Both cars can be had as affordable, efficient cars or aggressive, high-performance machines.
The Ford Mustang and the Dodge Charger are two different takes on a similar idea. They both have nameplates with a historic past and bring classic American muscle into the modern automotive market. The big difference is that one of these cars is a coupe with four seats and the other is a more family-friendly 5-seat sedan.
The biggest thing you’ll notice when comparing the Charger and the Mustang is that the Charger is a 4-door sedan and the Mustang is a 2-door coupe. Dodge calls the Charger a "4-door muscle car" which is accurate considering it has real muscle car pedigree without sacrificing the practicality of a full-size sedan. The Mustang, on the other hand, is a sleek coupe that’s quite a bit smaller than the Charger and uses plenty of retro styling cues while creating a modern aesthetic. See the 2019 Dodge Charger models for sale near you
Another big difference in the exterior of these cars is that the Mustang is available as a convertible, but the Charger is not.
Which car is better looking is pretty subjective considering they have different body styles and very different aesthetics overall. See the 2019 Ford Mustang models for sale near you
As you might expect, the biggest difference between these two cars on the inside is the back seat. The Mustang has two seats in the back that are almost unusable, even for children. The Charger, however, has a pretty roomy back seat with room for three and plenty of legroom.
If you’re planning on using the back seat with any regularity, the Charger is the clear winner over the Mustang. However, if you’re not going to use the back seat very much, then the Mustang is plenty comfortable for the front-seat occupants.
The Mustang and the Charger both have a wide variety of engines available under the hood.
2019 Ford Mustang Engines
5.0-liter V8; up to 480 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy
5.2-liter V8; 526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque; 14 mpg city/21 mpg hwy
2019 Dodge Charger Engines
3.6-liter V6; up to 300 hp, 264 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/30 mpg hwy
5.7-liter V8; 370 hp, 395 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; 707 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque; 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy
Both cars come standard with rear-wheel drive and the Charger is optional with all-wheel drive. However, AWD can only be had on V6-equipped Chargers so if you want both a V8 and AWD, you’re out of luck.
The Charger has the advantage of available AWD, but something that the Mustang offers that the Charger doesn’t is a manual transmission. The Mustang can be had with a 10-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual while the only transmission option in the Charger is an 8-speed auto.
The Mustang can’t match the incredible performance of the supercharged Charger SRT Hellcat, but the Mustang Shelby GT350 is fantastic on the track. As for the lower-end cars, the EcoBoost engine in the Ford beats the Pentastar V6 in the Dodge in both performance and fuel economy making the Mustang a more efficient car.
As for the midrange, the 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang is much better than the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in the Charger. However, upgrading to the 392 cu in. V8 in the Dodge gives you better performance while barely sacrificing any fuel economy making it a nice sweet spot if you can afford it.
The Mustang is a little more affordable than the Charger. The 2019 Mustang has a starting MSRP of $26,395 and the Charger starts at $28,995. Upgrading the Charger to AWD isn’t cheap with the most affordable AWD Charger costing $33,095.
Pricing is similar when upgrading to a V8. The Mustang GT starts at $35,355 and the Charger R/T starts at $35,995. If you want to upgrade to the 392 cu in. V8 in the Charger, that will set you back at least $39,995.
Pricing is also very similar on the very top end for both of these muscle cars. The high-powered Charger SRT Hellcat starts at $67,045 and the track-ready Mustang Shelby GT350R starts at $67,135.
Although they’re both American muscle cars, the Charger and the Mustang are actually quite different. One is a family sedan and the other is a sporty coupe. Since they have different body styles, it’s hard to declare one as better than the other since it all depends on your needs.
If you don’t think you’ll ever use the back seat, then the Mustang is probably a better fit for you. It’s more affordable and more efficient on the low end and it’s a fun car in every trim. If you want a family car that can also bring exciting performance, then you’ll love the Charger, especially in its higher-performance trims. Its available AWD system also makes it a compelling choice for enthusiasts who live in snowy climates.