Compared: 2024 Ford Mustang vs. 2023 Dodge Challenger

Two of the bestselling pony cars face off: one offering tons of tech and the other a bounty of power.

Sami Haj-Assaad | 
Aug 10, 2023 | 3 min read

Side view of a white Dodge Challenger and a blue Ford MustangDodge | Ford

The term "pony cars" refers to performance-oriented but affordable American-made coupes and convertibles first sold about six decades ago. These days, pony cars are among the most versatile options for shoppers looking for style, engagement, and high performance. With that in mind, the 2024 Ford Mustang has been redesigned, offering more power and modern tech. Those who want a bigger, less tech-focused coupe, however, may want to take a look at the 2023 Dodge Challenger.

Dodge is clear that 2023 is the last year its muscle car will exist in its current form, as the brand looks forward to an electrified future. As a result, the automaker offers the 2023 Challenger with plenty of special and limited editions.

Front three-quarter view of a blue Ford MustangFord

Mustang and Challenger Evenly Matched on Starting Price

The two pony cars offer very similar starting prices. The 2024 Ford Mustang coupe, with its turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, starts at around $33,000. A convertible model is sure to come, but pricing for it hasn't been publicly shared. The better-equipped Premium trim is about $39,000, but if shoppers want a beefy 480-hp V8 engine, they need to spend about $44,000 for the Mustang GT. Ford is also introducing a new trim, the limited-edition, 500-hp $61,000 Dark Horse, and the $63,000 Dark Horse Premium.

Front three-quarter view of a white Dodge ChallengerDodge

There are 10 Dodge Challenger trims, ranging from the entry-level, 303-hp V6-equipped $32,000 SXT model, to the $50,000 R/T Scat Pack with its 485-hp V8 engine, all the way up to the intense 808-hp SRT Super Stock, which starts at $91,000. Shoppers can also choose to swap out the rear-wheel-drive setup for an all-wheel drive in the SXT and GT trims for around $3,000.

Red and black front seats and dashboard of a Dodge ChallengerDodge

Where Challenger Focuses on Performance, Mustang Targets Comfort

These coupes include a variety of convenience and performance features. The 2023 Dodge Challenger offers models with cool performance hoods with functional scoops, an active exhaust system, a line lock system for performing burnouts, and a launch-control feature. In terms of convenience, the R/T Scat Pack and higher trim models include heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Dashboard and steering wheel of a Ford MustangFord

The entry-level 2024 Ford Mustang has a 12.4-inch digital gauge cluster, a 13.2-inch infotainment system, and a single-zone climate-control system. The Premium model adds ambient lighting, multiple drive modes, and heated and cooled front seats. The GT model adds an active exhaust and a drift-brake feature for easier shenanigans. The Dark Horse models add a higher top speed and a MagneRide suspension system.

Dashboard and steering wheel of a Ford MustangDodge

Challenger and Mustang's Zip Will Cost at the Pump

The 2023 Dodge Challenger SXT and GT models use a 303-hp six-cylinder engine and can be equipped with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive V6 model is the most efficient of the entire Challenger lineup with 23 mpg, while the all-wheel-drive models deliver 21 mpg. The R/T models use a 5.7-liter V8 with 375 horsepower. The automatic 5.7-liter musters 19 mpg, while the manual nets 18 mpg. The R/T Scat Pack model has a 6.4-liter V8 making 475 horsepower for 18 mpg with the automatic transmission and 17 mpg with a manual. The supercharged V8 models with 717 to 807 horses get between 16 and 15 mpg.

Closeup of an interior badge in a Ford MustangFord

The 2024 Ford Mustang doesn't have publicized fuel economy ratings at the time of publication, but the motors are similar to the 2023 models. The entry-level uses a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 310 horsepower. This powertrain was rated for a maximum of 25 mpg in 2023. The Mustang GT uses a 5.0-liter V8 with 480 horses, which was rated for 18 mpg with an automatic transmission and 17 mpg with a manual.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication) and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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