8 Best Muscle Cars for 2019: Reviews, Photos, and More

A trifecta of American muscle cars with plenty of muscle.

What makes a modern muscle car? These days, it takes a lot more than a big, honking engine under the hood.

Today, enthusiasts can drive brawny cars that are both snarly and exhilarating, yet refined enough to serve as daily transportation.

What is a muscle car?

Purists will say a classic muscle car looks and drives like the all-American V8 sedans of the 1960s. They mean cars like the Dodge Charger, the Ford Mustang GT350, and the Chevy Camaro. Descendants of these original muscle cars do prowl the roads today. They’re still full of muscle — and have updated features for extra comfort.

Here’s a stableful of the best muscle cars we offer — and other powerful sedans — based on CarMax sales between July 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018.

Dodge Charger R/T
Chevrolet Camaro LS
Dodge Charger SXT
Chevrolet Camaro SS
Dodge Challenger SXT
Ford Mustang GT
Ford Mustang Ecoboost
Chevrolet Camaro LT

Dodge Charger R/T

The R/T trim is shorthand for road or track use, which you could conceivably manage in this high-performance model. Lift the hood on a 2014 Dodge Charger R/T ;and you’ll find a 370-hp Hemi® V8 glaring back at you, all torquey and mean-sounding. Look inside this four-door sedan, as we did in our Dodge Charger vs. Dodge Avenger article, and you’ll find it packed with features like leather seats, a sunroof, and a heated steering wheel.

Chevrolet Camaro LS

The LS-trim Camaro is plenty powerful for most drivers. The big, 3.6L V6 under the hood of a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro LS makes a very-respectable 323 hp (and at 278 ft-lbs of torque, gives ots of grunt off the line). And a six-speed manual transmission is available, to help max out your driving thrills.

Dodge Charger SXT

The 2015 Dodge Charger SXT comes with heated and cooled front seats, in addition to a V6 that puts out 292 hp. This trim is also available with all-wheel drive! This Charger is a big, slab-sided, four-door sedan with an imposing exterior. But inside it’s all comfy, with a heated steering wheel, front leather seats, and thoughtful driver aids like automatic cruise control and lane departure warning.

Chevrolet Camaro SS

The SS stands for Super Sport, and it’s the beefiest trim available for Camaro fans. A 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS puts a whopping 455 hp under your right foot and gives you 20-inch-plus alloy wheels and an available six-speed transmission. In our Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro article, we shared more about the Camaro and its decades-long competition with the Ford Mustang.

 

Dodge Challenger SXT

Trims like the 2014 Dodge Challenger SXT are sharp and aggressive-looking, and squeeze 305 hp from their 3.6L, six-cylinder engines. They ride on tall, 20-inch-plus alloy wheels, and give you some sharp features the original 1970s Challenger never had, including traction control and Bluetooth®.

 

Ford Mustang GT

The GT Mustang is a mighty machine, and it’s been in production longer than the other two cars on this short list. That’s saying something about its popularity with drivers. First introduced for 1965, the modern version now has many times the horsepower of the original. The 2016 Ford Mustang GT’s 5.0L, 435-hp V8 hurries you to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds (says Car and Driver).That’s about as fast as you can shift through the manual gearbox’s six gears.

Chevrolet Camaro LT

The Camaro’s latest exterior facelift hit the streets with a splash on the 2016 models and these trims look leaner and meaner than ever. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro LT is available as a hardtop or drop-top, and features include a 2.0L turbocharged engine that makes 275 hp, heated and cooled front seats, and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility.

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