The modern Dodge Challenger is 11 years old, and yet, despite debuting during round two of the Bush administration, its appeal remains among a certain crowd. So much so that it outpaced the Chevy Camaro in sales in the the first quarter of 2019 to take over second place behind the Ford Mustang in sports car sales, according to the Detroit Free Press.
That would be 13,431 Challengers sold in January, February, and March, according to data from Kelley Blue Book seen by the Freep. That compares with 16,917 Mustangs sold, and 12,083 Camaros. Those numbers build on what happened in 2018, when 75,842 Mustangs, 66,716 Challengers, and 50,963 Camaros were sold, following a 2017 when Camaro outsold Challenger 67,940 to 64,537.
The average age of a Challenger buyer, the Freep reports, is 51, which suggests that a lot of young Boomers and old Gen Xers are buying this car. These are the Boomers and Gen Xers who are Mopar stans but also probably too cool for a Mustang or Chevy, and not rich enough to buy a Corvette.
That said, the Challenger’s enduring appeal is in part likely due to its sheer variety. The base Challenger starts at $27,295, though the top-end models cost upwards of $73,000. There’s a Challenger for everyone, if you want it, and Challenger isn’t alone in this respect, since Mustangs and Camaros similarly vary in trim packages and price.
Challenger has, though, been clever in my mind about introducing variants like the Hellcat and Demon that make it seem like the Challenger is fresher than it is. And, as the Freep reports, Challenger, Mustang, and Camaro are all fighting for an increasingly smaller slice of pie. In 2015, 372,770 sports cars were sold, versus 273,186 last year, somewhat surprising numbers since gas prices have been so low as of late.
For Dodge, that won’t matter in the short-term, especially if Challenger sales remain strong. When is it going to update this thing, anyway? If things continue like this, it may never have a reason to.