Dodge Challenger Alternatives Under $30,000

The Dodge Challenger is doomed, but it gave us lots of tire-scorching V8s, available manual transmissions, and even a practical Pentastar V6 with optional all-wheel drive (AWD). However, the Challenger is big, retro, and lacks a turbocharged gas-sipping option. As a result, the Mopar muscle coupe isn’t for everyone. Here are a few great new Dodge Challenger alternatives under $30,000. 

  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost
  • Chevrolet Camaro 2LT
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Toyota GR86
  • Honorable Mention: Mini Cooper S Classic

Are EcoBoost Mustangs fast?

Unfortunately, you can’t snag a new Ford Mustang GT for around $30,000. However, you can still get into a Mustang, and it’s even quicker than the Dodge Challenger SXT and GT. The 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost packs a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower. Better yet, the EcoBoost, with its 10-speed automatic transmission, will hit 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, according to iSeeCars.  

The Ford Mustang EcoBoost is a solid Dodge Challenger alternative under $30,000.
Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible | Ford

Is the Chevrolet Camaro 2LT a good Dodge Challenger alternative?

Unlike the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, you’ll have to compromise a bit on power with a comparable four-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro. However, it’s not all bad news. For a starting point under $30,000, potential owners can snag a 2LT with luxury features like heated and ventilated seats. Of course, if you find one of the lower-trim Camaros with the optional 335-horsepower V6 engine, it’s an entirely different story. 

The Chevrolet Camaro is a viable alternative to the Dodge Challenger for under $30,000.
Chevrolet Camaro | General Motors

Is the Subaru BRZ a good car?

I hear some of the complaints already; “why would you choose a Subaru BRZ over a Dodge Challenger?” Well, if you’re interested in a back-to-basics driver’s car with character, the BRZ should be on your radar. Sure, the 228-horsepower 2.4L flat four-cylinder engine doesn’t sound like a contender for the Challenger’s 303-horsepower Pentastar V6, but the BRZ holds its own. During Car and Driver’s testing, the latest BRZ hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. 

If you keep an open mind, the 2023 Subaru BRZ is a great Dodge Challenger alternative for under $30,000.
Subaru BRZ | Subaru

Is the Toyota GR86 a viable Dodge Challenger alternative?

The Toyota GR86 is a sibling to the Subaru BRZ, and it’s plainly apparent from both cars’ aesthetics. However, the Toyota features even tighter suspension, making it more of a track-ready toy. Both vehicles start under $30,000 and offer a manual transmission. 

Furthermore, both the GR86 and the Subaru BRZ are two of the only sports cars to earn Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They’re safe bets.  

Why would you buy a Mini Cooper S Classic instead of a Dodge Challenger?

OK, bear with me here; the Mini Cooper S Classic is an odd alternative for a Dodge Challenger. However, the sporty little hatchback features retro styling and a back seat, just like the Dodge Challenger. Moreover, TrueCar says the Classic starts at just $27,750, but you’ll have to locate one before the 2023 models show up without a Cooper S Classic option. Still, a manual-equipped Mini could make you smile if you keep an open mind. 

Of course, you could search the used market for an older S550 Ford Mustang GT or Chevrolet Camaro SS. Scroll down to the following article to read more about Dodge Challengers and other sports coupes!

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