5 Key Reasons to Love the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT
Now, before I get into the reasons why the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT is such a great option for prospective muscle car buyers, I want to address what is likely a fairly large group of readers who are already planning on posting a comment complaining about the fact that the SXT package has the V6 engine. If you are the kind of muscle car fan who believes that there is no place for a V6 engine in a muscle car, Dodge has a collection of higher powered trimlines to suit your needs. However, with roughly half of all muscle cars sold in America coming with the V6 engine option, there are clearly a great many people buying new muscle cars each month who are more concerned with the look and feel than they are the raw power.
If you want the look and feel of a proper modern muscle car, but you aren’t all that worried about having tons of horsepower, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT is clearly one of the best options in the segment – and today I bring you 5 key reasons why the Challenger SXT is so loveable.
#5 - 2015 Challenger Exterior Design – The Dodge Challenger has been available since 2008 and in the early days of the modern Mopar muscle car, there was not only a difference in the performance of the V6 and V8 models, but there was also a distinct difference in appearance. The V6 styling was far less aggressive, so if you wanted a very sporty looking Challenger back then, you had to go with the R/T model or higher.
That has all changed with the 2015 Challenger, as the “base model” 2015 Challenger SXT has most of the same styling cues as the pricier V8 models. This includes the power bulge hood, the 1971-inspired grille with silver accents, LED trimmed projection headlights, LED taillights, a vintage chrome gas door, and a deep-reaching front fascia with a molded chin spoiler. When you step up to the SXT Plus, which is the trimline of the V6 Challenger I drove for a week, you also get fog lights, a low profile rear spoiler and 20 inch wheels, both of which work with the standard features to give the 2015 Challenger SXT Plus the same muscular, sporty look as the V8 models.
With the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus, driving a base model V6 muscle no longer means settling for a car that looks less muscular and less sporty than the more powerful models. In short, the Challenger SXT Plus is, without a doubt, the best looking V6 Challenger ever.
#4 – Roomy, High Tech Interior – Like all 2015 Dodge Challenger models, the SXT Plus has large, roomy front seats and the same surprisingly spacious rear seat that you just cannot get from Ford or Chevy in a muscle car. The Challenger is the largest of the modern muscle cars and that affords it the roomiest cabin in the segment, while the plush, climate controlled leather seats that come with the SXT Plus package help to make it the most comfortable of the V6 muscle cars.
While the comfort and feel of the Challenger SXT interior first catches your eye when climbing into the driver’s seat, the incredible level of technology present is quick to steal your attention. The huge 8.4” touchscreen infotainment system is standard with the Challenger SXT Plus, and the new Super Track Pak upgrades the infotainment system with the Dodge Performance Pages. This allows you to measure and record the performance times (0-60, 8th mile, quarter mile, braking, lateral Gs) as well as offering a comprehensive gauge package – including horsepower and torque gauges on the huge UConnect display. The touchscreen also handles the climate control system, the navigation package, the sound system and the hands-free phone system in cooperation with the buttons and knobs located in the center stack and the broad selection of buttons on front and rear of the steering wheel.
The Chrysler UConnect system is one of the most awarded infotainment packages in the American market and the 2015 Challenger SXT Plus with the Super Track Pak has the tip-top version of this excellent system.
Finally, nestled between the large tachometer and speedometer of the 2015 Challenger SXT Plus is the driver’s information screen, which is controlled via the buttons on the steering wheel. The central customizable screen offers all sorts of information, including addition gauges, navigation info, sound system information and features of the Dodge Performance Pages. The driver information screen is a big part of why the Challenger SXT Plus interior is so impressive, as it is one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly systems available.
#3 – 305hp, 30mpg – The 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT is an ideal muscle car for someone who isn’t all that concerned with having gobs of horsepower, but thanks to the new 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the standard 8-speed automatic transmission, the Challenger SXT is no slouch. The Pentastar V6 delivers 305 horsepower, which provides solid acceleration when paired with the aggressively geared 8-speed gearbox. Sure, it doesn’t pull as hard as the Hemi V8 engine options, but with 305 horsepower, the Challenger SXT will still outrun the vast majority of cars on the road. That 305 horsepower is enough to blast down the highway or hustle away from a stoplight, happily spinning the tires in the process.
It doesn’t have Hemi power, but it has enough power to be a very fun car to drive and as a bonus, the Challenger SXT is one of the most fuel-friendly muscle cars in the segment. The combination of the Pentastar V6 and the 8-speed transmission- even with the Super Track Pak – is promised to get 30 miles per gallon on the highway and per the on-board diagnostic system, I found that number to be very accurate, even when cruising at 70mph. I averaged 22.8mpg over 8 days, which is lower than the 23mpg expectations from the EPA, but that is due to my heavy right foot. I expect that I drove the Challenger SXT harder than the average owner, so I would expect that owners trying to get good fuel economy can easily meet or exceed the EPA figures in the right conditions.
#2 – The Super Track Pak – Throughout this piece, I have mentioned the Super Track Pak a handful of times, and that low-cost option package is one of the features of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT that makes the entry level muscle car so awesome. This package adds 20 inch hyper black wheels with the aggressive v-spoke pattern and these wheels are wrapped in 3-season performance tires that allow you to get away from the line and around a sharp turn better than the standard skins. The Super Track Pak then adds heavy duty brakes, sport tuned suspension, sport tuned steering, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and the Dodge Performance Pages with a direct access button on the shift console button panel – along with a Sport mode button.
The Super Track Pak adds plenty of aesthetic value with the wheels and the performance pages, but the steering, suspension, braking and tire upgrades afford the 2015 Challenger SXT very impressive handling attributes. I took the Challenger SXT around the road course at Portland International Raceway and I was very impressed with how well the V6 muscle car handled the turns. It didn’t get down the straight as quick as the V8 Challengers, but it handled the corners just as well as the R/T models. When you push the Sport mode button, the steering system provides a bit more feedback and less support, giving the driver a better feel for the road while hammering the curves. Also, the addition of the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters bolsters the fun to drive factor, allowing you to carefully select your gears as you are blasting through the turns of your local road course.
The most impressive aspect of the Super Track Pak for the 2015 Challenger SXT is that it only costs $695. The wheels, tires, suspension, brakes, steering, infotainment program and paddle shifters are all included for just $695, so I don’t see any good reason why every single Challenger SXT buyer doesn’t check this box. This simple upgrade package takes the Challenger SXT to the next level, making it far more than your average base model V6 muscle car.
#1 - Low Price – the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus that I drove had a base price of just $29,995 and when you add on the Super Track Pak ($695), the Challenger body stripe ($395), the navigation software ($695) and the $995 destination fee, the price as tested of the gorgeous bright red muscle car shown here was just $32,775. If you have more money in your budget, you can add a Harman Kardon sound system, the driver convenience package, the technology group package and the power sunroof for a total price of $35,365, but for those trying to keep their costs down, the Challenger SXT Plus with the Super Track Pak and no other options costs just $31,685. The navigation is nice, but you don’t have to order the nav system to get the big infotainment screen, so that is a good place to cut costs. After all, every smart phone has a navigation program at this point.
With a price in the low $30k range, the 2015 Challenger SXT Plus offers an incredibly long list of standard and optional features, allowing you to literally have every aspect of the more powerful models – just without the V8 engines. No longer does buying a V6 Challenger require you to compromise inside, outside or in the handling department, so if you are looking to buy a new muscle car with tons of interior space, the best interior tech on the market, the ability to handle the corners and a 305hp engine that delivers 30+mpg, there is no better option on today’s market than the Challenger SXT Plus with the Super Track Pak.