Will the comparisons never cease? Probably not. 2009 is arguably one of the most important years for performance cars ever, as we are sandwiched between the “Green” movement and an ugly recession. But not since the muscle car wars of the 60’s have there been so many great rear-wheel drive offerings from multiple manufacturers.

Consumer Reports recently lined up six of the best, and according to Mustangblog, Ford took top honors with the Mustang GT.

The first three contenders shouldn’t be difficult to guess. Nearly every automotive magazine in the country has pitted the Mustang GT, Camaro SS, and Challenger SRT8 against each other. The Camaro and Mustang have swapped top honors in different tests, though the Challenger always comes up in third for being so bulky and underpowered (who would have though 425 horsepower wouldn’t be enough?) But just to spice things up, Consumer Reports threw in the new Hyundai Genesis V6, the refreshed 370Z from Nissan, and the all-new Subaru WRX as well.

What separated the Mustang GT premium from the rest of the pack is its overall performance, agility, and interior comfort. It is neither the fastest nor the most powerful, but it achieves an impressive balance between daily driver and weekend warrior. The Mustang is lighter than the other muscle cars it was pitted against, but with more comfort than the 370Z or Hyundai. The WRX was a worthy competitor, but with 40 horsepower less than the Mustang it took a beating on the performance end.

All told, the Mustang walked away with 78 points out of 100 to its name, receiving a “Very Good” rating. The Camaro also got a “Very Good” but only with 71 points, and the Challenger managed to (barely) get a “Good” rating with 53 points.

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