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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been driving my `97 F-250 for 20 years now and it's time for a change. This time I decided I want something sexier than just another utility or commuter vehicle. I've been thinking about it and looking around since last fall. During the winter I was saw a car that really caught my eye. It had a big beefy powerful looking engine compartment, sort of like "Yeah, I'm tough, I don't care about drag, I'm gonna just power through it." As opposed to so many of the newer cars that are so low to the ground and tapered in the front. 4-door. It turned to be an older Charger, probably early- or mid-2000's, and I really liked it so I started looking at new Chargers (I've always been a Ford guy). I was a little disappointed that Dodge has changed the profile of the newer Chargers compared to that older one that I liked so much. The new ones are still great looking cars, but I wasn't as sold as I thought I was.

Along the way though, I started noticing Challengers here and there. I'd hardly been aware of their existence up to then - always thinking Ford. But after taking a good look at a couple, I was hooked. Shades of the big bad muscle cars of the early 70's. So I've been wavering between Charger and Challenger for months now. I've test driven both with V6's, and I've driven a Challenger with the 5.7L V8. The practical side of me says Charger for its four doors and better visibility, and the other side says Challenger for - well, just because it's so badass.

When I told my brother I was looking at them, he asked - since I'll be 59 next month - if this is a midlife crisis thing. Not sure whether he was joking or not, but after having a long talk with myself I had to admit that he was at least partly right. And so as of a few days ago, badass has won out over practicality, and within a month or so I'll be the owner of a new 2017 Challenger. I still need to finally settle on which engine. I know the V6 is "enough" for me. But the appeal of the V8 is strong, like the dark side of the force. Not looking at the 392 or Hellcat, let alone Demon (Oh. My. God!), I don't care about 0-60 times or quarter-mile times or any of that stuff, I just want a badass sexy car that I'll have a lot of fun driving (I see many more trips out to the coast in my future). But having admitted that this will be my mid-life-crisis car, I'll probably wind up going with the V8 unless the insurance premiums are hellishly higher for it.

Anyway, that's my story. I'm hoping this forum will turn out be a wealth of wisdom and good advice.
 

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Any direction you go with a Challenger will be the right one. You won't be disappointed. I'd recommend you try all three of the "mainstream" power plants... V6, 5.7, and 6.4. See which one suits you best. I've owned both 5.7 and 6.4 motors and have positive things to say about either. Explore the different trim levels too. One will speak to you.... but try to avoid the "I wish I had bought one of those instead" scenarios. Educate yourself and ignore midlife crisis talk. If you want one, get one. There is only one go around in life..... have fun.
 

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Well coming from a younger member of the Challenger community, I can still see where you are coming from! One of the reasons I love my car is because it is a "new-old" version of the 70s car, in looks an design. Unlike the camaro and mustang, who I really think lost their heritage in old school design.
I also love that I don't have to feel like I have to lay down to get inside the car, its not a corvette for crying out loud! I dont understand why they designed the camaro to feel so much like a vette in that manner, couldn't stand it!
Challengers are still pretty reasonable too, even compared to the Charger. I have driven 4 people rather comfortably and the trunk is still so massive that you can use it for just about any grocery getter kind of need (even with a nitrous bottle or two back there)!

I'd encourage you (wallet willing) to go with a V8 of some sort. The 5.7 would keep you plenty happy for a long time, especially if you are not one who is constantly looking for more power or the elusive XX.XXX second e.t. slip.

Welcome to the community!
 

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Like frydude said, check out all 3 motors, test drive one of each. I had a perfectly fine 5.7L R/T Classic, and made the excellent mistake of test driving a Scat Pack. I could not resist it! The 392 makes the car just that more badass, and the gas mileage is not that much different, especially on the highway.
 

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You will love the Challenger. Like you, I have a 1997 F-150 I have owned for 20 years, and I still love it. I kept it as my second vehicle...behind my 2016 SRT Challenger. I am also in my 50's.....but I really don't think it is a mid-life crisis. I grew up with muscle cars, and this is the only one that fits the bill of the current options, IMO.

Do it, you will love the car.
 

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Welcome from California ;) Midlife crisis only if you live to be 120 :)

A Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Any direction you go with a Challenger will be the right one. You won't be disappointed. I'd recommend you try all three of the "mainstream" power plants... V6, 5.7, and 6.4. See which one suits you best. I've owned both 5.7 and 6.4 motors and have positive things to say about either. Explore the different trim levels too. One will speak to you.... but try to avoid the "I wish I had bought one of those instead" scenarios. Educate yourself and ignore midlife crisis talk. If you want one, get one. There is only one go around in life..... have fun.
See, that's really where I'm coming from. Whether it's really midlife crisis or not, this car needs to be one that's really what I want. And after being honest with myself, I realized that if I bought the Charger - as nice a car as the Charger is - I'd probably spend the entire time I owned it wishing that I'd bought the Challenger instead. So this time, "what I WANT" wins out over what might be more practical.
 

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Hey Expert, Dude you and I are on the same page. In my 60's now and have always owned "sensible family man" cars. But kids are grown and I am semi retired. Got the bug to get something special. Settled on a 17 Challenger R/T and I have had it about a month now. At first I thought "jeez I am such a cliche"..old guy who is not growing older gracefully and wants a loudish muscle car (and thereby enhance his fading virility). F' it I said..I am now driving something that rumbles, is by all measures probably not environmentally friendly (21 mgp average), but gives me great pleasure. Its parked right next to my GMC SUV with a six (getting the same gas mileage btw). Still need the AWD of the GMC cuz I am in the east but I would recommend the 5.7 if you can swing it...it sounds soo damn sweet. Doesn't have to be a stick (I find the clutch and brake pedals a tad too close). The auto stick thing the Challenger has behaves like a stick if you can believe it. Even down the sense that the as you move from one gear it sounds as if you are releasing the clutch as you switch gears somehow incorporating that "meshing of gears" sound that genuine sticks have....don't know how they did that. Anyway...F practicality. The car is a great toy and you'll look forward to going to the convenience store for stool softener and milk...happy trails. J.A.G.
 

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I am one year older and it is NOT a crisis!!!! I see nothing wrong. Some rule you have to settle and do what the other old people do??? It's not a crisis. I am not desperate! Just get smarter with age. Decide you should drive what you want to drive not necessarily the best luxury car you can afford or want. I have NO need for a back seat, so......
And go for the gusto and get a 392 and be done with it. My $.02
edit. the insurance was no more for the scat pack than the r/t.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, it's done! I wound up with a 2016 R/T Plus Shaker that was the dealer's demo car, so it's loaded. It was a little more $$$ than I'd planned on, but my credit is good so nobody balked at the loan. Track Pack, Tech group, Harmon-Kardon audio group, etc. Everything but a spare tire - the H-K subwoofers are mounted in the spare tire space, so I had to settle for the compressor and a can of fix-a-flat instead. Had it for almost two weeks now, and I'm still learning about it.
 

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Good for you Life is too short to worry too much about what others might think or say. Enjoy every minute and do it safely.
 
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