What's the Difference: Ford Mustang vs. Dodge Challenger

 

Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger in Valencia, CA

How do you compare the legacy of the space shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center to the heritage found at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum? Or the storied history of Union Station to the iconic rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain? Sometimes there really are no comparisons to make, each standing tall in its own right. The same can be true when comparing cars. Especially those that singularly define an entire vehicle segment.

That seems to be the case when you compare the Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger. Both are timeless and classic industry icons that define what it is to be a true muscle car.

Trying to decide between the Mustang or Challenger can be … challenging. Both the 2023 Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger offer six main trim levels. And that's only the beginning of your choices.

Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger

Features Ford Mustang Dodge Challenger
MPG 21 city / 32 hwy 19 city / 30 hwy
Engines
  • 2.3L GTDI I-4
  • 5.0L Ti-VCT V8
  • 3.6L Pentastar V6
  • 5.7L HEMI V8
  • 6.4L V8
  • 6.2L V8
Drivetrain RWD or AWD RWD or AWD
Horsepower 310-470hp 303-807hp
Transmission Manual or Automatic Manual or Automatic

What's the Difference: Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger

Not only are the Ford Mustang EcoBoost®, EcoBoost® Premium, GT, GT Premium, Mach 1®, and Mach 1® Premium available in a fastback body style, but they're also available as convertibles. You can also choose a six-speed manual transmission or opt for the available 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Mustang has more than 10 wheel choices, 11 bold and bright paint colors, and half a dozen appearance packages. To design a Mustang that reflects your unique personality, you can add racing stripes over the top or along the sides and a blade decklid spoiler or performance rear spoiler with a gurney flap. The possibilities are endless!

The Dodge Challenger trims include the SXT, GT, R/T, R/T Scat Pack, SRT® Hellcat, and SRT® Super Stock and has multiple choices for complete customization. The SXT and GT trims have the option of a class-exclusive all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration. R/T Scat Pack and the SRT® Hellcats are available with Dodge's classic widebody styling. And for 2023, the entire Challenger SRT® lineup has access to Jailbreak exclusive options that let you customize your Challenger from retro exterior colors and unique badge designs to wheels, calipers, and floor mats.

Probably one of the most striking differences (in fact, polar opposite) is in production plans for the two vehicles. While 2023 will be the final production year for the Dodge Challenger, Ford announced that they plan to release a completely redesigned pony car in 2024. This will be the first major redesign of the Ford Mustang in eight years.

For those that feel a bit nostalgic after learning the Challenger legacy is coming to an end, the brand is offering several throwbacks. Of special note: "Modeled after its mighty ancestor from the 70s, the Dodge Challenger Black Ghost Special Edition is making a return to the lineup as an appearance package available on the SRT® Hellcat Redeye Widebody."

Performance and Efficiency

Ford Mustang

The base engine on the Mustang is the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost® engine that delivers 310 horsepower. With a slight size increase of the twin-scroll turbo compressor, the available 2.3-liter High Performance Package offers a nice power boost to 330 horsepower.

The Ford Mustang GT and Mach 1® models are powered by a 470-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. Mach 1® trims also feature MagneRide® Damping System which allows each damper to respond to changing road conditions up to 1,000 times per second. Combined with the muscle car's standard independent rear suspension, the Mach 1® is the pinnacle of performance, cornering, and handling.

When the rear-wheel drive (RWD) pony car is paired with the six-speed manual transmission, the muscle car's powertrain provides optimal power while maintaining exceptional fuel efficiency. Expect fuel economy in the range of 21 city / 32 highway mpg* depending on which engine you choose.

Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is a rear-wheel drive (RWD) coupe that offers a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with the optional TREMEC® six-speed manual transmission. An industry (and worldwide) first, Challenger SXT and GT models are the only muscle coupes to offer an AWD configuration.

The Dodge Challenger has a variety of powerful engine options, which include:
  • A 303-horsepower 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine (standard on SXT and GT)
  • A 375-horsepower 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine (standard on the Challenger R/T)
  • A 485-horsepower 392 HEMI® V8 engine (standard on the Challenger R/T Scat Pack)
  • A 717-horsepower Supercharged 6.2L HEMI® V8 engine (standard on the Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat models)

And for those who desire racetrack precision and performance, there's the Supercharged 6.2-liter High-Output HEMI® V8 engine (standard on the Challenger SRT® Super Stock and SRT® Jailbreak). This engine offers the highest horsepower available in a HEMI® V8 of any production car, to the tune of a monstrous 807 horsepower.

Challenger fuel economy varies by engine. The average EPA-estimated mpg* rating is 19 city / 30 highway.

Safety and Driving Assistance

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is one of the few muscle-bound sports cars with such a generous list of safety features. Starting with the base Mustang trim, standard Ford Co-Pilot360™ technology and driver assistance features include:
  • Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers
  • Rear View Camera
  • Reverse Sensing System
  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane Keeping System
  • AdvanceTrac® with Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • SOS Post-Crash Alert System™
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps

Ford's available Ford Safe and Smart™ Package adds Adaptive Cruise Control, a Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with Pinch-to-Zoom capability, SiriusXM® Traffic, and Travel Link®.

Dodge Challenger

Standard safety features include:
  • All-Speed Traction Control
  • Rain Brake Support
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Electronic Roll Mitigation
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Hill-Start Assist
  • ParkView® Rear Back-Up Camera

Infotainment and Technology

In our connected world, a comparison of the Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger isn't complete without examining the various multimedia offerings.

Standard features you'll find in both vehicles include Bluetooth®** connectivity, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration, smart-charging USB ports, keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Ford Mustang

Features unique to the Ford Mustang include:
  • FordPass® app
  • MyKey®
  • Remote Start System
  • Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
  • Eight-inch touchscreen
  • Four-way power driver's seat and passenger seat
  • 50/50 split-bench folding rear seat

Available upgrades that come standard on Premium trims:
  • SiriusXM® Radio
  • SYNC® 3 infotainment system
  • Voice-Activated Navigation System with Pinch-to-Zoom capability
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Heated and Cooled Leather-Trimmed Front Seats
  • Ambient Lighting with MyColor® and 4.2-inch Cluster

All Mustang models also come standard with Track Apps® which provides instant performance metrics displayed on the LCD digital instrument cluster. You can monitor your lateral and longitudinal g-forces, track your acceleration and lap times, and activate automatic or countdown starts.

Dodge Challenger

Standard features include:
  • Six Premium Alpine® Speakers
  • Uconnect® 4 with a Seven-Inch Touch Screen Display
  • Integrated Center-Stack Radio
  • Integrated Voice Command
  • Media Hub with two USB and Auxiliary Ports
  • Steering-Wheel-Mounted Audio Controls
  • Six-Way Power Driver Seat
  • 60/40 Split Rear Folding Seat

At the R/T Scat Pack level and above, the Challenger's Uconnect® 4C multimedia system features an 8.4-inch touchscreen and SRT® Performance Pages. From g-force to oil temperature levels, Performance Pages provide real-time statistics on the Uconnect® touchscreen display.

Shop Ford Mustang Near Valencia, CA

When you're ready to drive one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time, stop by AutoNation Ford Valencia. We have one of the best selections of Ford Mustang fastbacks and convertibles in the Santa Clarita, Bakersfield, Lancaster, Palmdale, and Simi Valley areas.

Maybe you're still undecided between the Mustang and Challenger. Or perhaps you want to add the Chevrolet Camaro into the mix. One of our knowledgeable team members is here to answer all your questions.

Not sure if a new or used vehicle is right for you? AutoNation Ford Valencia is the premier dealership for high caliber Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. We also have an incredible selection of used Fords for sale, as well as used cars, trucks, and SUVs from other manufacturers.

Once you've found the new vehicle that checks all your boxes, our finance specialists will treat you to a simple and hassle-free experience. They'll thoroughly explain financing options and current lease options to help you decide what best fits your budget.

If you're interested in doing your own hands-on Ford Mustang vs Dodge Challenger comparison, stop by our showroom or call to schedule a test drive today.

*Preliminary EPA-estimated figures are for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on speed, driving habits, trip length and driving conditions; actual mileage may be lower. Note for MPGe: All data are provisional and subject to official confirmation. The provisional power consumption figures have been calculated based on the ECE test cycle.

**Bluetooth® is a registered mark Bluetooth SIG, INC.