A sure way to attract attention on the road–or at the barn–is to drive a Ford Mustang. Even though it’s been around for more than 50 years, this classic American icon is still a head turner and loaded with modern technology. A refresh for the 2018 model year makes it a strong contender among sports cars. Even the mares strolled over to check it out!
The rear-wheel-drive Mustang is available with several different powertrains, body styles and price levels so you can find the one that’s right for you and your budget. It’s available in numerous trims: EcoBoost Fastback, EcoBoost Premium Fastback, EcoBoost Convertible, EcoBoost Premium Convertible, GT Fastback, GT Premium Fastback, GT Premium Convertible, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R. Starting prices range from $25,680 all the way to $64,750.
The EcoBoost trims are powered by a lively turbocharged four-cylinder engine while the GT models have very powerful V8 engines. The old V6 engine has ridden off into the sunset.
My tester has the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that makes 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s quick off the line, although there’s a slight turbo lag. There’s plenty of power for everyday driving. This pony really shines when you let it loose on curvy roads. It stays planted with a smooth Goldilocks ride that’s neither too harsh nor too soft.
Visibility is fine to the front but limited to the back and rear so it’s good that a rear view camera is standard on all Mustangs.
If you want more power, the GT models have a 5.0-liter V8 that has 460 horses and 420 pound-feet. Still not enough? The Shelby high-performance trims have a 5.2-liter V8 that makes 526 hp and 429 pound-feet.
The standard transmission is a six-speed manual. My tester has the 10-speed automatic transmission which is new for 2018.
EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 21 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25. I got 23 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is attractive with quality materials. The front seats are comfortable and supportive. While all Mustangs seat four passengers, except the Shelby GT350R which just has room for two, the back seat is really not suited for adult humans. Getting in and out can be a challenge and if you’re taller than about 4’10”, you’re going to feel very cramped.
I like Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. It’s user-friendly and responds accurately to most voice commands. The touchscreen is easy to see and use.
Standard features in all Mustangs include push-button start, cloth upholstery, rearview camera, MyKey, Bluetooth, two USB ports, six-speaker audio system, Ford’s Sync voice-controlled connectivity system, and Track Apps, which lets you record lap times and other performance data.
Available features include remote start, leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable front seats, heated and cooled front seats, Recaro front sport seats, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-speaker Shaker audio system, satellite radio, and the Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. An optional 12-inch digital gauge cluster lets you choose the info you want to display and you can also choose from different layouts.
Available driver assistance technologies include rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.
I love the Mustang pony light that’s projected off of the side view mirrors. Not only is it a fun feature but it’s practical, too, as it helps you avoid puddles or rough ground when getting in and out of the car when it’s dark outside.
Trunk space is good for the segment with 13.5 cubic feet in fastback models and 11.4 cubes in the convertible, and a 50/50 split-folding rear seat.
Starting price is lower than many rivals
Available with many different trims and engines so you can get the right Mustang for you
User-friendly infotainment system
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available
Back seat cramped for all but very small passengers
My tester starts at $30,600. Equipment Group 201A is $2,200 and adds Premier trim with color accent group, Premier floor mats with accent stitching and voice activated touchscreen navigation system. The 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission is $1,595. The EcoBoost Performance Package is $2,495 and adds 3.55 ratio limited slip axle, 19×9 low gloss black aluminum wheels and performance rear wing. The Safe & Smart Package is $1,495 and adds adaptive cruise control, BLIS with cross-traffic alert. The Enhanced Security Package is $395 and adds an active anti-theft system and wheel locking kit. The shaker Pro Audio System is $895 and adds a 12-speaker system. The MagneRide Dampening system is $1,695. Delivery fee is $900 bringing the grand total to $42,270.
The Ford Mustang is a perennial favorite for good reason. It’s fun to drive, looks great and is available with several powertrain and pricing options so you can find the right pony for you.