The Camaro has been around for decades and has established generations of fans due to its design, performance, and legacy as one of the best American sports cars on the road. These days, however, there are fewer and fewer people who actually stand by brand loyalty and more folks have been looking across the maker line to see what else is out there. I’m sure there are some Camaro lovers out there thinking about the 2019 Chevy Camaro vs 2019 Dodge Challenger and wondering which is better.
And that begs the question: if you’re a Camaro fan, is it time to check out the Dodge Challenger and see what it has to offer? I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do (though, let’s be clear, that’s absolutely what I’m here to do), but I’d say you are safe sticking with the Camaro brand you have grown to love. Why? Well, let’s see what they both have to offer and compare what you can get for your money.
I feel I can confidently say that if you are into Camaros then you are probably something of a sports car lover in general. And that means that engines are important to you – after all, the sports car is all about speed and performance, and that comes from one thing: the engine (ok I know performance comes from a lot of things but you know what I mean). So let’s see what the Camaro and Challenger have to offer.
There are four different engines available for the 2019 Chevy Camaro, depending on the trim level and options you look at. The standard engine is a 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine that provides up to 275hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. If that’s not good enough you can step that up to a 3.6L V6 engine that gives up to 335hp and 284 lb.-ft. of torque. Then there’s an available 6.2L V8 engine that provides up to 455hp and 455 lb.-ft. of torque for a truly impressive experience. Finally, if that’s not enough, there’s an available 6.2L Supercharged V8 that gives you a beastly 650hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.
Now let’s see what the 2019 Dodge Challenger can do. The standard engine in the Challenger is a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that provides up to 305hp and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. Then there’s an available 5.7L HEMI V8 engine that provides up to 375hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque. If that’s not enough, you can step up to a 392 HEMI V8 engine that gives you up to 485hp and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. For a truly impressive experience, there is an available Supercharged 6.2L HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine that provides up to 717hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. Finally, you can go nuts with an available Supercharged 6.2L Hellcat HEMI Redeye engine that gives you up to 797hp and 707 lb.-ft. of torque.
Ok, I’ll admit it, that’s pretty impressive. Those last two engines for the 2019 Dodge Challenger are absolutely beastly. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the SRT Hellcat Redeye has a starting price well above any Camaro trim level, so the SRT Hellcat with its 717hp and 656 lb.-ft. of torque should be compared to the Camaro ZL1, which has 650hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.
Trim Levels on Offer
Speaking of different trim levels available, let’s consider what you can get from Chevy compared to the offerings from Dodge. There are seven different trim levels available on the 2019 Chevy Camaro, including the ultimate ZL1 model, and you get a lot of different features and options with each one. This makes it really easy to get just what you want, and different trim levels come with different engines.
For example, the three first trim levels, which are the 1LS, the 1LT, and the 2LT, each include the standard 2.0L engine with upgraded features such as superior interior details. By the time you’re looking at the 2LT, you have the same engine but a larger screen on the Infotainment center and other refined touches inside and out.
Step that up to the 3LT and you get the superior 3.6L V6 engine, the inclusion of Navigation, and a Bose premium sound system. Beyond that, the 1SS and 2SS trim levels both include the 6.2L V8 engine for more power, and then have different features between them. So you can pick the engine you like, then look at trim levels it is available in and choose which one has what you want.
Similarly, the 2019 Dodge Challenger has numerous models available, but there are generally fewer options with the same engine. For example, you can start off with the SXT, which has the standard 305hp engine, or upgrade that to the GT which has the same engine but nicer overall features. Beyond that choice, however, the models are all connected to their engines, so when you pick the engine you want you also pick the model. There are no other trim levels that include the same engine but give you more features as you go up.
Now, this can be an advantage in some cases, but it also limits some of your options. Personally, I prefer the way Chevy does it with the Camaro so you have more choices for each engine. Sure, there are still some restrictions, but overall there is a bit more freedom with the Camaro. It is also worth noting that while the highest level of the Camaro, the ZL1 is comparable in terms of price to the Challenger SRT Hellcat, there is nothing as expensive in the Camaro lineup as the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
It’s easy to get seduced by pure power and flashy features and forget about safety when it comes to a sports car, but that is a mistake. Safety is never more important than on a vehicle that can go faster than anything else on the road. The 2019 Chevy Camaro has StabiliTrak, an airbag system, and available rear park assist. You can also get a Camaro with forward collision alert, lane change alert with side blind zone warning, and daytime running lamps.
By comparison, the 2019 Dodge Challenger has traction control, daytime running lamps, and electronic stability control. It features multiple airbags, rear park-assist, and a standard rear backup camera. Available features include packages that give you things like blind zone alerts or forward collision alert, but they are available options, not standard, even at the highest trim level. So when you look at the ZL1 compared to the SRT Hellcat, sure the Hellcat has a bit more power, but you have to pay more to get the same safety features included in the Camaro.
The Big Answer
So, Camaro fans, is it time for you to check out the Dodge Challenger? Probably not. I mean, yes the Challenger has superior maximum levels of power in terms of maximum horsepower and torque. But when looking at similarly priced trim levels, they are pretty comparable and nothing so huge that you’re going to feel like you’re missing out. They both look great, but a 2019 Chevy Camaro looks like a Camaro while the 2019 Dodge Challenger looks like a Challenger – so if you love Camaros, you know which way you already want to go. Plus, the safety features on the Camaro are simply more robust and include a number of options that will cost you more from Dodge.