw, once again. The Hemi badges are now italicized. I prefer the 2008-10 type version, but it's not a huge difference. There is a new exterior trunk release button, which seems superfluous to me. I suppose it could be more functional, but the 2008-10 trunk looks better to me. Overall, in terms of quality combined with aesthetics, I'd call it a draw among years.

Regarding the interior, the seatbelt seat captors are now more squared and look cheaper and less finished. Both seats now, however, can move forward which is an improvement; the mechanism looks and feels good. The leather is coarser and more distressed looking than in the 2008-10. I like the smooth leather better, but both are okay to me. The R/T has new trim around the radio, HVAC, and shifter. The quality seems a bit better, as it looks more like metal and less like plastic, but I'm not crazy about the new pattern, although I don't love the 2008-10 pattern either. Overall, I'd say it's a draw as far as the interior trim goes. The new steering wheel stalks look and feel cheaper, period, but it's not a big deal. The headlight knob and trunk release have the chrome surround, which looks a bit fancier, but they don't feel any better. Once again, I'd call it a draw. I really don't like the 2011 gauges. They remind me of an early '90s sci-fi font. Say what you will about the "boring" 2008-10 gauges, but at least they look classic. The new steering wheel is smaller and a three spoke with more buttons. I can't say I like it better or worse than the 2008-10. I don't love the old wheel, but I don't love this new one either. Again, I'd say it's a draw.

While overall I would say I prefer the 2008-10 Challenger aesthetically, especially when it comes to the available colors, the 2011 SE is better than its predecessor when it comes to performance. I wanted to drive a Super Sport Group SE, but they didn't have one, so I drove a Rallye with the Rallye stripe package. The 2011 SE has much better steering feel and handles better than is predecessor. There is no comparison here. The previous base SE and R/T feel floaty to me, but that is gone for 2011. Well done, Dodge! The 2011 V6 has dual exhaust, which looks and sounds great for a V6 and better than the 2010. Immediately, I found the new V6 to sound more like a muscle car engine and it has more torque and lower end grunt. In comparison, the 3.5 is actually smoother, quieter, and sounds more sophisticated, but one has to really wind it up to get adequate power from it. The new V6 has more grunt and is more American, but the 3.5 is smoother and more European. I wouldn't be surprised if the new V6 is substantially cheaper to make, but it does make more power by the seat of the pants feel. Overall, I like the additional power of the new V6 and the heavier steering feel and better handling.

In summation, I find the 2011 SE to be a small step backward in terms aesthetics, but a substantial step forward in terms of performance. No, the 2011 V6 is not an R/T, but it is closer to an R/T than the 2010 was.
Your detailed & informative review is very much appreciated. :bigthumb:
 

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I have one question that you didn't address and I think that is a good thing since it is about the new "Active" headrest. I was concerned that they would lean to far forward and loose some comfort. Since you didn't mention it I take away that they are not uncomfortable, unless this was something you didn't think to compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have one question that you didn't address and I think that is a good thing since it is about the new "Active" headrest. I was concerned that they would lean to far forward and loose some comfort. Since you didn't mention it I take away that they are not uncomfortable, unless this was something you didn't think to compare.
The SE I drove had manual vertical seat adjustments and I didn't adjust it to be completely comfortable. That written, I didn't notice the 2011 headrests to be intrusive or uncomfortable.
 

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Nice review, spot on.
 

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I took a look at a 2011 RT today as well. Some things I really do like vs the 2010:

1. Door handles and trunk now have buttons so you never have to touch the key fob.

2. The new key fob is smaller and flatter now... much better (see pic).

3. The steering wheel is smaller diameter with thicker rim... but best of all, it has all of the buttons that were missing on the 2010... you never have to touch the radio/take your hands off the wheel.

4. The headliner when you have the sunroof is much sturdier and doesn't sag... seems attached to the roof much better.

5. The nav radio now has bluetooth streaming so you don't have to plug in your phone in order to play music... I was able to stream Pandora from my iPhone.

I think that's it... some great improvements to an already great car!
 

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I know this is an old thread but this just proves the fact that any change is looked at with a biased approach.

I thought this was a god awfully biased opinionated review of the 2011 vs the 2008-2010.

In summary I feel like I'm just reading... "the 2011 has this new feature/material but I prefer what I have better" of course that's what you're going to say.... Again I found this review funny and comical.


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I know this is an old thread but this just proves the fact that any change is looked at with a biased approach.

I thought this was a god awfully biased opinionated review of the 2011 vs the 2008-2010.

In summary I feel like I'm just reading... "the 2011 has this new feature/material but I prefer what I have better" of course that's what you're going to say.... Again I found this review funny and comical.
I went from a 2010 to a 2011 & there was a marked overall improvement in the Challenger. Fiat resolved many of the corners that Chrysler had cut - which is why the refreshed model was delayed.

However, while the 2015 '71 style refresh is nice, I'll keep my 2014 '70 style Challenger.

There are some folks who make comments out of envy, but I've been on both sides of the coin & some of us truly prefer what we have. :bigthumb:
 

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There are some folks who make comments out of envy, but I've been on both sides of the coin & some of us truly prefer what we have. :bigthumb:

True, but sometimes it's hard to differentiate people who are serious or justifying what they have. Nonetheless as long as you like your Challenger that's all that matters... I think people go a bit far to say "mine is better because the leather feels like a slide" etc.

Still a terrible review, I bet 2011-2014 owners would look at this review and laugh.




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As a former 2010 SE owner who now owns a 14 RT, I read this and laughed. You're right, it's a very biased review. The 11+ models are more refined than the 10 and older.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my 10 and it's a beautiful car, they all are, but to deny that the 11+ is more refined and an improvement overall is a tad delusional.

I.e- I don't know a single pre 11 owner who doesn't wish they could upgrade to the new steering wheel somehow. The steering wheel on my 10 bothered me from day 1.

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I want to know who has a challenger with that key fob. My 12 didn't come with one like that.
 

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That is the newest iteration for the newer vehicles. Thats why i wondered. My 14 GC came with that one. I actually like it better.
 

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I drove a '10 R/TC today. So unrefined in every way. Someone, please take this off my hands. LMFAO

 
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