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The Dodge Charger and the Challenger have been iconic muscle sports cars for quite a long time, but both models are on the way out of the lineup reasonably soon. That raises the question of what car enthusiasts will get as a replacement. You can buy the 2022 model, but its starting price is over $30,000, which isn’t as affordable to many people wanting a powerful car matching what the Charger has. There are, thankfully, other options to explore. Here are five alternatives to the Dodge Charger that you can get for under $30,000.

1. Chevy Camaro is a great Dodge Charger alternative

It isn’t easy to step into the Dodge Charger shoes, but the Chevy Camaro is up to the task. Powering it up are four different engines. Standard on the LS and LT trims is a 2.0-liter Turbo. Other options include a 3.6-liter V6, 6.2-liter LT1 V8, and 6.2-liter LT4 supercharged V8, according to Chevrolet.

It also offers a dual-mode exhaust, magnetic ride control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a wireless connection, and a rear vision camera system. When it comes to drawbacks, there are a couple. The Interior is nice, but there’s poor visibility, and it’s not as big as one would like. Pricing starts at $26,100.

2. Ford Mustang

It’s no surprise that the Ford Mustang is on the list. While most trims are priced over $30,000, the base comes in a few thousand under that. For $27,470, the EcoBoost Fastback model offers a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, six-speed manual transmission, LED headlamps, projector high beams, independent rear suspension, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. You can expect lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pre-collision for safety features.   

This sporty fastback can get around 29 mpg on the highway, a little less than what the Charger offers with 30 mpg. It also has a tighter back seat area, stiffer suspension, and long, heavy doors that make getting in and out a little difficult.

3. Mazda MX-5 Miata

When you think of a Dodge Charger alternative, you don’t immediately imagine a Mazda MX-5 Miata. This small convertible roadster runs on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. What makes it a Charger dupe? The answer is in the low weight of the vehicle. At 2,345 lbs, the Miata can move swiftly with an acceleration time of 5.7 seconds for a 0 to 60 mph run. 

Standard equipment on the roadster includes dual front and side-impact airbags, Mazda Connect infotainment system, and a wireless connection to Apple CarPlay. Also, it comes with Mazda’s i-Active Sense safety features, which include blind-spot monitoring, Smart City Brake Support, and lane-departure warning to name just a few. 

As far as drawbacks go, the Miata has relatively few to report. The biggest, however, is the excessive road, wind, and engine noise heard within the cabin. Pricing for this model begins at $27,650, according to Mazda

4. Toyota GR86 is a great Dodge Charger alternative

A white Toyota GR86 parked indoors.
Toyota GR86 | Getty Images

This model earned the “Best Fun Car of 2022” award from one of its biggest reviewers, which isn’t surprising. The Toyota GR86 is a sporty car powered by a 2.4-liter engine generating 228 hp, and it’s paired with a six-speed manual stick shift, but you can opt for a six-speed automatic transmission. The price starts at $27,900 for the base model.

With the manual, you’ll only get 27 mpg on the highway, but if you choose the automatic transmission, you can get up to 31 highway mpg. It also has adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane-departure warning. Unfortunately, some safety features aren’t available with the manual version

5. Subaru WRX

The WRX is the most expensive on this list, but it still comes under $30,000. The beginning price for the base model is $29,605. This gets you a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, producing 271 hp, and comes paired with a six-speed manual transmission. According to Subaru, you’ll also get Subaru’s Starlink system, which includes a 7-inch display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, dual USB ports, and HD radio. 

Regarding fuel economy, you can expect to get 19 mpg on city roads and 26 mpg when traveling on the highway, which isn’t bad for an AWD system. While it’s a great vehicle, it isn’t problem-free. Some of the issues critics have had with it include a noisy cabin and stiff ride, and it comes with a more complicated infotainment system that requires several layers of screens to use what you want. 

Owning a Dodge Charger would be a dream for some; there’s no doubt about that. But, with its $32,645 starting price, it isn’t as budget-friendly as performance cars. Plus, it’s not going to be around for much longer. The good news is that you can choose an alternative, such as the WRX, GR86, Mustang, Camaro, and the MX-5 Miata, and you’ll have a pretty good dupe to the Charger mid-size sedan with a price that falls under the $30,000 mark.


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