From classic Chevy muscle to newer sports cars designed to rival their predecessors, Americans always have loved muscle cars, and with gas below $2 a gallon in many parts of the country, there might not be a better time to be a fan. We tested muscle cars with small engines, and we tested them with V-8 monsters. This test concerns the smaller-engine versions of such vehicles, which still provide plenty of thrills, but are a little easier to live with, both in fuel costs and as daily drivers.
The Small-Engine Muscle Car Challenge
2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT V-6
2016 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus V-6
2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback
We flexed these muscle cars in a week’s worth of testing:
- We put them on a racetrack outside of Phoenix to see how well they performed in zero-to-60-mph tests, quarter-mile times and speeds, and 60-mph-to-zero braking distance tests.
- We drove them on a 130-mile real-world mileage course in and around Phoenix.
- We had our judges drive them back-to-back-to-back on the same pavement to evaluate ride, handling, comfort, acceleration and more.
From all of the points we awarded in those tests, we found our winner. Our judges were:
- Aaron Bragman, Cars.com Detroit bureau chief
- Joe Bruzek, Cars.com senior road test editor
- Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor
- Brian Robinson, PBS “MotorWeek” producer
The scoring broke down this way:
- 60 percent from the judges’ scoring
- 30 percent from the track tests
- 10 percent from the mileage drive
Here’s how they finished: