Battle of the Muscle Cars: Mustang vs Camaro vs Challenger

Written By, Brad R.

Muscle cars in 2018 are better and faster than they’ve ever been. We’re going to examine the differences between the three two-door muscle cars on the market, the 2018 Chevy Camaro, 2018 Dodge Challenger and 2018 Ford Mustang. From the benefits to their pitfalls, we’ll measure each vehicle’s performance, provide a detailed trim comparison and highlight important features of each model. We hope to give you the most informed answers you need when deciding which muscle car to buy.

 Seating and Size

The 2018 Dodge Challenger is the only two-door muscle car that offers five-passenger seating, however, it is the only two-door muscle car that isn’t available as a convertible. The Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro only offer seating for four passengers and the 2018 Dodge Challenger also provides the most cargo room. The 2018 Dodge Challenger provides 16.2 cubic feet of cargo room, the 2018 Ford Mustang has 13.5 cubic feet of cargo room and the 2018 Chevy Camaro provides 7.3 cubic feet of cargo room.

2018 Lineup Comparisons

The muscle car category is unlike other car categories because automakers want people to get the type of muscle car they want. For example, some consumers just want a muscle car for its look, so automakers offer trims that have fairly standard engines, however, other consumers want a muscle car for power, so there are performance engines available as well. Additionally, Dodge is the first muscle car of the three to offer an all-wheel-drive option, and that makes it a great option for consumers that want a muscle car and live in climates that experience harsh winters.

There are seven 2018 Chevrolet Camaro trims, nine 2018 Ford Mustang trims, and 16 2018 Dodge Challenger trims. Yes, there are 16 Dodge Challenger trims, and that’s due to Dodge’s increased focus on performance, style and heritage.

 

Engine Availability

2018 Chevrolet Camaro

The 2018 Chevy Camaro lineup consists of four different engines. A 275-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a 355-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, a 455-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine, and a 650-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine

2018 Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger lineup consists of five engines. There’s the 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, 375-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine, 485-horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine, and the all-new 840-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon V8 engine.

2018 Ford Mustang

The 2018 Ford Mustang is available with three engines. The turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost I4 engine produces 310 horsepower,  the 5.0-liter V8 engine produces 460 horsepower and the 5.2-liter V8 with flat plane crank engine produces 526 horsepower.

Base Engine + Trims

2018 Chevrolet Camaro

The base engine on the Camaro is a 275-horsepower turbo 2.0L 14 engine and it is standard on the Camaro 1LS, 1LT, and 2LT trims, and all of those trims are available as a convertible as well. The Camaro 1LS and 2LT are paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, but buyers have the option to upgrade to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is the standard transmission on the Camaro 1LT. The turbo 2.0L engine gives the Camaro an average fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

2018 Chevy Camaro 1LS

The Camaro 1LS comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system and a 7-inch touchscreen. MSRP starts at $26,900 (plus destination fee).

2018 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT

Complete with power 6-way front passenger seats, the Camaro 1LT features remote start, a 6-speaker sound system and rear vision camera. MSRP starts at $27,695 (plus destination fee).

2018 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT

For $31,495 (plus destination fee), the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT provides drivers with an 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen, heated/ventilated front seats and all of the seats are leather Also included is dual-zone automatic climate control.

2018 Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger’s base engine is the 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and it is paired to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine and transmission duo come standard on the Challenger SXT, Challenger SXT Plus and Challenger GT AWD, and these are the only muscle car trims with a base engine to come standard with an automatic engine. The 3.6L engine gives the Challenger a reasonable fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city to 30 mpg on the highway.

2018 Dodge Challenger SXT

Drivers can enjoy a 7-inch touchscreen, UConnect 4 with voice command, includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay support and SiriusXM satellite radio. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SXT starts at $26,995 (plus destination fee).

2018 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus

Beginning at $27,295 (plus destination fee), rear wheel drive and backup camera standard as does keyless start and entry.

Challenger GT AWD

As previously mentioned, the Dodge Challenger is the only two-door muscle car available with all-wheel-drive, and that drivetrain is only available on the Challenger GT AWD. The Challenger GT AWD provides drivers with complete confidence in driving no matter the terrain on the road ahead. Starting MSRP of $33,495 (plus destination fee).

2018 Ford Mustang

The base engine on the 2018 Ford Mustang lineup is the 310-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and it is paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, but buyers can upgrade to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2.3L engine provides the Ford Mustang with a fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback

The 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback was refreshed for the 2018 model year and it includes a rearview backup camera and a touchscreen. MSRP starts at $25,585 (plus destination fee).

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback

The 2018 Mustang Premium Fastback starts at $30,600 (plus destination fee) and includes heated and cooled leather trimmed front bucket seats and SYNC 3, an easy-to-use, responsive voice-activated technology, which provides compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mid-Level Engines + Trims

2018 Chevy Camaro

The Chevy Camaro SS trims, (1SS and 2SS) are equipped with a 6.2-liter 455 horsepower V8 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission, but there is an available 8-speed automatic transmission.

2018 Chevy Camaro 1SS

The Chevy Camaro 1SS rides on 20-inch aluminum wheels and summer-only performance run-flat tires. The Camaro 1SS also has HID headlamps with LED signature lighting accents and an 8-inch color touchscreen MyLink infotainment center. The 2018 Chevy Camaro 1SS has a starting MSRP of $37,995 (plus destination fee).

2018 Chevy Camaro 2SS

In addition to the features on the Camaro 1SS, the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS includes a wireless charging pad, memory driver seat and exterior mirrors, battery rundown protection, Bose premium 9-system sound system and OnStar 4G LTE built in Wi-Fi hotspot. The 2018 Chevy Camaro 2SS has a starting MSRP of $42,995 (plus destination fee).

Dodge Challenger

2018 Dodge Challenger

The 2018 Dodge Challenger has a mid-level engine that’s available on the R/T trims (Challenger R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker, R/T Plus Shaker) and two T/A trims (Challenger T/A and Challenger T/A Plus).

The R/T and T/A trims are designed to offer consumers a muscle car that offers more power and more of a “track feel” than the base trims, but still be great vehicles for daily driving.

The mid-level engine is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine and it produces 375 horsepower. To stay true to the “track feel,” the 5.7L engine comes standard with a 6-speed manual TREMEC transmission, but the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission is an available option. The 5.7L engine is most affordable V8 engine in its class and averages 16 mpg in the city to 25 mpg on the highway.

2018 Dodge Challenger R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker + R/T Plus Shaker

The Challenger R/T Plus has 20-inch Granite Crystal Painted Aluminum wheels and starts at $36,495 (plus destination fee). The Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker has a functional shaker induction hood, performance steering wheel, and begins at $36,995 (plus destination fee).The Challenger R/T Plus Shaker includes Nappa leather performance seats with suede inserts and Mopar Shaker hood and starts at $39,995 (plus destination fee).

2018 Dodge Challenger T/A + T/A Plus

The Challenger T/A is complete with T/A Air-Grabber Hood with Mopar Cold Air Intake and illuminated air-catcher headlamps with satin black roof and deck lid wraps. The Challenger  T/A starts at $37,495 (plus destination fee). The 2018 Dodge Challenger T/A Plus starts at $40,495 (plus destination fee) and it has a T/A Air-Grabber with Mopar Cold Air Intake, 276-watt amplifier performance leather-trimmed seats with T/A logo.

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang’s mid-level engine is the 5.0-liter V8 engine, which provides 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, but a 10-speed automatic transmission is available. The 5.0L engine gives the Ford Mustang a 0-60 mph acceleration time in the low four-second range. The 5.0L engine has an average fuel economy of 15 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

The Mustang GT Fastback rides on 18-inch high-gloss ebony black-painted wheels, features SYNC 3 and SiriusXM radio. The 2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback starts at $35,190 (plus destination fee).

2018 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback

Beginning at $30,095 (plus destination fee), the Mustang GT Premium Fastback is equipped with a dual exhaust with quad tips and optional adaptive cruise control and lane keeping system. The Mustang GT Premium Fastback is also available with a convertible roof option. Starting MSRP of the Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback is $39,190 (plus destination fee).

Performance Engines + Trims

2018 Chevrolet Camaro

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Boasting a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that provides 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, the 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 offers the highest level of performance. The Camaro ZL1 comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but an 8-speed paddle shift automatic transmission is available. The Camaro ZL1 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

The Camaro ZL1 is equipped with performance traction management, front fascia with larger cooling ducts, wide front fenders, specific rocker moldings and rear diffuser, Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires and a Bose premium 9-system sound system. This vehicle starts at $62,495 (plus destination fee).

2018 Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is available with three SRT performance engines. a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine and the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon V8 engine.

6.4L HEMI V8 Engine

The 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine produces 485 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed manual TREMEC transmission, but buyers can opt for an the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The 6.4L HEMI V8 gives the Challenger a 0-60 mph acceleration time in the low four-second range.The 6.4L engine is available on the Challenger R/T Scat Pack, Challenger T/A 392, Challenger SRT 392, and Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker.

Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT Hellcat Engine

With the very powerful supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine, owners experience up to 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque with available class-exclusive TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and completes a quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat starts at $64,495 (plus destination fee). Dodge introduced a new version of the Challenger SRT Hellcat to the 2018 model year and it is the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. The Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody has a widebody design that includes wider fender flares that add 3.5 inches of width to the vehicle and make it possible for the wheel wells to accommodate 11-inch wide wheels. Thanks to the wider wheels, the vehicle has more grip on the road, which results in faster track times. The Challenger SRT Hellcat accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and it has a quarter-mile time that is .3 seconds faster 10.9 seconds) than the non-widebody Challenger SRT Hellcat. The Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody has a starting MSRP of $71,495 (plus destination fee).

Supercharged 6.2L HEMI Demon Engine

The final performance engine on the Dodge Challenger lineup is the all-new supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine. This engine produces up to 840 horsepower and 740 lb-ft of torque. The Demon engine is only available in the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and its the fastest production car ever assembled. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds and completes a quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds! Starts at $84,995 (plus destination fee). This is one of the fastest performance vehicles ever made and will most likely become your favorite vehicle instantly upon purchase.

2018 Ford Mustang

2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 / GT350R

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R are the most powerful Mustang options. The Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R are equipped with a 5.2-liter V8 with a flat plane crank, which produces 526 horsepower and it accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The vehicle is equipped with a rear spoiler, nine-speaker Sony stereo and provides 19-inch lightweight carbon-fiber wheels with brembo front-brake calipers standard. MSRP starts at $56,745 (plus destination fee).

 The Choice Is Yours

Regardless of which brand you want to choose, there’s power and speedy performance with high end luxury interiors for each vehicle. The best part about making your choice is that NowCar has all of these models ready for you to choose whenever you want to. NowCar is open 24/7, 365 days a year for your total convenience. Build, search and find your dream car with us!

FOLLOW US