The 2019 Ford Mustang still looks fresh thanks to last year’s update that brought in new front and rear styling, and the return of the Bullitt this year is a sweet dose of nostalgia. But the 2019 Mustang’s lack of a super-powered trim puts it behind when you bring the 650-horsepower Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the 797-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye into the equation. Can the Ford Mustang overcome these range-topping monsters and sit atop the sports coupe mountain? Keep reading to find out.

Best Value

The Ford Mustang has five trims to choose from: Base, Premium, GT, GT Premium, and Bullitt. As you move through these trim levels, there are huge performance enhancements. For most buyers, though, the Premium model is up to snuff in terms of performance, and its features are in line with the pricier GT Premium trim.

The Premium trim adds upscale features like selectable drive modes, 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, LED fog lights, automatic dual-zone climate control, leather seating, ambient lighting, illuminated doorsill plates, a nine-speaker audio system, and more. This trim is also the gateway to desirable options like 20-inch wheels, a 12-speaker audio system, RECARO seats, the Pony Package, the Premium Plus Package, and more.

  • Model: 2019 Ford Mustang Premium Fastback
  • 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: 10-speed automatic transmission ($1,595), Ford Smart & Safe Package ($1,000, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, lane keeping assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers)
  • Base Price: $32,130 (including a $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$34,725

Performance

Ford Mustang

From top to bottom, the 2019 Ford Mustang is an incredible performer. Even its 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is potent at 310 hp and 350 pound-feet of torque. This beastly four-pot sprints the Mustang to 60 mph in under six seconds. Pair this boosted engine to the 10-speed automatic transmission to enjoy crisp shifts and improved fuel economy.

We can’t talk Mustang performance without bringing up its snarling V8 options. The GT’s 5.0-liter V8 pushes 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission for a sub-four-second zero-to-60 sprint time. Moving into the Bullitt, the 5.0-liter creeps up to 480 ponies.

On top of great straight-line speed, the entire Mustang lineup’s handling is on-point, and its electronic power steering feels like the real deal. However, when working with the base model’s smaller wheels and tires, the ride gets a little unruly.

Style

The 2019 Mustang’s body looks incredible from virtually any angle, especially after last year’s refresh that reworked the front and rear. Buyers can dress up their Mustang even further with numerous options that increase or decrease the chrome, add darkening bits, and bolt on larger wheels.

Inside, the Mustang boasts supportive seats that keep you in place in the corners, plus you can upgrade to the RECARO seats for an even tighter embrace. The front seats also offer plenty of leg room and head room, but most adults will need serious flexibility to squeeze into the rear seats.

The cabin remains its old frumpy self with tons of plastic and cheap materials in the base models. You can upgrade the interior and make it feel more upscale with extra cash, but what it really needs is a full rework.

The Best and Worst Things

From bottom to top, Ford crafted every Mustang trim to perform like a true muscle coupe. Whether you prefer straight-line acceleration or carving up the corners, the entire Ford Mustang lineup is ready to serve.

While the cabin is an upgrade from previous generations, it's still bland and lacks character. Plus, if you want to dress it up a bit by adding a little style, you'll end up running into significant price barriers.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ford Mustang

The Mustang is perfect for the empty-nester looking back at his or her younger years or a young professional sans children.

As a daily-driver or a family-hauler, the Mustang simply won’t work. Sure, it has rear seats, but they're practically unlivable.

The Bottom Line

For the right buyer, the 2019 Ford Mustang offers nearly everything you’d want in a sports coupe. From its base engine through the mighty V8 powerplants, it performs like a champ despite lacking the top-end power of the Camaro ZL1 and Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. That said, if you're looking for that more upscale feel, you’d better bring your big-boy wallet and curb your expectations.