2019 Dodge Challenger vs. 2019 Ford Shelby GT350

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Challenger has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Challenger offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Shelby GT350 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Challenger offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Dodge Challenger has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

To help make backing safer, the Challenger’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Challenger and the Shelby GT350 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.


The Shelby GT350’s redline is at 8250 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Challenger has a 5800 to 6500 RPM redline.

The battery on the Challenger is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the Challenger’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Shelby GT350’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.


The Challenger R/T Scat Pack’s standard 6.4 V8 produces 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (475 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8. The Challenger Hellcat Redeye’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 271 more horsepower (797 vs. 526) and 278 lbs.-ft. more torque (707 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Challenger SRT Hellcat 6.2 supercharged V8 is faster than the Ford Shelby GT350 (manual transmissions tested):



Shelby GT350

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.1 sec

8.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

12.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

124 MPH

119 MPH

Top Speed

199 MPH

175 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Challenger R/T manual RWD 5.7 V8 (375 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT350

(15 city/23 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Challenger 5.7/6.4 V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Challenger has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT350 (18.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Challenger offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Challenger has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

All wheel drive, available in the Challenger, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Ford Shelby GT350 is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

The Challenger stops much shorter than the Shelby GT350:



Shelby GT350


70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Challenger offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Shelby GT350’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Challenger has a standard space-saver spare (not available on R/T Scat Pack/Hellcat) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Shelby GT350; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Challenger’s wheelbase is 9.1 inches longer than on the Shelby GT350 (116.2 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Challenger is 1 inch wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Shelby GT350.

For better maneuverability, the Challenger SXT/GT/R/T’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Challenger SRT Hellcat’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).


To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Challenger has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Shelby GT350 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Challenger Scat Pack is quieter than the Shelby GT350 Coupe:



Shelby GT350


85 dB

90 dB

70 MPH Cruising

72 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Challenger a Compact car, while the Shelby GT350 is rated a Two Seater.

The Challenger offers optional seating for 5 passengers; the Shelby GT350 can only carry up to 4.

The Challenger has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (93.7 vs. 84.5).

The Challenger has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 2.2 inches more front shoulder room than the Shelby GT350R Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Challenger has a much larger trunk than the Shelby GT350R Coupe (16.2 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Challenger uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Shelby GT350 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.


The Challenger Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Challenger’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Shelby GT350’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Challenger detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Challenger’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

On extremely cold winter days, the Challenger’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Challenger has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Challenger has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Shelby GT350.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Challenger has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Challenger offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.


J.D. Power and Associates rated the Challenger first among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Shelby GT350 isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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