Is the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro the Better Convertible for Under $10,000?

If you’re shopping for a used convertible under $10,000, you might be considering either a Chevrolet Camaro or a Ford Mustang. The 2011 Chevy Camaro pays homage to the original muscle car and has the muscle to back it up. The 2010 Ford Mustang is another retro-themed convertible with a lot to offer.

Which is the better convertible for under $10,000? How do these convertibles, both of which appeared in U.S. News‘ 2020 list of 10 Best Used Convertibles under $10,000, match up?

The 2011 Chevy Camaro

The 2011 Chevy Camaro is part muscle car, part exotic sports car, and a pretty good overall value. It looks fast and is fast with powerful acceleration and the attitude you always wanted in a convertible. If aggressive styling and head-turning power are important to you, the Chevrolet Camaro might be what you’re looking for.

As with most exotic sports cars, there are compromises to be made with the Camaro. The backseat isn’t the most comfortable and visibility isn’t the best. There’s space in the trunk but its mouth is unreasonably small. 

The LS and LT models of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro have a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 312 hp. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual with an optional six-speed automatic. The SS models got a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 426 hp with the six-speed manual gearbox and 400 hp with the automatic transmission. The latter engine can hit 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, according to the team at Edmunds

The ride in the 2011 Chevy Camaro offers a refined driving experience and it’s comfortable in the front. Its performance for an average minimum price of $9,656 is impressive. It might not be ideal for day-to-day driving, but if you’re looking for a convertible as a leisure vehicle, it’s hard to beat.

The 2010 Ford Mustang

Much depends on which engine you get with the 2010 Ford Mustang. The base engine is an ancient V6 that’s a distant relative to the engine used in Ford’s Ranger. While many will buy this Mustang convertible for its retro styling and its average minimum price of $7,365, the V6 is merely mediocre at best. Its performance might be less than what you were hoping for.

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If you find a 2010 GT model with the V8, you’ll pay more but you’ll get the acceleration you’re probably seeking. According to the team at Edmunds, the V8 is perfect for those who want a true performance convertible. They found the models with the V8 to be great temptations.

The 2010 models are rear-wheel drive with a standard transmission that’s a five-speed manual with a five-speed automatic option. The 4.0-liter V6 engine gets 210 hp. The 4.6-liter V8 powering the GT models gets 315 hp and can reach 60 mph in 5.0 seconds as well. 

The 2010 Ford Mustang convertible offered bigger wheels and standard stability control. It offers Ford’s Sync multimedia system with voice activation for great convenience. You can ride comfortably in the back. 

Who does it better?

Both the 2011 Chevy Camaro and the 2010 Ford Mustang are worthy convertibles you can buy for under $10,000. Both offer appealing retro-styling and call back to the fun days of muscle cars and stoplight races.  Both have their strong points and their weaknesses. 

Which is the better convertible? It depends on what you’re looking for. If looking sharp and cruising comfortably are your priorities, either of these convertibles will do the job. If you plan to have passengers in the back seat, you might consider the Mustang since the rear in the Camaro is not all that comfortable. 

If head-turning style and performance are what you’re looking for, you may spend more for the SS model of the 2011 Chevy Camaro or the 2010 Ford Mustang GT. The SS model of Camaro with its 6.2-liter V8 gets 426 hp versus the 315 hp you get with the V8 in the Mustang GT.