Looking at most automakers’ lineups and one might suspect that the time of raw horsepower and unhindered muscle is a thing of the past. In many ways, this idea is somewhat true. Gas is becoming more expensive, and drivers across the board are becoming more fuel-conscious. What’s missed among many automakers is that you don’t need to sacrifice fuel economy to have tremendous power and heart-racing performance. Fortunately, Ford seems to be one of the few automakers who recognizes that there are plenty of drivers out there who still want a car that can deliver on the pavement. That leads us to the 2020 Ford Mustang, a modern sports car in a long line of true American muscle cars. While the Ford Mustang has certainly changed over the years, it has remained consistent in terms of what it brings to the table. Fantastic engine power, superb handling, and all-around thrilling driving experience. However, does the recent 2020 model still live up to previous iterations, or has it fallen into the trap of downsizing and under powering like so many other competitor vehicles.
Passing in the Fast Lane
When the 2020 Ford Mustang whips by you in the fast lane, you’ll get a glimpse of a sleek, low-profile, bullet of a car, that is characterized by plenty of swooping edges and that iconic black front grill. Available as either a convertible or a hardtop coupe, the 2020 Ford Mustang makes a statement when it takes to the pavement. As an obvious standout against the fleet of compact SUVs and dome-shaped hybrids that crowd highways and byways everywhere, you’ll know what car it is.
If you decide to visit a Ford dealership to pick up one of these rockets on wheels, you’ll be greeted with a crowded trim listing. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. In total, the 2020 Ford Mustang comes in one of eleven different configurations. While some of these different trims aren’t all that different from one another, there is a clear separation between each step up the trim option staircase. The various trims include the EcoBoost Fastback, EcoBoost Premium Fastback, EcoBoost Convertible, GT Fastback, EcoBoost Premium Convertible, GT Premium Convertible, GT Premium Fastback, BULLITT, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT350R, and Shelby GT500. As you can tell, that’s a pretty long list. That said, all of these configurations make it easier to drive home with one of these roadsters. To get the base model, all you’ll have to pay is $26,670 MSRP before taxes and fees. Meanwhile, the highest trims sit somewhere in the range of 70k, putting it in the price range of a top of the line luxury car.
Over Fifty Years of Impressive Performance
When the Ford Mustang first debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, drivers around the world were enthralled by what Ford was bringing to the table. A sports car that looked and acted a lot like a muscle car, with all of the premium bells and whistles of a luxury vehicle. The 2020 Ford Mustang continues in this tradition with offering a widespread of reasonably powerful engines fitted to a stunning body.
Base models of the 2020 Ford Mustang start with a small yet surprisingly mighty 2.3-liter GTDI I-4 engine that pumps out 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft worth of torque. This direct-injection engine can be partnered with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a particularly nifty 10-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with a set of convenient paddle shifters on the steering wheel. It’s hard to argue against the level of power that this base engine delivers and to the surprise of fuel economy nuts everywhere. The base engine of the 2020 Ford Mustang earns a remarkable 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Sure, that gas mileage decreases sharply as you upgrade the engine, but it is worthwhile to appreciate the combo of power and fuel economy that the base model Ford Mustang delivers.
Things jump pretty far forward on the power scale after the base model. Take a short two steps to the Mustang GT Fastback, and you’ll find a 5.0-Liter TI-VCT V-8 engine that proudly boasts an incredible 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft worth of torque. Offering up the same transmission layout, in this second tier engine, you’ll find the kind of performance that’ll likely put a majority of other vehicles on the road to shame. And if you really have a need for speed, you can march to the top of the long trim option ladder. In the range-topping 2020 Ford Mustang GT500, drivers will discover a 5.2-liter Supercharged V-8 engine saddled beneath the hood. This top-performing engine, puts the 2020 Ford Mustang at a competition scale with racetrack worthy vehicles like the Chevy Corvette, offering up 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft worth of torque.
So, as you can tell, the 2020 Ford Mustang is truly a master of power and performance. However, there is far more to a car than just what kind of machinery is installed beneath the chassis.
Behind the Wheel of the 2020 Ford Mustang
Technology has dramatically altered the way we drive, from what we can expect to protect us from an accident to how we adjust the audio. Fortunately, all of these changes have been for the better. Although, a reoccurring problem amongst performance vehicles is a lack of focus on the tech in the cabin. Ford attempts to buck that trend in the 2020 Ford Mustang, amounting to some mixed results.
When you purchase the base model of the 2020 Ford Mustang, you’ll find cloth upholstered front seats that are adjustable in several different ways. The infotainment system is supported by SYNC and FordPass Connect, allowing you to seamlessly bump your tunes over the fairly decent 6-speaker audio system. Although, with all of the tech packed into the infotainment system, you won’t find much in the way of active safety tech beyond the bare basics like airbags, stability control, and seatbelts.
Although that’s not to say that Ford drops the ball completely, things take a tremendous leap forward when you decide to spend a bit more cash. For instance, in the 2020 Ford Mustang GT-Premium Fastback, you’ll find a 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat that is heated and cooled and upholstered with premium-feeling leather. Infotainment comes with a similar layout as the base model. However, you’ll get to enjoy a larger screen, SYNC 3, 9-speakers, and an amplifier.
While Ford manages to provide plenty of seamless connectivity and intuitive hands-free features, even the option of using the Amazon Alexa assistant, Ford still falls short of providing the Mustang with any active safety features.
Even for its safety faults, the 2020 Ford Mustang is an incredible vehicle that will satisfy those who long for the days when muscle and sheer horsepower were the status quo. To be fair, there are plenty of cars out there that cater to the kind of driver who wants their car to think and act for them. The newest Ford Mustang leans hard into the performance category, and we’re not all that surprised, nor disappointed. Even if the Mustang won’t stop itself, or provide blind-spot alerts, the roar of the engine and the jump of the amount of power that is always at the ready make for a driving experience that is simply unforgettable.