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Best of 2019 Dodge

What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Dodge in 2019

Dodge Charger will be one of the most anticipated 2019 Dodge models

Dodge always aspired to create the bold, muscle car image for the brand and that’s, more or less, exactly what it ended up with today. It’s one of four remaining American FCA divisions that, contrary to the low-volume Chrysler, still managed to push 446,994 vehicles in the U.S. during 2017. However, Dodge’s total U.S. sales figure has been in a constant decline since 2013 when it marketed as many as 605,243 cars. Moreover, ever since the Ram brand spun off from Dodge after 2007, total sales have practically halved. That year, Dodge had a total of 1,057,646 vehicles under its belt, including what was then the Dodge Ram line of pickup trucks. Fast forward a decade or so, and the Dodge division is facing an uncertain future. So, what exactly does the 2019 Dodge lineup have in store for us?

The upcoming Dodge models for 2019 are comprising what’s arguably the most outdated lineup in the industry at the moment. The most recent of Dodge cars (the seventh-generation Charger) dates to 2011, while most of them trace their roots to the late 2000s. Needless to say, most of Dodge’s vehicles are way past their expiration date, and some will be updated as early as MY 2020 or 2021. That, however, doesn’t do much for the Dodge lineup in 2019, which mostly soldiers on without any major updates. Here’s how the Dodge’s selection is shaping up – without the spun-off  Ram division and its Ram 1500 and Ram 2500 full-size trucks, of course, which we’ve already covered here.

What’s Hot In the New 2019 Dodge Lineup

03. 2019 Charger

As was just mentioned above, the iconic Charger nameplate is actually the most recently fully redesigned Dodge vehicle overall. Like the rest of the Dodge lineup, the LD Charger, too, is vying for a full-on makeover that still isn’t coming for 2019. With the last substantial refresh dating back to MY 2015, however, the iconic Mopar will have to sport at least some minor updates in order for Dodge to keep its total U.S. sales at around 90,000 units. Incidentally, that’s exactly what the Mopar boys are preparing as the 2019 Dodge Charger is all set to don the new frontal fascia it’ll share with its 2-door sibling – the Challenger. The new, slimmer grille look is already confirmed for the popular Charger Hellcat, whereas the rest of the 4-door sedan’s lineup might not benefit from the update at all. This decade-long wait for a complete makeover will be worth it, though, as the next-gen Charger and Challenger are set to settle themselves on the new platform found in the Maserati Ghibli.

The powertrain lineup is getting carried over in its entirety. With that in mind, the base Chargers will continue with their 3.6L Pentastar V6 engines capable of making either 292 or 300 horsepower depending on a chosen package. Step up to the R/T and Daytona trims and you’ll get a 5.7L Hemi V8 with 370 ponies on tap. The R/T Scat Pack and 392 models, on the other hand, receive a 392 cu in 6.4L Hemi V8 upgrade which propels the horsepower rating to as much as 485 with 475 pound-feet of torque to throw in as well. Finally, at the top of the pantheon sits the beloved and dreaded Charger SRT Hellcat which churns out as much as 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of twist thanks to a supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 beast of an engine. Despite not offering any substantial powertrain updates, the 2019 Charger might shed a little bit of weight in the end, thus becoming more fuel-efficient in the process.

Dodge Charger will be one of the most anticipated Dodge models in 2019

02. 2019 Challenger

Although the name Challenger first appeared in 1959 on a special edition Dodge Coronet Silver Challenger, the actual pony car only made its debut in late 1969. That still makes it the second oldest currently available Dodge nameplate after the aforementioned Charger. FCA is currently keeping its U.S. sales at a steady level of around 65,000 units a year despite the Challenger’s 2008 underpinnings. In fact, the Challenger is currently recording almost three times the initial sales, which amounted to 25,852 in 2009 (the first full year for the third-generation Challenger). Like its 4-door sibling, the Challenger isn’t ready for a full makeover just yet, either. At least, according to FCA. Instead, they’re preparing the muscle car for a minor frontal fascia revision which should serve it another year or two before it finally makes the long-awaited switchover.

Again, as is the case with the Charger, the 2-door notchback’s engine lineup carries over unchanged. Minus the ludicrous 808 to 840-horsepower 6.2L supercharged Demon V8 mill which was exclusively a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon affair. Although the Demon is a thing of the past, the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat remains intact. It continues with an almost equally ludicrous 717 horsepower and 656 pound-feet of twist, courtesy of a 6.2L supercharged SRT Hellcat V8 mill. As you might have noticed, the Hellcat’s ratings have gone up by 10 hp and 6 lb-ft compared to previous years. The remaining trio of engines available with the Charger carries over as well, with the only difference being that the Challenger comes in a wider variety of trim choices. There were 15 of them for MY 2018, and although the aforementioned Demon doesn’t carry over into 2019, Dodge still might shake things up by adding one or two new options.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody front 3/4 view

01. 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

And shake things up they did! Despite the Demon bowing down, Dodge managed to come up with an almost equally powerful new version of the Challenger SRT Hellcat that’s boasting what’s, arguably even sillier name. Enter the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye – a 797-horsepower beast that, quite literally represents the crossbreed between the Hellcat and Demon. Not only does the hellish cat cat logo feature a demonic red eye (go figure), but the Hellcat engine itself sports a number of Demon parts that allow it to churn out additional 80 ponies. In detail, the 6.2L supercharged SRT Hellcat V8 gets the Demon’s 2.7L supercharger with up to 14.5 psi of boost, high-strength pistons and connecting rods, twin dual-stage fuel pumps, a new valvetrain and fuel delivery system, and more. All this allows the new Challenger Hellcat Redeye to also produce more torque (707 pound-feet) and redline at 6,500 rpm which is 300 rpm more than the standard Hellcat. You will require the optional 8-speed TorqueFlite 8HP90 transmission in order to unlock its full potential, though.

The new car, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye will be available in both the widebody and regular body configurations. The former comes with Pirelli P-Zero 305s which allow it to accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and do a quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. The regular models, on the other hand, come with narrower 275-width tires which push the quarter-mile time into low 11s. Considering the troubles regular Hellcats exhibited with narrow tires, and 80 hp and 51 lb-ft fewer, the widebody would probably be the way to go here. Especially if line to line racing is something you pride yourself on. And don’t forget the new dual-snorkel hood which comes with every new SRT Hellcat model and throws us back to the early 70s era of powerful Mopars. Plus, it’ll give the new Ford Mustang Bullit a run for its money.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye - the new range-topping Mopar

What’s Not In the New 2019 Dodge Lineup

03. 2019 Journey

With 89,470 units sold in the U.S. during 2017, the intermediate crossover takes the second spot among the best-selling Dodge vehicles. This figure, however optimistic looking it may be at first glance, is actually rather worrying for FCA since the Journey’s sales have taken a sharp decline from 2015 and 2016 when the mid-sizer managed to find more than 105,000 new owners. In the most competitive segment of the second half of the 2010s where innovation means almost everything, a vehicle dating from late 2008 isn’t exactly doing itself any favors. What’s more, Dodge hasn’t even given it a mild facelift in years, and MY 2019 isn’t about to bring any changes either. The next-gen Journey should arrive sometime during 2020, and it’ll be underpinned by the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s Giorgio platform. Until then, we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.

In terms of the engine lineup, this means we’ll keep seeing a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine and its almost prehistoric 4-speed automatic transmission throughout most Journey models. It generates 173 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque, and it’s neither powerful nor efficient enough to answer the call of the modern day. Those opting for all-wheel-drive models and the top-of-the-line GT trim level will receive a more contemporary 6-speed automatic gearbox and a 3.6L V6 engine to boot. This other unit makes a healthy 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of rotational force, but also raises the price tag by at least $10,000 compared to the entry-level Journey SE.

Dodge Journey side view

02. 2019 Durango

The third-generation Durango’s production started in late 2010 which means the larger of the two Dodge mid-size SUVs is also ripe for a makeover. As you might have guessed, that’s not happening during MY 2019. Although the 2019 Durango Pursuit got a new suspension and frontal fascia with integrated brake-cooling air ducts, the fleet version’s perks won’t carry over into the civilian lineup. The 2019 Dodge Durango will continue without any significant upgrades and the only possible revision is that of its trim lineup. The SRT high-performance model debuted in 2018 whereas the GT replaced the Limited a year before that. As of yet, the FCA still hasn’t disclosed the prospective Dodge Durango new trim level possibilities in 2019, but we’ll get to know them sooner or later.

Most of the Dodge Durango lineup is being powered by a 3.6L Pentastar V6 mill that churns out 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A substantially more powerful 5.7L Hemi V8 mill is standard with the R/T trim and optional with the two Citadel trims. It generates as much as 360 hp and 390 lb-ft of twist and comes with a revised 8-speed automatic. Finally, the above-mentioned and singular shining beacon in the lineup – the Dodge Durango SRT – sports the largest of the lot 6.4L Hemi V8 engine which, at its peak, makes as much as 475 hp and 470 pound-feet. This setup allows it to hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.7 seconds which is quite a neat feat for a vehicle that weighs the whole 5,369 pounds. Moreover, fit the SRT Durango with an optional $995 towing package, and it can pull up to 8,700 pounds. In contrast, the V6 models can tow “only” 6,200 pounds, wheres the other V8 maxes out at 7,400 pounds.

Dodge Durango SRT offers the rare excitement in the current Dodge lineup

01. 2019 Grand Caravan

The best-selling of all Dodge models has been riding on the same platform since 2008. Despite that, FCA managed to market more than 125,000 units of the minivan in the U.S. for two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017. This shows that Dodge’s bread and butter vehicle isn’t going anywhere despite the fact that rumors about its discontinuation have been circling around for years now.  At least not in 2019. 2020, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely and we’ll likely welcome it without the Grand Caravan in stock for the first time since its introduction in late 1983. The Dodge Grand Caravan for MY 2019, though, will carry on where its predecessor had left off and shouldn’t offer any spectacular upgrades. However, U.S. production is about to be postponed in order for the automaker to address the arisen safety issues. New safety regulations require Dodge to update the Grand Caravan’s side curtain airbag in order for it to remain inflated for a longer period of time and to achieve greater window coverage.

After the initial couple of years or so, Dodge decided to simplify things and switch to a single engine offering. The engine in question is, of course, the Pentastar 3.6L V6, which generates 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of rotational force. Tied to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Grand Caravan manages to return 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Figures that were solid once upon a time, but can’t really compete in a world in which we have the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. The next-gen Grand Caravan would either have to adopt the Pacifica’s way or disappear from the market altogether which left the FCA with an important decision to make. They apparently decided to retire the iconic minivan beyond MY 2020, so there’s that. We can only hope the iconic nameplate will make a comeback when the minivan market gets healthy again. If it gets healthy, that is. In a modern crossover age, minivans are even more so a niche than they ever were.

Dodge Grand Caravan 3/4 view

Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!