2017 Ford Mustang vs. 2017 Chevrolet Camaro: Compare Cars

November 3, 2016
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Enlarge Photo

The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have been going head-to-head since 1967, and the the competition has only gotten hotter with recent redesigns for both cars.

The good news is the latest versions of these pony cars are the best yet. When the Mustang was redesigned as a 2015 model—boasting a new sophisticated independent rear suspension, powerful and efficient drivetrains, and a comprehensive set of safety and technology features—we figured Chevrolet had a lot of work to do to. Then the 2016 Camaro arrived with the premium platform from the Cadillac ATS, at least 200 fewer pounds, and a full equipment set of its own.

It's time to stop calling both of these cars pony cars. They are now full-blown sports cars. But how do they compare to each other?

On the TCC scale--where practical stuff like safety wins out over ultimate performance editions--the Mustang outpoints the Chevy. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

MORE: Read our reviews of the 2017 Ford Mustang and the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Enlarge Photo
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Enlarge Photo
2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Enlarge Photo

Both cars are a modern take on a retro design with a low and wide stance and muscular haunches. The Camaro, however, has a gun-slit greenhouse that imparts a menacing, chopped-top look. The Mustang, by comparison, features a graceful canopy that offers more outward vision.

We rate the Mustang higher for comfort and quality, mostly because it is easier to see out of and it has a bit more space. 

Yes, the Mustang is still a 2+2 at heart with tight head room and leg room; but front-seat room is generous and the available Recaro seats are great. While a driver can now wear a helmet in the Camaro, front seat space is still tight, the rear seat won't hold much more than a backpack, and the trunk is shallow and narrow.

The materials quality of both interiors is higher than in the past, but these cockpits still have more hard plastics than we'd prefer.

But people don't buy these cars for accommodations. They buy them for their performance, and both deliver in spades. Much of the credit for the Camaro's excellent handling goes to its downsized, light-weighted footprint. The Alpha platform elevates its handling to a new level, and the ride and handling can be further enhanced with GM's excellent Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers.

This is the first generation of Mustang with an independent rear suspension and it contributes to wonderfully composed road manners car and huge track potential. On the road, the Mustang is nimble and forgiving, and flat through corners.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

Enlarge Photo
2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

Enlarge Photo
2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

2016 Chevrolet Camaro convertible

Enlarge Photo

We find two elements of the dynamics in the Camaro's favor. The razor sharp steering is quite satisfying, and the rear end is better planted.

Engine performance is a wash. The Camaro's 335-horsepower V-6 can launch the car from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds, which was V-8 territory just a few years ago. Both of the available turbo fours, on the other hand, can crack off 0-60 mph times of less than six seconds, but their power delivery and sound don't have the typical muscle car feel.

It's V-8 performance that matters most in these cars. The Camaro SS, rated at 455 hp and 455 pound-feet of torque, is sensational, with 60-mph times of 4.0 seconds just within reach. Ford's 5.0-liter V-8 checks in at 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. It revs wonderfully, and 0-to-60 mph times are pegged at about 4.5 seconds. For those who want more, the GT350's flat-plane crank, 526-hp 5.2-liter V-8 sounds like the lovechild of a Ferrari and a NASCAR stocker as it vaults the car from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds. We haven't driven the new Camaro ZL1, but it's supercharged, 650-horse 6.2-liter V-8 will deliver 0 to 60 mph sprints in the mid-three-second range.

All that power can be had with decent fuel economy. The Camaro's V-8 checks in at 20 mpg in combined city/highway driving, while the Mustang's 5.0 gets 19 mpg combined. The Camaro V-6 is rated at 22 mpg combined, same as the Mustang's, and Ford's turbo-4 reaches 26 mpg in the combined cycle while the Camaro returns 25 mpg combined.

Safety is a point in the Mustang's favor, mainly because the Camaro hasn't been crash tested by the government yet. The two have essentially equal IIHS scores, but the Mustang pulls ahead by virtue of its 5-star NHTSA overall score. Both models offer a smattering of today's active safety features.

We view both cars as values. The Camaro is a bit more expensive model for model, but we like such features as the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 4G LTE data services, and especially the available magnetic dampers. We must also recognize that the Camaro SS delivers performance on par with the Mustang GT350 for up to $12,000 less. Ford makes many of its performance features available in option packages, and we appreciate the available launch control and line lock.

In the final analysis, the Mustang and Camaro are great sports car choices. We prefer the steering and composure of the Camaro, and the outward sightlines and more usable space of the Mustang. If it's rip-roaring acceleration and handling you seek,  SS or GT350...well, that's a question we've answered over at MotorAuthority by naming it our Best Performance Car To Buy 2016.

Summary

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2017 Chevy Camaro is more than just a muscle car. It is now a true sports car, and the new 1LE and ZL1 performance versions only amp up the fun.
7.3
Expert Rating
From base to Shelby, the 2017 Ford Mustang reminds us why America loves its pony cars so damn much.

Styling

8.0
Expert Rating
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro places style over function, with gun-slit windows that create a menacing look.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
The Mustang casts a charming vintage shadow; the cockpit could tidy itself up a bit.
Read More

Performance

9.0
Expert Rating
The Camaro may have the power of a muscle car, but it has the moves of a sports car.
Read More
9.0
Expert Rating
Savor the V-8 burble while you still can; the GT and GT350 are our favorite Mustangs of all time.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

4.0
Expert Rating
The front seats are supportive and the materials are up to snuff, but the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro's back seat is abysmal and the trunk is small.
Read More
4.0
Expert Rating
It's better than the one in the Camaro, but no one's going to volunteer to ride in the Mustang's back seat.
Read More

Safety

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro has good crash test data, but it offers a few of today's active safety features.
Read More
8.0
Expert Rating
The Mustang posts impressive crash-test scores, and abounds in safety tech.
Read More

Features

8.0
Expert Rating
The base versions are well equipped and a $40,000 Camaro SS is an extraordinary performance value.
Read More
9.0
Expert Rating
They're not quite snowflakes, but there's no reason for any two Mustangs to be exactly alike.
Read More

Fuel Economy

6.0
Expert Rating
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro offers 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines, and fuel economy decreases as power goes up.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
With 4- and 6-cylinders, the Mustang turns in acceptable fuel economy; you're on your own with the V-8s.
Read More

MSRP

from $25,905
from $25,185

Invoice

from $24,868
from $24,304

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

23
21

Engine

Gas I4, 2.0L
Regular Unleaded V-6, 3.7 L

Drivetrain

Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Compare Free Dealer Price Quote
With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
Search Dealers by ZIP Code
Update ZIP Code
2017 Chevrolet Camaro
2017 Ford Mustang
Looking for dealers in your area...
Powered By
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including text, autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
2017
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2017
The Car Connection
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.