Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Mustang VS 2017 Dodge Challenger Near Cleveland, GA

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2017 Ford Mustang

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VS

2017 Dodge Challenger

Safety Comparison

Both the Mustang and the Challenger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Mustang is safer than the Dodge Challenger:

 

Mustang

Challenger

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

19%

28%

Neck Stress

132 lbs.

195 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

121

209

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

52/57 lbs.

190/375 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Mustang Fastback is safer than the Challenger:

 

Mustang

Challenger

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

5 cm

8 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

25 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.74/.66

1.46/1.01

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Mustang earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Mustang’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Challenger was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the Mustang is safer then the Challenger:

 

Mustang

Challenger

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

21 mm

61 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Neck Force Rating

Low

Low

Max Neck Shearing Force

29

83

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

Warranty Comparison

The Mustang’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Challenger runs out after 60,000 miles.

There are over 33 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Mustang have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Challenger.

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Challenger doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Mustang’s reliability will be 59% better than the Challenger.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 31st in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 32nd.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Mustang V6 is faster than the Dodge Challenger V6 (automatics tested):

 

Mustang

Challenger

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.4 sec

15.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.9 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

97 MPH

Top Speed

124 MPH

119 MPH

In a Motor Trend race course test, the Ford Mustang GT Fastback was clocked 1.45 seconds faster than the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack (84.32 sec. vs. 85.77 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Mustang GT Fastback Manual V8 gets better highway fuel mileage than the Challenger R/T manual 5.7 V8 (375 HP) (15 city/25 hwy vs. 15 city/23 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Mustang ECOBoost for maximum performance). The Challenger R/T manual requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Challenger doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Mustang stops much shorter than the Challenger:

 

Mustang

Challenger

 

70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

162 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Mustang’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SRT’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Mustang’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Challenger doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Challenger.

The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback handles at .98 G’s, while the Challenger SXT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Challenger Scat Pack (24.2 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 25.5 seconds @ .81 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Mustang w/17” wheels’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Challenger SXT/R/T’s (36.5 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Mustang may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 550 pounds less than the Dodge Challenger.

The Mustang is 9.2 inches shorter than the Challenger, making the Mustang easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Mustang has standard flush composite headlights. The Challenger has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The Mustang ECOBoost uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Challenger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Mustang EcoBoost Fastback is quieter than the Challenger SRT Hellcat:

 

Mustang

Challenger

At idle

43 dB

59 dB

Full-Throttle

82 dB

87 dB

70 MPH Cruising

73 dB

76 dB

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Mustang easier. The Mustang’s trunk lift-over height is 30 inches, while the Challenger’s liftover is 33.2 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

When three different drivers share the Mustang Premium, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Challenger doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Challenger doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mustang has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Challenger’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The Mustang’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Challenger’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Mustang owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Mustang will cost $140 less than the Challenger over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the Challenger because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the Challenger, including $722 less for an alternator, $70 less for front brake pads and $44 less for a starter.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Mustang will be $3121 to $12676 less than for the Dodge Challenger.

Recommendations Comparison

IntelliChoice recognized the Ford Mustang as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its December 2014 issue and they ranked the Ford Mustang GT Fastback first. They ranked the Dodge Challenger Scat Pack third.

The Mustang was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The Challenger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mustang was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” three times - most recently in 2015. The Challenger has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Mustang outsold the Dodge Challenger by 73% during the 2016 model year.

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