Dodge Challenger Safety Ratings

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2015-22 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T 2-door

The Dodge Challenger was re-introduced in the 2009 model year after last being offered as a Mitsubishi-built sporty car in the 1983 model year. (The iconic Challenger performance car was offered during the 1970-74 model years.) Beginning with 2015 models, the car’s body structure, door trim, and instrument panel were modified and the side curtain airbags were lengthened to improve occupant protection in both frontal and side crashes.

Overall evaluation

M

Structure and safety cage

P

Driver injury measures
Head/neck

G

Chest

G

Hip/thigh

G

Lower leg/foot

P

Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

G

Action shot taken during the small overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy’s position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver’s survival space was not maintained well.

The dummy’s head contacted the frontal airbag but then nearly slid off the left side, allowing the head to move toward the gap in coverage between the frontal and side curtain airbags.

Intrusion was extensive. During the crash, the left front wheel was forced rearward and inward into the occupant compartment, and the severely buckled toepan trapped the dummy’s left foot. The dummy’s leg had to be unbolted from the foot in order to free it (inset).

Technical measurements for this test Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side Test ID CEN1613 Lower occupant compartment Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 24 Footrest (cm) 42 Left toepan (cm) 32 Brake pedal (cm) 25 Parking brake (cm) 29 Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 2 Upper occupant compartment Steering column 8 Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 14 Upper dash (cm) 17 Lower instrument panel (cm) 18 Driver injury measures Test ID CEN1613 Head HIC-15 70 Peak gs at hard contact no contact Neck Tension (kN) 0.8 Extension bending moment (Nm) 12 Maximum Nij 0.23 Chest maximum compression (mm) 26 Femur (kN) Left 2.8 Right 0.4 Knee displacement (mm) Left 5 Right 1 Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%) Left Right Maximum tibia index Left 1.46 Right 1.01 Tibia axial force (kN) Left 4.8 Right 2.4 Foot acceleration (g) Left 122 Right 88

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Recommended Safety Technologies

These features have been either verified by NHTSA or reported by the vehicle manufacturers as meeting NHTSA’s performance criteria.

Learn about safety technology

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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Challenger’s base 305-hp V-6 won’t satisfy thrill seekers. The modest engine mates exclusively to the eight-speed automatic, but in the heavy Challenger, it lacks the acceleration and excitement of rivals. The Dodge’s Hemi V-8 engines are another story. The 375-hp 5.7-liter we tested had plenty of juice to powerslide on demand, and its guttural growl was gratifying. Those looking to maximize the Challenger’s potential will want the 6.4-liter V-8, which produces 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. We also drove the and admired the exhaust’s cannon-blast startup sound and baritone roar when prodded. While we’re suckers for a manual transmission, the ZF automatic is incredibly responsive to throttle inputs, with quick power-on downshifts. The Challenger hustles through corners like a raging bull seeing red, snorting aggressively and swaying threateningly. The burly Dodge is a muscle car in the truest sense: It’s better on the street and the drag strip than on two-lanes and road courses. Since the lineup’s redesign in 2015, the models we’ve driven have offered a compliant ride that’s comfortable but a bit unrefined. Compared with the sharper and stickier handling of the Camaro and Mustang, however, the Challenger is too soft in tight turns and its steering is too numb. The slow-to-react helm is well suited to leisurely drives and easily controlled power-induced tail slides.

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Side: original test

Rating applies to 2015-22 models

Tested vehicle: 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T 2-door

The Dodge Challenger was re-introduced in the 2009 model year after last being offered as a Mitsubishi-built sporty car in the 1983 model year. (The iconic Challenger performance car was offered during the 1970-74 model years.) Beginning with 2015 models, the car’s body structure, door trim, and instrument panel were modified and the side curtain airbags were lengthened to improve occupant protection in both frontal and side crashes.

Overall evaluation

G

Structure and safety cage

G

Driver injury measures
Head/neck

G

Torso

G

Pelvis/leg

A

Driver head protection

G

Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck

G

Torso

G

Pelvis/leg

G

Rear passenger head protection

G

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with door removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy’s head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side Test ID CES1609 B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver’s seat (cm) -19.5 Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline. Driver injury measures Test ID CES1609 Head HIC-15 314 Neck Tension (kN) 1.0 Compression (kN) 0.3 Shoulder Lateral deflection (mm) 46 Lateral force (kN) 1.4 Torso Maximum deflection (mm) 34 Average deflection (mm) 32 Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.58 Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.45 Pelvis Iliac force (kN) 0.9 Acetabulum force (kN) 2.3 Combined force (kN) 3.1 Left femur L-M force (kN) 1.9 L-M moment (Nm) 267 A-P moment (Nm) 29 Passenger injury measures Test ID CES1609 Head HIC-15 181 Neck Tension (kN) 0.2 Compression (kN) 0.4 Shoulder Lateral deflection (mm) 15 Lateral force (kN) 0.8 Torso Maximum deflection (mm) 25 Average deflection (mm) 17 Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 1.70 Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.20 Pelvis Iliac force (kN) 0.2 Acetabulum force (kN) 0.1 Combined force (kN) 0.2 Left femur L-M force (kN) 0.4 L-M moment (Nm) 117 A-P moment (Nm) -37

How the side crash test is conducted

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

View Crash Test Results

This old-school coupe is available with desirable driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Challenger’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available adaptive cruise control
  • Available automatic high-beams

What does the NHTSA say about the 2022 Challenger?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is another agency that judges vehicles on crashworthiness. Unlike the IIHS, the NHTSA uses a star system to grade test vehicles, with one star being the lowest and five being the highest. The Dodge Challenger scored much higher with the NHTSA star system, namely a five-star overall safety rating.  

Specifically, the Dodge muscle car still didn’t score top marks in front driver side-impact tests, but it did get five stars in passenger side testing. Also, the Challenger managed to get a five-star rating in every side impact test. 

NEXT LEVEL DEFENSE

With high power and top performance comes a need for the utmost in safety and security. The Dodge Challenger is designed for optimal driver protection with an array of standard and available safety and security features.

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