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2019 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Eric Brandt October 2018
  • The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro received a facelift, and the 2019 Dodge Challenger has a few new tricks up its sleeve.

  • The Challenger has dropped the Demon but has added the Hellcat Redeye as its top-performance trim level.

  • The Camaro has four seats, and the slightly more practical Challenger has five.

If you're in the market for a modern muscle car, there's a good chance the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger have each caught your eye. These American coupes have iconic names that date back to the muscle car era, and those names are served well by the cars that currently wear them.

Although they compete in the same segment, there are a few key differences between the Camaro and the Challenger that could influence your decision for one over the other. Let's take a look at what's similar, what's different and which is better between the 2019 Dodge Challenger and the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro.

Exterior

The Camaro and the Challenger are both refreshed for the 2019 model year, stopping short of new generations of the cars. The Camaro has a new face that we're having a hard time getting used to. It's not an ugly car, but we think it's a step backward in styling for the Camaro. Chevy took a nice-looking muscle car with the sixth-gen Camaro and just made it uglier with the new face, especially on the SS models.

The 2019 Challenger has a few modest exterior differences from the 2018 model, but only in some trims. Most notably, the Hellcat has a different hood, but not much else is different. The Challenger continues with its unabashedly retro styling that's very reminiscent of the Challenger of the early 1970s with a modern twist.

If you see these cars side-by-side, you'll likely notice that the Challenger is a bigger car than the Camaro. In fact, it's quite a bit bigger, being about 10 inches longer, one inch wider and up to five inches taller than the Camaro. Its bigger size gives the Challenger a heavier weight with its curb weight ranging from 3,894 to 4,448 pounds, while the Camaro only weighs between 3,354 and 4,113 pounds. Being lighter and smaller, the Camaro is generally a better-handling car, but the Challenger's larger size give it practicality benefits we'll get into shortly.

Another big difference between the Camaro and the Challenger is that the Camaro is available as either a coupe or a convertible, while the Challenger is only available as a coupe.

If you're into retro styling, then you're sure to appreciate the throwback look of the Challenger. If a more modern-looking muscle car is what you're looking for, then you might like the smaller, more agile Camaro, as long as its new face doesn't bother you.

Interior

We just talked about the size difference between the Challenger and the Camaro, and that size difference is very noticeable from the inside. The Challenger has a roomier interior, especially in the back seat, which has a bench seat with three seat belts versus the Camaro's two bucketlike back seats that are cramped even for children. The back seat of the Challenger is still a little tight, but it's a much more family-friendly muscle car than the Camaro.

As for design and materials, both cars have driver-focused cockpits with a few retro-styling cues like their exteriors. The seats in both cars can be upgraded with added bolstering, with the Camaro's available Recaro seats having heavier bolstering than the ones available in the higher trims of the Challenger.

From the inside, the Camaro is better suited for spirited driving, and it feels better around a track. The Challenger is the more suitable car for long-distance cruising with more comfort for the driver and all of your passengers.

Mechanicals and Performance

The Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger are both available with four engines. A couple of big mechanical differences between the two are the availability of an efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder in the Camaro and an all-wheel-drive option in the Challenger. Unfortunately, AWD is only available on the Challenger GT, which is only available with a V6. All trims of the Camaro are available with either an automatic or a manual transmission. Same goes for every trim of the Challenger with the exception of the SRT Hellcat Redeye, which is only available with an 8-speed automatic.

Let's see how the engine options compare between these two muscle cars.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro Engines

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 275 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque; 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway

  • 3.6-liter V6; 335 hp, 284 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/29 mpg hwy

  • 6.2-liter V8; 455 hp, 455 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/27 mpg hwy

  • 6.2-liter supercharged V8; 650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque; 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy

2019 Dodge Challenger Engines

  • 3.6-liter V6; 305 hp, 268 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/30 mpg hwy

  • 5.7-liter V8, 375 hp, 410 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy

  • 6.4-liter V8, 485 hp, 475 lb-ft of torque; 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy

  • 6.2-liter supercharged V8; 717 hp, 656 lb-ft of torque (SRT Hellcat); 797 hp, 707 lb-ft of torque (SRT Hellcat Redeye); 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy

On the lower end, the Camaro's engines beat the Challenger's power plants in performance numbers, while returning almost identical fuel economy. Once you get to the high end, however, the insane Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye trims beat the range-topping Camaro ZL1 in terms of raw power and torque, but the ZL1 is better suited as a track car, while the Hellcat models of the Challenger are more for straight-line performance.

Technology

The Camaro is a bit more technologically advanced than the Challenger. The Chevy has a standard 7-in and an available 8-in touchscreen. It comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility along with a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Challenger's Uconnect infotainment system is available with Apple CarPlay, but no Android Auto. It can be had with navigation, premium audio, and SiriusXM, and so can the Camaro, but the Challenger can't be had with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

In safety tech, the Challenger is available with automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning. The Camaro can be had with lane-change alert with blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision alert and rear park assist.

The Challenger is available with Dodge Performance Pages, which are able to record your performance stats in real time. The Performance Data Recorder available in the Camaro allows you to record video of your drive with an overlay of stats that you can watch later to help you perfect your lap times.

Pricing

The Camaro is a little more affordable than the Challenger. The Chevy starts at $25,000, and the Dodge starts at $27,595. The price of a V8 model for either start in the mid-$30,000 range, and the high-performance Challenger SRT Hellcat and Camaro ZL1 both start in the low $60,000 range.

When similarly equipped, these cars are fairly similarly priced. Which one is a better value depends on your priorities in a muscle car.

Conclusion

Despite competing in the same class, there are quite a few differences that set apart the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro and the 2019 Dodge Challenger, almost to the point of making them difficult to compare. What they do have in common is their American muscle car heritage, two doors, rear-wheel drive and screaming V8s available under the hood.

If you want an agile sports car that's as competent around a racetrack as it is on the street, then you're likely to find a Camaro that you like. If you're looking for more of a muscle car for the street and maybe occasional drag racing, the bigger, roomier Challenger, available with more raw power, might be for you.

When comparing similarly equipped cars with similar engines, the Camaro is the better driver's car. Its lower weight and better-performing engines in the low- and mid-range models make it a little better for the driver who needs an everyday car you can occasionally enjoy on the track, as long as you don't need to use that back seat very often.

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2019 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger: Which Is Better? - Autotrader