2017 Ford Mustang Overview
Pros & Cons
- Broad range of powerful engines
- Smooth ride and agile handling
- High-end cabin
- Earns good crash-test scores
- Small back seat
Notable for 2017
- No major changes
Ford Mustang Rankings and Research
The 2017 Ford Mustang ranking is based on its score within the Sports Cars category. Currently the Ford Mustang has a score of 8.7 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 30 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
2017 Ford Mustang Pictures
2017 Ford Mustang Review
Drivers looking for an American muscle car will find a lot to like about the 2017 Ford Mustang. With various body styles, trims, and engines – ranging from a fuel-efficient four-cylinder to two muscular V8s – you should have no trouble finding the right Mustang for you.
Is the Ford Mustang a Good Car?
The Mustang ranks near the top of our sports car class because it combines outstanding performance, a top-notch cabin, and excellent safety scores. Few competitors can match the Mustang's thrilling performance and comfortable daily drivability for such a low price. It has a very cramped back seat, but that's a common characteristic of most sports coupes.
Should I Buy the Ford Mustang?
If you're in the market for an affordable muscle car, you can't go wrong with the Mustang. It has a range of engines, trims, and body styles so you can find the model that best fits your needs. The base price is one of the lowest in the class, and you get a long list of standard features. Even if you choose one of the high-performance Shelby trims (both of which have a starting price above $50,000), you'll get more power for less money than what you'd pay for many of the cars in our luxury sports car class. The Mustang also has one of the highest safety scores for a sports car, so if your fun gets out of hand, you should be well-protected.
We Did the Research for You: 30 Pieces of Data Analyzed
Our writers and analysts researched and sorted through 30 different data points, including published reviews and safety and reliability data, to compile our rankings and write this review. Our reviews are consumer-focused, so instead of lap times we let you know how livable a car is on a day-to-day basis. We review everything from the Mustang's engine power to its trunk space, and even its crash test results, so you can find it all in one place. The Mustang's last full redesign was for the 2015 model year. Since it has seen only minor changes since then, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 through 2017 model years.
Why You Can Trust Us
Our team here at U.S. News Best Cars has 75 years of combined experience working and writing in the automotive sector. On top of that, we've been ranking vehicles for nearly a decade. We remain completely impartial in writing our reviews, and accept no expensive gifts, trips, or bribes of any kind from automotive manufacturers. Even our ads are sold by an outside partner to keep our editorial staff separate from the influence of advertisers.
How Much Does the Ford Mustang Cost?
The 2017 Ford Mustang has one of the lowest starting prices in the class, with a base price of $24,915 for the Mustang V6. If you choose to upgrade to a more potent engine, you can expect the price to get upgraded as well. With the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Mustang EcoBoost starts at $25,920. The GT Fastback is the cheapest model you can get with a V8 under the hood. It starts at $32,920. The high-performance Shelby GT350 costs $54,570, and the track-focused Shelby GT350R starts at $62,345.
The base Mustang has a fastback (coupe) body style, but a convertible is available. To get it, you'll have to move up to the V6 Convertible trim, which starts at $30,415. That's a few thousand dollars less than you'd pony up for a convertible Chevrolet Camaro, but if you want to buy a convertible on the cheap, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is about $5,000 less than the Mustang. Drivers who want V8 power in a convertible will have to shell out $42,420 for the GT Premium Convertible.
Ford Mustang Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro?
Few cars have been battling it out as long as the Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have. America's two largest automakers have been duking it out with their good old-fashioned muscle cars for five decades now. The latest models have similar prices and similar performance, but the Mustang manages to beat out the Camaro as the better buy. The Mustang earns higher safety scores, so you'll be protected if you lose control of all that power. The Camaro does have a longer list of standard features to enjoy in the cabin, including a 7-inch infotainment system. The view of the road from the Camaro's driver's seat is limited by the small windshield and narrow windows, while the Mustang lets you easily see every upcoming twist and turn.
In addition to their V8-powered models, both the Mustang and Camaro offer V6 and turbocharged four-cylinder engine choices. In the Mustang, the V6 is the base engine and the turbocharged four-cylinder comes in the Mustang EcoBoost models. Chevy does the opposite in the Camaro. Its base engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is less powerful than the Mustang's V6 and turbo-four. The V6 Camaro is positioned above the turbo-four, and it offers more power than the two aforementioned Mustang engines.
Read more about the Mustang and Camaro in our head-to-head matchup.
Which Is Better: Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger?
Like the Camaro, the Dodge Challenger has been chasing after the Mustang's glory for decades. The Mustang beats the Challenger's performance because it's more athletic around corners. The Challenger's large size makes it less composed through turns. Both models have a range of engines to choose from, including some that are fuel-efficient and others that guzzle gas but give you maximum horsepower. Inside, things are a bit different. The Challenger's cabin doesn't look quite as upscale as the Mustang's, but if you need the car to double as an occasional family shuttle, the Challenger is the better fit. There's barely any room in the Mustang's rear seats, while the Challenger has enough back-seat space to fit a couple adults. The Challenger also has a larger trunk than the Mustang. Additionally, the Challenger offers an all-wheel-drive variant with its V6 engine. No other muscle car offers all-wheel drive.
Which Is Better: Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Corvette?
The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette are completely different beasts (that's why they're in separate classes in our rankings). The Mustang is a four-seat affordable muscle car that happens to have nimble handling, while the Corvette is an all-out sports car that only has two seats. The Corvette has a starting price that's more than double what you'd pay for the base Mustang, though you do get more features and a standard 455-horsepower V8. It's worth noting that the Corvette's standard V8 is the engine that powers the Chevy Camaro SS. Still, if you're willing to pay more than $50,000, you can have the Mustang Shelby GT350 or GT350R, both of which have more powerful engines than the standard Corvette.
Mustang Engine: Plenty of Powerful Engines to Choose From
The Mustang's base 3.7-liter V6 engine makes 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. That's comparable to the output from the Dodge Challenger's standard V6, and more than you'll get from the Chevrolet Camaro's base turbocharged four-cylinder. However, it is less than you'll get with the Camaro's optional V6.
Even though the V6 may be tempting, you'll get more power and much better fuel economy from the optional EcoBoost engine. It's a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that operates very smoothly, so you'll have the power when you want it. The turbo-four delivers 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.
On the other hand, it takes a V8 to make a true muscle car, and that’s where the Mustang GT comes in. Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, the GT has plenty of power and a great engine note. The Mustang's optional V8 delivers nearly as much power as the 6.2-liter V8 that powers the Chevrolet Corvette and Chevy Camaro SS.
With all three engines, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. You'll enjoy either transmission; both deliver smooth shifts and complement their engines well.
Mustang buyers who want unbridled performance should check out the Mustang GT350 and GT350R. Both feature a 5.2-liter V8 that produces 526 horsepower, 429 pound-feet of torque, and nearly unparalleled thrills when you stomp on the accelerator. A six-speed manual transmission is the only choice in these trims, but would you have it any other way?
Mustang Gas Mileage: Choose the EcoBoost to Save Gas
You're better off with the Mustang EcoBoost, which has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, because you'll get both more power and better fuel economy than you will with the base V6. The EcoBoost model gets 21 mpg around town and 30 mpg on the freeway. The Camaro with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine earns slightly better fuel economy, getting 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway.
Mustang Ride and Handling: Poised Handling
In contrast to classic muscle cars from the 1970s, the Mustang isn’t just a one-trick pony. Today’s Mustang can do more than just drive fast in a straight line. It corners with agility, and in most models the ride is smooth without feeling floaty. Opting for suspension upgrades makes the Mustang’s handling better, but at the cost of ride comfort. The brakes on the Mustang can feel grabby. The Mustang is rear-wheel drive only, as are the Chevy Camaro and most Dodge Challenger models. However, for 2017 Dodge has released an all-wheel-drive version of the V6 Challenger.
The Mustang has agile handling that is better than what you'll get with the Dodge Challenger, which is quite a bit bigger and heavier than both the Mustang and Camaro. The Camaro's handling is generally the sharpest of the three. For an even sportier experience, the Chevrolet Corvette has exceptional agility and maintains a cushioned ride for long-distance cruising.
For the best-handling Mustangs, check out the Shelby GT350 or the track-focused GT350R. If you're not looking to spend quite that much, both the Mustang EcoBoost and Mustang GT offer performance packages that up the ante, with upgraded suspension and other performance-enhancing components.
How Many People Does the Mustang Seat?
While the track-focused Shelby GT350R seats two, all other Mustang models seat four. That said, odds are that no one will want to sit in the cramped back seat, though this is pretty typical for the class. Those who plan on having passengers in the back may be better off with the Dodge Challenger and its spacious rear seat. Some Mustang models offer Recaro sport seats with lots of side bolstering to keep you in place during aggressive cornering.
The front seats in the Mustang are comfortable. Outward visibility to the front is good, especially compared with muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, which has front glass that’s more akin to a gun slit than a windshield. Visibility to the rear of the Mustang could be better though, so it’s a good thing a rearview camera is standard. You still may want to opt for blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.
Mustang and Car Seats
If you want a sports car that lets you bring the kids along for the ride, the Mustang is one of your only choices, but it isn't a great choice. The back seat has two full sets of LATCH connectors for car seats, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates them as Marginal, the second-lowest score possible, for ease of use – and good luck fitting a rear-facing car seat in the Mustang. Parents will have better luck in the Dodge Challenger. The outboard rear seats earn an Acceptable rating for LATCH installation, but its middle seat earns the lowest score possible.
Mustang Interior Quality
The 2017 Ford Mustang’s cabin mixes modern touches with a few throwback design cues for an overall look that’s attractive and sporty. Materials are a step above what you might expect from a muscle car, and everything is put together well.
Mustang Cargo Space
Though back-seat space is tight in the Mustang, trunk space is good. The Mustang fastback (coupe) has 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space, which is good for a coupe. There's room for around 10 grocery bags in the trunk. If you need even more space, the Dodge Challenger has more than 16 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk.
You can increase the Mustang's cargo space by folding down the coupe’s 50/50 folding back seat. Convertible models offer 11.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than most convertibles have.
Mustang Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Further bolstering the 2017 Ford Mustang’s appeal as a driver’s car is the inclusion of technological features that can record performance data like track lap times. Other standard features are more geared toward comfort and convenience, such as a rearview camera, two USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Mustang also has Ford’s MyKey system, which allows parents to set speed and other limits on the vehicle to help teen drivers develop good habits.
Available features in the Mustang include a 12-speaker Shaker audio system that delivers excellent sound quality and convenience features like navigation and remote start. At the center of the available features is Ford's SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system, which recognizes touch gestures like pinching and swiping that you’re probably familiar with from using a smartphone. Reviewers say SYNC 3 is a great system that’s easy to use.
Beyond being straightforward to operate, the SYNC 3 infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Using these systems, you can access some of your phone's apps right on the Mustang's touch screen. The Chevrolet Camaro also has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Is the Ford Mustang Reliable?
The Mustang gets a predicted reliability rating of 3.0 out of five, which is About Average. That's a typical score for a sports car. Both the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger earn an About Average rating too.
Ford Mustang Warranty
Ford covers the 2017 Mustang with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most affordable sports cars, including the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro, have similar warranties.
Mustang Crash Test Results
While safety may not be a top consideration for most sports car buyers, you can feel confident about the crash protection the Ford Mustang offers. It scores very well in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the latter giving the Mustang a five-star overall safety rating. The Chevrolet Camaro gets a similar score in IIHS crash tests, while the Dodge Challenger earns lower scores in most tests performed by both agencies.
Mustang Safety Features
The Mustang is the kind of car you buy because you want to enjoy the drive, but it also has plenty of driver assistance features that can help you avoid a crash should you zone out for a second. In addition to the standard rearview camera, the Mustang has optional driver aids like blind spot monitoring (helpful, given the poor visibility to the side and rear of the Mustang), forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross traffic alert.
Which Ford Mustang Model Is Right for Me?
Let's face it, it's not a real American muscle car unless it's got a V8 beating away under the hood. You'll spend around $8,000 over base price (which is $24,915 for a V6 Fastback) to get the V8-powered GT Fastback, and that won't get you any more features. Splurge for the GT Premium Fastback, which is priced at $36,920 (or around $12,000 more than base price) to get the V8 along with lots of desirable features, including leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system.
Still, if you don't need V8 power, you're better off with the EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine rather than the base V6, because the turbo four is both more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the V6. An EcoBoost Mustang is only around $1,000 more than a similarly equipped V6 model. Drivers who want the most performance out of their Mustang will want either the GT350 or GT350R, but you'll pay dearly for it. The GT350 starts at $54,570, while the GT350R is priced at $62,345.
Most Mustang models have several option packages to choose from, and prices run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. The Mustang EcoBoost Premium, for example, raises the price on the EcoBoost model by about $4,000 and adds features like heated and cooled front seats, the SYNC 3 infotainment system, and puddle lamps that project a mustang silhouette on the ground when you open the car’s door. The V6 Mustang offers the least in the way of optional equipment.
The base Mustang V6 Fastback starts at $24,915 and comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, a six-speed manual transmission, cloth upholstery, the SYNC voice recognition system, dual USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, Ford's MyKey, and a rearview camera. Unlike EcoBoost and GT models, the Mustang V6 is not offered in a Premium trim level.
Priced at $25,920, the EcoBoost Fastback has the same interior and safety features as the V6 Fastback. The only differences are the EcoBoost's turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission.
The EcoBoost Premium Convertible, starting at $35,420, has the same powertrain as the EcoBoost Fastback and adds the SYNC 3 infotainment system, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and satellite radio.
With prices set at $36,920, the Mustang GT Premium Fastback takes the features from the EcoBoost Premium and swaps in a 5.0-liter V8 instead of the turbocharged four-cylinder.
The range-topping Mustang GT350R, which costs $62,345, gets you a 5.2-liter V8, a six-speed manual transmission, launch control, Brembo brakes, Recaro sport seats, and sport-tuned suspension. Otherwise, it has a stripped-out interior with few creature comforts, since it's designed with a focus on track performance. If you prefer a little more interior tech, go with the Mustang GT350, which has more interior features – like climate control and an infotainment system – and is priced at $54,845.
Who Makes the Ford Mustang?
Ford Motor Company, an American automaker, assembles the Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
The Final Call
Though its legendary reputation may precede it, the 2017 Ford Mustang delivers all the power, handling, and excitement that you would expect from a car sporting the pony emblem. Shoppers can sort through a variety of trim levels and body styles, including coupe and convertible, to get exactly what they want from their Mustang.
The Mustang’s starting price is low for a sports car, but to get the high-performance models, you’ll have to pony up more than $60,000. Overall, however, the Mustang is fairly inexpensive for a sports car, with the convertible starting at $30,145. Every Mustang model has a long list of standard features, making it easy to find one that fits your budget.
The Mustang has great safety ratings, and a predicted reliability score that’s higher than average, but it’s not the most practical muscle car you can buy. Its back seat is cramped, and the Dodge Challenger has a larger trunk. For buyers who want a sports car that they can tailor for their lifestyle and budget, however, the Mustang is tough to beat.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "If you've ever had a desire for a sporty American coupe (or convertible), now is an excellent time to check out the 2017 Ford Mustang. With just one test-drive, you'll see that the Mustang is civilized and packed with modern tech, but it still holds on to all the trademark swagger and performance that has defined it for more than five decades." -- Edmunds
- "For the money, in the segment, nothing can touch it. Not even excuses. Finally." -- Autoblog (2015)
- "Large doses of maturity and refinement have entered the equation, sure, but they make for an improved and more well-rounded whole. The 2015 Mustang handles better, it's easier to live with, and it acts like a more expensive car." -- Car and Driver (2015)
Research Prices: 2017 Ford Mustang
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