As literally a dozen of you may know from my recent posts, I unexpectedly got a Hemi Chally as a rental this week. I took the car on just about every type of road there is and I am now going to attempt to review it while battling sleep deprivation at the airport.
[Originally posted May 2019]
It’s big. It’s black. It’s imposing. It’s got yellow bumper guards that you dummies are gonna give me shit about in the comments.
I gotta say, I’ve been consistently impressed with the modern Dodge interiors that I’ve been in (Chally, Dart, Journey). I think they have the best non-premium interiors on the market. Clean, well laid out, and free of fuss. I like.
Two niggles: while the foam rubber material on the dash and doors is nice, there’s just way too much of it. I think the dash lowers should have been done in leatherette like the center console or even the textile that’s on the door cards just to break it up a bit.
The biggest issue, though, is that there’s no good place to put your phone besides a cupholder or the center console bin. In this day and age it’s just stupid for an automaker to omit a tray or slot for a phone.
Heehee motor make big noise go vroom
To keep the bulk in check, the car has wide, rubber band tires and stiff suspension. This makes the ride mucho jiggly (but not completely uncomfortable) over things like expansion joints or those old roads where tree roots push up the pavement. I felt like a bowl of Jello balanced on a Brazilian Samba dancer’s ass. It’s good on the highway though.
Not even gonna discuss that because it’s a damn muscle car. It shuffled well enough but you’re very aware of the size and weight.
[insert Too Damn High meme] The eight speed automatic is too many speeds. It’s fine if you’re cruising in full automatic mode on the highway, but if you want to drive in manual mode it’s annoying. The gears are so close that at any given moment there’s three that the car would feel comfortable in so you’re always hunting around unsure of where you should be.
Sound system was good. Not amazing, but good enough that I wouldn’t pay the extra to get whatever the premium option is.
Tall gears and cylinder deactivation do wonders for economy. I had it reporting 27mpg on an all-highway stint, and my average for the whole 700 miles I had it was 21. That’s almost as good as my DD that has less than half the displacement.
The cylinder deactivation feature however is a bit unrefined, or specifically the re-activation. If you mash the pedal to pass it activates the cylinders, pumps the throttle, and downshifts all at the same instant. This leads to what feels like an explosion coming from the tailpipe and a good amount of driveline shunt. It makes you giggle once or twice but if you’re not in the mood for that it gets annoying. I think if you spaced those events out by half a second or so each it would be a lot smoother.
Driving a muscle car completely changes your perception of the world. Everything passes through this filter that makes you relate it back to being in a muscle car. Oh, they’re hanging back instead of passing? They must wanna witness me do a pull. That person’s looking at me! I bet they wanna hear it rev. Oh hey look a Camaro! Let’s pull up alongside him and see if he gives me a nod of approval.
I finally get muscle cars. I’ve always liked them but now I GET them. They exist solely to boost your self-esteem. I have never felt cooler than when driving this Challenger.
13/10 it’s a good car, Bront