Just as it was in 1967, the 2011 Ford Mustang and 2011 Chevrolet Camaro are natural rivals, not only in their design and performance, but also in showroom sales. So we didn't need Ford to tell us that the Camaro is the most cross-shopped vehicle for Mustang buyers. We were surprised, however, when Ford revealed the second most cross-shopped vehicle. We suspected -- as you may -- either the Dodge Challenger, the Hyundai Genesis coupe, or the Nissan 370Z. After the Camaro, though, Ford says shoppers are most likely to compare the Mustang with the Honda Accord coupe. So we gathered the two coupes for head-to-head comparison.
Ford's emotive pony car stands in dramatic contrast to the conservative styling, family-sedan roots, and front-wheel drive of the Honda. The pairing, though, starts to look more natural once we have keys and window stickers in hand. Both cars offer the sporty image of a coupe with high-output V-6 engines and six-speed manual transmissions and just $600 separates the two cars we're driving. The Accord -- an EX-L with navigation and no other options -- is the more expensive at $32,055. Standard equipment includes leather, heated seats, a ten-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, and a seven-speaker audio system.
The premium-trim Mustang starts at $26,695 but is priced at $31,445 here. Upgrading from a base car to the premium package is worth it simply for the meatier leather stitched steering wheel that replaces the wimpy, cheap molded plastic wheel. You'll also get leather seats, a partial power driver's seat, and Ford's Sync system that connects cell phones and portable audio devices. Our options included the cosmetic Mustang Club of America package ($995), security package ($395), backup camera ($385), a shorter 3.31:1 rear axle ($395), and heated seats with a partial power passenger's seat ($595). Our test car also boasted the $1995 performance package, which is a must-have in our opinion. It adds a firmer suspension similar to that in the Mustang GT, 19-inch wheels, Pirelli PZero tires, upgraded brakes, and a sport mode for the stability control. Navigation, while not here, can be had in combination with automatic climate control and HD radio for $2350.