Don’t Let the 2020 Mustang’s Low Price Fool You

Both of these American sports cars are popular choices when you want something fun, fast, and relatively affordable. The 2019 Dodge Challenger might beat out the 2020 Ford Mustang despite being a year older. Though many people often make this choice based on brand loyalty, a little digging into the standard specs and features of these two cars may gave buyers some new insight into which would actually be the better buy.

A grey Ford Mustang speeding down a tree-lined road
2020 Ford Mustang | Ford

Does the 2019 Dodge Challenger provide more value than the 2020 Ford Mustang? While there are many different trim levels and options for both of the sports cars, the base level is a good place to start the comparison. Which base level offers more pony car for its price, the one year old Dodge Challenger or the brand new Ford Mustang?

2019 Dodge Challenger base model

The entry-level trim on a 2019 Dodge Challenger may not have the big V8 engine, but it still packs heat. The base level Challenger SXT is equipped with a 305-horsepower V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to US News and World Report, the Dodge Challenger from the 2019 model year earned 4 out of 5 for J.D. Power predicted reliability ratings. It’s appreciated for a spacious interior and starts at $28,095.

New York International Auto Show - bright green Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger at the 2019 New York International Auto Show | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“This Dodge offers a more comfortable ride than you’ll find in most competitors, and bumps in the pavement and road noise barely enter the cockpit.”

US News and World Report

The 2019 Dodge Challenger comes with a nice list of standard features. The only safety feature that comes standard on the base SXT model is a rearview camera. However––diverging from the common trend of some other cars––all of the Challenger’s optional safety features are available for every trim level. That means you can add blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic high beams, and rear cross traffic alert to the 2019 Challenger SXT trim.

Additionally––though rear-wheel drive is standard––starting with the 2019 model year upgrade to all-wheel drive in the SXT for $3,000. SXT trim standard features for the 2019 Challenger include zoned automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity key entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, proximity key entry, and push-button start are all standard. Plus, the acclaimed Uconnect infotainment system featuring a 7-inch touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The 2020 Ford Mustang

Don’t let 2020 Ford Mustang’s low starting price fool you. Even US News and World Report lists “few standard amenities” as one of the new Mustang’s notable cons. The Ford Mustang may have earned the US News top spot among other sport cars, but it definitely wasn’t awarded to the base model.

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The 2020 Ford Mustang is a good sports car. But don’t let the base trim’s low price fool you. The new Mustang’s EcoBoost trim starts at $26,670. Standard equipment includes a four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. The standard EcoBoost convertible ups that price by over 5 grand to $32,170. You can also add a 10-speed automatic transmission, but it will cost you around $1,600.

Standard features include a rearview camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity keyless entry, a voice-controlled infotainment system paired with a six-speaker stereo. That’s it. No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. No touch screen display. Not even an AWD option.

2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost HPP
2020 Ford Mustang Ecoboost HPP | Ford

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2020 Ford Mustang vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger

The starting price of the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT. But don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s a better buy. In terms of affordable pony cars, the one year old Challenger offers way more for the base price than the new Mustang.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
2019 Dodge Challenger | Dodge

Plus, the Challenger can upgrade to AWD on any trim level. The Mustang lacks that option. Brand loyalty aside, the base trim 2019 Dodge Challenger SXT is better than the standard trim 2020 Ford Mustang in terms of absolute value.