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2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Eric Brandt October 2018
  • The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro received a facelift, and the 2019 Ford Mustang is in the second year for its new look.

  • The Mustang is no longer available with a V6, but the Camaro still is.

  • Both muscle cars are available with an efficient 4-cylinder or a muscular V8.

The Ford Mustang versus the Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most storied rivalries in automotive history. It began more than 50 years ago, and it's very much alive today as these sporty American coupes duke it out for muscle car supremacy.

Ford and Chevy are keeping these cars fresh, with the Camaro getting a new face for 2019 and the Mustang just getting a revision of its own in 2018. Let's take a look at how one of the oldest automotive rivalries is holding up today.

Exterior

We think that the Camaro and the Mustang both looked better prior to their most recent facelifts, but the 2019 models are still muscular-looking performance cars that will turn more heads than your average sedan or crossover. Both available as a coupe or a convertible, the exterior dimensions of these cars are almost identical.

Both cars offer up retro styling cues and "Coke bottle" profiles, but the Mustang is a bit more of a throwback than the Camaro. The Mustang has a familiar-looking body shape with distinct body lines and an especially retro rear end with cool sequential turn signals. For all of its retro charm, it still manages to look thoroughly modern. We like the bold, hexagonal grille on the Mustang's face, but the headlights give it a bit of an angry look that we don't care for.

The Camaro looks a little more modern than the more retro-inspired Mustang, while still having some retro styling cues like its rear haunches and quad tail lamp design. Other than that, it's decidedly a muscle car for the 21st century. We think that in terms of design, the Camaro took a step backward in 2019 with a questionable new face. The front fascia on the SS model is a further departure from the lower trims, and it's just plain ugly. We think Chevy got a little carried away and tried too hard to make the Camaro look more modern, where a little bit of restraint would have gone a long way.

We can't say we're thrilled about the new faces of either of these pony cars, but they're both still stylish packages that offer as much excitement as their exteriors suggest.

Interior

The Mustang and the Camaro both have four seats and very cramped back seats. They're proof that just because a car has back seats,it's not necessarily a family car. Headroom and legroom in front and back of both cars are very similar, but these back seats are only to be used in a pinch, and you shouldn't plan on using them with any regularity, even with children.

But, if you're shopping for these cars, you probably don't have much use for a back seat anyway. The retro/modern styling of the exteriors of both of these cars continues on the inside.

The Mustang's interior is simple in a good way. It comes standard with attractive analog gauges, but one of our favorite things about the Mustang's interior is the 12-inch fully digital gauge cluster available on the EcoBoost Premium and GT Premium trims. It's extremely customizable, and it changes depending on your driving mode. This option makes the Mustang's cockpit feel much more modern than it already is, and it's a must for tech-savvy muscle car shoppers.

The Camaro's interior has a bit more of a premium look and feel than the Mustang's. Like the exterior, it's a little more on the modern side of the retro/modern spectrum compared to the Mustang. It doesn't have the Mustang's cool 12-in digital gauge cluster, but it still has good, clear instrumentation and well-placed controls. We like the old school air vents with big dial controls, but we hate how hard the Camaro is to see out of, which has been an issue ever since Chevy resurrected the Camaro in 2010. Bad visibility is part of the price you pay for driving a Camaro, but it's an issue that we're surprised Chevy still hasn't resolved.

The Camaro's interior has a lot going for it, but that trick gauge cluster and better visibility make us prefer the Mustang's interior a little more.

Mechanicals and Performance

Ford has recently dropped the V6 option from the Mustang, making an EcoBoost inline four the base engine and a V8 as the next step up. The Camaro, however, is still available with a V6 alongside a turbo-four and a couple V8s. They're both rear-wheel drive, and in keeping up with the demands of enthusiasts, both cars are available with either an automatic or manual transmission. Let's see how the performance of the Mustang and the Camaro stack up on paper.

2019 Ford Mustang Engines

  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline four; 310 horsepower, 350 lb-ft of torque; 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway

  • 5.0-liter Coyote V8; 460 hp, 420 lb-ft of torque; 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy

  • 5.2-liter Voodoo V8; 526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque; 14 mpg city/21 mpg hwy

2019 Chevrolet Camaro Engines

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four; 275 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque; 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy

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

  • 6.2-liter LT1 V8; 455 hp, 455 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/27 mpg hwy

  • 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8; 650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque; 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy

There's a little bit more mechanical variety under the hood of the Camaro than there is for the Mustang. Obviously, if you want a V6, the Camaro is the only option. As for the entry-level 4-cylinders, Ford's EcoBoost is a better engine than the turbo-four in the Camaro, with the Mustang delivering noticeably better performance numbers and almost identical fuel economy.

As for the V8s, the 5.0 in the Mustang GT and the 6.2 in the Camaro SS are pretty comparable, with the Mustang eeking out a little more hp and the Camaro having a torque advantage. It's tough to declare one winner over the other since they're both guaranteed to put a smile on your face when you stab the accelerator.

On the high end, the LT4-powered Camaro ZL1 is simply a beast. The Voodoo-powered Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R are tremendous track cars, but they just can't compare to the mighty ZL1 in terms of raw power and torque.

The EcoBoost Mustang is great if you're looking for a pony car that's fun, efficient and affordable, but if you're looking for anything with more than four cylinders, the Camaro has more muscle.

Technology

The Mustang is available with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, and the Camaro is available with the Chevrolet Infotainment System. Both of them are compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the SYNC 3 is even available with Amazon Alexa, which works just like the Amazon Echo. Alexa can help you with voice navigation, traffic info, shopping with Amazon Prime and 30,000 other things.

Unfortunately, neither car has anything to speak of in standard driver-assistance technology, but they do both have some nice safety tech available. Both are available with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors. A couple perks you can get on the Mustang that you can't get on the Camaro include forward-collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

The Mustang can track your performance metrics with a feature called Track Apps. Track Apps provides G-force data, acceleration times and lap times. The Camaro takes this idea a step further with a Performance Data Recorder, which uses a camera in the front of the car and can actually record video of your drive and put it on an SD card with a nice overlay showing speed, G-forces, steering angle, RPM and more. The Camaro can provide much more detailed performance data than the Mustang.

The Mustang offers more connectivity and safety technology, but the Camaro has more tech to offer the serious track rat who wants to record their every move on the track to improve their times and performance.

Pricing

The Chevy Camaro starts at an even $25,000, and the Mustang has a slightly higher cost of entry at $26,120. Upgrading to a V8 is a little more affordable with the Mustang, with the GT trim starting at $35,355 and the Camaro SS setting you back at least $37,000. The Mustang Shelby GT350 is priced in the high $50k range, and the insane Camaro ZL1 is all the way up in the mid-$60s.

When similarly equipped, the pricing for the Camaro and the Mustang are pretty similar. Both cars can get pretty expensive pretty fast when you start adding options and bigger, badder engines, but they're both strong values on the lower end.

Conclusion

As the Mustang vs. Camaro rivalry rages on, it's still tough to determine a clear winner. The Camaro generally has stronger engines (except for the 4-cylinder), and the Mustang dominates the affordable pony car game with the excellent EcoBoost models.

Even though performance is a big factor in this category, and most of the Camaro's engines beat their Ford counterparts, we give the Mustang a slight edge over the Camaro for 2019. We think the Ford looks better, has a nicer, higher-tech interior that's easier to see out of and has pricing that continues its legacy as the everyman's performance coupe.

If you want the very best of the best in high-power, brute-force muscle cars, however, then the Mustang simply can't match the fire-breathing, supercharged Camaro ZL1.

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2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro: Which Is Better? - Autotrader