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2018 Ford Mustang Review

The 2018 Ford Mustang offers strong engine performance, sharp handling, and great safety scores. However, its low predicted reliability rating keeps it mired toward the back of the highly competitive sports car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular acceleration
  • Agile handling
  • Good safety scores
  • Confined rear seats
  • Sub-par predicted reliability rating

New for 2018

  • Refreshed styling
  • available 10-speed automatic
  • V8 engine gets more power (GT and GT Premium)
  • V6 engine discontinued

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.0
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Ford Mustang Overview

Is the 2018 Ford Mustang a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2018 Ford Mustang is a fine choice for a used sports car. Available in both fastback (coupe) and convertible body styles, this muscle car is a blast to drive and quite practical as well.

The 2018 Mustang has many highlights:

  • Agile handling
  • Smooth ride, even over rough roads
  • Powerful engine options
  • Strong safety scores
  • User-friendly touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Numerous available safety features
  • Comfortable and spacious front seats
  • Sizeable trunk

It does have a few drawbacks:

  • Cramped rear seats
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

Consider the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro and 2018 Dodge Challenger if you want a used performance car with a better predicted reliability rating.

Compare the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger »

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our Best Cars team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and a third party handles our advertising.

We’ve analyzed 41 Ford Mustang reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

How Much Is the 2018 Ford Mustang?

Based on listings for the 2018 Ford Mustang on our site, the average list price is $27,100, which is about average for the class. Prices range from $21,100 to $38,800 and vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Ford Mustang Cost to Own?

The Mustang’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $27,700, or $5,540 per year. That’s lower than average for a sports car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mustang?

The 2019 Ford Mustang starts at around $26,000, but it can top $60,000 in its higher trim levels. You can spend less and get a used 2018 model, and you won’t miss out on much. The 2019 model just adds a retro-themed Bullitt trim and a California Special styling package – relatively minor updates.

Read about the new Ford Mustang »

You can save more money by shopping for a used 2015, 2016, or 2017 Mustang. Like the 2019 Mustang, these models are part of the car’s current generation. They are available with a 300-horsepower V6 engine, which was discontinued for 2018 in a midcycle refresh. Also, only the 2017-and-newer Mustangs are available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’ll want to stick with a newer model if those are must-have features.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Mustang »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Ford Mustang?

The 2018 Mustang has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Mustang reliability »

2018 Ford Mustang Recalls

At the time of writing, three recalls have been issued for the 2018 Mustang:

  • Possible missing roll pin in 10-speed transmission
  • Warning that vehicle is left in gear could fail
  • Fuel lines may be damaged (Roush models only)

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Ford Mustang safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Mustang Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Ford Mustang is available in six trim levels: EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, GT Premium, GT350, and GT350R. Most trims are available as either a fastback (coupe) or a convertible. The two exceptions are the GT350 models (fastback only) and the GT Premium (convertible only).

The entry-level Mustang EcoBoost offers great performance, making it a fine option for those on a tighter budget. But it may be worth opting for an EcoBoost Premium model if you want modern tech features like a touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost: The base model Mustang EcoBoost has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 310 horsepower. Standard features include a 4.2-inch display, a rearview camera, a CD player, Bluetooth, two USB ports, remote keyless entry, push-button start, cloth seats, automatic on/off headlights, a limited-slip differential, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium: The upscale EcoBoost Premium trim adds satellite radio, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, rear parking sensors, and larger 18-inch wheels.
  • Ford Mustang GT: The Mustang GT model has a V8 engine that produces 460 horsepower. It comes with standard features found in the base EcoBoost model.
  • Ford Mustang GT Premium: The Mustang GT Premium trim keeps the GT's V8 engine and adds all of the EcoBoost Premium’s features.
  • Shelby GT350: The performance-oriented GT350 has a V8 engine that puts out 526 horsepower. It adds standard features from the base EcoBoost model and also includes Recaro sport seats, an adaptive suspension (MagneRide), a performance exhaust system, larger brakes, 19-inch wheels, and auxiliary oil coolers for the engine, transmission, and differential.
  • Shelby GT350R: The racy GT350R also comes with a 526-horsepower engine, and it adds carbon fiber wheels and aerodynamic enhancements. It also deletes a few basic features, such as rear seats, air conditioning, a rearview camera, or a sound system.

Available features include a navigation system, a 12-inch digital gauge cluster, the MagneRide adaptive suspension, and the Safe and Smart package (a suite of active safety features). The optional Performance package adds heavy duty springs, extra chassis bracing, and upgrades to the radiator, brakes, and sway bars.

See 2018 Ford Mustang trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Mustang?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Mustang an overall rating of five stars out of five in all crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Mustang the top score of Good in four areas tested. In the small overlap front driver-side crash test, the 2018 Mustang earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable. Properly equipped Mustangs earned the lowest rating of Basic for front crash prevention.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors
  • forward collision warning with brake assist
  • pedestrian detection
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane keep assist
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See Mustang safety scores »

2018 Ford Mustang Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford Mustang or 2018 Chevrolet Camaro?

It’s hard to go wrong with either the 2018 Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang. These pony cars both offer brawny engine performance, poised handling, similar fuel economy, and easy-to-use infotainment systems. They both have cramped rear seats as well. Go with the Mustang if practicality is your main concern; the Ford has a larger trunk and more available safety features, like forward collision warning. Go with the Chevy if you’re more worried about reliability, as the Camaro rates higher in this area.

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford Mustang or 2018 Dodge Challenger?

Both the 2018 Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang offer strong engine performance. However, the Challenger has a much roomier cabin, a larger trunk, and available all-wheel drive. The Challenger also rates higher than the Mustang for predicted reliability. It’s not as agile or fuel-efficient as the Mustang, but it’s a better pick for those who want a sports car with a little more practicality.

Compare the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger »

2018 Mustang Performance

How Does the 2018 Ford Mustang Drive?

The Mustang is an enjoyable car to drive. Its steering is quick and responsive, and the car feels stable around sharp turns, with brakes that provide strong stopping power. The Mustang rides comfortably as well, even on rougher road surfaces. This is especially true of models equipped with MagneRide, an adaptive suspension that can stiffen or soften the car’s shock absorbers.

The 2018 Mustang offers three engine choices, and each earns praise for its refinement. The standard EcoBoost four-cylinder is punchy, and it shuttles the Mustang up to speed confidently. The V8-powered GT is a real powerhouse, and it delivers commanding acceleration as well as a nifty exhaust note. The beefy GT350 raises the bar when it comes to power. Each engine is available with a snappy six-speed manual transmission that is satisfying to shift. The available 10-speed automatic transmission (EcoBoost and GT models only) can be shifted manually as well, and it fires off prompt, smooth gear changes.

The track-tuned Shelby GT350 isn’t very comfortable on rough roads. The same can be said of EcoBoost and GT models equipped with the Performance package. These cars have a stiffer track-focused suspension that tends to clomp and jitter over bumps.

  • Base engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (EcoBoost)
  • Available engines:
    • 5.0-liter V8 with 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (GT)
    • 5.2-liter V8 with 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque (GT350)
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed manual; available 10-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Ford Mustang Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Mustang’s fuel economy is on par with its rivals.

  • EcoBoost, six-speed manual: 21/31 mpg city/highway
  • EcoBoost, 10-speed automatic: 21/32 mpg
  • GT, six-speed manual: 15/25 mpg
  • GT, 10-speed automatic: 16/25 mpg
  • GT350, six-speed manual: 14/21 mpg

Read more about Mustang performance »

2018 Mustang Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Mustang Seat?

The Mustang is available as a fastback (coupe) or a convertible. Both of these body styles have four seats; the one exception is the two-passenger GT350R fastback, which doesn’t have rear seats.

Up front, the seats are supportive and nicely padded, and there’s ample headroom and legroom for taller drivers and passengers. The Mustang's driving position is comfortable as well, and the car provides good forward visibility. The rear seats are tight, even for children. The roofline also cuts down on rear visibility.

Overall, the Mustang’s interior remains quiet at cruising speeds, and it’s handsomely styled to mirror the first-generation models from the 1960s. The cabin does contain a number of hard and cheap-looking plastics, though.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated and cooled front seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • Recaro sport seats
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Ford Mustang?

The Mustang has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. This setup can be tricky to use. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a second-lowest rating of Marginal for its ease of use. Some of the anchors are hard to attach due to their location deep within the seat cushions.

2018 Ford Mustang Features

The Mustang is available with two different infotainment systems. The standard system has a small display that looks outdated, and it’s surrounded by a lot of tiny buttons. It’s worthwhile to find a model equipped with the available SYNC 3 system, which adds an 8-inch touch screen. This system reacts quickly to inputs, it has simple menus, and it supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The basic audio and climate control buttons and knobs are easy to use, regardless of infotainment system.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 4.2-inch display, six speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a CD player
  • Available infotainment features: satellite radio, an 8-inch touch screen (SYNC 3), nine speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a navigation system, a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry and push-button start
  • Other available features: dual-zone automatic climate control and remote start

See 2018 Ford Mustang specs »

Read more about Mustang interior »

2018 Ford Mustang Dimensions

Ford Mustang Cargo Space

The Mustang convertible has 11.4 cubic feet of trunk space. The Mustang fastback has 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space, and its rear seats can fold down to fit longer items. Sports cars aren’t known for having a lot of cargo space, but the Mustang does have more than most.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Ford Mustang Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 8 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,532 to 3,852 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Ford Mustang Built?

Ford built the 2018 Mustang in Michigan.

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