We're in love with modern muscle cars not just because they evoke the glorious American drag-racing past but because they're thrilling to drive (and not just in a straight line anymore). But there are really only three real muscle cars left now that the awesome Chevy SS is no more. There's the Chevy Camaro, the Ford Mustang, and the Dodge Challenger. Bu the one weak-link in the formula is the interior. They tend to be horrendous when it comes to ergonomics and visibility. Only one of them does it well.
The first violator is the Mustang. Though this original pony car has evolved into a more of a world muscle car with its more sophisticated exterior design (angled taillights, lower hoodline) and its improved performance (no more live rear axle), the interior hasn't come as far. Though the bold three-spoke steering wheel and six-speed manual shift knob are great, as are the center vents, the rest of the interior looks slapped together. The aluminum-like portion of the center stack that blends into the dash feels cheap, and the climate controls are clustered together awkwardly. The tops of the outer dash also look and feel clunky. We expect more of this legend.
The Camaro doesn't fare much better due to its "War of the Worlds" alien head steering wheel hub and the weird downward angle of the infotainment system that seems overdone The materials quality doesn't help much, either, with lots of cheap, matte black plastic that feels hard to the touch. The worst part of the interior is the location of the main HVAC vents. They're absolutely huge, which is a good thing, and the outer ring that controls the temperature is pretty ingenious, but it's the location that makes no sense to us. The big vents are placed right in front of the shift knob, where cold or hot air blasts onto your hand. Only good if you have sweaty palms, in our opinion.
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In the end, we get muscle cars aren't practical, to begin with. They're just not meant to be. They were designed to be fast, masculine, aggressive, the envy of every guy in the neighborhood. But things have changed since the '50s and '60s, and consumers no longer want to suffer for the sake of performance. They demand better a better user experience from their infotainment, improved comfort, and overall ease-of-use when it comes to controls. It's surprising that the ergonomics haven't come nearly as far as the muscle car driving experience. Let's just hope things change before the muscle car dies out completely.