After driving my 2010 Challenger for one year, I have come to truly appreciate my purchase:
- The car is beautiful and makes me feel good. I still can’t get enough of the clean and perfectly balanced exterior styling with its strong, prominent nose and classic lines. My particular Challenger is instantly recognizable in today’s traffic, yet isn’t too flashy to attract “unwanted” attention.
- The Challenger is big. The Challenger has received some criticism for being overweight. But, I bought this car because it was bigger than the others and I like large, comfortable spaces. On occasion, it has also proved to be a very decent (dare I say it) family-like car when going for an afternoon ice cream run.
- The HVAC system is well designed. I welcome the simple controls that do exactly what I expect. I had the opportunity (or misfortune) to sample the brand new Ford Explorer with the multifunction touch screen and hard, flat control panels. It took me several keystrokes and hunting around a Windows95-like menu just to change the fan speed! I know a lot of cars are going this way, but I am glad that the designers of my car didn’t do this way for flash or wow factor. Also, the AC is super cold, a plus in Arizona.
- The performance holds its own. I bought the SE because it was my perfect combination of styling, performance and value. I have not been disappointed, because the 3.5 L has a great sound at high revs, delivers good economy and is quick for everyday driving situations. I upgraded to the 18” wheels, which makes a monumental difference in handling and better matches the engine to the chassis capabilities. The skinny 17” wheels lost traction too much. There have been a handful of times I could have used a larger motor, but those instances were to probably do something my insurance company would not have rewarded.
- I feel safe in this car. This probably goes back to the sheer size, but I like that this car has a good array of collision avoidance systems and airbags.
- It’s good to see American quality and styling reaching new highs. I admit, in the past I only drove European cars because they seemed to have better quality and handle better (they were rear wheel drive) than the domestic offerings at the time. The Challenger is my second American purchase; my first was six years ago when I bought (and still own) a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I was impressed with my Jeep’s level of refinement and quality that Chrysler didn’t seem to have in the 1990s. The Challenger’s quality, although not perfect, is very good for what I paid. After a year of daily driving there have been no rattles, no “software issues” and is driving better now that the engine has broken-in. So far, I’ve only seen the door panel crack that others on this site have noted. But, if little interior issues are all I see in the next few years, then Chrysler has me sold for other rear drive cars in the future.