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Challenger Interior Changes Through the Years

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Your Challenger has a mean outside appearance, but the interiors can be a bit lackluster. Sprucing things up with custom floor mats, carbon fiber trim, a better audio system, and more will bring you that much closer to matching your interior with to awe-inspiring features Challengers are known for.

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Where do you spend most of the time you spend with your Challenger? Inside, of course. The third-generation Challenger (2008-2018) is a great driving car with plenty of reasons to spend your time behind the wheel. Just as distinctive as the exterior features of the vehicle are the interior features. That means you can easily sit behind the wheel of a third-gen Challenger and get a good idea of the year and model of the car based on the interior features alone. It’s no surprise to see that Dodge has spent a lot of time updating and refining the inside of their bread-winning pony car.

Challenger Seats

When Dodge kicked off the iconic rebirth of the Challenger back in 2008, the seats were a home run. The basic shape of the front seats contoured almost perfectly to the driver’s and passenger’s bodies. The design of the seat keeps you centered in the front seat while accelerating turning, keeping you in place rather than fighting to sit straight while driving. The rear seat is basic but provides enough room for even taller passengers to ride comfortably in this two-door model. With that said, very little has changed in the basic layout. This isn’t a bad thing though because they work perfectly fine. 

Seat Covers: Though the skeleton of the seat hasn’t changed much, the seat covers have. You can see this with leather seating. On earlier Challengers running from 2008-2011, you’ll find that the leather seating options covered the entire seat with leather. With models running from 2012-current, we find that leather seats with cloth inserts began to appear on specialty models like the Scat Pack and SRT. 

Challenger Floor Mats and Carpeting

Carpets are something we pay little mind to but they play a very big role in the factory appearance and comfort. Though, throughout the lifespan of the third-gen Challenger very little has changed with the carpet. The floor mats are also subjected to little change other than having appropriate badging to match submodels released for particular years like the R/T Classic, Scat Pack, SRT, and so forth.

Challenger Controls

Unlike seating and flooring, the cockpit has seen its share of updates; particularly when the 2012 separation occurred. The gauges, the shifter, the steering wheel, and the displays were all subjected to change. 

Gauges: From 2008-2011 the Challenger came with four gauges running across the dashboard. From left to right, you had the fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, and the water temp gauge. 

On 2012-current models, you’ll find a much more compact gauge display with only two full gauges. The tach on the left accompanied by a mini temp gauge, and the speedo on the right with a mini gauge for the fuel.

Steering Wheel: The 2008-2011 Challengers had a much bulkier steering wheel. The design consists of both rounded and squared features. Sure, this looked okay for the time but can appear a bit clumsy. 

The 2012-current models feature a much more fluent steering wheel design. With all controls within reach, including paddle shifters in some instances, the steering wheel is much smoother to operate. Also, one may take notice to base models no longer having the Ram emblem in the center and are instead branded with the Dodge badge.

Shifters: Sorry, lovers of manual transmissions, little has changed here. On automatics, though, there were some changes. Earlier 2008-2011 models featured a squared off shifter that went through a sidewinder-esque shift pattern. It could be moved into sport mode and simply tapped to run through the gears.

In 2012 this was updated from a vertical grip to horizontal and achieves a much more ergonomic feel. As we said, paddles were added to the wheel but drivers can still operate the sport mode with the shifter itself. 

Challenger Dash Controls

The dash, of course, changed during the generation split. Much like the steering wheel, the 2008-2011 Challengers featured a much more squared off dash that didn’t always have a display located in the middle. It was blunt and functional. Other than being less desirable in appearance, there really isn’t anything wrong with this layout.

The 2012 rehash did a lot to call out more retro styling that the previous style had. The dash is arguably an area where this follows through. Despite the displays always being present, it has a look and ​feel a lot like the first gen would though it is much more fluent and easier to operate. The display in the center of the dash changes in size but even the base models come equipped with one. ​

Challenger Audio

Just like the display option on the dash audio packages could change greatly too. Naturally, in appearance you won’t be able to tell what aftermarket units are present but with the right package, Challengers could come with sound group stereo packages. 

Depending on the sub model selected, owners may have the pleasures of Alpine or Harmon Speakers and subwoofers installed. Of course, these were always only made available to the higher end models like R/T Plus and SRT models.

Challenger Badging

Depending on the model, badging throughout the car could change. Of course, the floor mats, steering wheels, seats, and even dashes would be branded to indicate what sub model you were riding. What’s interesting to know is models like the Hellcat and Demon have no badges to indicate whether or not the vehicle is Challenger. Instead, every stamp, badge, and embossment calls out the engine within.

Fitment includes: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, SRT-8, RT, SE, SXT, RallyeRedline, ScatPack, Hellcat, GT, TA, Demon