By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
Ford's iconic pony car is still bucking as hard as ever, but these days it's not just a war of horsepower against rivals like the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Yes, power continues to soar to almost unimaginable levels for this everyman of sports cars, but not at the expense of fuel economy. New technology that includes track-specific software and mobile apps help keep this muscle car modern, while four seats and a tolerable ride make it worthy of being a daily driver. The 2013 Mustang coupe and convertible are available in a wide range of forms, from a low-$20,000 rear-wheel-drive sports-car bargain to the new king of the hill: The $55,000-plus Shelby GT500 that packs a 650-horsepower engine and an appetite for Camaro ZL1s.
Whether you want to relive your youth or are just looking for an affordable and livable sports car, the Mustang can grant your wish. Power-mongers who seek bragging rights to the world's most powerful production V8 engine can pony up to the Shelby GT500.
If you want your sports car to have a more sophisticated nature – or an independent rear suspension – you might want to steer toward a European contender. If you regularly need to carry more than just one passenger, you'll want to consider a coupe or sports sedan with a larger rear seat.
2013 Ford Mustangs receive minor tweaks to their exteriors, front and rear, plus added technology like the Track Apps software to measure performance, upgraded audio systems, and more power from the 5.0-liter V8 engine. A new supercharger gives the Shelby GT500 a monstrous upgrade in power, with its V8 churning out 650 horsepower.
Driving Impressions Though it still uses an old-fashioned solid rear axle, the 2013 Mustang performs well on twisty roads as well as open highways. What's wonderful about the Mustang is you don't...have to spend a bundle to have fun. Even a base coupe with the 3.7-liter V6 and 6-speed manual transmission is a kick. And keep in mind, "base" here means you get an engine sending 305 horsepower to the rear wheels. The transmission feels satisfying, and the new hill-start control works well in preventing the car from rolling backward when you let off the brake and engage the clutch. A 6-speed automatic is optional except in the Boss 302 and the fire-breathing Shelby GT500. Road noise is apparent on rougher roads. Steering feel can be set to sport, comfort, and standard modes, a nifty trick. Rear visibility in coupe models isn't great, but it's better than that of the Chevy Camaro.
LCD PRODUCTIVITY SCREEN
This 4.2-inch color screen in premium models sits directly in front of the driver, between the retro-style circular speedometer and tach. The screen works in tandem with the new Track Apps software to measure performance, and displays other information like fuel economy.
5.8-LITER SUPERCHARGED V8
The Shelby GT500's new engine is a monster – and the most powerful production V8 in the world, Ford says. If its 650-horsepower still aren't enough, there is an "over-rev" feature that temporarily boosts output to 662 tire-smoking horsepower.
The 2013 Ford Mustang's cabin is cozy and comfortable for a performance car. Soft-touch surfaces lend a more premium feel and work to overcome swaths of flat surfaces and plastic panels. Recaro racing-style seats are available, but even the standard front seats are supportive. The two rear seats look appealing with their deep sculpting, but legroom and headroom are very tight for adults. We treated them as cargo holders. Controls are relatively easy to use, even with the Electronics Package that adds an 8-inch color touch screen and navigation system.Exterior
Not looking a whole lot different from prior years is one of the things that makes the Ford Mustang iconic. For 2013, the Mustang sports new front and rear treatments, including high-intensity-discharge headlight and LED taillights. Along the sides, body-color rocker panels make the car look more cohesive. For those who want to let the outside in, but don't want a convertible, the Mustang coupe can be had with a glass roof. 2013 Mustang Boss 302 models are inspired by the 1970 version with a "hockey stick graphics" package. GT500 models have quad tailpipes and an aerodynamic front end that keep the car stable at 200 mph.
A base 2013 Mustang comes equipped with air conditioning, power windows/doors, AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary inputs, selectable steering feel, 50/50 folding rear seats in coupes, and remote keyless entry. Higher-trim models add a 4.2-inch color information screen, ambient lighting, Recaro cloth seats, a Shaker audio system and universal garage door opener. Convertible models feature a power-operated cloth roof.
Many extras for the 2013 Mustang are bundled in packages specific to trim. Among the extras included in the packages are heated front seats, leather trim, voice-activated navigation, side scoops, and nifty side mirrors that project the image of a pony on the ground below. Performance packages can further up the Mustang's ante with add-ons like Brembo brakes, stiffer suspension, Recaro leather seats, and bigger wheels with extra-grippy tires.
Power and good fuel economy are no longer mutually exclusive, and that is perhaps best seen in base Mustangs with V6 engines that make 305 horsepower and are rated up to 31 mpg. For those who thirst solely for power, the 2013 Shelby GT500 is the king of the hill with a supercharged V8 that makes an unbelievable 650 horsepower, yet attains better fuel economy than the previous model. In between are GT models with a 5.0-liter V8 and the Boss 302, with a higher-power version of the same engine. The standard transmission for V6, GT and Boss 302 models is a 6-speed manual. A 6-speed automatic is optional on V6 and GT models. The Shelby GT500 uses a Tremec 6-speed manual. All Mustangs are rear-wheel drive and have a traction-control system.
305 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 19/29 mpg (manual), 19/31 mpg (automatic)
420 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
444 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm (Boss 302)
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (Boss 302)
EPA city/highway fuel economy 15/26 mpg (manual), 18/25 mpg (automatic)
5.4-liter supercharged V8
650 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
600 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24 mpg
By doctor bass on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, performance, transmission and engine"
Cons: "Solid rear, clutch"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Feels heavy on road; handles better than it should. Convertible a bit wonky. Hate the clutch but love the tranny. Huge trunk for a ragtop."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Kris10 on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, fast, comfortable leather seats. 6 cd changer"
Cons: "hand washing due to soft top"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Very fun and fast ride. Great for short and long travels. I'm selling because I have a new driver in the house and need a smaller less sporty car."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By name on Thursday, September 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good on gas. Handles well. Plenty of power."
Cons: "Not comfortable. TC ABS SC issues."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I could rip ford a new one but thats the service department i had to deal with. 6 month back order on a traction control issue two weeks after i bought the car, and i had to drive it while it had that issue. If theres an issue with my Traction control that affects my brakes and causes the car to pull to one side or the other randomly but is fine when i turn the traction control off there is a major issue. The part they replaced did not fix my car. i still have this issue 3 years into ownership but i just turn off the traction control and it works great. This is the only issue i have had with the car and it could easily be rectified if i had the money for an aftermarket Stability control / ABS / Traction control system. If i decide to keep the car i will do that and upgrade the brakes while i'm at it. It gets me back and fourth to work with out an issue as long as i turn off traction control every morning."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Hank M on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "excellent car. Fun to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been the best car I have owned. It has been very reliable for almost 90K miles. I cant wait to get in it each and every time I go somewhere. Fast, handles great and with the top down it is awesome. Cant wait to get a new 2015 model."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Patty S on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fast, fun, beautiful and well priced"
Cons: "for long trips, a little hard on the backside."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I owned and drove cars 3 times the price of the Pony, and I rate this car top in its class. It has plenty of power and beauty. Handling is excellent. It shifts with no trouble even when going fast and needing that extra power to pass a slower vehicle. The larger wheels give a smooth ride. It is impressive and beautiful inside and out. I bought it for summer use only, but now have need to drive in snow. The car is up to the challenge, but I am not. It has low mileage because it was garaged 5 months of the year. I would keep it if I could. Gently handled, but the Pony was given many chances to run and run; it did. If speed is your ride, this is your car. Also, it has techie gadgets I don't use."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Joe on Sunday, September 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great performer all around wondrous to drive"
Cons: "Gas mileage rigid ride but thats high performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The car is a dream car its look is original and looks little to nothing like a Mustang. The car handles turns and with great driver feel. I wish i could tell you about high speed but cant the fastest i have seen it is a hundred and the handling was great. i cant say anything bad about it unless you want a smooth ride but that isnt what performance cars are about. i could talk forever about this car and have never met a person that didnt like it."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful