Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Dodge Challenger VS 2016 Ford Shelby Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Dodge Challenger

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2016 Ford Shelby

Safety Comparison

The Challenger has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Challenger offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Shelby GT350 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Dodge Challenger has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

To help make backing safer, the Challenger’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Challenger and the Shelby GT350 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 blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

Reliability Comparison

The Shelby GT350’s redline is at 8250 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Challenger has a 5800 to 6400 RPM redline.

The battery on the Challenger is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the Challenger’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Shelby GT350’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Challenger first among midsize sporty cars in their 2015 Initial Quality Study. The Shelby GT350 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine Comparison

The Challenger Scat Pack/SRT 392 HEMI’s standard 6.4 V8 produces 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (475 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8. The Challenger SRT Hellcat’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 181 more horsepower (707 vs. 526) and 221 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Challenger R/T manual gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT350 (15 city/23 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Challenger 5.7/6.4 V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Challenger has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT350 (18.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Challenger stops much shorter than the Shelby GT350:


Shelby GT350

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Challenger has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Shelby GT350, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Challenger’s wheelbase is 9.1 inches longer than on the Shelby GT350 (116.2 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Challenger SXT/R/T’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Challenger Scat Pack’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.8 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Challenger has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Shelby GT350 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Challenger Scat Pack is quieter than the Shelby GT350 Coupe:


Shelby GT350


85 dB

90 dB

70 MPH Cruising

72 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Challenger is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the Shelby GT350 is rated a Two Seater.

The Challenger has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Shelby GT350 can only carry up to 4.

The Challenger has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (93.7 vs. 84.5).

The Challenger has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 2.2 inches more front shoulder room than the Shelby GT350R Coupe.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Challenger has a much larger trunk than the Shelby GT350R Coupe (16.2 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Challenger Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Challenger’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Shelby GT350’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Challenger detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Challenger’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Challenger’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Challenger has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Challenger has a standard 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. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Shelby GT350.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Challenger has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Challenger offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Challenger first among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Shelby GT350 isn’t in the top three.

 The Challenger is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Shelby GT350 is not ranked.

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