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2020 Ford Mustang Performance

#1 out of 8 in Sports Cars

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Ford Mustang Performance Review


Performance: 9.1

The 2020 Ford Mustang has a wide lineup of models that offer engaging handling and potent engines. Overall, it's one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the sports car class.

  • "Even without any performance options, this Mustang GT is a hoot to drive. It's stable and fast, yet you can also make it a tail-sliding hooligan machine if you want to. The available active exhaust adds an amazing sound to the car and encourages you to drive it hard. It's capable of raucous performance yet it's also a pleasant daily driver." -- Edmunds
  • "This is an easy machine to drive very quickly and the expanded 7,500 redline means we actually didn't have to shift that manual transmission quite as often on those extra-tight twisty roads. Plus, the sweet sounds of that V8 only get better as the revs rise -- especially with the active exhaust in Track mode." -- Autoweek (2018)
  • "The 2.3-liter car's handling limits are a bit less heroic and more approachable than the GT's—it rolls on less aggressive summer rubber—but it ate up the serpentine mountain roads like a polished pro nonetheless." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Ford Mustang comes standard with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. An optional performance package raises horsepower output to 330.

The Mustang GT has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that puts out 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The Mustang Bullitt employs this engine, but it’s rated at 480 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a 10-speed automatic is optional.

Mustang Shelby models feature a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. The GT350 produces 526 horsepower and 529 pound-feet of torque, while the new-for-2020 GT500 makes 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque.

The base four-cylinder engine has peppy acceleration, but power starts to wane at higher speeds. Also, critics were unimpressed with its unrefined sound. The optional V8 is much more muscular and gets the car moving quickly. Both transmission choices are smooth and deliver sharp shifts.

The Mustang gets decent fuel economy with its standard four-cylinder engine, though the ratings fall considerably when upgrading to the V8s. The Mustang EcoBoost gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The Mustang GT gets 16/25 mpg city/highway, while the Shelby GT350 and GT500 get 14/21 and 12/18 mpg, respectively.

  • "The Mustang GT is impressively quick thanks to its gutsy V8. … The 10-speed automatic works very well, too. It picks the best gearing without seeming to be overly busy." -- Edmunds
  • "The EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo delivers impressive refinement and a healthy punch of mid-range torque, but it tapers off toward redline. And the reedy sound of a 4-cylinder under acceleration seems out of place in a Mustang. The GT's V8 is a winner, delivering its 460 hp with a quick-revving and progressive character. The 6-speed manual shifter makes it a blast to run through the gears." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "Drive a … Mustang with the 10-speed automatic transmission and you may never go back to a manual, although the 6-speed manual in the Mustang GT now offers rev-matching technology allowing for perfect heel-and-toe-type shifts. With the GT V8's high redline, the 10-speed keeps the peaky engine singing, with revs dropping ever so slightly, reminding one more of a motorcycle than muscle car. The same holds true for the standard EcoBoost 2.3-liter 4-cylinder." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)

Handling and Braking

The rear-wheel-drive Mustang has well-rounded handling, with appropriate steering feedback based on the selected drive mode. Body motion is controlled through turns, and the ride is comfortable.

  • "The steering effort changes depending on the drive mode you've selected. Regardless of mode, there's a good amount of feedback for the driver. Even without high-performance summer tires, the Mustang handles corners well thanks to well-managed body roll and impressive overall stability." -- Edmunds
  • "The retuned suspension, especially with MagneRide adjustable shocks, produces a no-compromises combination of comfortable ride and nimble handling." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "It's in the corners where the EcoBoost has the advantage, thanks to superior balance from a lighter engine. In comparison, the GT feels relatively nose heavy. The distinction is subtle, though, and the GT is still wonderfully agile." -- Autotrader (2019)
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2020 Ford Mustang

MSRP: $26,670 - $70,300

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