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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! Nice to be here.

I've been driving my 2003 Jeep Liberty now for about 11 years. It's been a fantastic winter, fishing, and camping vehicle. I do plan to keep this for these reasons.

But suddenly, after being in the same car for 11 years, I was thinking maybe it's time to get a newish car. My requirements are simple: For it to be road-trip worthy, get better gas millage than my Liberty (15/17), fit a tall person (I'm 6'5"), have some occasional daily driver functions, and for it to have great resale value.

My first thought was to get a new Wrangler. Jeep finally pushed the JLs to 18/23 MPG (or perhaps slightly more). They have tremendous resale value. I'm not really big into off-roading, but I love the utility factor. Over the past week, I've talked myself out of it after envisioning how much I'd actually spend obtaining a 2dr hardtop model. Is a wrangler, to me, worth 32k more than my Liberty? That's a straight up NO! They are totally awesome cars though. Maybe in 5-6 more years it would be time to get a Wrangler and sell the Lib, but for now, I think the Lib is staying.

So now my mind is on keeping my Liberty and getting a fun car. I've always desired a Dodge, and a Challenger R/T ever since they came out. I got to looking at how much I'd spend, what really got me interested is that I'd be spending $12,000 less than a Wrangler!

When I was in San Fransisco recently, I drove a 2017 Dodge Charger R/T. That was such a fun car. I love the feel of that big hood in your face and those sharp bodily lines after looking in the side view mirrors. Superbly roomy. The only thing I absolutely hated about it was the seat comfort. My lower back started to grow painful after 20-30 minutes of driving. I spent some time adjusting (cranking up the lumber support) and that wasn't too helpful. Maybe if I spent more time with it, I would have found something comfortable, but holy crap, I never had a car seat pain me so much! And they are nice seats too! That car was impressive when it came to power, it made driving fun again.

Anyways, just looking for some random thoughts, advice, corrections, etc...

I'd like to buy this coming spring. I have a budget of $18,000-22,000. $18,000 is how much I could pay in cash. Taking a loan for a few thousand will be no problem if necessary. Challenger R/T vs SRT, honestly, I'm not buying this car for drag racing. Those days are long behind me. But I certainly require feeling that "wow" feeling from the seat-of-the-pants. As I mentioned, that Charger R/T that I drove was pretty fast. I don't think I really require the SRT, but I'm open ears. First thing I want to do is take it on a 600 mile road trip to the coast. Gas mileage for road trips are of importance (I figure 25 would be fantastic compared to 17, which is what I get now). City MPG is not that critical as I usually walk or ride to work. I put on 4,000 a year in just regular driving. Challenger would probably spend a lot of time parked in the garage.

Is there a better year to look for? My preference right now is 2011-2014. I do not like the 2015-2018 dash panel design (I hate that curvy swoop stuff). The steering wheel logo of the 2010 way out of character and I would hate looking at it.

Is there a mileage that you would recommend based on any reliability concerns of the car? One thing I don't want to do is to NOT drive the car and worry about "putting on too many miles". My gut tells me that that it should be 50k miles are less.

I definitely want a manual. I sorely miss that control and I want to make driving fun again!

I don't want the sunroof. The Challenger is already a heavy car, and I rarely use mine that's on my Jeep. I'll take less weight!

I definitely prefer some sort of stripes or factory decals over the plain jane R/Ts.

Biggest thing is finding one that isn't modified.

Any recommendations or things to look out for?
 

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2016 R/T Scat Pack
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I definitely prefer some sort of stripes or factory decals over the plain jane R/Ts.
Someone more knowledgeable of older challengers will probably drop by and advise, but don't worry about stripes.

If I were you, I'd worry more about the color of the car than whether or not it has stripes, because you can always add your own.
 

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Based on my experience, I have a 2011 SRT Challenger A-5, gets about 25 on the highway.
I'm not as tall and have had 2 back surgeries, but love the seat, can drive all day.
I had an R/T previously, I love the 392 and would never go back to less.
R/Ts have had dropped valve seat issues about the 50K mark, although mine was at 55K when I traded it with out a problem.
Find a low mileage one and never look back.
 

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I just bought a 2015 SRT challenger for $32k with 10k miles... I know it is above your price range, but it is my example.. I am 6'2", and fit nicely in it. I would kill to have the extra head room of not having a sunroof, but didnt have the choice on this car.

So, in my opinion, find one that does not have a sunroof for added headroom, and an 8 speed transmission... I looked locally just now. A dealer not far from here has a 2017 R/T for $29k

2014 challenger R/T automatic 37k miles - 22k

2014 R/T 40k miles - 21k


Lots of potential cars in your price range!!
 

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They are great cars. On our 09 we changed the steering wheel emblem to a blue Mopar M so that’s an option for you to consider. Lots of stripe options available out there too. Good luck with your search!
 

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As someone earlier said. Forget about if and how it is badged, the striping. That is inexpensive and a personal touch thing you do after get one. It will be tough in your price range. But please consider, IF you do get an A8 transmission instead of the stick you want your mpg will go up to around 27-29 on the highway. You stated you do almost exclusive highway driving. Perhaps you could spend more on the car if you saved at the pump??? Good luck and let us know.
 

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Just one person's perspective...
I absolutely love the styling and performance of my 11 SRT8. I think Dodge nailed it on these 2 important elements. However, in my experience, they are lacking considerably in regards to lasting quality. While there is no such thing as a "perfect" car, or a car that will last forever, I think Dodge could do much better in terms of overall quality. Especially for the money.

In my case, with less than 30,000 miles, I have had many plastic trim parts crack, break or otherwise literally fall apart....completely unacceptable! Many others have also complained about the cheap quality plastics.
The paint, as well as the sheet metal seem unusually thin and delicate. Many complaints on this as well. While I couldn't tell you exactly how thick the sheet metal is, many people have been surprised at how easily it is dented.
Again, at less than 30,000 miles of a dealer maintained car, I had a valve seat drop which required a completely new cylinder head. I did contact Dodge customer service and after a month in the shop, the end result was absolutely no help whatsoever from dodge. The car was out of warranty (slightly over 5 years) but still, experiencing a significant internal engine component failure, I expected some kind of assistance from Dodge. The complete lack of any assistance after waiting over a month really pissed me off.
I'm sure other cars have their issues as well, but I think for the money we spend on these cars we deserve a little better quality and support. Continue to thoroughly research your options and make the best choice you can! Best of luck to you.
 

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If you need to be talked into it, you don't want it. If you can be talked out of it, you don't deserve it :)
Oh my soul. An amazing statement, sir. Never heard that one before. If you came up with that on your own, you are brilliant. If not, thanks for posting it just the same. Great advice INDEED...
 

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I still love my 2012 SRT.
No dents,scratches.The cladding under the doors did Crack in the rear corners,but hasn't fell off or progressed any in two years.
They need to be changed anyway where I dragged it on the crown in my driveway.Their about a 100 each.No big deal.
Haven't had it in the shop for any reason, owned since new.
 

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I have a 2002 liberty and the only time I saw 15mpg was when it had stock tires, which if I GPS the speed, made the car run several MPH below what the speedo said. I went 2 sizes up and the speed is now dead on and the EVIC MPG around the city is ~11 MPG. My challenger can easily hit 15MPG city driving if I keep my foot off the floor. The view from the liberty makes it easy to spot traffic and change lanes but in the challenger your view is definitely restricted which is why I love the blindspot detection.
 

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Buy a scat pack 6 spd, 2015’s are priced nice now you’ll love the 392 over the 5.7 I picked mine up by flying to Colorado to save over 6k from the sf Bay Area prices, bought with 30 k miles earlier this year I can’t begin to say how much fun this beast is to drive
 

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"Great resale value"...don't know if it qualifies. But heck, just keep it ;)

A Guy
 

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"Great resale value"...don't know if it qualifies. But heck, just keep it ;)

A Guy
Now that looks sinister! Beautiful.

I'm thinking about the Quartz finish, how much if you don't mind my asking?
 

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As far as seat discomfort goes...

The 4 doors cars have stops that may be keeping you from moving it back to your optimal point. I had a Charger R/T as a rental for a week while on vacation. My back gives me grief from time to time, but it has never been while driving a Challenger. Have you sat in a Challenger yet?
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Hi again guys!

Regarding the SRT, I think it's going too far into the strip territory. Significantly decreased fuel economy and more expensive. That 6.4L sounds pretty awesome, but I feel that the SRT may push the car into the "drive it less to save more" realm, which is exactly what I don't want. I'd have to buy premium fuel...yuk!

I feel like with the R/T that I'd have impressive performance, and more of daily driver potential. 25-27 MPG sounds good for when I take it on trips. 15 in the city is managable, but I won't want any less than that. a 13.5s quarter mile is a fast car IMO. I'd want the Challenger to be more than a once-in-awhile weekend warrior. I've been reading that the Manual can easily do 25 and above on the highway/interstate. Is this everyone's experience?

Hope that makes sense?

I've yet to sit in a Challenger. I'd really like to.

I noticed on eBay that lots of 2012-2014ish RTs are selling for $20k max with low miles. That's a great price, I should have no problem looking for an R/T in that range.
 

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Now that looks sinister! Beautiful.

I'm thinking about the Quartz finish, how much if you don't mind my asking?
The whole thing is not cheap. You pay most for the paint correction. My 4 month old car needed a 2 stage paint correction. I also had the wheels coated with CQuartz Finest, and the plastics with DLux. Seeing you are in California as well, I'd think you're looking at $1500 and up. If you get Finest (now called Reserve I believe), you get excellent paint correction because not just anyone can install it. You have to be certified by Car Pro. This will generally mean your detailer has made a reputation for their superior work. I've been 100% pleased with it. Car still looks great, no waxing or polishing, and still sheds water like it's allergic to it ;)

A Guy
 

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Hi again guys!

Regarding the SRT, I think it's going too far into the strip territory. Significantly decreased fuel economy and more expensive. That 6.4L sounds pretty awesome, but I feel that the SRT may push the car into the "drive it less to save more" realm, which is exactly what I don't want. I'd have to buy premium fuel...yuk!

I feel like with the R/T that I'd have impressive performance, and more of daily driver potential. 25-27 MPG sounds good for when I take it on trips. 15 in the city is managable, but I won't want any less than that. a 13.5s quarter mile is a fast car IMO. I'd want the Challenger to be more than a once-in-awhile weekend warrior. I've been reading that the Manual can easily do 25 and above on the highway/interstate. Is this everyone's experience?

Hope that makes sense?

I've yet to sit in a Challenger. I'd really like to.

I noticed on eBay that lots of 2012-2014ish RTs are selling for $20k max with low miles. That's a great price, I should have no problem looking for an R/T in that range.
I bought a '12 R/T this past Feb. w/47K miles on it. At the time I paid around $24k. I am absolutely in love with it. I did a few mods right away to make the 6m experience better (Barton shifter, CDV delete and skip-shift eliminator.) That made the 6sp much nicer. Then I put a set of axle back Magnaflow resonators on it(Blastin Bobs.) Finally, I put a DiabloSport i2 inTune w/hemifever email tune and am very content with the performance. It's not the fastest car on the road, but with the super track pack suspension it is a blast to drive and more than I can ever use on the street.

I don't think you'll be disappointed with the 5.7L motor, I'm not... :)

Paul
 

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Hi again guys!

Regarding the SRT, I think it's going too far into the strip territory. Significantly decreased fuel economy and more expensive. That 6.4L sounds pretty awesome, but I feel that the SRT may push the car into the "drive it less to save more" realm, which is exactly what I don't want. I'd have to buy premium fuel...yuk!

I feel like with the R/T that I'd have impressive performance, and more of daily driver potential. 25-27 MPG sounds good for when I take it on trips. 15 in the city is managable, but I won't want any less than that. a 13.5s quarter mile is a fast car IMO. I'd want the Challenger to be more than a once-in-awhile weekend warrior. I've been reading that the Manual can easily do 25 and above on the highway/interstate. Is this everyone's experience?

Hope that makes sense?

I've yet to sit in a Challenger. I'd really like to.

I noticed on eBay that lots of 2012-2014ish RTs are selling for $20k max with low miles. That's a great price, I should have no problem looking for an R/T in that range.
With the manual 5.7s - to get the best performance, you'll run premium. They're tuned more aggressively than the auto 5.7s.

So with that being said, get a '13/'14 SRT - you'll have to hunt around to find a non-sunroof version and by those years, they have the 3-mode shocks. The 392 has 95hp over a M6 5.7 R/T and there's more torque down low and mid over the 5.7.

There's nothing wrong with the '11 - '14 R/Ts either. Hwy mileage will be a couple MPG higher than a 392 will get, but overall its pretty close between the two engines.

I've owned both a M6/5.7 and now have M6/392...
 

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Hi again guys!

Regarding the SRT, I think it's going too far into the strip territory. Significantly decreased fuel economy and more expensive. That 6.4L sounds pretty awesome, but I feel that the SRT may push the car into the "drive it less to save more" realm, which is exactly what I don't want. I'd have to buy premium fuel...yuk!

I feel like with the R/T that I'd have impressive performance, and more of daily driver potential. 25-27 MPG sounds good for when I take it on trips. 15 in the city is managable, but I won't want any less than that. a 13.5s quarter mile is a fast car IMO. I'd want the Challenger to be more than a once-in-awhile weekend warrior. I've been reading that the Manual can easily do 25 and above on the highway/interstate. Is this everyone's experience?

Hope that makes sense?






I've yet to sit in a Challenger. I'd really like to.

I noticed on eBay that lots of 2012-2014ish RTs are selling for $20k max with low miles. That's a great price, I should have no problem looking for an R/T in that range.



There is virtually no difference in fuel economy between 6.4/5.7..(imo)...I have almost 14k on my current 6 speed 392 and I have averaged 22.2 over all those miles and my last 80 miles on a new tank says 24.8. My last full tank was 22.3 on 16.2 gallons of gas...I use the fill up method to back up what the computer tells me. The computer is about .1 to .3 to the high side on average... My miles are 10%highway/20%town and 70%rural.


The 5.7 won't beat that enough to make a difference...imo get the big boy if you can swing it cause you won't regret it. You only go once...
 
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