2013 Ford Mustang
Strong performance; excellent performance value; comfortable interior; a modern design with retro cues
The 2013 Mustang comes in a wide set of models, ranging from casual sunny-day cruising or daily commuting to serious, track-ready performance. Both Coupe or Convertible body styles are offered in V6, V6 Premium, GT, and GT Premium models, while the very high-performance Boss 302 is only offered as a Coupe.
All Mustang models are 4-seaters; although convertibles are somewhat smaller in back, they're still a bit better for back-seat space than most convertibles. The power soft-top arrangement in Mustangs is tight and weatherproof, and takes up very little trunk space.
Base Mustang models come with a 3.7L V6, making 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, all GT models instead come with a 5.0L V8, now rated at 420 horsepower for 2013. At the top of the lineup, the Boss 302 makes 444 horsepower. With the optional 6-speed automatic, Mustangs get a new SelectShift toggle that allows you to click up or down a gear, with full manual control.
All 2013 Mustang models come with electric power steering, which saves fuel compared to hydraulic systems and it quite precise and nicely weighted here. The system also has features that might reduce fatigue from crosswinds and wheel ?shimmy.'
Both engines utilize Ford's Ti-VCT variable valve timing system, which affords both impressive high-rev power, strong torque at low revs, and great gas mileage-with EPA ratings of up to 31 mpg on the highway for the V6.
The Mustang's contemporary pony-car look carries over for 2013, only for 2013 it's been given a somewhat more aggressive look, with a more prominent grille design, plus new heat extractors for the GT and a new hood on all models. All models now include standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and new three-bar LED rear lamps-plus a new gloss-black panel connecting the taillights.
Base models of the Mustang include cruise control, air conditioning, a CD sound system with auxiliary input, remote keyless entry, and Ford's MyKey system, which allows parents to place limits on performance, or to set up alerts on vehicle use. GT models include an upgraded appearance throughout, including painted aluminum wheels, a dual exhaust, LED fog lamps, body-color blind spot mirrors, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates. On either of these models, Premium versions add leather seats, a MyColor customizable interior lighting system, a universal garage-door opener, an upgraded Shaker sound system with subwoofers and Sirius satellite radio, and Sync hands-free calling.
The Boss 302 builds on cues from the legendary 1970 Boss 302 and includes a special high-performance version of the 5.0L V8, plus a 3.73 limited-slip axle, adjustable shocks, a stiffer suspension with strut-tower brace, Brembo front brakes, unique black-painted wheels and cloth sport bucket seats, plus a unique front grille, lower air diffuser and black rear decklid spoiler.
New this year for both V6 and GT models are more supportive Recaro performance seats, A Performance Package available on V6 models adds a 3.31 axle ratio, summer performance tires on 19-inch wheels, a performance calibration for the stability control system, a strut-tower brace and the firmer suspension tune from the Mustang GT.
For 2012, the Mustang gets a new hood and grille, plus LED accent lighting and standard HID headlamps. All Mustang models with the automatic transmission now get a SelectShift feature that allows full manual control.
A Track Package has been introduced for GT models for 2013; it's offered only in manual GT Mustangs with the 3.73 axle and includes upgraded cooling, performance Brembo vented front discs, 19-inch alloy wheels and performance tires, and the Boss 302's Torsen differential.
Also new to the Mustang lineup is a 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen that includes trip-computer functions, as well as a new Track Apps function--displaying performance metrics like g forces and acceleration times. And the Recaro sport seats that have until now been the exclusive domain of the Shelby GT500 and Boss 302 models are now available on other Mustangs.
Deep Impact Blue and Gotta Have It Green are new exterior hues added to the Mustang palette for 2013.
The Mustang got an extensive redesign a couple of years ago, and it carries through with that same heritage pony-car look. Mustangs remain one of the strongest performance-coupe values for the money, thanks to prices that start in the low twenties and a bottom-line price of about $35k for a well-equipped GT Coupe. Additionally, Mustang Convertibles are one of the better picks for those who plan to make an impression when cruising and plan to carry passengers in the back seat.
Meanwhile, the powerful Boss 302 version is the choice for those who plan to do weekend racing and are willing to give up a slight bit of comfort.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.