Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Ford Mustang VS 2010 Dodge Challenger Near Phoenix, AZ

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2010 Ford Mustang

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VS

2010 Dodge Challenger

Safety Comparison

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The Mustang 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.

Both the Mustang and the Challenger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, 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 3% less likely to roll over than the Challenger, which received a four-star rating.

Warranty Comparison

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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 to get service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The camshafts in the Mustang’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Challenger SE 3.5 SOHC V6’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that eventually needs to be replaced. If the Challenger’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 V8 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 2009 Initial Quality Study. The Challenger isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 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 8th in initial quality. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 22nd.

Engine Comparison

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The GT500’s 5.4 supercharged V8 produces 115 more horsepower (540 vs. 425) and 90 lbs.-ft. more torque (510 vs. 420) than the Challenger SRT-8’s optional 6.1 V8.

As tested in Road & Track the Mustang GT 4.6 SOHC V8 is faster than the Challenger R/T 5.7 V8 (manual transmissions tested):

Mustang

Challenger

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.7 sec

14.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The Mustang has a standard capless 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 that causes pollution. The Challenger doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Mustang stops much shorter than the Challenger:

Mustang

Challenger

80 to 0 MPH

202 feet

249 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

164 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Mustang GT500 Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Challenger (F:255/40R19 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:245/45R20 & R:255/45R20).

The Mustang’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SE’s standard 65 series tires. The Mustang GT500 Coupe’s 255/40R19 front and 285/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Challenger V8’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Mustang GT Coupe handles at .92 G’s, while the Challenger R/T pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Mustang GT Coupe goes through Road & Track’s slalom 6.6 MPH faster than the Challenger R/T (69.3 vs. 62.7 MPH).

The Mustang GT500 Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Challenger R/T (25.3 seconds vs. 27.5 seconds).

For better maneuverability, the Mustang V6’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the Challenger SRT-8’s (33.4 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The Mustang GT’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Challenger SE/RT’s (37.7 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Ford Mustang may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 600 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 Car and Driver, the interior of the Mustang GT Coupe is quieter than the Challenger SRT-8:

Mustang

Challenger

At idle

47 dB

49 dB

Full-Throttle

82 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

72 dB

Ergonomics Comparison

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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.

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.

The Mustang’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Challenger doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

With optional SYNC, the Mustang offers the driver hands free control of the radio, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Challenger doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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