Should You Daily Drive a Muscle Car?

You probably have a neighbor, friend, or family member who drives their Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger every day. They probably look pretty happy in their loud, raucous machine. So much so that you’re thinking of daily driving a Chevrolet Camaro or another car in the segment. Still, should you daily drive a modern muscle car or stick with something else?

Can you daily drive a muscle car?

Just like the majority of street-legal vehicles out there, you can daily drive a muscle car. For instance, the Dodge Challenger has a spacious trunk, usable back seat, and a library of engines to suit your needs. Furthermore, depending on your definition of a muscle car, you can opt for a four-door Mopar like the Dodge Charger. However, there are a few issues that you’ll have to contend with before you’re ready to drive your Mustang, Challenger, or Camaro daily. 

Chevrolet Camaro like this ZL1 a muscle car that you can daily drive.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 | Chevrolet

Are muscle cars practical?

It may sound strange, but modern muscle cars are actually pretty practical. Not as practical as a hot hatch or sports sedan like an Audi S4, but still sensible in specific ways. First, modern variants have comfortable seats, air conditioning, airbags, fuel injection, and if they’re new enough, warranties. Next, cars like the Chevrolet Camaro have more than enough power to pass and merge without overdoing it. 

However, there are a couple of practicality issues, too. First, as coupes and convertibles, there typically aren’t four-door applications for your family and friends like in a hot hatch. Next, some of these cars are huge; a Dodge Challenger is longer than a Ford Fusion and can weigh more than 4,400 lbs. The biggest issue, though, is the gas mileage. 

The Dodge Challenger's interior is a practical cockpit for modern muscle car drivers.
The Dodge Challenger’s interior is spacious and accommodating | Dodge

Which muscle cars get the best gas mileage?

The 4,000 lb gorilla in the room for daily driver muscle cars is gas mileage compared to other vehicle classes. For instance, Car and Driver tested a 485-horsepower Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, and it managed a combined fuel economy of 18 mpg. That’s quite a bit worse than a Volkswagen Golf R, which has four doors, hot hatch handling, and 26 mpg combined. 

Still, if you want a Ford Mustang with less thirst, you could buy an EcoBoost. The EcoBoost has similar styling to the V8-powered GTs, but it gets 24 mpg combined. There really is a muscle car for just about everyone. 

Can a classic car be a daily driver?

A classic car is a much more impractical daily driver than a modern muscle car. Classic cars are often carburated, inefficient, and underpowered. However, if you want a classic Challenger instead of a modern Dodge, you could bring it up to speed with modern components. “Restomods” include modern brakes, cooling systems, performance upgrades, suspension, and more. 

Restomods often make much better daily drivers, and some even have air conditioning! Still, you’ll have to sort out insurance for daily driving a classic

Which one should you daily drive?

If you want segment-leading cargo volume and a library of monstrous V8s, you should consider a Dodge Challenger. However, if you want modern styling and decent fuel economy, the Ford Mustang EcoBoost is a solid choice. Whether you choose a Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, or Dodge Challenger, you’ll have a car that you can drive every day. Just make sure you respect that horsepower. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about the Ford Mustang!


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