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LX Test Drive

Updated on August 5, 2013

I'm going to first begin by remarking on how there isn't a 'muscle car' topic choice for me to click so people understand this is about muscle cars. I hope everyone is able to still find it.

Now, if you clicked on this, you may have done so because you saw the word 'LX' and have no idea what that means or what it is, and you're curious.

The term LX is the chassy, or platform, for the Dodge Charger up to 2010. There is also the 300, Challenger, and Magnum that use this chassy, but in either a longer or shortened version. So the Magnum, 300, and Charger's chassy is called an LX, the Challenger is LC, and the new Chargers from 2011 to now are on the LD.

Now that we're passed the boring technical terms and mumbo jumbo that you've most likely already forgotten, I'm going to tell you of my driving experiences in each. It's not to win you over for a car, though Mopar is the best, it's just so you can get a feel for them without having to necessarily drive one. But I highly highly recommend it.

The silver Charger, Lucifer.
The silver Charger, Lucifer.

2006 Dodge Charger

The first LX I ever drove was a silver v6 Charger named Lucifer. It had a 3.5 L engine and was nicely modded (the term for when people modify their cars).

My now boyfriend owned it before he traded it in on a Daytona, so of course, before we were dating he wanted to give me a reason to like him even more. Anyway, as I was adjusting the seat to fit my short form, he prattled on about how it didn't have very much power and yadda yadda. I had to remind him that I owned a 1995 Chrysler Town and Country and that basically anything has more power than it, even though my van's engine is 3.8L and is larger than his in cubic inches (C.I.).

My first time driving it was exhilarating because I had never been in one before, which I believe may have made the experience much more magical than it truly was, but never the less it was very fun. The handling was smooth and it hugged the ground very well and went around curves with no extra exertion. It definitely wasn't as fast as a Hemi, but it knew how to get up and go when asked. Even with a few hundred horses, it was still a comfortable ride. There's nothing like being behind the wheel of a muscle car.

The Top Banana Daytona, Lucille
The Top Banana Daytona, Lucille

I next drove the Daytona after he bought it. He quickly named it the feminine version of Lucifer, which if none can guess, is Lucille. It is number 3124 out of 4000, and is Top Banana (the color). The Daytona's came out in 2006 with the colors Top Banana, Go ManGo!, and TorRed. In 2007 Sublime and Plum Crazy were introduced. 2008 created Hemi Orange, and 2009 was Stone White. This year they've also brought out a new Daytona in Daytona blue, Bright White, Billet Silver, and Pitch Black.

Lucille has quite a few modifications these days that make it a lot louder and have added a few horse power, which makes it a much different feel and sound from the stock Daytonas. This being said, I was fortunate enough to be able to drive it before the mods, so you'll have a good idea of the driving.

Obviously going from a v6 to a v8 is a large difference, and you can immediately tell. Having 350 horsepower at your fingertips, the Daytona can get up to speed much quicker. Other than a better acceleration time, I didn't really feel too much of a difference. They both handled quite the same, they look the same, etc. Aside from the horsepower difference, the only other noticeable thing is that the interiors are much different because a Daytona is a limited edition special car, so of course it's got its added bonuses such as the big screen navigation with satellite radio. So if you're wanting more power, go for the V8 Charger such as the SRT8 or the R/T. If you're just looking for a sweet ride and love the Chargers, but don't plan on racing anyone, go for the V6. They have plenty of get up and go power, just without all of the special things (which you can add on if you want!).

And if you get tired of not having a lot of power, you can always spend about 5k (if my sources are correct) to get a supercharger.

The Magnum.
The Magnum.

Dodge Magnum

The next thing I took out for a spin was an R/T Magnum. It was for sale at a used car lot and I was going to buy it, but my parents wouldn't support that decision. Go figure. Anyway, I took it down the block, squealed the tires a couple times, and did all of that stuff you do when no one owns the car and you want to have fun. It sounded great, and drove great, but was very much like the Charger, I mean, it even looks like one from the front.

The only major difference between this guy and the Charger is the length. I mean, it's basically a muscle car station wagon. It's wonderful for those long car rides where you need a lot of space, or if you're going floating and you need room for multiple tubes. If you've only driven little cars your entire life, I would recommend that you get some practice in a mini van or something before jumping into one of these. You'll want to get used to driving something that's long and has a bit more blind spot than you're used to probably.

But hey, if you're like me and you're looking for an awesome ride to take the place of your mini van, then a Magnum is going to be great for you because you get a muscle car to do your bidding, but it's still got enough room to haul the stuff you could haul in your van so you're not suddenly in a Challenger trying to fit that dresser you moved in your van in the trunk. It won't fit, don't try. Find a friend with a Magnum instead.

And another thing! They're a lot cooler than one of those Subaru Outbacks, don't be like all of the hippie conservatives like we have here in Missoula, MT; get a cool ride!

Troy Travis' Chrysler 300.
Troy Travis' Chrysler 300.

Chrysler 300

I got to drive the 300 next. And boy, is that baby awesome. Unfortunately, my experience driving this car is going to be a bit different from someone buying a completely stock one, because Troy has been modding that 300, so it's got a bit more of everything compared to the stock 300.

But, I can still say that the 300 costs a few thousand more when you're buying it brand new. This is because Chrysler has always had more luxurious lines of vehicles. When you buy a Chrysler you're getting a more comfortable, long travels kind of vehicle. If you do a lot of traveling, a 300 is going to be the best.

And there are different types of 300s. There's the Touring edition which, if I'm not mistaken, gives you more technology that helps you 'tour' around. There's the 300S which is basically a package for looks. Then there is the 300C which is the V8 5.7L. You can also get the SRT 300C 6.1L which will give you the Brembo brakes and all the goodies for going fast.

But as I said, if comfort is your biggest goal, go for the 300. That's not to say that the other LXs aren't comfortable, because they definitely are, they just weren't designed first and foremost for comfort.

Chad Upky's Challenger.
Chad Upky's Challenger.

Dodge Challenger

My last car that I got to drive was the beautiful, and my favorite, Challenger.

This ride was a lot of fun, but still handled like all of the others. They all basically drive the same. I couldn't find any differences at least.

You can tell that the Challenger was designed from the old school style, and it looks great. It looks like a muscle car, which is entirely what it is. It's got the bulky feel of a muscle car, and the blind spots of one. Even for a two door, it's got plenty of room, even head space which is great for you taller people who want to drive a two door car.

There isn't much more to say for the Challenger, because really, it speaks for itself exterior-wise, and it drives just like all the others. It's a beautiful, menacing vehicle, and if you're looking to strike fear into those you're passing by at 110 on the interstate, then go for the Chally. It's your best bet.

As I was writing this, I realized that I had left out the new Chargers and the new 300s, and I sincerely apologize for that...

It may be a year or so until I'm able to get behind the wheel of one of those, so I may just make a part two of this, and write about my experiences with both of them once I've had a chance to take them out.

But an obvious distinction between the new and old is the exterior look! Just go compare them yourself and you can see how much difference there is.

And all-in-all, the cars were great to drive and I had a lot of fun. Even just being a passenger in one is awesome. They're really cool, and I don't hear too much that's bad about them, except that the Charger has four doors instead of two... so y'know, just understand that.

Each one of these LXs has a different purpose to serve, and you need to go off of those if you're looking for a new car. It's not the wisest choice to buy a Challenger if you've got four kids. There just won't be enough room, unless you stash a couple of them in your trunk, but unless where you come from is different, that's usually frowned upon.

If you purchase one of these cars, congrats! I hope that it pleases you for many years to come. You won't be disappointed.


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