2012 Dodge Challenger UT
The 2012 Challenger SXT name replaces SE as the entry-level Challenger. The Challenger SXT 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 produces 305 horsepower and 268 foot-pounds of torque. The 2012 Challenger R/T rumbles with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. The V8 is rated at 372 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque with the 5-speed automatic, or 375 hp and 410 pound-feet of torque with the now-standard 6-speed manual. The Hemi uses a multiple displacement feature that switches off cylinders to save fuel. The 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 comes with a 470-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that includes cylinder deactivation technology.
Driving Impressions of the '12 Dodge Challenger
When cruising, the Challenger is civilized. There is authority in the exhaust note as you will see when you step on the gas. You will be rewarded with a satisfying rumble that becomes more howl as it winds up; manual gearbox cars sound like they use different mufflers and have a deeper tone. The automatic delivers crisp-not-jarring upshifts and gets out of first gear in a hurry. It's easy to make an SRT8 392 go fast, you just stand on the gas and point it where you want it to go. Traction control does a very good job of turning controlled wheelspin into thrust and is easier than launching most high-performance manual transmission cars; there's a solid feel to quick upshifts and it works better the harder you push it. At the other end of the straightaway, the SRT8's big brakes do a commendable job of slowing the pace, just a bit off some benchmark lighter coupes. There is a lot of travel in the brake pedal so initial bite might not be what you expect but keep pushing and you'll stop quickly.
Interior Features of the '12 Dodge Challenger
The center console has a mild lateral slope to the driver, with a small bin ahead of the shifter, two illuminated cupholders behind it, and space under the sliding-top center armrest. The glovebox is typical but the door pockets are split with a larger pocket at the front edge and a smaller pocket near the rear edge. The passenger door armrest has a small bin. Although the A-pillars are wide, the driver sits far enough away from the windshield to avoid forward blind spots. With the seat positioned low to the glass line, you can see most of the hood. The view to the rear is good, too, because the side glass goes well back and the rear window allows a full view in the mirror view. Trunk space won't be an issue. Under the floor you'll find the standard tire-inflator kit (compact spare optional only on SXT and R/T), battery and a vinyl-album-sized bin.
Exterior of the '12 Dodge Challenger
Unlike most new cars, the maximum width is carried well out to the ends resulting in a broad, menacing car. The very wide, horizontal grille, spoilers and taillamps accentuate the width, as does a turret-like roof and window treatment, and the haunches over the rear wheels where the roof fairs into the trunk and the character line kicks up. The proportions allseem just right, from the carrier-deck expanse of flat hood larger than most modern pickups, to the foot-high side glass and dark lower body trim, and into the massive rear roof pillars. From the side, the SRT8 392's 20-inch wheels frame bright red brake calipers and slotted discs, filling large fender openings that are creased along the edges. Hood scoops carry Hemi badges on V8 cars and are functional in that cool air goes in or warm air vents to the atmosphere, but they do not feed cold air straight into the engine; the ducts in the spoiler direct cooling air to the front brakes and small winglets at the front wheel openings better refine airflow. While only the outer pairs of bulbs light for brake and turn functions, the entire width is used for taillights. On the SRT8 392 the trunk spoiler is a flat black low-profile piece and V8 cars have dual chrome rectangular exhaust outlets in the lower bumper.
The 2012 Dodge Challenger SXT comes with a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6 and 5-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, 6-way power adjustable driver's seat, four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, air conditioning, power windows and locks, power mirrors, keyless access and starting, 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat, tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 6-speaker stereo, auxiliary input jack, trip computer, theft-deterrent system, and P235/55R18 tires on aluminum wheels.
Every Challenger offers three-coat red paint and an engine block heater. SXT options include a 276-watt Boston Acoustics stereo, XM radio and Uconnect Bluetooth. The SXT Plus package adds nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, fog and automatic headlamps, and the three aforementioned SXT options. In conjunction with SXT Plus you can also add navigation, electronic convenience group and 368-watt, seven-speaker Boston Acoustics sound with HDD and larger touch-screen display.
Challenger R/T features a 375-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic; EPA 16/25. R/T adds automatic headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated outside mirrors, body-colored rear spoiler, metal fuel filler door, dual chromed rectangular exhaust pipes, fog lamps, Bluetooth wireless cell phone link, and a USB port. Mechanical upgrades to accompany the added power include bigger brakes, firmer suspension, and quicker steering.
Options include the Super Track Pack with P245/45ZR20 Goodyear performance tires, heavy duty brakes, sports suspension, and performance steering; Sound Group II, electronic convenience group, limited-slip differential, chrome-clad 20-inch wheels, and audio upgrades to navigation. An R/T Plus adds nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, 276-watt Boston Acoustics with XM, security system, HomeLink, and body-color mirrors. From there another package, R/T Classic, adds 20-inch forged alloy wheels, side stripes, functional hood scoops, and HID headlamps.
The 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 has a 470-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V8 and a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic. Other mechanical upgrades include Brembo brakes, a performance suspension, a limited-slip differential, and P245/45R20 tires on polished aluminum wheels. Standard are leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps, trip/data computer with performance pages, and keyless access and starting. The SRT8 rear spoiler is flat black, the front spoiler deeper and ducted for brake cooling, hood scoops are functional, and the fuel filler is polished aluminum. An SRT also includes a day at the track with the SRT Experience; driver instruction well worth the effort to get there. The SRT8 392 also adds a gas-guzzler tax that runs $1000. Options include the 900-watt 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, high-performance staggered-size tires, red leather, moonroof, navigation and premium paints.
The 2012 Dodge Challenger boasts a distinctive look that attracts a lot of attention and positive comments. The V6-powered Challenger SXT comes with a moderate price and an improved engine, while the V8-powered Challenger R/T is a good performance value. The Challenger SRT8 392 is the ultimate performance version. Regardless, the Challenger avoids the compromised rear seat and trunk of most coupes because of its size. Click here to learn more about the 2012 Dodge Challenger.
Some of the information for this review was obtained through newcartestdrive.com