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2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Review

2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Review
Oct 7, 2014
2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Review
by Justin Pritchard , Auto123.com
The Dodge Challenger is getting old. Not the name. That’s old already since the Challenger launched originally when my dad, who is old, was 8. But the new-age Challenger, which launched in 2008, is also starting to get old. The exterior looks the same as it did when it launched to the drooling masses 7 years ago in that original batch of 500 SRT-powered units. The interior, with a few minor exceptions, is the same, too.

The Challenger is, however, an old-school car that’s aged well and remains, in my opinion, a benchmark product in its segment, and in the industry as a whole, for several reasons.


What is a 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker?
The Challenger R/T Shaker is a standard Challenger R/T fitted with an optional package that adds, primarily, a functional shaker hood intake on top of the engine which protrudes through an opening in the hood to provide cool, fresh air to the airbox while twisting and shaking around when the engine is started or revved. The Shaker package also adds a number plaque, sport suspension and steering wheel, heavy-duty brakes, a big honkin’ stereo, numerous graphical and feature content upgrades, and more.

2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Pricing and Specs
The Shaker upgrade is priced at $5,000 -- though the list of add-ons is lengthy. Pricing for the tester, including the optional 6-speed manual transmission ($2,000) and some other toys, came in around $53,000 with freight. Skip the sunroof and navigation system, and you’ll come in around $50,000. Look for the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 372 horsepower.

Driving the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker
Several aspects of driving the Challenger R/T Shaker make it an appealing every-day muscle car.

First, it’s great on the highway. Even with the sport suspension, the ride is laidback and set more to the comfort side of the equation without ruining the Challenger’s ability to carve corners at surprising speeds when called upon. It virtually floats on smooth roads, and the suspension handles even moderately rough roads well. Steering, even at speed, is light and lazy and easy to manipulate with just one finger. Locked-on? Heavy? No. But very easygoing steering-wise.

It’s a quiet ride, too. There’s always a whiff of HEMI rumble in the background, but road and wind noise are kept nicely in check.

Even the mileage is appreciable on the highway: rolling in sixth gear a touch north of the speed limit saw a 9.3L/100km highway cruising mileage figure on one road trip.

Third? It feels so American. The Challenger does its own thing where character and attitude are concerned, and makes no apologies for it. It’s a big, heavy car, sprung slightly soft, and with a light and lazy steering feel. So, a performance car that’s easy to relax in. It’s not huge on racetrack precision, per se, which is fine since most owners will be driving on public roads most of the time.

The manual gearbox offers the smoothest shifts when you’re shifting fast and hard, and browsing the forward gears with your boot down via the Tremec transmission’s pistol-grip shifter is an experience virtually unparalleled in manliness. Plus, since it’s not a prissy sort of sports car, you can smash gears while eating fries from a greasy box on the dashboard and blasting ACDC, if you like.

The full-throttle sounds from the 5.7L HEMI V8 are classic, too. Opened up, the thing sounds like a generic Hollywood car-chase soundtrack, and drivers can feel the variable-valve timing system ramp up engine power as the revs climb.

Inside and Out of the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker
Here’s an easy muscle-car to use on the daily. You step down into the Challenger, but the door openings are massive, the rear seats are easy to access, spacious once settled into, and can fit two grown-ups without making them chew their knees. Up front, for the driver, there’s plenty of space. You can stretch out. Lounge. Chill. You don’t feel like you’re wearing the Challenger, even if you’re horizontally robust. It’s a big-ass coupe that’s ready for a four-adult road trip. The trunk is even surprisingly large.

Visibility is a challenge, thanks to the thin window openings, though parking radar helps to compensate. Drivers familiar with proper use of their mirrors should have no issues.

From the outside? I’d argue that Challenger is the most cohesive-looking of the three modern retro rides from the Big 3, offering a more authentic and old-school look than either Camaro or Mustang. It’s truer to its roots while turning in a look that’s modern, menacing and old-school charming all at once.

Comparing the 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker
After a modern-day muscle car? The Challenger should be cross-shopped with machinery like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, upcoming new Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro. Ultimately, the Challenger R/T Shaker will likely appeal most strongly to a shopper after long-haul comfort, plenty of space, and one of the most instantly recognizable looks on the road.

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