2012 Ford Mustang vs. 2012 Dodge Charger: Which One Should I Buy?

Technically these two vehicles have wildly different classifications: compact for the Ford Mustang and large car for the Dodge Charger. However, who would consider either one anything other than a muscle car? These cars are meant for speed, fun, and grown-up excitement.

The Ford Mustang is the iconic American sports car, with tire-smoking pony-car thrills, but it has also become quite sophisticated as it's grown up over the years. The Dodge Charger may lean slightly more towards the family car spectrum, but the V8 under the hood makes it an exhilarating ride.

Dodge Charger 2012
2012 Dodge Charger

Performance

When you’re talking muscle cars, you have to think about differences in performance first. The Mustang delivers raw 5.0-liter power with a much improved V8 version for this model year. The Dodge Charger’s V8 is thrilling but very, very thirsty – and the V8 models don’t tend to ride as well as some of the other versions due to firmer suspension. The 3.7-liter V6 engine on the base Mustang model is slightly larger than the 3.6-liter V6 on the Charger. As such performance will be further offset by the Charger’s heavier body and the fact that the Mustang delivers a higher net torque of 280 @ 4250 RPM, versus Charger’s 260 @ 4800. Quarter-mile time for the Mustang is a whole 1.2 seconds faster and it delivers 104 mph in that ¼ mile; while the Charger will be left in the dust at only 94 mph. The Mustang gets from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds versus a still-respectable 6.4 for the Charger.

Interior Options

Both the Mustang and the Charger have all of the accoutrements that you would expect from a mid-range machine: power seats and mirrors, plus a host of infotainment features. A voice recorder and adjustable pedals are both available on Charger and not on the Mustang. The seating in the Mustang can be a little challenging, especially in the back seat which was clearly only made for two people. The Charger’s back seat is a fair bit larger and the car will seat up to five passengers with a 60/40 back seat split. Heated front seats keep the driver toasty warm, but only in the Charger.

If you’re looking for a modern muscle car you’re going to want the Mustang for its sporty nature, but if you want to have something that has oomph but can still pick up the kids from school with ease, then the Charger is a solid option.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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