KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 8/13/2012
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2013
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.
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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
The 2013 Ford Mustang coupe has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $23,000. A GT model comes in at around $31,000, a Boss 302 at $43,000, and a GT500 at $55,000. Convertible versions add about $5,000 to the price tag. At its base cost, the 2013 Mustang is priced about $1,200 below a base Chevy Camaro and roughly $3,500 below a base Dodge Challenger, making it the bargain of the trio and even undercutting a 4-cylinder Hyundai Genesis Coupe by more than $2,000. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2013 Ford Mustangs. Resale value of the Mustang is expected to be slightly below that of the Camaro and Challenger.