Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2013 Ford Mustang VS 2013 Dodge Challenger Near Goodyear, AZ

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2013 Ford Mustang

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2013 Dodge Challenger

Safety Comparison

The Mustang (except Boss 302) offers optional parking sensors to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The Mustang (except Boss 302) also offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Challenger doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

The Mustang’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Challenger doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Mustang has standard SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Challenger doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Mustang and the Challenger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Mustang, with its five-star roll-over rating, is 2.3% to 3% less likely to roll over than the Challenger, which received a four-star rating.

Warranty Comparison

The Mustang comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Dodge doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Challenger.

The Mustang’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Challenger runs out after 100,000 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.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2012 Initial Quality Study. The Challenger was rated second.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 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 27th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 29th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 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 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 59 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang has more powerful engines than the Challenger:


Mustang 3.7 DOHC V6

280 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

390 lbs.-ft.

Mustang Boss 302 5.0 DOHC V8

380 lbs.-ft.

Challenger 3.6 DOHC V6

268 lbs.-ft.

Challenger R/T automatic 5.7 V8

400 lbs.-ft.

Challenger R/T manual 5.7 V8

410 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Mustang is faster than the Dodge Challenger (manual transmissions tested):

Mustang GT

Mustang Boss 302

Challenger R/T manual

Challenger SRT-8 392

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4 sec

5 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

12.3 sec

13.5 sec

13 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

110.8 MPH

115.8 MPH

105.9 MPH

111.3 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Mustang V6 is faster than the Dodge Challenger V6 (automatics tested):



Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.6 sec

10.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.4 sec

16.5 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.2 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.3 MPH

94.8 MPH

In a Car and Driver race course test, the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca was clocked 6.6 seconds faster than the Dodge Challenger SRT-8 392 (182.8 sec. vs. 189.4 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Mustang gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger:



3.7 V6/Manual

19 city/29 hwy


5.0 V8 (444 HP)/Manual

17 city/26 hwy

15 city/23 hwy

5.7 V8 (375 HP)

5.0 V8 (420 HP)/Manual

15 city/26 hwy

14 city/23 hwy

6.4 V8/Manual

3.7 V6/Auto

19 city/31 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

5.0 V8 (420 HP)/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

16 city/25 hwy

5.7 V8 (372 HP)


14 city/23 hwy

6.4 V8/Auto

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’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Challenger SXT are solid, not vented.

The Mustang stops much shorter than the Challenger:



80 to 0 MPH

191 feet

198 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Challenger (255/40R19 vs. 245/45R20).

The Mustang’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SRT-8’s optional 45 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.

The Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca handles at 1.01 G’s, while the Challenger SXT pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca goes through Road & Track’s slalom 5.3 MPH faster than the Challenger SRT-8 392 (74 vs. 68.7 MPH).

The Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Challenger SXT (24.6 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Mustang’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the Challenger SRT-8 392’s (33.4 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The Mustang’s turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the Challenger SXT/R/T’s (33.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Mustang may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Dodge Challenger.

The Mustang is 9.6 inches shorter than the Challenger, making the Mustang easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Mustang has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Challenger uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the Mustang GT Coupe is quieter than the Challenger SRT-8 392:



At idle

52 dB

61 dB


80 dB

80 dB

50 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Ergonomics Comparison

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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad. The Challenger doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mustang has standard extendable sun visors. The Challenger doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Mustang’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Challenger doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Optional SYNC AppLink for the Mustang allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, searching the internet, following twitter accounts and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Challenger doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Mustang owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Mustang with a number “1” insurance rate while the Challenger is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the Challenger because it costs $581 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the Challenger, including $119 less for a water pump, $335 less for an alternator and $25 less for front brake pads.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Mustang will be $3300 to $9146 less than for the Dodge Challenger.

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