- 2020 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro carry over largely unchanged.
- Camaro still offers a midtier V6 option, Mustang is 4- and 8-cylinder only.
- Mustang GT500 joins for 2020 as a new range-topping performance option.
The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have been battling it out head-to-head since the 1960s. While the engines and designs and features have changed over the years, one thing remains the same — these two rear-wheel drive (RWD) performance coupes are still fierce competitors.
While not much changes with either of these American muscle cars for 2020, a few small updates keep things fresh, and an all-new top-of-the-line performance version of the Mustang enters the fray and ups the ante further. Below we’ll take a look at how these two legendary muscle cars compare headed into the new model year.
Both the Mustang and Camaro wear retro-inspired designs that harken back to their 1960s counterparts. That said, the Camaro manages to incorporate modern styling cues while the Mustang leans more heavily toward the past. In coupe form, the Mustang has a taller greenhouse and more rounded proportions than the Camaro. Thanks to this, the Mustang also comes with considerably better outward visibility. Up front, the Mustang has a trapezoidal grille flanked on either side by upward-slanting headlights. Down the sides are two strong character lines that give the vehicle a muscular look. Around back is arguably where you’ll find the Mustang’s strongest tribute to the original 1960s design, as the rear incorporates a black bar that joins both of the taillights, which themselves include 3-part progressive turn signals. See the 2020 Ford Mustang models for sale near you
As mentioned before, the Camaro is a little more modern looking than the Mustang. A flat rear deck lid with a ducktail spoiler, prominent rear haunches and a quad rear tail lamp design all serve as retro cues, but up front, the Camaro has a large grille opening bisected by a body-colored bar surrounded by large air vents and narrow headlights. As with the Mustang, the Camaro’s headlights incorporate LEDs, but in this case they meander toward the bowtie emblem at the center of the grille. The Camaro’s greenhouse is small and low-slung, which contributes to its especially poor visibility. Overall, while the Mustang’s design is a little more conservative and derivative, the Camaro takes more risks, which has resulted in mixed opinions from purists and enthusiasts. See the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro models for sale near you
In most trims, the Mustang and Camaro offer room for four passengers via a very tight and cramped back seat. While it’ll work for kids in a pinch, neither car is a great option if you plan to ferry around more than one adult passenger on all but the rarest of occasions. In this vein, interior dimensions of both of these cars are similar, but the Camaro’s body lines and window shapes make for a much more claustrophobic experience than in the Mustang.
As with the exterior, the Mustang’s interior is a little more retro-inspired than that of the Camaro. A Mustang logo adorns the steering wheel, while three circular air vents sit at the top of the center stack. As was the case with Mustangs of the muscle car era of the late 1960s, chrome and brushed aluminum are found throughout the cabin of the modern-day Ford Mustang.
Where the Mustang’s interior relies on rounded, circular styling elements, the Camaro relies on triangles and trapezoids. That said, the Camaro’s center air vents are circular, just like the Mustang’s, but they’re positioned just ahead of the gear shifter and below the center infotainment screen. While muscle cars aren’t known for offering spacious interiors, the Camaro’s cabin is far more dungeon-like than that of the Mustang. While this could appeal to some, most will likely find it to be a little claustrophobic.
Both vehicles come with competent infotainment systems with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. A 4G LTE connection is offered via a monthly subscription, which can turn your car into a Wi-Fi hot spot. Upper trim levels of the Mustang can be had with a massive 12-in digital gauge cluster that allows for loads of configurability. While it still uses an old-school mechanical gauge cluster, the Camaro still offers clear instrumentation and well-placed controls.
Also worth noting: The Mustang offers much more than the Camaro in the way of cargo space, with 13.5 cu ft. to the Camaro’s 9.1.
Mechanicals and Performance
Ford no longer offers a V6 engine in the Mustang, having replaced it a few years back with a highly competent turbocharged 4-cylinder. Aside from this base 4-cylinder model, all other variations of the Mustang come with a V8, the most potent of which is a supercharged 5.2-liter mill putting out a whopping 760 horsepower in the new-for-2020 GT500 model. The Camaro is available with a turbocharged 4-cylinder, a V6 and a 6.2-liter V8 that comes supercharged in the top-spec ZL1 model. With so many engines offered, we’ve outlined all of your powertrain options for both of these vehicles below.
2019 Ford Mustang Engines
- 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline four; 310 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque; 21 miles per gallon in city 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
- 5.2-liter supercharged V8; 760 hp, 625 lb-ft of torque; 12 mpg city/18 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
While the Camaro offers slightly more variety, the Mustang offers a better overall powertrain lineup, but not by much. Compare their base 4-cylinder engines, and the Mustang’s is better, as it puts out considerably more power while returning almost the same fuel economy. Comparing the 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang GT to the 6.2-liter V8 in the Camaro SS, things are pretty close, with the Mustang offering slightly more power, but the Camaro putting out a little more torque, and returning slightly better fuel economy, on paper at least. Regardless, either one of these engines should put a smile on your face. The Camaro’s V6 splits the difference between the turbo four and the big V8, although we’d still prefer the Mustang’s 4-cylinder in a head-to-head comparison.
On to the high-performance trim levels. The Mustang offers two, both of which come with Shelby branding. The tamer of the two is the Shelby GT350, which packs a 5.2-liter V8 putting out 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque; noticeably less than the supercharged V8 under the hood of the Camaro’s lone performance variant: the ZL1. To better combat the ZL1 and enter into the stratospheric hp arena of Dodge’s "Hellcat" products, Ford has introduced a Shelby GT500 model for 2020, which puts out a whopping 760 hp — 110 more than in the ZL1.
Manual and automatic transmissions are offered on everything but the new Mustang GT500, which gets a special 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Needless to say, both of these cars offer a powertrain configuration for just about anyone.
Both Ford and Chevrolet offer great infotainment software, and the latest versions of each are available in the Mustang and Camaro. Ford brands its infotainment system as "SYNC 3," while Chevrolet’s is known as "MyLink." On top of these competent setups, both vehicles offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well. The Mustang also includes Amazon Alexa integration.
Both vehicles offer fun software for use at the track. The Mustang’s system is called "Track Apps" and can provide acceleration and lap times along with G-force data. The Camaro has a more sophisticated system that Chevrolet has dubbed the "Performance Data Recorder." This system includes a camera located at the front of the vehicle that can record a video of your drive to an SD card with overlays of your speed, G-forces, steering angle, engine rpm and more. Overall, the Camaro offers up more intricate performance details than the Mustang.
While the Mustang’s track-focused features may be a little half-baked compared to what you can get in the Camaro, the Mustang has a leg up when it comes to active safety tech, which we’ll get to in the next section.
The Mustang and Camaro both perform acceptably in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), although neither earns a coveted Top Safety Pick designation.
Something buyers should expect when buying a brand new vehicle in 2020 are active safety features, which allow the vehicle to not only protect you in the event of a collision, but to prevent a collision from even happening in the first place. The Mustang offers a lot more in the way of active safety tech than the Camaro. While both vehicles are available with forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection and rear parking sensors, the Mustang adds lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams to the mix.
The Mustang and Camaro should offer average reliability. Both Ford and Chevrolet offer a 3-year/36,000-mile basic and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
While the 2020 Ford Mustang carries a base price of $28,410 when factoring in extra fees, the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro starts off a little cheaper at $25,995. Step up to a V8 and you’re looking at just under $37,000 for the Mustang and about $35,000 for the Camaro, before adding options. The Shelby GT350 starts at about $62,000 while a Camaro ZL1 starts at about $65,000. The new Shelby GT500 starts at about $75,000 and tops out at an eye-watering $107,000. For either vehicle, the convertible body style comes with about a $5,000-$7,000 premium. Worth noting, the top-spec Camaro ZL1 is available with a drop top, while the performance-oriented Mustang GT350 and GT500 are fixed-roof only.
As has been the case since these two muscle car legends were born in the early 1960s, it’s hard to declare a clear winner between these two. Simply put, if the Mustang were objectively better, the Camaro wouldn’t exist, and if the Camaro was the all-around better vehicle, the Mustang wouldn’t survive. Both of these vehicles have their own strong selling points. Admittedly, when comparing their 4-cylinder base engines, the Mustang makes more power and more torque while being equally as efficient as the Camaro, which gives it a leg up. Moving on to the middle of the market, and things are a little more evenly matched, with both the Mustang GT and the Camaro SS offering respectable performance. As for their top-spec performance trims, the Camaro ZL1 offers more power than the Mustang GT350, while the new 720 hp GT500 is in a league of its own. Altogether, the Mustang is a little easier to live with day to day thanks to its better visibility, larger trunk and wider array of available active safety features, while the Camaro SS offers slightly more in the way of hardcore performance than does the Mustang GT. When it comes down to it though, which one of these two legendary muscle cars is right for you probably comes down to which one speaks more to your emotions, which is something only you can decide. Find a Ford Mustang for sale or Find a Chevrolet Camaro for sale