2017 Dodge Challenger vs Chevrolet Camaro

August 16th, 2017 by

The 2017 Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro are muscle cars with incredibly illustrious histories, but they’ve certainly gone down very different paths in recent times. The Challenger has an unashamedly retro vibe about it while the Camaro is about as modern as it can be. So, which is the better car right now? Let’s take a closer look.

2017 Dodge Challenger vs Chevrolet Camaro

Styling

The Challenger has a decidedly retro 1970s style that really has caught the imagination of muscle car fans, especially those who can’t find or afford one of those incredibly expensive restored originals or resto-mods. The Challenger has an undeniable presence and swagger, with no need for expensive refreshes of the styling.

Although it’s achingly modern, it’s actually a little hard to tell the Chevrolet Camaro underwent a complete redesign just last year. Its styling is just as outrageously over-the-top as ever, but the proportions are just a little smaller than the previous model. This is a modern, menacing, and unapologetic muscle car in every way.

Trims

You’ll find an almost bewildering array of trim levels with the 2017 Challenger, and there isn’t a bad one among them. The SXT is the base model, but even at that level you get the likes of: dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7.0-inch TFT instrument display, a 5.0-inch infotainment system, Bluetooth, a power driver’s seat, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a 3.6-liter V-6. At the other end of the spectrum there’s the SRT Hellcat, which really is something special indeed.

The Chevy doesn’t come in quite so many flavors as the Challenger, but there’s still no shortage of choice. The entry point to the lineup is the 1LS, and it offers a similar equipment set to the Challenger. However, its engine is a much more modest 2.0-liter four-cylinder and even the top-of-the-line ZL1 is no match for the Hellcat. This round therefore has to go to the Challenger.

Engines

The four engine choices in the Challenger family pretty much range from the sublime to the ridiculous. We’ve covered the 3.6-liter V-6, and after that there’s a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 and finally that awesome 707 horsepower Hellcat in the SRT. None of the family is for the faint-hearted, which is exactly as it should be in a car of this type.

Four powerplants are also offered for the Camaro. The base engine is that 275 horsepower four-pot, and then there’s a 335 horsepower V-6, a 455 horsepower V-8 and finally the 650 horsepower V-8 in the ZL1. The base engine is obviously a more modern approach than taken by the Dodge, but these are muscle cars. Since the Challenger packs superior muscle, it has to be on top here.

Safety

These cars might not be bought for their safety features, but there’s so much power under the hood that you might be glad to have them some day. Unfortunately, the Challenger follows its retro vibe in this area too as it is lacking some of the most cutting-edge safety such as automatic braking. It does get a full five star rating from the NHTSA, but the IIHS is a lot harder on the Dodge.

The Camaro also gets a full five star NHTSA rating, and like the Challenger, it also misses out on IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings. However, it does fare better in individual tests than the Challenger and has more of the latest tech features. This is therefore a win for the Chevy Camaro.

Learn More about the Dodge Challenger

Even though these are both muscle cars, it’s hard to see how they could possibly be much more different from each other. For some, the Challenger may take the retro thing a little too far, but plenty of enthusiasts are less than complimentary at times about the Camaro’s comic-book styling. Still, the 2017 Dodge Challenger’s more powerful engine lineup and its refusal to compromise hits the right note for us, which is why we’d recommend it over the Camaro.

Posted in Dodge Comparison