Car comparison: Which muscle car is right for you?

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a five-part series comparing a range of cars during what can be prime season for car buyers.

WASHINGTON — When buying a car, practicality is often the name of the game, but some buyers are more interested in ditching the rear doors and spacious cargo area to drive something built for speed. Luckily, these modern muscle cars are compliant enough to be driven every day.

WTOP’s John Aaron and Mike Parris tested the Chevrolet Camaro SS, the widebody version of the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, and the Ford Mustang GT convertible. They detail the pros and cons of each so you have some help on your next car-buying experience.

Chevrolet Camaro SS $51,980 as tested Pros: The Camaro’s performance-oriented chassis that has a reputation for excelling at the track. For do-it-yourselfers, the engine bay has a surprising amount of space to work in. Cons: You’re tall and don’t want to hit your head getting out? Too bad. Plus, visibility from the driver’s seat in any direction is a challenge. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack (widebody) $52,610 as tested Pros: Any car that makes a bystander yell “Damn!” in excitement (which happened outside WTOP’s studios) must be doing something right. In this case, the big fender flares give the otherwise slab-sided body some much-needed definition and allow for wider tires to add grip.  For 2019, the widebody package can be had on the R/T and not just the big-dog Hellcat, creating a sweet spot in the wide-ranging Challenger lineup. This car offers the most usable room of the three, and even has a functional back seat. Cons: That usable space comes at a cost, as this is the biggest and heaviest of the three cars. Dodge’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler, has struggled with quality. The air conditioning broke as Mike Parris tested the car. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Ford Mustang GT Convertible $52,335 as tested Pros: Unmistakable Mustang looks, spacious-enough interior with cool car-guy details like carbon fiber dash inserts and an oil pressure gauge. The black wheels look sharp. Cons: The 10-speed automatic transmission is clumsy as it constantly searches for the right gear. Everything seems to come as an option and drive up the price (even the carbon fiber interior accents are part of a $1200 option). Other accents inside the car involve ponies, ponies everywhere. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Pick: Drive all three, but think of settling on the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack since its size and its ease of getting in and out of make it the most useable modern muscle car. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
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Read all five parts of the Car Comparison series:

Part 1: 3-row SUVs

Part 2: Hatchbacks

Part 3: Family cars

Part 4: Muscle cars

Part 5: Flashy SUVs


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