Inside America's Favorite Pony Car
A look at the 2020 Ford Mustang GT.
The Ford Mustang is an iconic muscle car, known for starting the pony car rage. Presently, the 'Stang goes head to head with the same rivals-the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. In this review we're going to go deep into today's and yesterday's Mustang.
The Ford Mustang was first introduced in 1964 as the original pony car. Starting at about $2,368 ($20,000 in today's money), it was pretty cheap, especially compared to the pricing now. The original mustang was rear wheel drive and could be equipped with a 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, or 3-speed automatic. In addition, it could come in either convertible or fastback configurations, just as it does today.
Currently, the Mustang's starting price is not as low as it was in the 60's. The GT model starts at $37,075 (Including fees), but this particular one is optioned up to $44,745 (Including fees) with features and packages like the GT Performance package and 301A Equipment Group. All Mustang Fastback models and their prices, with fees included, are listed below. Overall, the Mustang is priced well, but options can add up fast and getting a decent infotainment display system costs $2,000 (Package comes with additional features).
2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: $27,260
2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium: $32,275
2020 Ford Mustang GT: $37,075
2020 Ford Mustang GT Premium: $41,075
2020 Ford Mustang BULLITT: $48,900
Somewhat controversially, a non-V8 engine is available for the Mustang, and is the only engine available on some trim levels. The GT model we're reviewing is powered by a 5.0 L V8 engine that delivers all 460 tire slipping horsepower to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission (#savethemanuals). While a more efficient 10-speed automatic is available, we don't recommend it, it just isn't the same with an auto. Another reason not to get the 10-speed is its serious issues, but we won't get into that. Thanks to the 420 lb-ft of torque and launch control, the Mustang GT will do 0-60 in about 4.2 seconds, just try to control that inevitable rubber burning off the line.
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L EcoBoost engine: 310 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L high performance EcoBoost engine: 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
2020 Ford Mustang 5.0 L V8 engine: 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
2020 Ford Mustang 5.0 L V8 BULLITT: 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, 6-speed manual transmission.
Ha! Don't expect to be remotely efficient when driving any of the Mustang models. The GT we're reviewing will do just 15 city/24 highway. When fitted with the 10-speed automatic, the GT will do a slightly improved, but still not acceptable, 16 city/25 highway.
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L EcoBoost 6-speed manual: 21 city/30 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L EcoBoost 10-speed automatic: 21 city/32 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L High Performance EcoBoost 6-speed manual: 20 city/27 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 L High Performance EcoBoost 10-speed automatic: 20 city/28 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 5.0 L V8 6-speed manual: 15 city/24 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 5.0 L V8 10-speed automatic: 16 city/25 highway
2020 Ford Mustang 5.0 L V8 BULLITT 6-speed manual: 14 city/23 highway
What Does The "Performance" Part Of GT Performance Pack Mean?
$5,195 of the $44,000 price tag of this Mustang is due to the GT Performance Pack. That's a hefty sum of money, so what exactly does it buy? This includes, but isn't limited to, 19-inch aluminium wheels, Brembo front brakes, a performance rear wing, a strut-tower brace, a TORSEN differential, and performance tuning. If you want a performance oriented Mustang, go ahead and equip the GT Performance pack. Although it doesn't increase power, it adds an abundance of handling features and appearance items. If you're looking to spend less on a package, go for the Ford Safe and Smart package which we will get into later.
The Mustang: A 2-door American muscle car, not a luxury sedan with a premium interior. With that being said, however, it isn't awful either. This GT's interior is a nice place to be because of a 9 speaker audio system, dual zone electronic automatic climate control, a SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, AppleLink, Android Auto, and a 8-inch display, 6-way power front seats, and cloth bucket seats. If you're not a fan of regular seats, Recaro seats are a $1,595 option. Premium trim levels tend to be more luxurious, for example, the EcoBoost Premium is a great deal more luxurious than the Mustang GT even though it is a higher trim level. Cargo capacity isn't the focus of the Mustang, not by a long shot, so if you're trying to haul anything, don't let it be over 13.5 cubic feet.
Moving on to styling, there is nothing special in this category. Styling may not be anything special in the 'Stang, but quality of materials is quite impressive, especially for a muscle car.
2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: 2/4-way manual front seats, cloth bucket seats, a 6-speaker audio system, a SYNC infotainment system, and manual climate control.
2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium: 6-way power front seats, heated and cooled leather front seats, dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker audio system, and a SYNC 3 infotainment system.
2020 Ford Mustang GT (EcoBoost features plus): 6-way power front seats w/power driver lumbar.
2020 Ford Mustang GT Premium (Same as EcoBoost Premium): 6-way power front seats, heated and cooled leather front seats, dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker audio system, and a SYNC 3 infotainment system.
2020 Ford Mustang (EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, and GT Premium features plus or replaces): Leather trimmed front bucket seats with dark highland green accent stitching, a heated steering wheel, a 12-inch LCD instrument cluster, green stitching, BULLITT logos, and a white cue ball shift knob.
Being a muscle car, the Mustang doesn't do exceptionally well in crash tests. The IIHS gave it a G (Good, highest) rating for all crash tests except for small overlap front: driver-side, which is an important one. Comparing the Mustang's safety to other muscle cars, the Chevrolet Camaro received a G rating for all crash tests excluding roof strength. Driver assistance features onboard this GT include dual front airbags, driver's knee airbag, side impact airbags, a Personal Safety System, and an SOS post-crash alert system. Remember, this is a $44,000 car, and all that's included is airbags and an alert system. This is quite disappointing, but most buyers won't care. Standard features aren't plentiful, but they do exist. In the $1,000 Ford Safe and Smart package you get pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane-keep alert, adaptive cruise control and rain sensing wipers. With this fitted, the Mustang becomes a much safer vehicle.
The 2020 Ford Mustang GT is just like the one from 55 years ago-a rear wheel drive manual V8 sports car. Standard safety features are nearly non-existent and practicality isn't in the 'Stang's dictionary, but that doesn't matter! It's a muscle car at the end of the day, you don't know why you bought it, but you love it.