Entry Level Comparison of the 2015 Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro
As you probably know, the 2015 Ford Mustang is all new and the 2015 Dodge Challenger is undated inside and out, while the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro is very similar to the 2014 models…making its design the oldest of the group. There will be a new Camaro for 2016, but in the meantime the current Camaro has beaten both of the cross town rivals in sales for the past four years and in most of the months during those 4 years.
With the Mustang and Challenger being new, this is the best time for Ford and Dodge to knock the Camaro off of its pedestal and a big part of this raging sales battle is the base V6 models. All three of these muscle cars are best known for big power, but the entry level V6 models are actually the better selling models for all three of these American performance cars.
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With that in mind, today I bring you a quick tale of the tape between the 2015 model year versions of the Dodge Challenger, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro.
When building the least expensive 2015 model year muscle cars on the Ford, Chevy and Dodge websites, I will be picking the Mustang V6, the Camaro 1LS and the Challenger SXT – all of which come with a V6 engine, but the Challenger comes only with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission while the Mustang and Camaro come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission. It should be noted that while the Challenger doesn’t come with a manual transmission, the Camaro 1LS doesn’t have the option of a manual transmission – you have to step up to the 2LS model which is literally just the 1LS with the automatic transmission. The prices including destination for these models are listed below.
2015 Ford Mustang Coupe V6 (Manual Transmission) – 24,425 - 300hp, 280tq
2015 Ford Mustang Coupe V6 (Automatic Transmission) – 25,620 – 300hp, 280tq
2015 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS (V6, Manual) – 24,700 – 323hp, 278tq
2015 Chevrolet Camaro 2LS (V6, Automatic) - $26,140 – 323hp, 278tq
2015 Dodge Challenger SXT (V6, Automatic) - $27,990 – 305hp, 268tq
As you can see, the 2015 Ford Mustang is the least expensive muscle car to get into both among manual and automatic models. The Challenger is the most expensive, but that price does include the segment exclusive 8-speed automatic transmission and a cabin that will seat four people far more comfortably than the Mustang or Camaro.
More importantly, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS packs significantly more horsepower than the 2015 Ford Mustang V6 and the 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT while trailing the Mustang in torque by only 2lb-ft of torque. Realistically, the people who are buying base model V6 muscle cars likely aren’t all that concerned with performance so the Mustang’s slight torque advantage is most likely lost behind the fact that the Camaro offers so much more horsepower.
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Feature and Color Comparison
Both the 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Dodge Challenger have an advantage in the level of interior and exterior technology over the Chevrolet Camaro, but that should be expected considering that the Mustang and Challenger are both new while the Camaro is entering its 6th model year. Most notably, the Challenger and Mustang both come with standard high tech lighting systems in the front and rear, along with a basic standard infotainment system inside that is superior to what is found in the 1LS Camaro.
The 2015 Challenger SXT comes with standard 18 inch wheels, as does the Camaro 1LS, while the 2015 Mustang V6 wears standard 17 inch wheels.
In terms of exterior colors, the 2015 Ford Mustang has the edge, with ten options to the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro coupe’s eight colors and the 2015 Dodge Challenger’s six. Inside, 2015 Camaro and 2015 Challenger owners can pick from an all-black or a black/grey layout while the base model 2015 Mustang follows the black-only approach joked about by Henry Ford decades ago – the 2015 Mustang V6 interior comes in any color you want, so long as you only want black. However, I still give the Mustang the color edge with so many options.
Exterior Options for the Base Model
While someone looking to buy the least expensive 2015 muscle car might not want to add a bunch of optional features that drive up the price, there are just as many prospective buyers who want to be able to dress up their new Mustang, Camaro or Challenger from the factory.
Exterior options for the 2015 Ford Mustang are fairly limited, include an enhanced security package, a reverse sensing system and 18 inch wheels.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 1LS includes more optional exterior goodies than the Mustang, including a larger rear spoiler, a front splitter, a bunch of stripe packages, an elaborate body kit and a silver fuel door.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT doesn’t have the most options, but it comes with what I consider to be the most significant options. This includes two different 20 inch wheel packages, high performance tires, unique Challenger stripes and a power sunroof that you cannot get in the base model Mustang or Camaro. Also, the 2015 Challenger has a collection of popular equipment packages that just aren’t offered with the base model Mustang or Camaro. This includes a Cold Weather Group package that adds heated seats and a heated steering wheel, a 6-speed premium sound system, a driver convenience package, the Super Sport package, and – most importantly – the Challenger SXT has the Super Track Pak. The driver convenience package adds gadgets like cross path detection, bind spot monitoring, parking assist and a remote start system and more.
The Super Sport package adds 20 inch wheels, all season performance tires, a sportier rear gearing, performance brakes and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and the Super Track Pak further enhances the performance with 20 inch wheels, high performance brakes, performance steering, performance suspension and more.
The interior options of all three 2015 model year muscle cars are very limited. 2015 Mustang V6 buyers can only add all weather floor mats. 2015 Camaro 1LS buyers can add floor mats, pedal covers or unique footwell lighting. 2015 Challenger buyers can add the most exciting interior option in the group with the 8.4L infotainment system…something that you cannot order in the base model Mustang or Camaro.
The Big Decision
As you can see above, the 2015 Ford Mustang V6 Coupe is the best bargain in the segment, whether you want an automatic or manual transmission so if price is your most important aspect of buying – the Mustang is the car for you. If you are most concerned with having the most power in your base model muscle car, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro has an obvious edge and if you want the highest level of factory personalization (although it comes with the highest price), the 2015 Dodge Challenger is the entry level V6 muscle car for you.