• Dec 7, 2009
2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 6-Speed – Click above for high-res image gallery

Consumer Reports has surveyed 380,000 subscribers to rank the most satisfied new car owners and a newcomer came in and dethroned the Toyota Prius. An amazing 92 percent of V8-powered Dodge Challenger owners said that they would definitely buy another Mopar pony car if they had the chance to do it all over again. That's a big-time win for Chrysler, as the Pentastar has been getting dinged badly in recent CR studies. Hybrids have been very popular in the satisfaction survey over the past few years, but the perennial champ Prius wasn't even the number one battery-assisted model. That honor goes to the new Ford Fusion Hybrid, which came in second overall with a 91 percent rating. The Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911 and Prius round out the top five. To make the top of the satisfaction list at least 80 percent of customers need to say that they would definitely buy the same vehicle again.

Detroit automakers substantially improved their standing in the annual survey versus last year, as nine percent of overall Motown models were at the top of the list. That's still down substantially against the 12 percent Asian automakers and 23 percent of European automakers scored in the top tier. While GM, Ford and Chrysler each found success at the top, each scoring a hit in the top five, two of the three automakers also filled out the entire bottom ten. Owners of the four cylinder Chrysler Sebring were the least satisfied among all surveyed. In all, GM had seven of the bottom ten while Chrysler had three unlovable losers. Head over to the Consumer Reports site for more details.



[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 55 Comments
      matthew
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's simple how something like that could happen. People who've bought Challengers don't know good cars exist, and therefore are blissfully ignorant. LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        @matthew
        That would explain why we see so many Toyotas on the road.

        "....and 90% of the world thinks The Olive Garden has good food" - Tom Leykis
        matthew
        • 5 Years Ago
        @matthew
        Enthuziast:

        I have two Lexus with no modifications at all. 02 IS300 Sportcross and 09 IS250, so you're incorrect as to my taste in cars. I don't drive "ricers", proper rear wheel drive luxury/performance sedans.

        So no, I'm in no way jealous when I see a Challenger, just disgusted.

        BuyUSA:

        While I love the sentiment behind your name, and try to buy as much made in the USA as I can, I disagree with the rest.

        The US carmakers have become VERY un-American in their business model. They're not the only industry; fashion, shoes, electronics, furniture, pretty much everything has been outsourced and is undermining our economy.

        If the US made good cars, and had capitalist business models instead of welfare based looting socialist ones, I'd buy an American car!
      • 5 Years Ago
      08 SRT-8 and I love it, so does everyone else who see or sits in it. Comfortable, sexy and fun. No car is perfect, but the Challenger does what is supposed to do well. I love the interior and the seats are incredible. Obviously it's not for everyone, but my kids went to public school, my wife has been around for 18 years and I do ok. Not everyone fits the sterotypes, some people sure have some childhood resentment issues :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      The domestic flamers on this site should move out of Momma's basement and get a life. The V-8 Challenger is a great car and the sorry little fellas that don't understand that well how gives a s--t what you think anyway.
      Oh and that isn't a trophy wife that chases a Ferrari ...thats a gold digger, to be avoided at all cost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      anyone have a subscription who would like to tell us the bottom 10? I'm curious about the 7 GM vehicles. The only one mentioned is the discontinued Torrent. I'd hope for GM's sake, all of the bottom vehicles are the really old models (ie, impala, cobalt, trail blazer, etc). Hopefully that is the case... and with fewer brands and models, maybe GM can update their products more frequently to avoid outdated models from staying on the market like this in the future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bottom 10:

        Chevrolet Cobalt: 49%
        Pontiac G6 (4-cyl): 49%
        Saturn VUE Hybrid: 47%
        Chevrolet Equinox: 46%
        Chevrolet Colorado: 45%
        Dodge Caliber: 45%
        Pontiac Torrent (AWD): 40%
        Pontiac Torrent (FWD): 40%
        Dodge Nitro: 38%
        Chrysler Sebring (4-cyl): 37%
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's what I'd say too if I bought the surrogate for the car I grew up wanting, knowing the company is about to go away, not caring about things like handling and build quality. People sure have a lot of great things to say about all those horrific 70s cars now that they are no longer made. CR customer surveys are great psychology experiments, but of no use to the buying public. I'm surprised the smug-mobile was dethroned though, I have yet to meet a person who bought one who is capable of admitting it's many flaws.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bitch, please...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Note that there is a big difference between customer satisfaction and reliability. All this says is people who buy Challengers buy them for the entertainment value (as BuyUSA indicated by his post). Likewise with Corvettes, Porsches etc. Corvettes are also perennially rated as less reliable than average, but they're so much fun to drive, their owners are happy with the purchase.

      Now if Dodge could build cars like that AND make them as reliable as Accords (or Ford Fusions, for that matter) they'd have an even better chance of surviving.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the Challenger for what it is. Mean, fast brute force. Being in a Mopar club, I have 6 personal friends with Challengers:

      Two 2008 SRTs
      Two SXTs
      One R/T 6 spd
      ..and one lucky guy that traded in his 2008 for a 2009 B5 Blue 6 speed.

      All of them love their cars. Even the V6ers are happy because they knew what they were buying. One of them also happens to own a 1971 440/6 pack...so owning a V8 daily driver was a moot point. I disagree with the notion that you have to be wealthy to own a V8 Challenger. A loaded V6 Mustang stickers for more than a basic V8 Challenger R/T.

      Chrysler is fixing he damage. The Patriot got a revamped interior that AB liked, the The Challenger and new Ram are outstanding, and the new Jeep GC has gotten much praise also. The LX cars overall are very good, they are just getting to the end of their design cycle. I am looking forward to the next release.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My company vehicle is a 2010 Jeep Patriot and I can personally attest that the interior in it is MUCH better than the 2009 model I sat down in last year. Everything is better about the 2010. The engine is quieter, switches feel better, seats are better. You can tell there are improvements happening at Chrysler. It's just going to take some time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, I though CR was paid off by the Japanese companies to skew all the reviews and reliability data?!

      I guess those making that claim now have to think CR are now Chrysler/domestic shills.

      Great news about the Challenger, though. And great for Chrysler.

      What do most of the top vehicles have in common: narrow focus so buyers likely know what to expect and are less likely to be disappointed if the car is good. Challenger = muscle car, two hybrids, the 911 and the Corvette: vehicles not trying to be all things to all people and thus fewer compromises made.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since the bailouts I've noticed a lot of reviewers that used to be much more critical about detroit soften up. Whereas before there was always mention about how there was some intangible inferiority in every domestic car now they are acceptable or even... good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Or it could be that they're actually making better cars. A little of both, I suspect, depending on the source.

        Anyway, this particular story doesn't deal with Consumer Reports' opinion of the Challenger, but the self-reported opinions of owners. IIRC, CR's editors actually ranked the Challenger well below the Camaro and Mustang, mostly for its more ponderous handling and longer stops.
      • 5 Years Ago
      matthew,
      Since you're so blessed with vast insight into things that you've never experienced first hand, maybe you can enlighten us with a look into the "afterlife"? Hope Santa brings you some dignity, humility, and personality this Christmas - to go with your Lexus. I never drove a Lexus (and have no desire to), so I'm not going to profess any ignorance with an uninformed statement. You're "one-up" on me! Congrats!

      I hope for thier sake, none of your relatives work for an American auto maker. Your ignorance will put them on the unemployment lines a little faster!
      Our 2006 HEMI Charger has been flawless for four years - never needing anything other than oil and filter changes while getting 27 mpg on the highway.
      Happy Holidays!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8 that I own has proven itself to be VERY reliable. And it's a wonderful car to drive. It's basically a 4-door Challenger SRT8. The only real difference [Driving wise] between my car and a Challenger SRT8 is that the suspension is a little 'softer' on my car. [Firmer than the Challenger R/T and not quite as firm as the Challenger SRT8] 92% of Dodge Challenger OWNERS [Who have a lot more credibility than someone who saw a Challenger drive by them once] would buy their Challenger AGAIN if given the chance to go back in time. I feel exactly the same way about my 300C SRT8.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give a starving mopar guy a cracker, and that's gonna be the best cracker he's ever had!

      Sorry - just seems not to fit the trend.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly, Mopar guys are some of the toughest fanboys- they have to be. When was the last time chryco spit out something truly lustworthy (besides the Viper, ACR etc)?
      • 5 Years Ago
      With the interior upgrades Chrysler-FIAT have on the way this rating can only get better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is obviously a write in campaign by the last few remaining mopar mouth breathers. No one with a sound mind could rate this pig so highly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Randy

        All the interior problems you have sound kind of bad...diping head liner (i hate that)? window wont go all the way down all the time (i hate that too)? Cracking stearing wheel (this kind of thing shouldnt happen)?

        but at least its not mechanical and you/someone likes the way it looks. It could be worse
        • 5 Years Ago
        High owner satisfaction ratings generally go to those cars that do exactly what they say on the tin. I don't own a Challenger, but having driven one, I think it definitely fulfills this criteria. It looks great, goes fast, makes a lovely mess of noise, and feels heavy and anvil-solid. It drives like it looks--so if you like the way it looks, you're going to like driving it.

        The same principle applies to cars like the Prius, Corvette, 911, MINI, and Miata, also perennially high scorers in these kinds of surveys.

        Of course, there is something of a bias in these surveys, as owners of these cars likely weren't shopping around. Buyers of iconic cars often don't--they decide months, even years in advance that they want *that car*, and nothing else. A Camry owner might wonder down the line if they might have been happier with the Malibu or Accord that they test-drove, but a 911, Prius, or 'Vette owner probably made up their mind long before they ever set foot in the showroom. .
        • 5 Years Ago
        I never sat inside this car, but Chrysler/Dodge make horrible interiors. I sure hope you are right.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin

        As an owner of a Charger R/T I think I can speak for the interiors when I say YES there are a couple of minor setbacks. 1. A couple spots of the rug don't exactly stay tucked but never get in the way (talking an inch) 2. the rear of headliner is starting to dip and 3, the plastic on the steering wheel is starting to crackle a little. Otherwise, the interior is my car is incredibly intuitive, nicely appointed and logical. It's nice!

        Oh and the rear windows won't go down all the time... LOL BUT STILL the interior is really nice looking!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, why don't you go sit in one and then get back to us before you go spouting your opinion on the internet like it's fact.
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