The current Dodge Challenger went on sale in the fall of 2014 as a 2015 model year vehicle, so as we move through the 2022 calendar year and prepare for the arrival of the 2023 models, the current iteration of modern Mopar muscle car is effectively going on 8 years old. By modern automotive standards, 8 model years without and significant changes is a pretty long run and because of that, many critics of the Challenger or of the Dodge brand as a whole will often use the age of the current generation as a knock against it.
Many of my counterparts in the automotive media have spent the past few years asking Dodge executives when the next generation of the Challenger will arrive, insisting that the current car is simply too old to continue on. Meanwhile, as many members of the media claim that the Challenger is too old to compete, it continues to be a segment sales leader in addition to piling up all sorts of awards.
Of course, while there have not been any major changes to the Challenger as a model since the 2015 model year, the introduction of new trim levels has obviously helped to spur sales, keeping the lineup fresh and helping the most powerful American road car ever win more acclaims.
Back in February, the Dodge Challenger earned an automotive loyalty award from IHS Markit, recognizing the model’s ability to keep customers coming back to the Dodge brand. This makes perfect sense, as many Challenger owners have consistently traded one in for the newer, more powerful model over the past 5 years. Many Scat Pack owners traded up to a Hellcat while Hellcat owners have moved from their original, 707-horsepower model to more powerful packages, such as the Demon, the 717-horsepower Hellcats or the 797-horsepower Redeye.
Just this morning, the Challenger was announced as the winner of the InMoment eNVy award for the Sports Car category – marking a back-to-back win for the brawny Dodge muscle car. This award is based on owner input on the vehicle’s ability to deliver comfort, quality, performance, safety and ownership cost. Anyone who owns a Challenger is likely not surprised at this award, as there is simply no sports car sold in the U.S. market that delivers more comfort and performance with a relatively low purchase price and cost of ownership than the two-door Dodge.
So, while critics continue to bad-mouth the Challenger for being “old”, the model continues to draw customers and win awards across the industry.