2012 Dodge Challenger

MSRP $25,195

Ranked #3 in Coupe

7.2

Overall Rating

2012 Dodge Challenger Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 3, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2012 Dodge Challenger is part of the first-gen originally introduced in 2008, and it continues this year with renamed trims and the addition of few new options. The Challenger SXT trim replaces the base SE trim as the entry-level Challenger, alongside the R/T and SRT8 392 trims. These respective trims get three respective engine options – 3.6L V6, 5.7L V8, and 6.4L V8. The 2012 Challenger SRT8 392 is named after its legendary HEMI V8’s cubic capacity, which harks back to the late 1960s.

See detailed review »

Pros

Classy retro design

The manual gearbox is less tedious

Ride quality is comfortable

Cons

Feels dated as compared to some rivals

Backseat access is difficult

What's New?

Renamed trim models

Optional Steering-mounted controls on SXT and R/T models


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25195

bodystyle

2dr Coupe

passenger capacity

5

top speed

114 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

220 cu.in.

horsepower

305 hp @ 6350 rpm

torque

268 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm

transmission

5 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

short and long arm front suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

116 in.

length

197.7 in.

width

75.7 in.

height

57.1 in.

curb weight

3834 lbs.

ground clearance

5.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

91.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

16.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

1000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.8 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.1 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

18/22/27 mpg

highway range

526.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SXT$25,195 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Dodge Challenger in Black Clear Coat color
Black Clear Coat

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

7.0

Features

7.0

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

6.0

Safety

7.0

Competition

7.0

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.2

Overall Rating


There’s a lot of historical sentiment attached to the Challenger badge, but it's not the only one. With equal legacy, the American duo, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang have been in the market with similar heritage. And to make things interesting, even Japanese automaker Nissan offers a similar mechanical alternative in the form of the 370Z. So, in these advanced times, is the Dodge Challenger modern and practical enough to be bought over such an exciting competition? Let’s find that out.


7.0/10
Features

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

6.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2012 Dodge Challenger Features

7.0/10

For 2012, Dodge has renamed and shortened the number of trim models, bringing it down to three - SXT, R/T, and SRT8 392. Thebase Challenger SXT comes reasonably equipped for its price tag of $25,195. Standard equipment with the base model includes clothed upholstery, four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, power mirrors and windows, air conditioning, keyless access, tilt, and telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio control, cruise control, and 18” aluminum wheels.

Trim

SXT

R/T

SRT8 392

MSRP

$25,195

$29,995

$44,125

Key Features

ABS and driveline Traction control

SIRIUS AM/FM/Satellite, seek-scan Radio

20" machined forged aluminum Wheels

 

18" machined aluminum Wheels

Front Fog/driving lights

Driver and front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback Heated front seats

 

Front air conditioning, automatic

 

1st row LCD monitor

 

AM/FM stereo, seek-scan Radio

 

Heated mirrors

     

Simulated suede/leather Seat trim

     

Parksense Parking assist

We Recommend

The mid-spec R/T trim with the 5.7 L V8 is potent enough to pull off a 0-60 mph stint in flat 5 seconds. It is fast and gets the added benefit of 20” aluminum wheels, and a functional hood scoop. Not only do they all add to the benefit of being a proper muscle car, but you also get all that without splurging for the 6.4 L V8, which would bring in additional maintenance costs.

2012 Dodge Challenger Engine and Performance

7.0/10

Each Challenger model receives its own set of engines. Starting with the base SXT model with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine. This model is based on the Charger and it also drives like one. The Challengers’ 3.6-liter V6 is a good improvement over the Charger’s 3.5-liter in both power and fuel economy. There’s enough power on the throttle to whisk past heavy traffic, with 305 hp at the tap. Next comes the mid-spec R/T trim, this model features a Hemi V8 that produces 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. 

The power surge in this V8 comes strong but runs out quickly due to the 5100 rpm limit. The top trim gets a bigger capacity Hemi 6.4-liter V8 and the SRT8 392 is also the heaviest Challenger with a curb weight of 4170 lbs. The power and torque ratio is a break-even 470 hp and 470 lb-ft, revving all the way up to 6000 rpm. The SRT8 392 can do a quarter-mile run in just 12 seconds and 0-60 mph is in the range of 4 seconds.

Model

2012 Dodge Challenger 

2012 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Ford Mustang

2012 Nissan 370Z

MSRP

$25,195

$23,280

$22,310

$32,280

Engine

3.6 - liter V6

3.6 - liter V6

3.7 - liter V6

3.7 - liter V6

Drivetrain

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

Transmission

5-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

6-speed manual

Power

305 hp @ 6350 rpm

323 hp @ 6800 rpm

305 hp @ 6500 rpm

332 hp @ 7000 rpm

Torque

268 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm

278 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm

280 ft-lbs. @ 4250 rpm

270 ft-lbs. @ 5200 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.4

6.3

6.5

4.9

Quarter mile (seconds)

14

14.9

14.8

13.4

Top speed (mph)

114

155

172

155

The SRT8 392 is the fastest muscle car in this competition despite being heavier than the 370Z which can do the same by nine-tenths of a second later than the top-specced Challenger. But with the base V6 engine, all three cars - Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro have the same acceleration timing. All three take around 6 seconds to do 60 mph and about 14 seconds (approx.) for quarter-mile timing.

2012 Dodge Challenger Fuel Economy

7.0/10

Despite the best measures, the Challenger is a muscle car at its core and like all muscle cars, being fuel-efficient is not its forte. The base Challenger SXT with the Pentastar V6 returns 18/27/21 mpg in city/highway/ combined situations. Standard across the line-up is the 19.1-gallon tank which is marginally better than its competition, the Chevrolet Camaro and Nissan 370Z. When it comes to range, both the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger offer the longest range in the competition with 532 miles and 516 miles, respectively.

Model

2012 Dodge Challenger 

2012 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Ford Mustang

2012 Nissan 370Z

MPG (City)

18

17

19

18

MPG (Highway)

27

28

29

26

MPG (Combined)

21

20

22

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

19.1

19.0

16.0

19.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

344/516/401

323/532/380

304/464/352

342/494/399

When seen in comparison, the Mustang is the most fuel-efficient muscle car in the city with 19 MPG to its credit. The 2012 Mustang is again the most fuel-efficient out on the highway next to the Camaro with 29 and 28 MPG respectively to its credit. The Challenger performs decently but does not create any records.

2012 Dodge Challenger Interior

8.0/10

The interior of the 2012 Dodge Challenger gives proper tribute to its early muscle car days. It’s not flashy and with a standard dark material used throughout, it comes off across as a very practical cabin. The sheer size of the Challenger also plays to its advantage, which opens up the front headroom space, leaving owners surprised. The SRT 392 gets a race-inspired interior which is manifested on the front with sports seats. 

The rear seats have reasonably good legroom for adults, and the second row can be folded down to expand trunk space. All trims get the option of heated steering wheels with tilt and telescopic adjustments. There's a center armrest console wrapped in dark-colored soft material with two cup holders behind the shifter and is practically laid out for easy accessibility.

Model

2012 Dodge Challenger 

2012 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Ford Mustang

2012 Nissan 370Z

Seating Capacity

5

4

4

2

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.3/58.2/42.0

37.4/56.9/42.4

38.5/55.3/42.4

38.2/54.4 /42.9

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

37.4 /53.9/32.6

35.3/50.4/29.9

34.7/51.6/29.8

NA/NA/NA

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

16.2

11.3

13.4

6.9

Except for the Nissan 370Z, all three muscle cars get a second row and the Challenger has the best room at the rear with a fairly adequate 32.6 inches of legroom. The legroom on the Camaro and the Challenger is not ideal for adults while headroom and legroom space in the front row is also marginally compromised in these cars. Some of the standout interior features are:

  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Cupholders
  • Backlit instrument cluster

How intuitive is the 2012 Dodge Challenger’s infotainment unit?

The infotainment unit of the 2012 Challenger is restricted to an AM/FM stereo with seek-scan radio in the base SXT trim. The R/T model gets the benefit of SiriusXM AM/FM and Satellite radio. But the main party-trick lies with the top-of-the-line SRT8 392 model that gets an LCD screen that displays all the radio controls. Also new for the 2012 Challenger model is an 18-speaker Harman Kardon high-performance audio system as an option. Some key features of infotainment are:

  • 6.5-inch LCD screen
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Navigation
  • 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system (In top trim)
  • USB port

2012 Dodge Challenger Exterior

6.0/10

The exterior design of the 2012 Dodge Challenger has remained faithful to its original design that was introduced in 1970. And part of the modern-day Challenger’s commanding presence is also shared with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 Sedan. The Challenger is wider and shorter than both Charger and 300. Standard on the base Challenger SXT model are 18” wheels, but both R/T and SRT8 392 models get 20” wheel options. Many options enhance the exterior design of the Challenger. Many performance enhancement features like a functional hood scoop, add to the exclusivity of the Challenger as well.

Model

2012 Dodge Challenger 

2012 Chevrolet Camaro

2012 Ford Mustang

2012 Nissan 370Z

Curb Weight (lbs)

3834

3741

3453

3245

Length (in.)

197.7

190.4

188.1

167.2

Width (in.)

75.7

75.5

73.9

72.6

Height (in.)

57.1

54.2

55.6

51.8

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.2

NA

NA

NA

Wheelbase (in.)

116.0

112.3

107.1

100.4

The 2012 Challenger weighs more, has a longer wheelbase, and is taller than both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. Precisely the reason why its drive feels less nimble than both. However, this gives it the generous cabin space that is missing in its rivals. Some of the standout exterior features are:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels/ 20-inch aluminum wheels
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated mirrors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Automatic headlights
  • Functional hood scoop
  • Illuminated visor mirrors

2012 Dodge Challenger Safety

7.0/10

The 2012 Dodge Challenger has not been tested by the NHTSA but the IIHS has awarded it “Good” in categories like - Moderate Overlap Fronts, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraints & Seats. Aside from that, all 2012 Challenger models come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbag, and side curtain airbags. The Dodge Challenger has also been recognized by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick+ which is the highest honour. Some of the noticeable safety features are:

  • Stability control
  • Traction Control
  • Active front head restraints
  • Front side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags

2012 Dodge Challenger Final Verdict

As mentioned earlier, the Dodge Challenger model comes with a lot of emotion. The current Challenger model looks every bit of the old-school muscle car. It is long, wide, and even has two Hemi V8 engines in its line-up. With a competitive starting price tag, the 2012 Dodge Challenger will appeal to you with its spacious and practical interior as well as an iconic exterior design. If you think that a Mustang or a Camaro is too mainstream, then the Challenger is the one for you.

Similar Cars

2012 Ford Mustang
2012 Ford Mustang

MSRP: $22,310

7.8/10
2012 Chevrolet Camaro
6.9/10