CARS.COM — If there’s one thing we learned while thrashing a 2016 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack for our V-8 Muscle Car Challenge, it’s that Dodge’s six-speed manual transmission is a handful. Literally, of course, but also in that it’s a burly, unforgiving stick shift just as you’d expect in a nostalgic coupe like the Challenger. Recently, we also had the opportunity to test the R/T Scat Pack’s eight-speed automatic counterpart, giving two of the three Challenge judges — myself and Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder — an opportunity to test the other side of the coin. Which transmission would we choose if it were our vehicle?
Looking at the price of each Challenger option won’t make the decision easier. The automatic transmission is $1,400, but its improved fuel economy — 15/25/18 mpg city/highway/combined EPA ratings versus 14/23/17 mpg — frees it of the manual model’s $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. An R/T Scat Pack with manual and destination charge starts at $39,990, and with eight-speed automatic, it’s just $400 more at $40,390. If price is the most critical aspect in your transmission choice for a Dodge Challenger, you’ll have to dig deeper for your vehicle.