2016 Dodge Challenger vs 2016 Dodge Charger; Which One is for You?
When it comes to choosing a performance car this year, you have a couple of compelling options. The 2016 Dodge Challenger in Miami, FL is the strongest and fastest muscle car ever built when equipped with the 707 horsepower Hemi SRT Hellcat V8 engine, and the 2016 Dodge Charger is the fastest performance sedan to ever hit the market stocked with that very same engine. Taking that into consideration, it might be hard to choose between the two. Obviously, they are similar in performance and faster than the other vehicles in their class. So where do the differences lie?
What needs to be assessed are the differences in the actual driving experience because these are, in fact, different types of cars.
Similar in Features
Regardless of trims, you will find most of the features are very similar. The upholstery, materials, and technology are practically universal and shared between the trim levels of both models. It makes sense since these features are more automaker-specific than they are model specific.
For example, both vehicles benefit from a Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. This Uconnect system allows media syncing for playing music files, access to the WiFi Hotspot on board, and potentially a live video feed of what’s behind you via the available ParkView Assist system broadcast by the rear backup camera. If you have a Bluetooth-compatible phone, it’s even possible to stream music wirelessly, or send and receive calls with your voice. Dodge Performance Pages is also available on select trims from both models and displayed through the 8.4-inch display. This feature offers real-time stats, such as engine performance, 0-60 mph records, 1/4 mile times, and you can even upload those times to the Web for all to see if you upgrade your Dodge Performance Pages to the “Plus” variant.
That’s just a quick overview of some of the technology found in both models, and it’s not worth going into the material or upholstery. The point is, don’t let the thought that one model will have more fun features than the next cross your mind because that’s simply not true. The Charger offers a few more safety features than the Challenger, but we’ll get to that later. Instead, the driving experience is the deciding factor between the two.
The Difference Lies in the Driving Experience
Both models have the same engine options shared between trim levels: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, and the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi SRT Hellcat V8 engine. Depending on which engine outfits these models, the mechanics function in a completely different way.
Allow me to explain. Since the 2016 Charger is a sedan, it’s naturally smaller and lighter than the 2016 Challenger, which is a muscle car. Muscle cars have been and always will be heavier, longer, and more powerful than sedans, but not necessarily faster. While it might be a minuscule victory, the Charger actually does beat the Challenger in the quarter-mile run. When both models are equipped with the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi SRT Hellcat V8 engine, the Charger runs a quarter-mile time of 11 seconds flat, whereas it takes the Challenger 11.2 seconds. That 0.2 seconds of difference might not seem like that big of a difference to you, but it might be for someone who wants the fastest car possible.
Along with the disparity between quarter-mile times, both of these vehicles handle differently, too. This is because of multiple factors – the first and most obvious being the difference in size. Like I said, the Charger is lighter and smaller than the Challenger, so it has better aerodynamics. In turn, that lowered amount of wind drag lets it move faster and more efficiently down the road as well. Also, the smaller size means it has tighter handling around corners and allows it to hug the road tighter.
While the Charger handles nimbly and efficiently, the Challenger is a chunk of solid metal and muscle. Therefore, it’s heavier than the Charger with a wider stance, which means it’s naturally more stable. However, muscle cars inherently handle their torque differently, and as soon as you nail that gas pedal you’ll find the Challenger will want to spin the tires and create a smoke show at the starting line. After that, it will launch off like a rocket with high RPMs. The wild nature and larger size of the vehicle cause it to take wider turns around corners, and potentially even go fishtailing down the road — as opposed to a straight line like the Charger — if not driven properly.
There you have it. The primary point of contrast between these two comes down to handling. The 2016 Challenger provides raw and unbridled muscle that you need to hang on to when you nail that gas pedal, and the 2016 Charger uses its power to deliver a more carefully calibrated, efficient, and balanced drive. It all depends on what you are looking for, but regardless of which one you choose, you’ll have a blast.
What You Need it For
Considering that the main difference between these cars is all about the experience behind the wheel, requires some thought on your part before your purchase. Determine what type of vehicle you want. Even if you don’t get the top-tier performance trims with the insane amount of horsepower, the handling reality driving each one remains the same. It all boils down to what you need the vehicle for and how you intend to use it. Do you like taking your toys to the drag races and creating smoke storms? Then opt for the 2016 Dodge Challenger. Or, are you more into taking your fun car out on the highway and just enjoying the cruise? If so, the more aerodynamic and better-handling 2016 Charger is calling your name.
Something else you need to consider is the safety and interior functionality of these vehicles. While both of them have a good amount of passenger space and safety features, the Charger has slightly more than the Challenger. Therefore, it will fit your kids or friends in the back seat easier, potentially even offering better collision prevention and protection in the event of one. But, if you are already contemplating grabbing a Challenger, then chances are you aren’t too concerned about that.
In the end, it’s the driving dynamics that are the main factor determining your driving experience, which begs the question: “What do I need this Dodge for?” If you can answer that without thinking twice, then you know you’re on the right track…