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Camaro vs. Mustang vs. Challenger

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If the title alone doesn’t catch your attention we have a long road ahead, but if in fact the title got your heart pumping, and the adrenaline flowing ready to give off a good old Tool Time grunt like Tim Allen used to do, you have come to the right place.  What are we talking about, good old American muscle cars, but which one is the best?

Before we determine which one is the best, let’s set a few ground rules, first of all, we want MUSCLE!  Plain and simple, if it hasn’t got the horsepower, that’s not what we are looking for at all.  Sure, at the end I will give an honorable mention to the 6-cylinder club, but the reality is we are looking for raw 8-cylinder muscle that will blow you away.

Camaro

The real Camaro of old is back, and strong as ever.  At the very basic V8, the 2013 Camaro packs a whopper of a 426 horsepower engine in the 1LE model, which also gives the driver a great handling experience.  But that is just not enough, the new line of Camaros includes a 580 horsepower VL1 to tear the roads apart, and if you are looking for a racetrack car, the Camaro will be available in a 7.0 liter V8 with a minimum of 500 horses under the hood.

The drawback for the Camaro as it stands, the standard models lack the horsepower of the Mustang or Challenger, add to that the cartoonish look and high doors, the Camaro is hard to sit in for average height people.  The Camaro also lacks space in the back seat for anyone over the age of eight to sit and be comfortable.

Mustang

The original Pony car comes into and out of 2013 with a ton of horsepower options to counter the Camaro.  The V8 GT model shows off with a 420 horsepower engine, and if that’s not enough, there are two other options; the BOSS 302 brings the heat with 444 horses and the crazy king of them all, the Shelby has a sick 662 horses running under the hood.  The Mustang at the top end brings the heat.

Since Ford changed the look of the Mustang from a sedan style back to a true muscle car look and feel, the Mustang has caught many an eye as it tears up the road.  The only real drawbacks are the added items made to sell this car to the non-muscle car crowd.  It carries an electronic throttle, an electric power steering system, and a plethora of other items that make the choice for the crowd that isn’t quite a car savvy as real muscle car lovers.

Challenger

Showing off with a huge V8 and 470 horses running around, the Challenger is an awesome muscle car.  With the Dodge trademarked HEMI engine the performance under the hood is unreal and the car itself is a gorgeous sight flying down the road.  The Challenger stands as the largest of the three muscle cars, giving plenty of room for the driver to take a few friends and a cooler on a joy ride before stopping for the night life.

One of the Challenger’s great features is also its biggest downfall.  Because of its size, the Challenger is harder to handle than the Camaro or the Mustang.  The Challenger would be great for a straight road race, but any corners or curves involved, and the other two take over easily.

Author’s Choice

My choice for the best of the three muscle cars in this case would be the Ford Mustang.  Coming in with the most horsepower once you get up to the Shelby, and having the smaller size for great handling, the Mustang is the best of the three muscle cars overall.

A Nod to the V-6 Models

As a quick shout out to the V-6 Models for the fuel efficient crowd, the Camaro heads this list with the most horsepower at 323 horses and 17/28 miles per gallon fuel economy.  Both the Mustang and Challenger bring in a respectable 305 horses each with the Mustang touting a 19/29 mpg fuel economy and the Challenger in the rear of this pack with 18/27 mpg in the fuel economy category.

No matter which of the three of the V-6 you choose, they can all be fun to drive and not bad at all for every day cars, however if you are looking for some real muscle, be sure to move up to their V-8 bigger brothers for some real power.

Sources:

  1. Commute, Toy, or Destroy – Chevrolet Camaro vs. Ford Mustang vs. Dodge Challenger.
  2. The Great Debate: Camaro vs Mustang vs Challenger.
  3. Competitive Comparison.
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