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Hello,
My 16 year old son has his heart set on getting a Challenger as his first car next month. I'm thinking about getting him a 2011-2013 SLT even though he wants a manual transmission which as you know only comes on the 8 cylinder RT.
Is the SLT absolutely too much car for a first time driver??? What about the RT V8? I'm also concerned about winter driving because we live in Ohio and often have bad winters.
Just looking for opinions from Challenger owners so I hope you guys let me know what you think about this issue.
Thanks,
Todd
 

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Personally I think it would be a poor choice - not because of the power or how awesome these cars are ... but purely for the reason that the visibility is pretty poor out of the sides and backs of these things.

I think that would be bad for a new driver.

I had pickup trucks as my first vehicles and loved them. You could find him a nice shortbox standard shift pickup. Those are plenty fun to drive as well.
 

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If it were my kid, a V6 Auto Challenger would maybe be an option. A V8 6-spd, no way. It would be very easy for an inexperienced driver to get the back end to unintentionally kick out in any Challenger, but even more so in a V8.

The V8 6-spd RWD combo is also not a good idea for snow.

I own a 6-spd RT.
 

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My daughters first car was a hummer h2 when she was 18. She traded it (meaning I traded it) about a year later for the rallye redline challenger that she drives today. She loves her car and takes really good care of it. She will turn 21 in march if that helps.


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Really.........

If it were me, I would just SLAP the hell out of him and hand him a skate board and tell him to play outside!
Kids nowdays are so damn spoiled, they want things without having to work for them, It is your responsiblity as a parent to teach him the values of life! Damn, the "I want it now" generation!
Sorry! but it would not be the responsible thing to do!!

Good Luck and may you see the light!

David
 

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There's always a question about safety and responsibility, and earning things, that needs to be considered. Only you know your son.

When my son got he driver's license, I let him have my 2001 Jeep Wrangler, because his grades were above 90, and he was showing good responsibility in life. However, the Jeep needed new brakes, new radiator, now water pump, and a good going-over. A condition of getting the Jeep was that he did all those repairs himself. Of course I helped him and bought the parts, but he did all the wrenching. It was one of the best 'fathering' things I have done for him.
 

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My dad agreed to buy me one car in my life. I took him up on the offer when I was 17, and asked for a charger. He laughed in my face when I said I wanted the RT....and he was one of the smartest people I ever met. I got in enough trouble with a 6cyl lol.
 

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No problem. I want honest opinions to help me and my son make this decision so keep em coming....
I'm not a "sugar coater" LOL

Seriously though, a Challenger and it's "image", and all that goes on with this image on the street, will be more than a 16 year old can handle.

This car "provokes" fun, and many grown ups can't handle this, as many threads around here have shown.
 

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A used Honda Accord of Civic will teach him to humility and patience with being a new driver. You will build more character in him by having him "graduate" to nicer cars as he gets older. He will appreciate it more. Giving an impulsive and presumably excited 16 year old with no experience a RWD muscle car with over 400 ft/lbs of torque is asking for disaster IMO.
 

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Is he going to be working to pay for it, or are you just handing the keys over? Not trying to be on a high horse or anything, but I was brought up learning that if I wanted something, I had to work for it. The rewards of working for something are much greater IMO.
If it were me, I'd be looking for some sort of sedan or compact pickup around 5-10 years old and in good shape. If he really wants a Challenger, let him get some experience driving a vehicle around that is a good learner vehicle, and then eventually moving up.

As mentioned, visibility around these cars isn't the greatest, and could prove to be a challenge for a beginner. Also, insurance for a new driver in one of these cars would be a lot more than say an older vehicle such as a truck or sedan. Just my $.02.
 

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I can still remember the things my friends and I did to my parents' 1980 Dodge Diplomat decades ago when I was a teen.

I still haven't told them anything, nor will I ever admit to any of it, willingly... :D
 

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Hello and welcome from here in Central Ohio.....

To be honest the Challenger isn't a good 'first car' in my opinion.... you are talking about a 300 HP car that does have rear and side visibility issues. Changing lanes on a freeway you have to really pay attention to do that. For a new driver I would get a used (2003-2006) Civic, Accord, Camry, Corolla type car..... reason I say that they are going to have mishaps and you also want a vehicle that has readily available parts and cars made in mass.... He is young and has the rest of his life to get the vehicle he wants.

My 20 year old daughter is driving my old 2000 Accord and 18 year old son has a 99 Corolla....
 

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I don't think I'd do it--definitely not a V8. Just wait until somebody his age wants to race him at a stoplight. Chances are you won't be there with him. Kids are more impulsive than we are, but only you know your kid. OTOH, I'm sure the insurance companies are going to love you: 16 year old + powerful RWD V8 muscle car = $$:clap:$$
 

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Many things to consider here. If you are going to buy him a car (that is a personal decision you have to make, regardless of what vehicle you buy him), I see nothing wrong with an SXT. I grew up driving in the winters in Buffalo, NY with a RWD vehicle and I think it helped me learn how to drive. Put a good set of snow ties on for the winter (regardless of what he ends up with). I cannot stress that enough - you are setting him up for failure in the winter without them, especially in a 300hp RWD vehicle. Ultimately, you know your son - we do not.
 

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My parents bought me my R/T when I was 15, haven't done anything stupid in it and don't plan to, this car is my most prized possession. I agree though, visibility sucks and if he plans to drive in reverse a lot it may not be a great choice.
 

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Hey, as cool as it would be for him, I'd say hold off! If I think back to my driving behaviors as a 16 year old, I'm glad my parents gave me the old family 4 banger. Like any teenager, I got into plenty of trouble with it, but it was front wheel drive, slow, had great visibility, and was very forgiving in terms of handling.

If my dad had gotten me what I wanted (Porsche 914/6), I wouldn't have lasted the first weekend with it. Would've been too busy racing it around, showing it off, and trying to impress the girls.

At 45, I can barely handle these behaviors now...and I'm driving an SXT :D.

Good luck...it's not easy being a Dad.

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I had a 1973 Chevy Impala when I was 16. My dad had found it sitting in someone's garage and they gave it to him for 100 bucks. I was a pretty good kid, but even in that land-tank I got into plenty of trouble. I did learn how to work on cars since it always broke down, but I couldn't imagine what would have happened if it would have been a high performance car. Boys will be boys...right? Besides, IMO, its a right of passage for a boy to have a clunker for a first car. Teaches character and all that.

Now a V6 Challenger might be an option as others have mentioned. They are safe cars, but still have 300hp and a lot of blind spots.
 

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Only you know your son... I have 3. I would feel fine letting my oldest drive my 392 back and forth to school... My middle son, heck naw! Time will tell with my 6 year old... Good luck with whatever you decide!

And I just put my 17 year-old on my insurance... on a 2005 Volvo XC90 with just liability ~$2500.00 a year... with discounts for good grades and a certificate from completing a driving class... :boohoo:
 
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