2017 Dodge Challenger GT is AWD and Fuel Efficient

2017 Dodge Challenger GT (Aaron)

With a highway rating of 27 mpg, the 2017 Challenger GT is an all-wheel drive muscle car that delivers good fuel economy too. Even hooning in the wild and throwing up dust with abandon, we managed to average 21 mpg in a week with the muscular Challenger GT.

The manufacturer says

Feel the horses rumble. Pack intimidating speed. Harness unmatched control and responsiveness. The Dodge Challenger epitomizes the alliance of power and agility—the mark of modern performance.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Dodge
  • Year, Model: 2017 Challenger GT
  • Class, Type: Coupe
  • Propulsion system: V6, AWD
  • Base Price: $33,395
  • MSRP as tested: $Unknown
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT can do a 0-60 mph sprint in about 6.5 seconds when on a track and in a professional’s hands. We managed 6.9-second runs, though, and we had neither. Given that, the excellent fuel economy of the car is surprising, but that comes from an intelligent build to the drivetrain. A design that has served Chrysler and Dodge products well, having appeared in the small Chrysler 200 and the Challenger sibling, the Chrysler 300.

It’s a combination of the 3.6-liter V6 that outputs 305 horsepower and 268 foot pounds of torque without turbocharging or gimmicks. This runs through an automatic transmission that selectively delivers power to the front and rear wheels through a magnetically-coupled AWD system.

The normal condition for the Challenger GT is rear-wheel drive when there is no challenge to the car’s traction or control. In a moment, though, the coupler can engage the front axle and give up to 30 percent of the car’s torque to the front wheels in AWD. Torque is then vectored front and rear through differentials to provide the most power possible to each individual wheel as it’s needed.

Some driver control over these elements is given through the traction control system. With the traction control button, the driver can turn off traction control normally, which leaves some of the electronics active in order to prevent rollover and serious traction losses for long periods. The button can be held down for a moment, when the vehicle is stopped, and all of those controls shut off leaving the driver solely responsible for the car’s welfare and putting the Challenger in purely rear-driven mode. For ultimate fun, that’s the ticket. A quick pump of the brake re-engages traction control after that latter mode has been engaged, giving it instantly back so that AWD hooning can commence when desired.

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is EPA-rated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. We averaged 21 mpg overall during our week with the car, which averaged more than 300 miles of driving on varied surfaces, with varied passenger loads, and rarely with a judiciously-controlled right foot. With that kind of return, someone with a strong inclination to get good MPG numbers could definitely do very well in the 2017 Challenger GT.

What we like

Strong output from an efficient engine.

Excellent nostalgic design coupled with modern comfort and capability.

What we don't

Rear seat can house adults, but only for short stints.

No bigger, more muscular engine options are available for the GT.

Conclusions

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is a mixture of American muscle car and everyday-use sports car. It offers all-wheel drive for those who might otherwise be unable to make use of a rear-driven vehicle and it gives the largest interior of any coupe we can name. It’s a nostalgic mixture of America’s muscular road-going past and today’s realistic economical and drivetrain needs.

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