Challenger, Mustang or Camaro?

March 16th, 2009

It hasn’t been since the early 1970s that car buyers had the choice between a new version of Detroit’s three most famous muscle cars.

While the availability of the 2009 Dodge Challenger, 2010 Chevy Camaro, and 2010 Ford Mustang might not have the greatest timing, few will argue the significance of having new models of all three at the same time. 

Here’s a brief look at what CarGurus has to say about about each:

2009 Challenger:

2009-challenger

Muscle cars were never practical, and Dodge’s stylish, retro-classic Challenger fits that mold. The V6-powered SE trim attempts to break out by offering better mileage at a substantial power penalty, but the Hemi-powered R/T and SRT8 provide plenty of tire-smoking power at the expense of efficiency.

2010 Camaro:

2010-camaro

A V6 and a V8 in two configurations power the upcoming Camaro, depending on transmission chosen. The V6 is a 3.6-liter engine, whose basic design has been employed in other GM models such as the Cadillac CTS, and produces 300 hp with either the six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The V8 is a 6.2-liter and gets a bit of a power boost when equipped with the manual over the automatic, 422 hp versus 400 even, respectively. Due to GM’s active fuel management cylinder deactivation, the V8 is estimated to be capable of up to 23 mpg on the highway – the V6 is capable of 26.

Additionally, the Camaro’s price point puts its top-tier version at just over $30,000, which places it squarely under that of its competitors, sadly in both price and performance.

2010 Mustang:

2010-mustang

This is the best Mustang we’ve seen since the revision in 2004, with more power, an improved suspension and chassis, better quality, new styling, increased sound dampening, and more. You can get outfitted with a V8 GT for less than $28,000 or get a Premium V8 Convertible GT for $35,000. Sure, it’s not the same Mustang it was back in 1965 – it’s better.

Even as these tough economic times wreak havoc on the auto industry, I’m thrilled to see these three modern classics have a shot to duke it out.  While I’d certainly take any one of them, it’s the Mustang that has won my heart.

Which would you rather own: a new Camaro, Challenger, or Mustang?

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

UPDATE: The EPA released today their mileage estimates on the 2010 Camaro, surprising everyone (GM included) with a 29 mpg highway rating for the V6 and 25 for the V8. Does that news change any of your preferences on these cars? 

-tgriffith

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  1. Adrian
    April 29th, 2013 at 07:27 | #1

    Last time I checked, Dodge was the king of the jungle, The HEMI was king back in the day, and guess what? it is still the best car at the price, the 392 SRT8 Challenger is just above $50,000, but has 470 horses, stock. please inform me of a car with that kind of power at that price… not to mention Its a +4000 lbs car!its rides as if it was a 3000 lbs car! That says alot to me, performance beats the mustang’s and the camaro’s

  2. george
    July 11th, 2010 at 11:20 | #2

    @Jake

    What are you talking about? Tranny’s in the SRT8 are the MB NAG1′s (722.6). These tranny’s are as BULLET PROOF as they come, you CANT destroy it at stock power levels (425hp/420tq).

  3. Prairie Stang
    February 27th, 2010 at 23:08 | #3

    Well, there are a couple of things not mentioned. And before I get flamed to hades, hear me out because I have driven all three- vigorously. The offerings by Mopar and the Bow-Tie brigade have more power to the ground, no doubt. But… that power is coming out of 6+L engines. The Pony has 100+ less HP, but is also running with a 4.6L (281CI) engine. Lighter, and more nimble- definitely. The log axle actually adds character and is easy to drive. Far nicer clutch work, and the shift throws were more personal. The Challenger felt like a water truck in city traffic and the RT didn’t make any real power until 4500+ RPM. That’s when it started to grunt. The Camaro was ok- hard to see out of, and inside was a retro nightmare to me. And that sound… why did they do everything they could to eliminate the sound??? Just too much… something. When I sat behind the wheel of the Mustang and starting banging gears, it sounded and FELT like my old T/A. Foot in the floor, front end lifting, barking exhaust. I loved it. I bought it. I added a super charger and make more horse and more torque than the other two with a smaller engine. I do love the looks of the Challenger, but I couldn’t do it. They have it almost right though, and in a few years, that Challenger will be a beautiful car nose to tail. Until then, I will stick to my pony and enjoy it. I have a fear that like all the other Camaro reincarnates, this one will last a few years then they will cull it again- and good riddance.

  4. February 14th, 2010 at 21:55 | #4

    also the challenger offers alot horses power too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. February 14th, 2010 at 21:54 | #5

    I like all of then but I like the the mustang gt because offers almost alot of horsespower

  6. November 13th, 2009 at 15:10 | #6

    And none of this overweight crap can catcth a HSV HOLDEN or a TURBO FALCON on a straight or follow them thru a corner what garbage you yanks build.

  7. Randy Harris
    November 12th, 2009 at 22:25 | #7

    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/09/test-complete-2010-ford-mustang-gt.html

    Consumer Reports gives the thumbs up to the Mustang, the Camaro, well…

  8. Howard Sprake
    November 10th, 2009 at 21:35 | #8

    New Camaro just doesn’t cut it. Its a garish, cartoony version of the ’67. I can just imagine when a bunch of dirty, dinged up mullet driven Camaros start to appear en mass on the streets. Eeeeeek!

  9. Toni
    October 21st, 2009 at 16:23 | #9

    Mustang hands down. It was the first and it still leads the pack!

  10. Vince
    September 18th, 2009 at 13:32 | #10

    Ok if you wanted all around best car that would have to be the camaro hands down. I am a huge mopar fan and the only thing dodge did right was looks and the hemi. The challengers biggest down falls are price, weight, and tire witdh. The mustang is a great all around car but unless theres a supercharger on it there is not enough power. The camaro has it all!! Plus for basic bolt ons will put the car into the mid 12″s. I think for quality and which ever one is liked better there all great cars.

  11. michael lawrence
    August 19th, 2009 at 13:36 | #11

    dat challenger is sick man

  12. Courtney
    August 17th, 2009 at 10:22 | #12

    I love the Camaros!! I love the 1969 camaro. I really like the Challenger though. Its very nice. But in the end. Itd be the Camaro cuz I rode in one so I know how they drive and I love the easy ride. Its soo nice…

  13. jbergs_gurl
    August 17th, 2009 at 09:58 | #13

    Though i;m not a fan of chevy at all, i love the 2010 camaro. and theres nothing not to like about the 2010 mustang but the ’09 dodge challenger has my heart. im a dodge fan and have been my whole life only owning dodges and my mission is to get the srt 8 challenger. and maybe the other 2 cause i love them all.

  14. JM
    July 19th, 2009 at 08:14 | #14

    Bought the 2009 Challenger RT. I like it. The interior is minimalist and roomy. I hoped the 2010 camaro would have been more retro in design. It looks like a saturn sky at some angles. The interior came out of a spaceship which is cool, but not retro. The 2010 Mustang design in front is nice but the rear was better on the 09. The interior is cramped inside for me and reminds me of a cheap boom box from walmart. Maybe if Chrysler LLC rolls out a 2010 Challenger, a better comparison can be made as far as power specs, stats etc. Enjoy the ride.

  15. ?
    July 14th, 2009 at 03:30 | #15

    I have always loved mustangs but I’m starting to really like the new camaro. So now I’m kinda confused between the shelby or the camaro

  16. Found On Road Dead
    July 11th, 2009 at 02:00 | #16

    You mustang shelby gt500, rousch, saleen, and cobra people forget that the chevy camaro or dodge challenger arent even camparable. The dodge viper and chevrolet corvette would compare the most. So before you start bringing the camaro or challenger down with all those non-comparable models, why dont you take on a car their own size and stop sucking on ford’s stick?

  17. July 1st, 2009 at 22:00 | #17

    Will always be a MOPAR girl!

  18. July 1st, 2009 at 21:59 | #18

    Sold our ’70 & ’71 Challengers to get an ’09 Challenger & LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Upgraded chip, now has over 400hp. Waited for the 6 speed manual! Would not buy a muscle car without a stick! LOVE THE CAR!

  19. Josephous
    June 11th, 2009 at 16:22 | #19

    Why would you waste 35-45k on one of those cars??? When you can build a faster better looking car for a fraction of the price?? I guess looks are everything nowadays. Pretty lame, can’t wait until my project is out an I will dog all three of those cars for a small fraction of the price. Not hating, it jsut doesn’t make much sense to waste money on cars like that…

  20. Salaam
    May 18th, 2009 at 19:39 | #20

    This convo is about stock guys… even henessy can make a srt8 that’ll stomp the competition.

  21. Salaam
    May 18th, 2009 at 19:37 | #21

    Alright simmer down guys… Here’s the truth, not a damn one of these monsters does what they are supposed to do. Let’s start with the power- yea so mustang has it. That mustang doesn’t look anywhere near as good as it should. The Camaro kinda has the in between looks and power. The challenger definitely gets the looks. They are all 3 good cars but non of them meets my expectations in any way. No one car has power looks and drive. Sad… don’t take my word, go drive all 3.

  22. SoL93GT
    May 14th, 2009 at 01:18 | #22

    Hey Mr. mryuk? Unless you’re an absolute moron, you would know that the Shelby Automobiles Inc. sells the brand new 800 hp Shelby/Prudomme, Prudomme edition 9 second Super Snake GT500, the 600 hp and 725 hp Super Snakes, 540 hp GT500KR’s, the 375 hp Shelby Terlingua, the 319 hp Shelby GT and convertibles, the 325 hp Shelby Hertz GT-H, the 350 hp Shelby CS6, the Shelby/West Coast Customs 500+ hp Vortech superchared Mustang, and new versions of the old style Shelby Cobras.

    The 2010 540hp Shelby GT500 coming out this year and every regular new GT500 is built at the Ford plant not at Shelby Automobiles Inc. tts is correct. So Mr. mryuk get help because you are a moron, there is this fantasic thing out called the interweb, it took me less than 30 seconds to get you this information. You should try it sometime. And just remember the internet does’t make you stupid, it just makes you’re stupidity more accessible to others. lol And btw the 2010 GT500 that is made at the Ford Factory is almost the exact car as the 08 GT500KR, with 19″ wheels and F1 Supercar tires included. And for the people that don’t know that the GT500′s are underated in the hp catagory, anyone that has brain power and coordination to drive a high hp rear wheel drive Mustang can get it into the 11′s despite being 3900 lbs plus driver, so you guys that think the Camaro SS $36k (3720 lbs) and SRT8 Challenger $35k, that weights 4150 lbs (wtf is that about?) will crush a 3900 lb 2010 GT500 that costs $43k is in for a rude awakening. 2010 GT500 0-60 4.3 and 1/4 mile low 12′s @ 115 mph. Sticky tires ad drop 5 tenths.

    And you guys also haven’t the slightest idea how easy it is to make the GT500′s faster, check out Evolution Performance.

    http://www.evoperform.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_77&products_id=440

    They were the first to run 11′s, 10′s, 9′s (with factory supercarger), 8′s, and even 7′s. They have a 7 second 2010 GT500 right now, the fastest GT500 in the world. So I think I’ll buy a mint 5k mile GT500 selling on ebay right now in the low $30k’s, and buy the $6k Wipple 3.4L 1100hp fwhp package that comes with just about eveything you need to make 1100 reliable hp that you can drive home from the track in with the ac on after you just got done putting down some 8 second passes. Remeber this is the same motor out of the Ford GT but it has an iron block and a Eaton blower instead of a TVS. And both motors will handle 1500 hp stock. No internal modifications!! So for around $40k I’ll have an 8 second 1100 hp daily driver.

    Anyway, my point is the regular GT500 built at the Ford Plant that sells for $46k new runs 11′s stock if you know how to drive, it’s been done so many time it’s not even worth repeating that Ford has 540hp 11 sec. supercar for under $50k, with near 1G handling, Brembo racing brakes, a bullet proof Tremec 6060 (beefed up T56) transmission, and a built up 8.8 rearend, race tuned suspension, 19″ badass lookin wheels, F1 supercar tires, and most importantly, these cars will be worth alot more the older they get due to the Shelby name.

    And one more thing Mr. Yuk, you obviously can’t read eiither because all Mustangs are getting new engines in 2011, over 300 hp direct injected turbocharged V6, 400+ hp GT’s, and 600+ hp GT500′s not to mention the other versions of he Mustang they will be making, like the Boss 302, new Mach 1, and they are already selling 430hp FR500 CobraJet Drag Pack Mustangs with all of the NHRA Legal components to go 10 sec. flat. Ohh and the Ford Factory built race car you can buy from Ford to race in the Grand Am Sports car series with either the FR500C with a 420hp cammer motor started in 2005, or the FR500GT 550hp motor built to spec for the Grand Am Sports Car series by Ford started in 2008, not an aftermarket company.

    Ford is the only American company that sells an over 500 hp sports car for way less than $50k, and they are deffinately quicker than the average magazine driver can get them to run.

  23. tts
    May 11th, 2009 at 09:55 | #23

    mryuk, check your facts. the Shelby GT500 was engineered by Ford’s SVT group and is built at the Ford factory. it is not an aftermarket modificaiton. it is fully warranted and reliable. unlike a 700HP modified Camaro.

  24. mryuk
    May 10th, 2009 at 22:28 | #24

    Hey Mr Shelby Guy ! Think about this the Shelby is a after market car it,s sold at Ford but mods are done by Shelby not Ford and as for the Camaro ss after market companys will offer just as much as Shelby in the long run the Mustang or the Challengers Don,t offer 305HP from a V6 out of the box nor do they get 29mpg from a V6 and as for 426HP from a factory V8 motor thats just the start from the factory motor . Put some mods on it and you can get up and over 700HP . GM is better in Gas mileage and reliable in the long haul . Think about that one :)

  25. Nato
    April 29th, 2009 at 20:22 | #25

    @sutherlacd27
    Um, I think the Shelby stomps both Camaro SS and the Challenger SRT8. I guess you forgot that’s a Mustang too.

  26. Khaldoun
    April 26th, 2009 at 20:34 | #26

    no doubt i would go for the one and only Mustang.. my only choice for life

  27. Donny Brook
    April 17th, 2009 at 00:16 | #27

    Oh don’t be silly. The Mustang is the lightest by far of the three, and that alone makes it the equal of the Dodge. If you want all that rip roaring power, you can easily jump to the cobra, or roush or saleen Mustangs. The Mustang is still the best head turner of the bunch.

  28. sutherlacd27
    March 17th, 2009 at 10:32 | #28

    jake…the trannys havent been bad in dodge/chrysler since new ownership years and years ago. they are completely redesigned from the previous cars of 97-99 that had bad trannys you are thinking of. that was 10 years ago man. and what is bad about the steering columns? i have never heard anything bad about them either. where do you get your info?

  29. CQ
    March 17th, 2009 at 09:47 | #29

    I really have no allegiances to Ford, Chevy, or Dodge, and looking at all three from a somewhat unbiased perspective the Challenger by far looks the best and most like the originals. As far as power goes, if your a true muscle car guy how can you be satisfied with the one with the least power. In this economy, if you have enough to spend on the mustang, you probably have enough to spring for the camaro, or even better challenger.

  30. March 16th, 2009 at 18:19 | #30

    Definitely the Dodge Challenger. I am basing this solely on aesthetics. The camaro is hot but the challenger speaks directly to the 70s. I feel a sense of nostalgia looking at the exterior and it has an updated interior that i would not mind sitting in. The camaro is like a cheetah, whereas the Challenger is like a Lion (King of the concrete jungle) and I just cant help myself. Let it roar.

  31. Rockford
    March 16th, 2009 at 16:49 | #31

    The Camaro will get 29 on the highway!? Kudos to GM for putting together a ‘muscle’ car that is also effecient. For that reason, I’d pick the Camaro over the other two!

  32. Brian
    March 16th, 2009 at 15:58 | #32

    Wow. I went and researched these cars for myself and made my pick. I’ll admit the Mustang looks way better than it has in years past, but it’s still the cheapest of the three for a reason. You get the least amount of power with that car. If I buy a muscle car, I want it to have the muscle to back the looks. The base model Camaro has nearly as much horsepower as a GT Mustang. That’s nuts! The Challenger does offer the power I’m looking for, but the price is just to high when the SS Camaro has just as much horsepower for less $. Not to mention the Challenger interior is bland compared to the other two. My choice would have to be the Camaro over the other two because of it’s price point, available power, and general quality. They didn’t stop production on that car just because it wasn’t selling, they stopped to go back to the drawing board and make a Camaro that was worth looking at. Boy did they accomplish that!

  33. Jake
    March 16th, 2009 at 13:26 | #33

    Yet i give dodge a hell load of credit for the charger they have managed to make.. chevy.. i have to say i am disapointed in them for making the 09 camaro.. my opinion.. horrible look.. chevy makes awesome trucks… i will admit that chevy trucks are a bit better then ford.. but when it comes down to muscle cars.. dodge and ford all the way.

  34. Jake
    March 16th, 2009 at 13:22 | #34

    Ok, so i am a huge mustang fan. All three cars look pretty well the same other then for the mustang. I have to say the new mustang is going sporty other then muscle.. i mean look at the front of the mustang then take a look at the charger… it hasnt went too too far on the look, as the camaro, holy shit it has a completly different look. In my opinion i think that it new camaro is not the greatest looking car but the mustang.. dodge may be putting the looks and features into the cars but look at their problems with the trannys and stearing columes.. i just think te arguement of saying that the camaro or charger is a joke… Mustang all the way for me!

  35. sutherlacd27
    March 16th, 2009 at 12:31 | #35

    Camaro SS is sick. STR8 challenger stomps all. GT mustang is alright. for the money the mustang GT is probably the best buy but if the buyer decides to spend a little more the SS camaro and STR8 kill the mustang

  36. March 16th, 2009 at 11:25 | #36

    I vote for the Mustang, although to be honest it’s a very close call.

    I think all 3 have done a great job of bringing back what made the originals so popular in their day; and that is style and muscle. They didn’t call them Muscle Cars for nothing, and these new offerings are finally getting the aggressive stance and muscular body styles that we’ve all come to love in their 60′s counter parts.

  37. Moose
    March 16th, 2009 at 10:47 | #37

    Though I am a big mustang fan I do think that the Camaro deserves so time in the spot light especially seeing how cool it is. It would be nice if it is as tunable as the Mustang has been. But I think the Camaro. The Challenger is cool but it is very mildly powered versus the other two. The SRT8 is pretty weak to be honest.

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