In addition to an exterior refresh, the 2018 Ford Mustang now features a new 10-speed automatic transmission, more available advanced safety technologies, and a driver-adjustable, magnetic adaptive suspension. However, the V6 engine has been axed, the back seats are miniscule, trunk space is limited, and the 10-speed gearbox doesn't play well with the V8.

Best Value

Available as either a coupe or convertible, 2018 Mustang models range in price from $26,485 (including destination) for a base six-speed manual EcoBoost coupe to over $55,000 for a fully-optioned 10-speed automatic GT Premium coupe. Most buyers will never need the more powerful V8, while the 2.0-liter turbo offers plenty of available torque and better fuel economy.

With that in mind, we'd opt for the EcoBoost Premium with its standard leather interior and access to advanced safety features. To fully realize the Mustang's performance potential, we'd add the MagneRide Damping System that features a driver-adjustable, electronically controlled, magnetic adaptive suspension system, which also requires adding the EcoBoost Performance Package that includes a cheesy-looking "performance" rear spoiler that we'd delete. Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Coupe
  • Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 310 hp / 350 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 City / 32 Hwy
  • Options: Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat ($495), 10-speed automatic ($1,595), EcoBoost Performance Package ($2,495, limited-slip rear axle, 19-inch black alloy wheels, 255/40R19 summer tires, black strut tower brace, "engine spun" aluminum instrument panel, oil pressure and boost gauges, heavy-duty front springs, larger brake rotors with four-piston calipers, a larger radiator, larger rear sway bar, performance rear spoiler, unique chassis, unique steering, ABS, and stability control tuning), MagneRide Damping System ($1,695), Safe & Smart Package ($1,495, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pre-collision assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse sensing system, automatic high beams, rain sensitive windshield wipers).
  • Base Price: $31,500 (including a $900 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$39,275

Performance

Ford Mustang

Mustang offer drivers everything from the smooth, fuel-efficient cruising of the EcoBoost model – now with additional torque – to the neck-snapping acceleration of the GT. Completing the picture is a new optional suspension featuring driver-adjustable magnetic dampers that can seamlessly switch between comfortable highway cruising and predictable, sharp handling, even on rough roads.

At the same time, a V6 is no longer available, while the 10-speed automatic is slow to respond to (and often has difficulty picking gears when matched with) the higher-revving V8.

Style

Exterior tweaks for 2018 include shapelier, recessed headlights and new vertical outboard vents, while the triple taillights are now C-shaped. Inside, the front seats are supportive and nicely bolstered, and even tall drivers will find plenty of head and leg room, while even the second row seats offer plenty of support.

On the flip side, the cabin (especially the upper door trim) is slathered in hard plastics, cargo space – at 13.5 cubic feet – is only sufficient for weekend jaunts, while ingress and egress to the second row seats is difficult and, once there, taller passengers won't find much head or leg room.

The Best and Worst Things

The MagneRide suspension offers drivers the ability to smoothly transition the Mustang from a comfortable highway cruiser to a nimble corner-carver. Conversely, while the new 10-speed automatic offers crisp and predictable shifts when matched to the turbo four, that smoothness is lost when it's paired to the more powerful V8 – dropping as many as two cogs and pausing between shifts as it hunts for the right gear.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ford Mustang

The Mustang's outstanding blend of style, performance, and athleticism make it a top choice for driving enthusiasts.

In addition to the Mustang's limited cargo space, getting infants, small children, and their accoutrements in and out of the back seat requires the flexibility of a gymnast and the patience of a saint. Young families need not apply.

The Bottom Line

Despite a small back seat and issues with the V8 automatic, the Mustang's blend of style, performance, decent fuel economy, and advanced safety technologies continue to make it America's muscle car and the top choice in its class.