Here Are the Worst Dodge Challenger Years to Avoid and Problems

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

If you’re considering buying a used Dodge Challenger, knowing which model years are worth your investment and which ones to avoid is essential.

The Dodge Challenger is known for its iconic muscle car design, powerful engine options, and thrilling driving experience.

However, some model years have proven more problematic than others, making them less desirable choices for potential buyers.

One of the worst years to look out for is the 2012 Dodge Challenger, which had numerous issues that led to its negative reputation.

Additionally, it’s wise to be cautious when considering the 2013 and 2014 model years, as they faced widespread engine and electrical problems.

By arming yourself with this knowledge, you can decide which Dodge Challenger model year best suits your needs and ensure a more reliable driving experience.

Dodge Challenger Years to Avoid

Dodge Challenger Years to Avoid

In this section, we will focus on the model years of the Dodge Challenger that you should consider avoiding due to various issues and problems reported.

2008 Dodge Challenger

The 2008 Dodge Challenger marked the return of the iconic muscle car after a long hiatus. However, as exciting as it was for enthusiasts, the 2008 model year had its share of growing pains.

You might encounter some initial build quality issues and limited availability of replacement parts for this specific year.

2011 Dodge Challenger

The 2011 Dodge Challenger saw some improvements over the earlier models, but there were still concerns.

This model year introduced new engines known to have a few teething problems. If you opt for a 2011 Challenger, make sure to have a thorough inspection to identify any potential engine issues.

2012 Dodge Challenger

The 2012 Dodge Challenger stands out as one of the worst years for the Challenger, with numerous reported problems.

This model year, they faced electrical issues, brake problems, and other concerns. It’s recommended to steer clear of this year.

2013 Dodge Challenger

The 2013 Dodge Challenger carried forward some of the issues from the previous year. This model year, they have experienced some electrical and braking system issues, although they were less prevalent than in 2012.

2014 Dodge Challenger

The issues become less severe for the 2014 Dodge Challenger, but it must be a trouble-free model year.

You might find some complaints about the engine and transmission performance this year, so it’s essential to be cautious when looking at this model year.

2015 Dodge Challenger

The 2015 Dodge Challenger showed signs of improvement, but it wasn’t yet immune to issues. Some customers reported concerns with the interior build quality and infotainment system in this model year.

While these are minor, you should inspect any potential 2015 Challenger for these issues before deciding.

By being aware of the Dodge Challenger years to avoid, you can make a more informed decision when looking for your dream muscle car.

RELATED: The Bad Dodge Dakota Years to Avoid!

what year challenger to avoid

Common Issues and Complaints

Transmission Problems

Among the common issues you might face when owning a Dodge Challenger are transmission problems. From 2016 to 2021, Challenger owners reported issues with erratic shifting, slipping gears, and accelerating delays.

Electrical Issues

Another category that frequently comes up in complaints is electrical issues. Faulty components like the alternator and the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) have caused electrical problems, causing frustration for owners.

It is essential to be aware of these possible challenges to ensure the proper functioning of your muscle car.

Brake and Suspension Issues

Dodge Challengers have faced concerns regarding brake and suspension systems for years, like premature wear and tear or poor braking performance.

Upgrading your brakes and suspension components can help improve your car’s overall handling and performance.

Engine and Performance Issues

Lastly, Challengers have experienced engine and performance-related problems. A ticking noise from Hemi engines or even premature timing chain failure might occur in specific model years.

Regular checks and maintenance are crucial to maintain your car’s reliability and prevent severe engine damage.

In conclusion, consider these common issues when considering owning a Dodge Challenger to ensure a better driving experience.

Always invest in proper car care to avoid potential problems and enjoy the full potential of this amazing muscle car.

Comparisons to Other Muscle Cars

Ford Mustang

When comparing the Dodge Challenger to the Ford Mustang, it’s essential to consider factors like speeddesign, and engine options.

The Mustang offers a range of engines, from the base V6 to the powerful V8 found in the GT models. Regarding interior and body style, the Mustang may appeal more to drivers who prioritize a sleeker, more modern design.

Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is another muscle car to consider. Its bold style and variety of engine options are comparable to the Challenger.

One standout feature of the Camaro is the availability of an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, making it a more viable option for those who frequently drive in difficult weather conditions.

For maximum power in your muscle car, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat stands out with its supercharged V8 engine, producing an impressive 707 horsepower.

However, the Mustang and Camaro also offer high-performance variations equipped with powerful V8 engines to satisfy your speed needs.

Best Years for Dodge Challenger

2021 Dodge Challenger

In 2021, the Dodge Challenger was a top choice among sports car enthusiasts. With its powerful HEMI V8 engine and impressive comfort levels, you’ll enjoy an excellent driving experience.

This year’s model has a strong predicted reliability rating, ensuring longevity for your investment.

2020 Dodge Challenger

The 2020 Dodge Challenger saw minor improvements over the previous year and reduced the number of available trims.

Its balance of power and reliability sets it apart, making it an excellent choice for those looking to enter the world of muscle cars.

2019 Dodge Challenger

If you’re considering a used Dodge Challenger, the 2019 model is also a strong contender. It is hailed as a reliable choice and known for its bold design and high-quality interior features.

2018 Dodge Challenger

The 2018 Dodge Challenger is a viable option, offering you a blend of comfort, reliability, and performance. This model is mainly known for its dependability regarding electrical systems and battery life.

2017 Dodge Challenger

The 2017 Dodge Challenger is another standout year in terms of performance and features. With a dependable car like this, you won’t have to worry about vehicle recalls as much. The SRT8 variant adds a satisfying dose of power to the mix.

Remember that individual preferences may vary, but these years consistently rank high for Dodge Challenger reliability and overall satisfaction.

Tips for Choosing a Reliable Dodge Challenger

Proper Care and Maintenance

Proper care is vital for the longevity and performance of your Dodge Challenger. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and inspections, can extend the vehicle’s lifespan.

Keep an eye on fuel efficiency, as well, to ensure your muscle car is in tip-top shape.

Selecting a Trim and Model Year

When choosing a reliable Challenger, consider a newer model with an 8-speed automatic transmission for added efficiency.

Avoid the 2012 model year, known for having more issues. Always check the reliability score and reviews from trusted sources like Consumer Reports to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Dodge Challenger Rivals

When considering a Dodge Challenger, it’s essential to compare it with its key rivals to make the best decision. In this section, you’ll learn about the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Toyota Supra.

Dodge Charger

The Dodge Charger is similar to the Challenger, being part of the same family. While both offer potent engines and a comfortable ride, the Charger is a four-door sedan with more passenger space.

However, both models share similar reliability concerns, so keep that in mind when comparing these brothers. Here are Dodge Charger years to avoid!

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is a classic American muscle car that competes directly with the Challenger. The Mustang offers a broader range of engine options and better fuel efficiency.

However, the Challenger boasts a more spacious and comfortable interior. A downside to the Mustang is that it suffers from a few mechanical issues that could affect your overall experience. Here is the list of Ford Mustang years to avoid!

Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is another strong rival, offering a blend of performance and handling. Although both cars provide potent engines, the Camaro has a more modern and agile chassis.

On the flip side, the Challenger offers a more spacious interior and a retro-styled design. A key issue with the Camaro is its limited visibility due to its low roofline and thick pillars. Here are the Chevy Camaro years to avoid.

Toyota Supra

The Toyota Supra is a Japanese sports car that may catch your interest. While it doesn’t have the same muscle car heritage as the Challenger, the Supra delivers a more sophisticated driving experience and better fuel economy. Here are many Toyota Supra problems and common issues.

However, the Supra lacks the spacious interior and classic design found in the Challenger. Remember that the Supra had some recalls in recent years, so be cautious when considering this option.


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