The Dodge Challenger might have a similar look to other sports cars. However, it stands out when you consider sheer engine power.
With a V8 engine option that can deliver 807 horsepower, the Challenger is a top performer on the highway and the drag strip. Plus, it is also one of the most durable, affordable performance cars on the market.
This article discusses the longevity of the Dodge Challenger.
Here is the short answer to how long the Dodge Challenger lasts:
A Dodge Challenger can last for 250,000 to 300,000 miles, subject to proper usage and diligent maintenance. If you drive an average of 15,000 miles per year, a Challenger can serve you for 16 to 20 years if you use it conscientiously and care for it properly.
How Many Miles Can You Expect From A Dodge Challenger?
The typical Challenger would last longer than 200,000 miles. A well maintained one may get to 250,000 or even 300,000 miles before requiring major repairs.
That being said, since there is a large range, the miles to be expected depends on service and maintenance. Your regular driving terrain would affect your driving method.
Luck is also a factor that you should not ignore. No matter the precision with which they produce cars, it is impossible to produce two identical cars with identical durability.
Some model years of vehicles may have factory issues that can reduce their lifespan, so perform due diligence before getting a Dodge Challenger.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Dodge Challenger?
There is no set time to expect rust on a Challenger. With regular washing, cleaning and drying, your Challenger can go a pretty long time without rust.
Challengers being produced these days are less susceptible to rust than older models. This is because they make upgrades yearly and introduce new materials during production. These materials have greater resistance to rust than the ones used for older models.
Besides regular washing and maintenance, many drivers get their cars rustproofed every once in a while. If you choose to get your car rustproofed, you can use a tar-based spray or an oil spray.
Rust is likely to affect the surface of the Challenger, that’s why more drivers opt for vinyl wraps today. Vinyl wraps provide a thin covering on your Challenger that protects it from surface rust. The wheels are also likely to be affected by rust.
You should ensure that your car is rust free before you consider using a vinyl wrap. Vinyl wraps used on an already rust covered Challenger would only lead to more rust. This would do more harm than good.
How Long Do Dodge Challengers Last Compared to Similar Cars?
Here is how the Challenger compares to similar cars regarding longevity:
Dodge Challenger vs. Chevrolet Corvette
While the Challenger usually surpasses 200,000 miles, the Corvette might struggle a little to last that many miles. However, if you maintain and treat your Corvette nicely, its service life would surprise you.
Meanwhile, RepairPal says the Dodge Challenger has a lower average annual maintenance cost of $650, compared to the Chevy Corvette’s $737.
Dodge Challenger vs. Ford Mustang
The Mustang lasts 200,000 miles or more. It just might have the same life expectancy as the Challenger.
With a $709 average yearly maintenance and repair costs, the Ford Mustang is also the more expensive vehicle to own.
Dodge Challenger vs. BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 Series is widely known for its powerful engine. So it is no surprise that it can last up to 300,000 miles. This gives it a great competing advantage against the Challenger.
Since the Challenger is notable for crossing the 300,000 mile mark, both cars are pretty durable.
With proper maintenance, you should have no problem driving these cars for 20 or more years.
How Reliable Is a Dodge Challenger?
The 2021 Dodge Challenger earned 87/100 for quality and reliability from J.D. Power. It has an overall rating of 85/100 and is third only to the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang.
The 2019 Challenger has a lesser rating when compared to the 2020 and 2021 models. It scores 83/100, while the 2010 Challenger scores even less; it boasts of an 81/100 for quality and reliability.
Earlier models have average scores like 78/100 and 76/100. This means that according to information gathered from J.D. Power, Challengers have improved in reliability over the years. The constant improvement means that getting a newer model would be a wiser decision if reliability is what you seek.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Dodge Challenger scores an average 3.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating on RepairPal. The site ranks it 19th out of 24 midsize cars, which is not the most impressive for such a powerful car.
The Best and Worst Years for Dodge Challenger
After gathering information from Car Complaints, few years have stood out as the best model years of the Challenger.
The 2008, 2019, 2020 and 2021 models have the least number of complaints. However, we would pick the 2008 and 2019 models as the best models so far. This is because the 2020 and 2021 models haven’t been in the market very long.
Overall, we expect the latest model years to stand the test of time.
For the worst model year, we don’t have a lot of choices. Hence, we narrowed down our search, and can easily say the 2012 model is the worst so far.
Major problems with the 2012 model year are electrical, the most common being with the alternator. The 2012 model has had 22 electrical problems, including 136 NHTSA complaints in that category.
It has to have had over 200 NHTSA complaints overall, as opposed to the 2008 and 2019 model years with just 16 and 34 NHTSA complaints, respectively.
What About Recalls for These Models?
The table below is a detailed representation of recall information on the Challenger since its rebound in 2008.
|Year||Number of Recalls||Reason for Recall|
|2019||3||Sensing system, instrument cluster and tire problems.|
|2018||4||Wiring and transmission problems.|
|2017||3||Wiring, engine and transmission problems.|
|2016||2||Wiring and transmission problems.|
|2015||6||Powertrain, airbag, electrical and engine related problems.|
|2014||5||Powertrain, airbag and electrical related problems.|
|2013||5||Airbags and electrical related problems.|
|2012||5||Airbags and electrical related problems.|
|2011||6||Airbags and electrical related problems.|
|2010||5||Airbags, steering and electrical related problems.|
|2009||4||Airbags, equipment and transmission problems.|
|2008||2||Airbags and transmission problems.|
Dodge Challenger Model Year List
For a car that has been in production since the late sixties, the Challenger has few generations, especially when compared to similar cars, including the Dodge Charger.
Below is a list containing the model years of the Challenger and their generations:
The first and third generations of the Challenger are the pony and muscle cars we all know and love. The second generation Challenger came as a subcompact car.
Are Dodge Challengers Expensive to Maintain?
The average annual maintenance cost for a Challenger is about $650, according to RepairPal.
It is higher than the $526 average for midsize cars and almost the same with that of all vehicle models. We can conclude that the Dodge Challenger has affordable maintenance and repair expenses.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The Challenger’s brake pads can last up to 35,000 miles and still function efficiently. Smooth driving and handling as opposed to racing helps preserve the life of the brake pads.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Well maintained quality tires should give up to 55,000 miles before needing replacement. Driving at high speeds over potholes or speed bumps can cause faster deterioration in tire lifespan.
Rotating your tires and ensuring they have the right air pressure can increase their lifespan.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmissions can last up to 160,000 miles before needing major repairs or replacement. Although the longevity of the transmission also depends on how well you use and maintain it.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The iridium or platinum spark plugs that come with the Challenger can last up to 100,000 miles before they need replacements. Copper spark plugs have less resistance to heat and deteriorate faster (say 30,000 miles).
For the best experience, always replace your spark plugs with platinum plugs. This helps reduce the frequency of your trips to the store.
What About Insurance Cost?
Bankrate estimates the average annual insurance cost for a Dodge Challenger to be $2,074. This is higher than the cost of insuring the average vehicle, which costs $1,738.
Several factors, including the mileage and age of your car, your demographics, location, driving record, credit history, and preferred insurance company, can affect your auto insurance premiums.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Dodge Challenger
Here are tips to prolong the life of your Challenger:
- Change fluids and service the car as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Wax your car at least once a year to protect your paint and keep your Challenger shining.
- Engage in good driving habits that help your engine run more efficiently. Make sure you warm up your car before usage by letting it run for a few minutes.
- Check your tire pressures frequently and ensure proper inflation.
- Avoid getting excess moisture on your car by parking in garages or shades.
- Ensure you change or top up engine fluids.
- Avoid over-the-top performance modifications that can affect engine life.
- Enjoy the car, but don’t abuse it on the racetrack and drag strip.