|Passenger Space (cu ft)
What could be more American than a muscle car? These cars not only look fast, but they match their aggressive lines with raw power like no other vehicle on the road. If you are in the market for a muscle car, then two that you should be comparing are the 2021 Dodge Charger vs 2021 Chevy Camaro. These are not just two of the fastest cars on the road today; they are also both surprisingly affordable. Dodge and Chevrolet have made sure to price these vehicles at a point where most folks are able to buy a piece of American automotive history for themselves.
The 2021 Dodge Charger and 2021 Chevy Camaro are the latest models of a muscle car legacy stretching back over 50 years. Both of these cars first made their debut in 1966, and they both still feature looks that harken back to those days of Beatle boots and mini-skirts. But, the difference is that both of these muscle cars now feature modern power trains that boost performance while providing better fuel economy than their ancestors. They also carry the latest infotainment system, so you can have an amazing soundtrack for your adventures at the touch of a button, even if all you listen to is music from 1966. Even so, there are some crucial differences between these two cars, which will show you why your better buy is a 2021 Dodge Charger.
Both the 2021 Dodge Charger and 2021 Chevy Camaro come with a large number of trims, seven in total for the Charger and five for the Camaro. Chevy also offers three special editions, the Redline Edition, Shock Edition, and Steel Edition. These mainly involve exterior cosmetic additions like racing stripes and unique badging. The Chevy Camaro is a two-door coupe that is also available as a convertible. All models of the 2021 Dodge Charger are 4-door sedans with a hardtop.
The base MSRP favors the Chevy Camaro slightly as it starts at $25,000, compared to $29,995 for the Dodge Charger.* However, this is for the LS trim that only comes with a 4-cylinder engine. If you want a V6 or V8, then you have to pay extra with the Camaro. This is not the case with the Charger, as its base model SXT has a standard V6 engine.
The seven trims on the Charger range from the SXT to the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. The SXT comes with a Keyless entry system. The GT adds 20-inch satin carbon-painted aluminum wheels, a performance hood with a hood scoop, a rear spoiler, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters. The R/T rides on 20-inch carbon aluminum wheels and sports a performance suspension. The Scat Pack has Brembo four-piston performance brakes and heated seats.
The Charger Scat Pak Widebody has a broader profile and includes a Bilstein adaptive damping suspension with customizable ride stiffness settings, complemented by Brembo six-piston performance front brakes and four-piston rear brakes. The SRT Hellcat Widebody has a Widebody Competition Suspension and rides on Pirelli all-season tires. The top trim SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody rates as the fastest four-door muscle car in production.
As you can see with each trim, Dodge ups the performance specifications on the 2021 Charger. While Chevy also improves the capabilities of each trim of the Camaro, the jump across only five trims is much more abrupt. You have to pay more for performance across the LS, LT, LT1, SS, and ZL1 trims than the more incremental and gradual improvements on the Dodge Charger.
The key to most muscle cars is the engine, and Dodge and Chevy give you plenty of options when it comes to the Charger and Camaro. The 2021 Dodge Charger comes with a choice of five different engines, each paired to a different trim level. The 2021 Chevy Camaro has four different engines, with a different approach having a base engine and then an optional choice or two.
The 2021 Dodge Charger SXT is equipped with a standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 292 horsepower and generates 260 pound-feet of torque. The GT model has the same V6 engine but with a little more kick, giving it 300 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. These are the only two Charger models with a six-cylinder engine. All the other models feature a V8 engine.
The Charger R/T comes with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 gas engine that is good for 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. The Scat Pack and Scat Pack Widebody feature an even larger 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the SRT Hellcat Widebody and SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody feature the same 6.2-liter HEMI supercharged V8, but the latter has a more powerful version. This engine on the SRT Hellcat Widebody produces 717 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, while on the SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody provides 797 horsepower and 707 pounds to feet of torque.
The base engine on the 2021 Chevy Camaro is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This is standard on the LS and LT trims, with the option of a V6 engine on the LT. The engine upgrade for the LT is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are comparable to those on the Charger’s V6, which comes standard on the SXT and GT trims. The problem is that a 4-cylinder engine can seem rather underpowered on a muscle car, and you have to pay extra for a larger engine.
The other trims of the 2021 Camaro each feature a V8 engine. The LT1 and SS trims utilize a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 gas engine that provides 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. While these numbers exceed those on the Charger R/T’s 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the larger engines on the Scat Pack and Hellcat models easily dwarf them. The largest Camaro engine is a 6.2-liter LT4 supercharged V8 that comes standard on the ZL1 model. This engine produces 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. While these are solid numbers, they cannot match those of the 6.2-liter HEMI supercharged V8 on the two Charger Hellcat models.
Every model of the 2021 Dodge Charger pairs its engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. In addition, each model except for the SXT has steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, giving you the benefit of on-the-fly shifting like a manual without the hassle of working a clutch. In contrast, Chevy has given the 2021 Camaro a standard 6-speed manual transmission. If you want an automatic transmission, you will have to pay extra to get it.
While most muscle cars treat cargo space as an afterthought, Dodge has actually equipped the Charger with a useful trunk. The 2021 Dodge Charger has 16.5 cubic feet of space in its trunk, which will allow you to use your Charger for long road trips with plenty of room for luggage. This is not the case with the 2021 Chevy Camaro. The coupe models only provide 9.1 cubic feet of trunk space, which shrinks to a microscopic 7.3 cubic feet on convertible modes.
The 2021 Dodge Charger is a four-door sedan, while the 2021 Chevy Camaro is a two-door coupe. This difference translates into more passenger space in the Charger in a number of ways. First, the Charger has room for up to five passengers, while the Camaro can only fit four. Second, the Charger has a full 105 cubic feet of interior space. This is 12 cubic feet more than the Camaro’s 93 cubic feet, giving the Charger a much more spacious interior.
While both the 2021 Charger and 2021 Camaro have comparable front row space, the same cannot be said of the rear seats. The Charger provides a roomy rear row of seats with plenty of headroom (36.6 inches) and legroom (40.1 inches). The Camaro only provides 33.5 inches of headroom and 29.9 inches of legroom in the back, making it really cramped for its two passengers. Clearly, if you plan to drive with more than yourself and another passenger, the Charger is the only real choice for you.