2010 Chevrolet Camaro

2010 Chevrolet Camaro

2009 Dodge Challenger

2009 Dodge Challenger

Sales of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro have been fast and furious, handily beating the Mustang for monthly sales in June, July and August, but when it comes to street-level performance, the 'Stang gets the nod. At least, that's what Consumer Reports' road test comparison of the three concluded.

While the competition between the Camaro SS and the 2010 Mustang GT was close - the Chevy scored 71 points to the Mustang's 78 - the Challenger R/T was left holding the low-tech bag with a mere 53 points. Those scores correlate to "Very Good" for the Camaro and Mustang and just "Good" for the Challenger.

The bottom line differences between the three came down to size and weight. While the Camaro accelerates well and handles admirably, its size and 'girth' give the Mustang the edge. The Challenger also suffered from its portly size, failing to match up in braking and handling.

Also compared alongside the three muscled-up pony cars was an odd assortment of import metal: the Nissan 370Z, Subaru WRX and Hyundai Genesis Coupe. While each of the imports shares little in common with each other, the 370Z arguably fits the bill of 'Japanese muscle car', so it may be an apt point of comparison.

Except CR neglected to give us the numeric scores of the three out-of-town contenders, only noting that all of them scored in the "Very Good" range.

The obvious difference between the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger is that the Mustang has been 'back' longer than either of the alternatives; Ford has had time to tune and tweak the car to work the kinks out of it while the other cars were merely twinkles in a product planner's eye.

And in the end, that shows through in CR's assessment of the Ford as the more civilized and smooth performer of the three.