With some serious new iron coming out of Detroit now, I am giving some serious thought to purchasing one. But which one? I’ve had hours of seat time in both, which goes beyond a simple test drive at the stealership. They are both within a thousand dollars of each other in cost, so that shouldn’t be a real stumbling block. The way I see it, there are two things pulling me in opposite directions.
The first is aesthetics. At the end of the day, I just think the Dodge folks were more true to their intent, and produced the sexier car. In an informal survey, I found that car savvy people agree most of the time. There is not a single line put wrong on the new Challenger. As far as the interior goes, it’s far more conservative than the space-age Camaro, but the materials, feel, and overall quality of the Challenger is higher. Even after three years of getting used to the Camaro (it was revealed in January 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show), the harsh, angular lines still haven’t grown on me.
The second thing is raw power. The Camaro is lighter, and has more power. Don’t even think about going up against a Camaro SS with a Challenger R/T, unless you’re packing a blower, or you’ve got a more expensive SRT-8. The Camaro even gets slightly better gas mileage than the Challenger. As for the V-6, there’s no contest. The Camaro widens the gap even further, and with way more economy.
If those two cars were the only choice, I think I would pick the Challenger. I’ve owned a Dodge Magnum R/T for a year, and the quality, ride, power, and comfort have won me over. Being down 30 hp isn’t that big a deal. If a Camaro wants to pick a fight, I can always pull the big-block Chevelle out of the garage! And in case you want to know the third option, I’m also considering a used 2006 or 2007 Corvette Z06 (Atomic Orange, please) for $40-$45k.
What do you guys think?