Dodge Challenger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’m sure this may be bias as this is a Challenger specific forum however:

I am close to trading in my boring Lexus on a fully loaded 2018 Challenger TA 392 automatic.

I commute into San Francisco (hence the auto), and drive 40 miles round trip every day. Some of this is moderate to heavy traffic. I am absolutely in the market for something way more fun then what I currently drive.

My question is, what’s a Challenger like to live with as a daily driver? Looking for the good, bad and he ugly of owning and driving this car every day before I pull the trigger.
 

·
Banned
2016 R/T Scat Pack
Joined
·
3,889 Posts
I’m sure this may be bias as this is a Challenger specific forum however:

I am close to trading in my boring Lexus on a fully loaded 2018 Challenger TA 392 automatic.

I commute into San Francisco (hence the auto), and drive 40 miles round trip every day. Some of this is moderate to heavy traffic. I am absolutely in the market for something way more fun then what I currently drive.

My question is, what’s a Challenger like to live with as a daily driver? Looking for the good, bad and he ugly of owning and driving this car every day before I pull the trigger.

I live down south near Hollister and it's a blast to drive. Not sure I would be able to do that commute in ANY car.


The car is drivable in any condition, but where you'll be hit the hardest is at the pump, so if you're willing to put up with that then go for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Coming from a V8 Lexus suv the Challenger’s mileage is actually an improvement. What’s it like to drive in bumper to bumper traffic?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
332 Posts
My Challenger is my daily driver; but, I am retired so it doesn't involve a commute. Nonetheless, it's a 12,000 - 15,000 mile/year car. The only thing I will advise you of is if you are like a lot of us, you will want to park it where there is little to no chance of door dings, etc. Will you have that kind of parking available?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes I will, There’s a valet in the garage of my office building. Is it twitchy in stop and go traffic considering it has almost 500hp?
 

·
Banned
2016 R/T Scat Pack
Joined
·
3,889 Posts
Yes I will, There’s a valet in the garage of my office building. Is it twitchy in stop and go traffic considering it has almost 500hp?

It's a rather well behaved car, you won't get into any accidents unless you stomp the pedal, and then that's true for every car.
 

·
Premium Member
2013 RT Classic
Joined
·
532 Posts
They have good road manners. When I had a commute it was 100 miles round trip. For me, the seats were comfortable and the heat in the seat helps with my perm back injury. The rear and rear side vision is not the greatest due to the wide roof pillar, high rear deck and seating position. Adjust the mirrors well and double check before lane changes and you will be fine.

There is a difference between Crank shaft HP and REAR WHEEL HP. What you see at the tire will be a "bit" less than MFG specs. From Dodge, my car had 345 HP but I am not "stock" :p On a Dyno I get 484 HP and 496 foot pounds of torque after the Super Charger and custom Dyno tune. A rough guess is about 575 HP at the crank. Remember too, I have the smaller Hemi :p

Soon after the SC was installed, I was on the freeway at about 65 MPH and a YoYo was playing games next to me, I wanted to merge left and any time I tried ... he went faster to close the space. I stomped the loud peddle, the trans dropped a gear (auto) the SC went to full boost, the rear tires broke loose and spun (at 65 MPH). A slight easing on the gas peddle and grip came back (High performance, summer only tires on a typical 90sh summer day) Before the guy next to me could even react, I was way out in front of him.

Before you buy, why don't you rent one for a few days or a week? That will answer pretty much all your questions. I find it to be a nice, comfortable and fun car to drive be it on a long trip, a errand to get a gallon of milk or down the 1/4 mile. Actually, My 2013 saw duty as a rental for Hertz and was 1 year old with 18500 on the clock when I bought it from Hertz. It was well taken care of and serviced. Any door dings etc were removed in the price of the car, which was at the time $28K on their lot. The BEST I could find on a similar equipped 1 year old car was about $34K... with more miles and new, well even with incentives they were north of that.


It is not a Toyota pIus so millage for me is around 16 - 18 City and ~ 22, 23 highway. The biggest problem you will have in keeping the gas millage up is with your right foot, once you tame that you likely will see the above numbers.

I know everyone loves a stick but a stick simply can't change gears as fast as the auto, that is just a fact. The auto makes commute driving SOOOOO much nicer. The paddles will allow you to change gears when you want to without moving your hands from the wheel. The regular shift lever will allow you to shift gears also, personal choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been paid to drive a bunch of different vehicles of the course of a few careers.
Not a ton of high-performance vehicles, but lucky enough to sit in a few and take them for a spin. Lots of stuff in the 10k-60k weight range. Lot of that was much, much harder to learn how to drive for responsiveness and control. On the scale of learning a go-kart on one end, and a MRAP on the other, this is a moderately-heavy feeling cruising coupe that is very controllable while maintaining sport and responsivenes.

Among something that might be a good analogy- I drove somebody else’s Crown Vic’s around, often at speeds on public roads that would be frowned upon outside the circumstances.
To me, it reminds me of driving a vehicle about the same weight as a cruiser, but much more stable, balanced, and capable. The power on tap when you get deep into the accelator is there, and the ability to move at slow speeds in small spaces is present in the first portion of pedal pressure with what I would consider an easy learning curve.

I normally daily drive about an hour and a half total commute every day of the work week.
The week I got the car, my wife and I did a 2500 mile road trip in it. It is an effortless road trip car for two, and ridiculously comfortable to both of us.

It’s not a bear to drive. If anything, it’s incredibly manageable given the power that is accessible once the right foot starts getting deeper into the pedal. The trick is simple- learn the first 15-20% of the throttle, and moving the car by inches is simple, comfortable, and effortless within a few days at most.

If you have some time driving cars in the 300-400ehp horsepower range already, then it will be quite pleasant and comfortable. If not, it’ll take a day to learn it, a week to get good at it (but probably less... depends on how you qualify “good,”) and within a little more time after, it will be second nature.

I really, really like commuting in this. Before the supercharger went on, I was getting about 25-26 MPG highway with no issues. Now it’s more like 20-22 at best, but that’s because I’ve been letting loose a little more than usual. Better than my last car, and well worth the trade off, imho.

Basic maintenance, be ready to get the tires you actually want, be patient for about a half a week with it until you have more experience with the wheel and pedals, and it’ll amaze you. Wonderful driver’s car, despite what R&T refuses to concede about it.

The toughest thing about driving it in traffic? Not daydreaming about mods or getting overly excited at every stoplight when being at the head of the line. And trying to not get your face stuck in the position of the big goofy smile that will be plastered on you face pretty much for a month straight, and only somewhat less afterword.

Good luck, and that T/A is one heck of a good choice. Beautiful car.

Cheers,

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
I'd you're going fully loaded you might also consider the SRT 392 for the adaptive suspensions and all the things included in the SRT package. Ride quality in the T/A and scat packs is firmer and you feel bumps in the road more with the sports suspensions but it's still a reasonably comfortable ride.

Where you might feel it in terms of cost of ownership is not so much the gas, but it's the insurance, especially if it's your primary car and you put tons miles on it every year.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,858 Posts
In addition to all of the above comments, you should know that the Challenger is a very roomy car. This is because it is actually a slightly shortened (by 3 inches), 2-door Charger. There is a lot of leg, hip and shoulder room in the interior and the trunk is gigantic- great for long trips and vacations. (Note- For additional storage, the rear seats fold down). The only negative thing is access to the rear seats. If you plan to use them frequently, a 4-door Charger Scat Pack may be a better choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,985 Posts
The only true disadvantage I think you might run into is that visibility to the rear and rear quarter's will be lacking (likely significantly) compared to a SUV. It is an easy car to drive and very comfortable in my opinion. The other issue you might run into is build quality. I do not mean mechanical reliability but rather fit and finish compared to a lexus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
I’m sure this may be bias as this is a Challenger specific forum however:

I am close to trading in my boring Lexus on a fully loaded 2018 Challenger TA 392 automatic.

I commute into San Francisco (hence the auto), and drive 40 miles round trip every day. Some of this is moderate to heavy traffic. I am absolutely in the market for something way more fun then what I currently drive.

My question is, what’s a Challenger like to live with as a daily driver? Looking for the good, bad and he ugly of owning and driving this car every day before I pull the trigger.
For that UGLY RIDE in a State with Gasoline Prices miles above the rest of us?

I'll take this one into a whole other direction. Get yourself a damned PRIUS for the commute and the TA for your Weekend ride.

Seems to me a LOADED up Lexus probably comes in at the same price as a TA and a good second hand Prius for your commute......and if I'm wrong on that.......it probably more than evens out on the gas money you'll save over time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
Challenger is a hoot to drive, to hear, and to be seen in.

It’s pretty comfortable, relatively fuel efficient —I get 25 MPG on the freeway at 80 MPH from that mostruous 392 HEMI, has usable rear seats and a commodious trunk.

The only thing is, be prepared to be paranoid about idiots dinging your doors in parking lots, to get impatient when that Prius in front insists in going 5 miles below the speed limit, and for total strangers come up to strike a conversation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
My Challenger RT, Caroline, comes equipped standard with a 'ignorant/stupid human detector'. So be prepared to hear 'cool Charger', 'sick looking Camaro bro' , ' sweet Mustang' and other such comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
To negate this, make sure you get a back-up camera and the blind spot monitoring system.
yup, love the blind spot monitor and camera.

not sure if this is a pro or con to owning a challenger but i find my driving style is almost always much more aggresive and less patient with slow drivers when im in my chally, normal when im in my ram or wifes jeep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,800 Posts
Coming from a previous v8 it's obvious he can care less about paying for tanks of gas and wants a thrill ride to look forward to before and after work, nothing wrong with that
 

·
Super Moderator
2016 SXT Plus Blacktop
Joined
·
16,939 Posts
A Challenger, even the Hellcat, is not a snorting, uncontrollable beast (as long as you keep your foot out of it). An automatic in stop and go traffic will be as any other car (except you'd look cooler). A manual may be an issue as far as aggravation. Other than gas mileage, and physical size, plenty good commute car if you have to suffer the commute anyway. A Guy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
Coming from a V8 Lexus suv the Challenger’s mileage is actually an improvement. What’s it like to drive in bumper to bumper traffic?
Unspeakably frustrating. You'll always be aware of the car's potential and your inability to use it. But it's a mighty comfortable car to be frustrated in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Short version: It's a totally doable, practical car for daily driving including the city. But the visibility will get on your nerves sometimes.

Longer version:
Assuming that daily driver means commuting, doing a week's shopping, going out for dinner, dropping kids off somewhere, taking a trip for the weekend, collecting someone from the train... all the usual stuff.

And assuming that the SF area commuting is like NY area commuting: bumper to bumper on the highway, followed by crawling along through traffic lights, pedestrians and tight quarters in the city.

It's great whether you're putting your foot down or you have to crawl along. With the auto you can open it up & shift gears yourself if you have a good road or you can put it in drive and keep your eyes out in the city for red lights, jaywalking pedestrians, avoiding potholes and looking for a parking spot.

You will like over time that it really has the space of a 4 door. When I park mine on the driveway and look down at it from an upstairs window, I can see how long the roofline actually is and how much of the car's length is the cabin. It's a lot. They worked a lot of space into the design, it's pretty clever.

When we go someplace and meet up with other families, we LOVE pulling up in the Challenger and everybody else has these minivans and clone SUVs. I got what I wanted with this car and I didn't force my family to compromise.

The only issue compared with a regular car is size & visibility. That really only matters in the city, for parking or squeezing it through tight gaps. This will get on your nerves after a while. You have almost zero visibility from 3 o clock to 6 o clock. Headrest, B pillar, sail panel, back window. You have to set your mirrors way out to cover the gaps, which is good policy anyway. Squeezing into and out of tight parking spots can be a huge PITA. Most new cars have a downward sloping hood so you have good visibility over the nose. Not with the Challenger. The back window is high & small. You need the backup camera if you're parking in the city. And the narrowness of many parking spots will annoy you when you're trying to open those big long doors. That's really the only drawback from using it as a DD.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top