Which Musclecar Would Be the Best Graduation Present?

Let's paint a completely hypothetical picture here. You've graduated. It is all over. No more school (besides grad school!). You got a job with a nice salary already, and your parents are so proud they want to help you buy your first set of wheels. If you're a male and have any sense of masculinity whatsoever, you will probably want an entry-level musclecar. Naaah, you don't want any of that "holy crap, my insurance is more than my car payment" V-8 nonsense. You want one of the just powerful enough V-6 models that carry all of the style, without the frightening beast under the hood.

American carmakers know people like you exist, and boy howdy are they duking it out to earn your cash.

The revival started with the Mustang back in the 2005 model year. It got retro looks, and ancient powertrains. Back then they had virtually no competition, so the base model could be as crummy as possible. Then, the new Camaro came out with its 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Dodge was still limping along on bailout money, and couldn't put any flashy engines in the Challenger... until now.

And that is what makes this choice so complicated these days. Dodge is finally upgrading the powertrains in the Challenger for the 2011 model year. Let's face it, the Challenger was always the best looking of the bunch. Its design is the simplest, which makes it look the most like a classic musclecar. It didn't have the driving characteristics to compete back then with its outdated 250-horsepower V-6. That is getting replaced with a 3.6-liter 305-horsepower engine next year, which puts the best looker right next to its competitors in the power category.

So now the Challenger isn't the lame duck of the three when it comes to power. If the suspension has been fiddled with as well, it might drive as well as the other two come 2011. But, if you're just looking for a musclecar that has all the looks and enough oomph to move its metal as a graduation present to yourself, the Challenger is about to be worth a second look. Watch out Mustang.

Source: [MotorAuthority]

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