Buying Guides

The 5 Best Used Muscle Cars You Can Buy

These are the high-horsepower used cars you need to consider

Wade Thiel, Senior Staff Writer

Muscle cars are an enticing option when you're looking for something with more power and a little more attitude than a Honda Accord or a Chevrolet Malibu. There's nothing wrong with a comfortable sedan for the family, but if you can't stand a turbocharged four cylinder's noise, there are other options out there. Modern muscle cars are more than just dragstrip-ready performance rides and are viable everyday cars. They just pack plenty of amenities and provide tons of thrills during your everyday drives.

2012 Ford Mustang GT

 
  • PROS: Smooth ride quality, manual transmission available, modern retro styling, good handling and brakes.
  • CONS: Interior has a lot of cheap plastics, no telescoping steering wheel, Mustangs are everywhere.

There are few cars as well-known as the Ford Mustang and for good reason. The Stang is a real-deal muscle car with an affordable price tag, especially when it’s a used model. The 2012 Mustang GT offers a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 412 hp. Pair that with good seats and attractive retro styling, and you have a car that you’re going to love for a long time. The 2012 Mustang GT isn’t lacking when it comes to equipment either. At a bare minimum, the car comes with selectable electronic power steering assist, cruise control, electronic stability control, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input, Bluetooth and Ford SYNC with Sirius XM radio.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8

Best

for righteous burnouts

  • PROS: Cabin has plenty of room up front, manual transmission available, large trunk, upscale interior and unmistakable exterior styling.
  • CONS: Poor visibility in some situations, not the sharpest handling muscle car out there.

The Challenger SRT8 comes ready to drag race, but even if you don’t feel like blasting out a quarter mile with your foot to the floor, you’re going to enjoy this car. The Mustang may have retro-inspired styling, but the Challenger takes things to a whole other level, looking even more like its ancestor than the Mustang does. The challenger is classy, powerful and spacious (at lease in the front seats). It offers a seriously potent 470 hp 6.4-liter V8 engine that can rocket you in a straight line with wild force. At minimum, you’ll find the Challenger SRT8 equipped with premium leather seats, 20-inch wheels, modern stability control, ABS and an infotainment system equipped with Sirius XM radio, a USB port and Bluetooth.

2010 Dodge Charger R/T

 
  • PROS: Four doors, spacious seating, large trunk, good driving dynamics and handling.
  • CONS: Cheap feeling and looking interior materials, some people don’t like the four doors, small windows make the car feel cave-like.

Shift away from two-door muscle coupes for a second and you’ll find the Charger. It’s a muscle sedan for people who have a family and need to get things done other than roasting rear tires. The car can make tire smoke, but it also offers a spacious and comfy rear seat, four doors and a large trunk. That doesn’t stop the R/T’s 5.7-liter V8 from punching out 368 hp. This is the family man’s muscle sedan, and you can use it to pick up the kids or hoon around town like a silly teenager who just got his license. The Charger R/T also comes well equipped, featuring AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system with auxiliary input, cruise control, stability and traction control, ABS and you're bound to find models with optional equipment like leather power seats and upgraded audio systems.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE

Best

for weekend track days

  • PROS: Upscale interior, manual transmission option, seriously good steering and handling, modern and flashy looks on the outside.
  • CONS: Small windows impede visibility and make the car feel huge, small trunk and trunk opening.

If you’re looking for a car that is nimble as well as quick, the Camaro SS 1LE is the ticket. It’s got an angry 426 hp 6.2-liter V8 under the hood, a well-calibrated electronic power-steering system that the car shares with its more expensive ZL1 brother and sporty suspension. It feels like a big car, but it’s a willing pony and that will make you love it on a tight, technical road. It’s not very practical, but if you’re after performance, this is the car for you. The 1LE package includes a number of performance upgrades and the SS trim level brings with it plenty of creature comforts as well, including a 7-inch trouchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, auxiliary inputs and Sirius XM radio, navigation, power-adjustable heated seats and OnStar embedded telematics.

2014 Chevrolet SS

 
  • PROS: Comfy and spacious cabin, optional manual transmission, always fully-loaded with options, you’ll be one of the few out there who owns it.
  • CONS: Somewhat boring exterior, relatively high price for a Chevy, only car guys will know what it is.

The Chevrolet SS is the muscle sports sedan that was never given a fair shake. The car came to the States from Australia a few years after Pontiac went under and failed to gain much momentum. Although the SS sedan never really took off, it remains one of the best muscle cars out there because it packs a burly 6.2-liter V8 that produces 415 hp, is a riot to drive, comes with a manual transmission and can easily cart around the whole family. It’s the ultimate sleeper and if you love power but hate standing out, this is the car you should buy. The SS comes almost fully equipped no matter what, with heated and cooled power seats, a Bose stereo system with Bluetooth, Sirius XM radio and an 8-inch touchscreen display and a whole host of safety and driver assistance tech as standard equipment. Chevrolet canceled SS production, but you can still buy one used, thank heavens.

What to look for in a used muscle car

  • A burly V8 engine under the hood.
  • A front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout.
  • A trunk of a reasonable size and comfortable seats.
  • The application of modern traction and stability control.

(844) 801-8526
Call our vehicle experts for
assistance with your research.