2021 Camaro SS vs 2020 Mustang GT
If you’re looking for a sporty, powerful American car, your search will likely include the 2021 Mustang GT and 2021 Camaro SS. Both of these vehicles have long and storied histories, especially among fans of legendary American muscle cars. Since these vehicles have been around and making history for so long, they both already have established fanbases.
Some people swear by the Mustang and say they’d never consider anything else. Still, others say they’ve always known the Camaro is better than the Mustang. Some drivers may already have fierce brand loyalty to one vehicle or the other, but others prefer to take a more objective look. Compare the 2021 Camaro and 2021 Mustang in all of the following categories to see which of these two fast cars is superior.
Mustang GT Vs. Camaro SS Performance
If you’re buying a car like this, the engine is probably the first thing you’ll want to know about. The new Mustang is powerful, but reviewers have said it doesn’t exactly knock their socks off. Maybe the engineers at Ford are focusing their efforts elsewhere for the time being.
All we can say for sure is that the new 2021 Camaro absolutely dominates the 2021 Mustang in terms of power:
- 2021 Camaro Engine Options
- 3.6-liter V6 engine with 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque
- 6.2-liter V8 engine with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque
- 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque
- 2021 Mustang Engine Options
- 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque
- 5.0-liter V8 engine with 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque
- 2021 Camaro Engine Options
It’s really not even close, which might explain why the Camaro crushes the Mustang at the track. As tested by Motor Trend, the Chevy Camaro is faster than the Ford Mustang at every level and every distance. Their racecourse test saw the Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe get clocked a full 3.3 seconds faster than the Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback (80.67 to 83.97 seconds).
This might indicate that the handling of the Camaro is also superior to the new Mustang handling, but it could be all about the engine, too. Motor Trend seemed happy to pile on, releasing information about even more tests in which the Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8 is better than the Mustang:
- Zero to 30 miles per hour
- Zero to 50 miles per hour
- Zero to 80 miles per hour
- Zero to 100 miles per hour
- Passing 45 to 65 miles per hour
- Quarter mile
- Speed in quarter-mile
You get the point: the 2021 Camaro is clearly superior to the 2021 Mustang in terms of power and performance. Ford’s pony car just doesn’t gallop like it used to. We hate to beat the horse when it’s already dead, but there is one more thing you should know about the engine options in the tired new Mustang.
Camaro V6 Vs. Mustang V6
You might notice something interesting when you’re looking at the engine options above. The new Mustang doesn’t even have a V6 engine available– this year’s model gives drivers two choices:
- 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine
- 5.0-liter V8 engine
Given that, it’s no contest. The Camaro is the only choice if you’re looking for a classic American car with a V6 engine. Given the performance specs listed above, the Camaro cleans up in other categories as well.
Ford Mustang Vs. Chevy Camaro Handling
The Camaro has a wheelbase that’s 3.6 inches longer than the Mustang’s, giving the track-worthy Chevy car a smooth ride and stable handling. The difference shines through in a skidpad test from Car and Driver – the Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handled at a g-force of 1.18 while the Mustang GT Premium Fastback could only handle a g-force of .96. The convertible versions of these cars can pull slightly less g-force, but the Camaro still bests the Mustang.
Motor Trend conducted their own study of handling, and the results they found are in line with what we’ve seen from Car and Driver. In the “Figure Eight” maneuver test, the Camaro SS Coupe was able to complete it in 22.9 seconds at an average g-force of .91. The Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback took 25.1 seconds at an average g-force of .75. This is another significant advantage for the 2021 Camaro.
On top of all of that, the Camaro can weigh up to roughly 200 pounds less than the Mustang. This may explain why it accelerates more quickly, handles better, and burns less fuel. On top of all of that, the Camaro has better brakes and more stopping power.
The Camaro ZL1 employs larger front brake rotors than the ones found on the Mustang. The ability to stop quickly is important when you’re in a vehicle that can reach such high speeds, and the Camaro outperformed the Mustang in two separate tests:
- In Car and Driver’s 70 to zero miles per hour brake test, the Camaro stopped in 137 feet compared to the Mustang’s 165 feet.
- In Motor Trend’s 60 to zero miles per hour brake test, the Camaro stopped in 91 feet to the Mustang’s 111 feet.
The final factor that goes into performance and handling is the combination of tires and wheels. The Camaro comes with larger standard tires that also offer a better heigh to width ratio and stiffer sidewall. The Camaro’s larger wheels lead to better traction, more responsive handling, and superior brake cooling.
Even maintaining the tires is more convenient when you buy a Camaro. Chevy’s option has an easy tire fill system that comes completely standard, alerting the driver when the optimal pressure has been reached. That’s not an option on the Mustang. The Camaro also gains an edge by offering run-flat tires that can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure (unlike the Mustang).
Some people might already be ready to make a decision after comparing the power and handling of these two vehicles. Still, it’s important to consider other factors, even for a vehicle where performance is key.
Camaro Vs. Mustang Interior Features
The EPA rates the Camaro Coupe as a compact car, while the Mustang fastback is rated as a subcompact. That’s another way of saying the Camaro is more spacious, and the numbers don’t like:
- The Camaro Coupe has 93 cubic feet of passenger volume to the Mustang Fastback’s 82.8. That’s a difference of 10.2 cubic feet.
- The Camaro Convertible has 85 cubic feet of passenger volume compared to the Mustang Convertible’s 79.2, for a difference of 5.8 cubic feet.
- The Camaro Coupe has .9 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom, and .2 inches more rear headroom than the Mustang Fastback.
- With the tops, up, the Camaro Convertible has .8 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more rear legroom, and 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mustang Convertible does.
The interior of the Camaro also offers better technology and better ergonomics. The higher levels of the Camaro are available with a heads-up display system to project speed and other critical information, allowing the driver to stay informed without looking away from the road or track. The Mustang offers no such heads-up display.
- The Camaro also shines with other thoughtful features like the following:
- The new Camaro ZL1 comes standard with a wireless charging system in the center console for your devices. There’s no wireless charging available if you buy a Mustang.
- The Camaro has optional automatic dimming technology for all of the mirrors (rearview and side mirrors). Set them to darken automatically when they detect headlights, and you’ll avoid getting blinded by light while you’re driving at night. The
- Mustang does offer an automatic dimmer for the rearview mirror, but not the side mirrors.
- The 2021 Camaro has a barking brake that can set either with one-touch or automatically. The Mustang has a traditional, lever-type parking brake that has to be pulled up.
- The 2021 Camaro has available tilt-down mirrors to give the driver a better view of the curb while parallel parking and reduce blind spots when backing up. The 2021 Mustang doesn’t have mirrors that automatically adjust when the vehicle is in reverse.
2021 Mustang Vs. 2021 Camaro Safety
The superior handling of the Camaro makes it safer because the driver is in better control. Beyond that, there are some similarities when comparing the safety of these two vehicles. They both have all of the following safety features:
- Standard front airbags
- Side-impact air-bags
- Front seat knee airbags
- Front seatbelt pretensioners
- Anti Lock brakes
- Traction control
- Daytime running lights
- Electronic stability systems
- Rearview cameras
- Blind spot warning systems
- Rear parking sensors
- Rear cross-traffic warnings
- Available collision warning technology
Even for all of those similarities, there were some differences exposed when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted their small overlap frontal offset crash tests at 40 miles per hour. In this test, only 25% of the total vehicle is struck to see what would happen in a collision of this nature.
The Camaro outperformed the Mustang handily in this crash test. The Camaro is rated as having better restraints than the Mustang, and it also experienced less compression, movement, and force within the cabin. This might be a big part of the reason the Camaro received a rating of Good for the overall evaluation, while the Mustang was only rated as Acceptable.
Ford Vs. Chevy Reliability
The warranties for these vehicles are similar, but with a six-year corrosion warranty, the Camaro does offer an extra year compared to the five years you get with a Mustang. Beyond this minor difference in the warranties, there are some more significant differences between the reliability of the 2021 Camaro and the dependability of the 2021 Mustang.
For one, the battery of the Camaro is located in the trunk. This helps keep it potentially dozens of degrees cooler, which makes it last longer and function more effectively. The 2021 Mustang battery is located in the engine compartment, where it can reach high temperatures that will take years off of the life of the battery.
J.D. Power and Associates conducted a 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners to get some additional information about reliability. The results collected indicate that Chevrolet owners are more satisfied with their vehicles than Ford owners. This isn’t surprising since Chevrolet is better than the industry average in terms of initial quality while Ford is below average.
Chevy vehicles are also more reliable than Ford vehicles. This was clear in the J.D. Power and Associates 2019 survey of drivers who own vehicles of three years of age (intended to show the long-term reliability of vehicles). Again, Chevrolet is better than average, and Ford is worth than average. For every 100 Ford vehicles in the survey, there were a whopping 31 more problems.
On top of all of that, the 2021 Camaro is easier to service. This is thanks in large part to gas struts that support the hood. The Mustang still uses a propr rod to support the hood. This is inconvenient because the hood of the Mustang is heavy and can be hard to set on the prop rod.
Even at best, this is a minor inconvenience that makes lifting the hood take a few seconds later when there’s a problem that requires quick attention. The rod can also get in the way while you or the mechanic is trying to work. Worst case scenario, if the rod isn’t set in a stable manner, there’s a risk that the hood of the Mustang could fall while the vehicle is receiving maintenance.
2021 Camaro Vs. 2021 Mustang Fuel Economy
An EPA test cycle confirms that the Camaro gets better fuel efficiency than the Mustang. Part of the reason for this is that the Chevy vehicle has an engine control system to shut down some of the engine’s cylinders when they’re not needed, maximizing the mileage. Ford hasn’t included any such system to shut down part of the engine in the Mustang. The Camaro also has more fuel capacity than the Mustang, which means a longer range.
Cost of Ownership
The biggest cost of ownership for either of these cars will be the price itself:
- The 2021 Ford Mustang starts with an MSRP of $27,155.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro starts with an MSRP of $25,000.
It’s wild to think that the Camaro can outperform the Mustang in every category and still be less expensive, but here we are. The total cost of ownership may also be lower for the Camaro because of lower estimated insurance costs and lower estimated repair costs.
This comparison is a one-sided affair, but it’s still worth recapping what we’ve learned:
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to performance.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to engine options.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to handling.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to interior comfort.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to safety.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to reliability.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to fuel economy.
- The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro is better than the 2021 Ford Mustang when it comes to cost (both upfront cost and total cost of ownership).
Based on performance data, survey statistics, and expert reviews, there’s a clear winner of the Camaro vs. Mustang debate. Some people might still choose the Mustang because they’re fans of the brand, but the Camaro is poised to outperform and outlast. The comparison becomes even more clear in person.
What are you waiting for then? You can read about the new 2021 Camaro all day, but it will never be as exciting as driving one for yourself. Find a Chevy dealership near you and stop by for a test drive today!