One more model year before a complete makeover to celebrate its 50th anniversary: That's the story for the 2014 Ford Mustang. Almost nothing changes this year for the original ponycar, that iconic symbol of affordable performance that blends modern efficiency with a strong 1960s-America vibe. New technology that includes track-specific software and mobile apps helps keep this muscle car modern, while four seats and a tolerable ride make it worthy of being a daily driver. The 2014 Mustang coupe and convertible are available in a wide range of forms, from a low-$20,000 V6 rear-drive sporty-car bargain to the $55,000-plus Shelby GT500 that packs a 662-horsepower monster motor. What a country.
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 deliver. Power-mongers who seek bragging rights to the world's most powerful production V8 engine can opt for 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 prefer a European or Asian contender. And if you regularly need to transport occupants in the back seat, there are many more accommodating alternatives.
In anticipation of a major redesign next year, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic model, the 2014 Ford Mustang gets only some different paint colors and package contents. The Boss 302 model is dropped and the Shelby GT500's horsepower rating climbs to 662 (previously the temporary "over-rev" spec).
Driving the Mustang
Though it still uses an old-fashioned solid rear axle, the 2014 Mustang performs well on twisty roads and on open highways. As always, you don't have to spend a bundle...
... on a Mustang to have fun. Even a base coupe with the 3.7-liter V6 gives you 305 horsepower to play with. The standard 6-speed manual transmission feels satisfying, and the 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 fire-breathing Shelby GT500. Road noise is plenty apparent on rougher roads. Steering effort and 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 tachometer. The screen works in tandem with the Track Apps software to measure performance, and displays useful information including fuel economy.
5.8-LITER SUPERCHARGED V8 The Shelby GT500's engine is a monster, the most powerful production V8 in the world, Ford says. Its 662 horsepower gives the car massive acceleration, of course, but also a menacing attitude even when flowing smoothly with traffic.
2014 Ford Mustang Details
The 2014 Ford Mustang's cabin is cozy and comfortable for a performance car. Soft-touch surfaces lend a more premium feel, offsetting the impression of swaths of flat surfaces and plastic panels. Recaro racing-style seats are available, but even the standard front seats are nicely supportive. The two rear seats look appealing with their deep sculpting, but legroom and headroom are very tight for normal-size adults. Think of the back seats as handy stowage space. Controls are logically arrayed and easy to use. In the Premium and GT500 models, the Electronics Package 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 keep the Ford Mustang iconic. For 2014, the Mustang gets some new paint colors. The front and rear treatments introduced last year, including high-intensity-discharge headlight and LED taillights, carry on. Along the sides, body-color rocker panels make the car look more cohesive. For those who like to let the outside in, base V6 and GT V8 models can be had as convertibles, and the coupe offers an optional glass roof. GT500 models have quad tailpipes and an aerodynamic front end.
A base 2014 Mustang comes equipped with air conditioning, power windows and 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.
Most extras for the 2014 Mustang are bundled in packages specific to trim. Among the options available 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 crank up the Mustang's capability with Brembo brakes, stiffer suspension, leather Recaro seats, and bigger wheels with extra-grippy tires.
Under the Hood
Modern technology makes power and fuel efficiency less mutually exclusive than they used to be. Mustangs with V6 engines put out 305 horsepower yet they're rated at 31 mpg highway. The 5.0-liter V8 in GT models makes 420 horsepower and has a 26 mpg highway rating. The King of the Hill Shelby GT500 with its supercharged 5.8-liter V8 makes an unbelievable 662 horsepower, yet still gets a pretty thrifty 15/24 EPA rating. The standard transmission for V6 and GT is a 6-speed manual, with a 6-speed automatic option. The Shelby GT500 uses a heavy-duty Tremec 6-speed manual. All Mustangs are rear-wheel drive and have a traction-control system.
The 2014 Ford Mustang coupe has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $23,000. A GT model comes in at around $31,500 and a GT500 at $55,400. Convertible versions add about $5,000 to the price tag. At its base cost, the 2014 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 their 2014 Ford Mustangs. Resale value of the Mustang is expected to be slightly below that of the Camaro and Challenger.
"I am so incredibly impressed with the 4.0 ltr. I cannot even say. I swore I would never EVER own a 6 cyclinder. After all what is the point, right? WRONG. This little pony is plenty fast and has A LOT of get up and go. Great gas mileage and she looks just as good going as she does coming. She has everything my other two classics do not have. Speed and Class. I love this car and if you can get a deal on a Mustang ANY year, you are a fool to pass it up."