2003 Ford Mustang Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Ford Mustang Convertible

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Ford Mustang Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 390 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Ford Mustang

  • Fittingly, the Ford Mustang is the last surviving member of the "pony car" breed. For 2003, it's never been better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Available V8 power, variety of trim levels, healthy dose of American attitude.

  • Cons

    Archaic structure, aged design.

  • What's New for 2003

    Heavily updated is the 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra, which makes 390 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque thanks to the addition of an Eaton supercharger. A new six-speed manual transmission drives the rear wheels through a 3.55 rear axle ratio. Larger wheels and tires come standard, along with stiffer springs and a tubular cross brace. Cobra convertibles have a cloth top, while both cars get new seats with upgraded leather and suede upholstery. A limited-production Mach 1 model arrives later in the year with a massaged 4.6-liter V8 engine making at least 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, a functional shaker hood with ram-air scoop, black striping, unique leather seating and retro-design Magnum 500 alloy wheels, and, of course, a Mach 460 audio system. Mach 1 can be ordered in a variety of colors with either a manual or automatic transmission. Like the Mustang Bullitt before it, the Mach 1 comes with a lowered, retuned suspension and additional frame rail connectors for a stiffer body. Large 13-inch Brembo front rotors and upgraded calipers are standard.

    Standard V6 and V8 GT models change little for 2003. A V6 Pony Package includes 16-inch polished alloy wheels and the GT's scooped hood. All V6 models get a new hood design, and four new colors debut.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (54 total reviews)


I trust over any new

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

I had a new car and had so many problems. Hard to work and picture it being a throw away car like some. I decided to go backwards to a 2002 V6 that reminds me more of the days a person could work on a car..HAHAHA There are some people who have these cars and they are over 200,000 miles. When you buy something at this age remember it may need a couple things. Don't gripe about it. Do your homework. Some people beat the Hell out of them. I happen to get mine from an older man in his 60's who took care of it.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Beastly, rock solid, and efficient

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

I've had experience driving all sorts of vehicles, and I can say without a doubt that my 2002 Ford Mustang GT is among the best of the best in almost all categories. For starters, it's a Mustang, an American icon. Now take that image, add 260 stock horsepower and you've got a beast of a car. Not only is it powerful, it gets surprisingly great mileage; mine is getting roughly 26 mpg highway. The thing is also built like a tank; I haven't had any mechanical issues other than routine maintenance. The only issues are low seating capacity and cargo room, but hey, you don't get a Mustang in place of an SUV, do you?



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

02 gt convertible good &

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

ive had the car for almost 2 years and have had 3 engines in it., Driver window fail, fuel pump failed, CD player failed and the transmission has small leak. i love the car& dont really plan on ever selling. but its not recommended for a daily driver, its not very reliable but its 10+ years old. But for a fun top down weekend warrior its great. and its idea for customization. I know more than 10 people with the same style mustang GT, and they have problems too, but still love them. if you buy one I recommend having $2-3k set aside for future repairs. MPG isnt great either I average 15MPG combined... But it works for me because I only drive the car maybe once a month.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Fun, fun, fun

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

Love my convertible. Fun to drive and enjoy the power. If you have more than one child, makes for a challenge if they want to take friends somewhere. Not much trunk space. Looks good and sounds even better. Didn't buy the car for fuel efficiency, so gas mileage is not an issue for me. Multiple CD changer and sound system add to it's appeal. Convertible top easy to operate.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Old guy with used mustang

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

I just bought my self a midlife crisis treat, a 2002 Mustang GT convertible with a five speed manual tranny and all the bells and whistles available in 2002. I was sitting in the Corvette I was going to buy when it caught my eye. There isn't a mark on it inside or out and is, if I may use the term a freakin' rocket. The sound system is incredible! Yes, old guys still rock.....best thing I ever did for myself...if you don't have one, get one!




Fun fun fun!

by on
Vehicle: 2002 Ford Mustang

I bought my convertible GT in Febuary and fell in love. She had less than 25,000 miles on her when i bought it. Very reliable and very fun to drive. She really has some pick up and go! Not only is the convertible fun to drive, it's fun to play with as well! I have flowmaster mufflers, a cold air intake, and various other modifications. The cool thing about mustangs is that it's not just a car, it can be a hobby.



Full 2003 Ford Mustang Review

What's New for 2003

Heavily updated is the 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra, which makes 390 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque thanks to the addition of an Eaton supercharger. A new six-speed manual transmission drives the rear wheels through a 3.55 rear axle ratio. Larger wheels and tires come standard, along with stiffer springs and a tubular cross brace. Cobra convertibles have a cloth top, while both cars get new seats with upgraded leather and suede upholstery. A limited-production Mach 1 model arrives later in the year with a massaged 4.6-liter V8 engine making at least 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, a functional shaker hood with ram-air scoop, black striping, unique leather seating and retro-design Magnum 500 alloy wheels, and, of course, a Mach 460 audio system. Mach 1 can be ordered in a variety of colors with either a manual or automatic transmission. Like the Mustang Bullitt before it, the Mach 1 comes with a lowered, retuned suspension and additional frame rail connectors for a stiffer body. Large 13-inch Brembo front rotors and upgraded calipers are standard.

Standard V6 and V8 GT models change little for 2003. A V6 Pony Package includes 16-inch polished alloy wheels and the GT's scooped hood. All V6 models get a new hood design, and four new colors debut.

Introduction

The Ford Mustang debuted in April of 1964 as either a coupe or convertible with six or eight cylinders under the hood, and became a national sensation. Ford sold hundreds of thousands of Mustangs, convincing General Motors and Chrysler Corporation to release their own variations on the theme. By the late 1960s, the Mustang competed against the AMC Javelin, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Barracuda and Pontiac Firebird. But, like Elvis Presley, the Mustang had evolved from a lightweight and simple sporty car into an overweight and flashy muscle car. By the time the oil crisis of 1973 hit, the Mustang had lost its edge in terms of performance and appeal. Reborn for 1974, the Mustang II rode on a Pinto platform to save development costs and improve fuel economy. Emissions regulations had stifled performance, and the convertible model had disappeared from the lineup. The mid-1970s represented a dismal time for the American automobile industry, and the emasculation of the Ford Mustang is perhaps the greatest example of what went wrong in the middle of this decade. Not surprisingly, sales reached an all-time low during this period of time. Still, Ford wasn't ready to give up on the Mustang. In 1979, it was completely redesigned. There was even a performance model with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, and a stripes-and-decals Cobra version. The new Mustang proved popular, and by 1982, Ford had endowed it with a relatively strong (for the time) V8 engine and the GT designation that continues today. General Motors released a sexy new Camaro and Firebird duo in '82, so Ford countered by continually updating the Mustang GT and engineering a special turbocharged performance model called the SVO. In the late 1980s, Mustang enthusiasts heard that Ford planned to replace the rear-drive model with a front-drive car based on a Mazda. Recoiling in revulsion, these purists bombarded Ford with hate mail, effectively convincing corporate brass to keep the all-American Mustang as it was and release the new vehicle under development as the Probe. This delay meant Ford needed to market the existing and aged Mustang beyond its expiration date until a suitable replacement could be styled and engineered. To retain buyer interest, Ford kept boosting power and improving the Mustang in subtle but effective ways. The new car arrived in 1994 wearing retro styling cues such as tri-bar taillights and a side scoop. Inside, a dual-cowl dashboard provided plenty of pizzazz. A coupe and convertible were available, with either a V6 or V8 engine. A Cobra model with added horsepower and special performance upgrades paced the Indianapolis 500 that year. In 1999, the Mustang was updated with boxy new styling and more power. The Cobra was said to make more horsepower than it actually did, which made buyers who wanted tire-smoking launches more than a bit upset. The 2003 Ford Mustang appeals to those who love the burble of a V8, the handling of rear-wheel drive and the appeal of a legendary car with long and storied history.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Two body styles and four trim levels are available for the 2003 Ford Mustang. Base models have a V6 engine. GT, Mach 1 and Cobra get a V8. Coupes are available in each trim, while the convertible is limited to the Base, GT and Cobra. The Mach 1 and Cobra contain plenty of special equipment to justify their higher prices. The limited-production Mach 1 includes a massaged V8 engine making at least 300 horsepower, a functional shaker hood with ram-air scoop, special interior detailing, unique alloy wheels and exterior trim and a lowered, retuned sport suspension. Upgraded brakes with ABS and traction control come standard. Substantially updated for 2003 is the SVT Cobra, which makes 390 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque thanks to the addition of a supercharger. A new six-speed manual transmission is standard. Larger wheels and tires, stiffer springs and a tubular cross brace are included. Functional hood vents are added, and minor styling modifications distinguish the 2003 model from previous versions. Cobra convertibles have a cloth top, while both cars get new seats with upgraded leather and suede upholstery.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on the base Mustang is a 190-horsepower 3.8-liter V6. Step up to the GT and you'll get a 260-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. The Mach 1 will make at least 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque when it debuts. Cobra models have a new supercharger and produce an astounding 390 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Base, GT and Mach 1 models are available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The Cobra comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Safety

Dual front airbags are standard. GT, Mach 1 and Cobra models come with antilock brakes and traction control. The 2003 Ford Mustang coupe received five-star crash test scores for the driver and passenger. Side-impact testing resulted in three-star scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants (convertibles received a two-star rating for front-seat occupants in the side-impact test). The Mustang has not been subjected to an offset crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The retro-style dual-cowl dashboard has aged well since 1994. Instrumentation is simple and straightforward, if sometimes hard to locate and reach. Of particular interest is the old-fashioned pull-out headlight switch mounted to the lower left side of the dash. Seats in the Base and GT models are flat and featureless; the Mach 1 and Cobra versions get seats with stiffer bolsters and greater adjustability.

Driving Impressions

Mustangs are crude by modern standards, but continual updating, low prices and a brash character keep the Base and GT models competitive with the more refined sport coupes on the market. The Mach 1 and Cobra carry higher price tags, but offer far more performance and cache due to their stout powertrains and low-volume production. The Cobra is the most sophisticated Mustang, the only one in the lineup with an independent rear suspension. The Mach 1 is a terrific blend of power and handling, while the GT is a great daily driver that allows for tail-out thrills on command. Even budget-minded shoppers will find fun and value in the V6 models.

Talk About The 2003 Mustang

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs