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Best Muscle Cars for 2021

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Our list of best muscle cars blurs the lines between American power and imports that might be considered sports cars, but the formula is much the same: a mid-size car with an engine from a full-size line. We focused on performance-oriented coupes and sedans that scored well — 4 stars or higher — on the highway, as well as in expert and consumer testing on Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds. (Notably, a few classic muscle cars that might fit the bill, like the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette, didn’t have enough reviews to allow us to make an informed decision.)

Best Muscle Cars for 2021
Model Score MSRP
Dodge Charger 4.25 $30,245
BMW 4 Series coupe 4.23 $45,600
Toyota GR Supra 4.25 $43,090
Chevrolet Camaro coupe 4.2 $25,000
Dodge Challenger 4.33 $30,245
Ford Mustang coupe 4.54 $27,155

2021 Dodge Charger

  • 4.2 out of 5
  • $30,245 starting MSRP
  • 23/19/30 MPG combined/city/highway

The base model SXT is a muscle car disguised as a roomy, comfortable sedan with a V6 engine, leather-wrapped steering wheel, infotainment tech (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity) and safety features like rear park assist. All-wheel drive (AWD) is an option on the SXT and GT levels. Move into major muscle car territory with the R/T trim driven by a HEMI V8, starting at $37,245. For the classic muscle car experience, the SRT Hellcat Widebody trim (MSRP $70,245) pumps out up to 717 horsepower and boasts a top speed of 196 mph. (Dodge also offers the SRT Experience to help you learn how to handle all that power.) It can be difficult to choose between the Charger’s seven total trims, but the experts at Edmunds recommend the Scat Pack model (MSRP $41,920) for the best blend of power and utility. It has the HEMI V8 under the hood and opens up desirable options like the Driver Confidence package and Widebody styling package.

2021 BMW 4 Series coupe

  • 4.23 out of 5
  • $45,600 starting MSRP
  • 29/26/34 MPG combined/city/highway

BMW takes a European approach to performance with a turbocharged four-cylinder compared to big American engines. Still, the 4 Series sticks with rear-wheel drive for a classic muscle car stance — or you can opt for all-wheel drive (which BMW calls xDrive) for an extra $2,000. Other upgrades include the $700 Adaptive M Suspension with air cushioning and dynamic control and M Sport brakes with calipers painted red or blue for $650. Opt for the M Sport package for $3,800 which adds safety and performance features like active driving assistant and lane departure warning, variable sport steering and an aerodynamic kit. For the full performance potential, move up to the M4 Coupe, the M-tuned version of the 4 Series coupe (MSRP $71,800). It definitely has a claim to muscle car territory with 473 horsepower and a zero-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds. The 4 Series also comes in a hardtop convertible.

2021 Toyota GR Supra

  • 4.25 out of 5
  • $43,090 starting MSRP
  • 28/25/32 MPG combined/city/highway

After an absence of more than 20 years, Toyota rolled out an all-new Supra lineup in 2019 as an alternative to the classic American muscle car. And while it’s based on the BMW Z4, Toyota has created a unique performance sports car all its own. For 2021, the base level 2.0 trim offers 255 horsepower from a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s equipped for a track-worthy driving experience with launch control, active cornering assist, paddle shifters and summer sport tires. Edmunds recommends the 3.0 Premium Edition trim (MSRP $54,590), which gets you the 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 382 horsepower and more luxury touches like smartphone integration, heated seats and leather upholstery. The limited-edition A91 Edition trim ($54,795) adds a unique premium paint color, carbon-fiber accents like outside mirrors and upgraded Brembo disc brakes. Keep in mind that Toyota’s driver assistance suite, Safety Sense, isn’t included on the Supra but, depending on the trim you choose, you could add the Safety and Technology package or the Driver Assist package for additional features.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro coupe

  • 4.2 out of 5
  • $25,000 starting MSRP
  • 25/22/30 MPG combined/city/highway

The Camaro has been a staple of the muscle car scene for decades, and the current version represents that heritage well. The base 1LS model runs with a 275-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, delivering respectable gas mileage in a performance car. A manual transmission is standard, but you can get the base Camaro with an eight-speed automatic (for another $1,495). Stepping up to the 1LT trim (MSRP $25,500) means you can opt for a 3.6-liter V6, which can be paired with a 10-speed paddle-shift automatic (MSRP $28,690). Finding a V8 under the hood means stepping up to the LT1 level (MSRP $34,000). At the peak of a long line of trims, the Camaro ZL1 level (MSRP $63,000) packs a supercharged V8 that puts out 650 horsepower and zooms from 0 mph to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission. If that’s out of your budget, Edmunds recommends adding the 1LE Track Performance Package ($4,500) to a lower-cost trim for upgraded brakes, suspension and tires, and an aerodynamics package. The Camaro also comes as a convertible.

2021 Dodge Challenger

  • 4.33 out of 5
  • $28,545 starting MSRP
  • 23/19/30 MPG combined/city/highway

The Challenger’s street cred dates back to the 1970s horsepower wars, and it’s still a contender. The coupe offers similar models and power options as its sibling, the four-door Charger. The base SXT packs a 303 horsepower V6 under the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has an array of features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and 7-inch infotainment touchscreen. All-wheel drive is a $3,000 option. Like the Charger, the experts at Edmunds recommend the R/T Scat Pack as the best bang for the buck in terms of the classic muscle car experience. You get the HEMI V8 and upgrades to suspension and brakes to manage the power, as well as a premium infotainment system. The king of the hill is the SRT Super Stock (MSRP $79,845) with supercharged V8 which delivers 807 horsepower and drag-strip ready performance.

2021 Ford Mustang coupe

  • 4.54 out of 5
  • $27,155 starting MSRP
  • 25/21/32 MPG combined/city/highway

While the look of the Mustang has evolved since its debut in 1964, its purpose remains the same — affordable performance. The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivers a respectable 310 horsepower in the base model. That said, the top-of-the-line Shelby GT500 is capable of 760 horsepower thanks to a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a starting MSRP to match: $72,900. But if that’s too rich for your blood, for 2021, Ford brought back the iconic Mach 1 (MSRP $52,720), the top of the standard Mustang line.The Mustang also comes as a convertible, as well as an all-electric Mach-E.

Ways to finance the best muscle cars

Finding the financing for your new muscle is just as important as picking out your favorite color and accessory packages. You can shop around for an auto loan the way you shop for a vehicle. Compare terms and rates to find the best deal for your budget. It’s possible to fill out a single form at LendingTree and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

 

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