So here we have Consumer Reports emphatically confirming what customers have already acknowledged - the Ford Mustang is hotter than the Chevrolet Camaro.
In a recent head-to-head test, CR's testers gave the Mustang a Very Good road test score, while the Camaro earned a mere Good. This was in a face-off of V-6 versions. The Mustang is now two-for-two: in last year's CR face-off between V-8 versions of these two, the Mustang trumped the Camaro "despite being an older design," to quote CR.
The Mustang's advantage this time is its new V-6 engine. It is "not only more refined than the Camaro's, it delivered stronger acceleration and better fuel economy."
As David Champion, head of CR's auto testing put it, "The Mustang is the more agile and enjoyable car to drive of the two.
Moreover, the Mustang is on CR's Recommended list, while the Camaro is too new for Consumer Reports to have reliability data.
It should come as no surprise, then, that we find the new V-6 Mustang doing very well sales-wise. The new V-6 and some pretty aggressive pricing are the reasons why.
First, the engine: It's an all-new aluminum 3.7-litre, dual-overhead camshaft V-6 which at 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque represents an increase of 45 per cent and 17 per cent respectively versus the 2010 sadder 4.0-litre V-6 engine.
Now pricing: The average price of a V-6 Mustang, less customer cash rebates, is a pretty affordable $27,879. Compare that to the Camaro at $33,162 and the Challenger at $30,355.
Which brings us to sales. Real-time sales information from the Power Information Network (PIN) shows that V-6 Mustangs are sitting on dealer lots for just 18 days on average. That's what they call a quick "turn rate" in the car business. By comparison, the six-cylinder Camaro has a 29-day turn rate and the Dodge Challenger has a whopping 55-day turn rate.
Looks to me as though an ages-old auto industry tactic is at work here: give buyers more car for less money and they'll bite.
What customers want: Quality, quality and quality
How much does that new car cost?