1997 Ford Mustang Review

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List Price Estimate:$670 - $1,559
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • The 1997 Ford Mustang is a great looking car. The interior is a sports car masterpiece with large clear gauges, a great seating position, and clear views. The optional Mach 460 is one of the best on the market.
  • Still not as fast as the Camaro. Heck, the entry-level Camaro is almost as fast. We also don't like the manual transmission's gearshift lever.

Vehicle overview

The Ford Mustang has been around for 33 years now. After receiving a dramatic redesign in 1994, and the 4.6-liter modular V8 in 1996, the Mustang design team has been given a rest for 1997. Changes to this year's model are strictly cosmetic. That's OK, Ford's pony car has been outselling the competition from GM by nearly a 2-1 margin since its redesign.

We think that it's a good idea for Ford to take a year off from messing with things on their little hot-rod. With all of the other changes taking place with the rest of their models, some of which haven't been well received, it seems like a good idea to follow the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule. Of course, there are some things that we would like to see happen with the Mustang. First, it would be nice if the Base and GT models gained a few horsepower to make them more competitive with the GM pony cars. Second, we would like see traction control made available on the GTs and Cobras. Sure, they have Traction-Lok axles, but it is pretty darn easy to get the back end of the car pointed in the wrong direction. We think that a brake/engine speed traction control system would make this car much friendlier in wet weather conditions.

Speaking of friendly, we love the Mustang's interior, and think that it is the main reason that the Stang sells more models than Camaro and Firebird combined. The seats sit fairly high, giving drivers an outstanding view of the road; the dashboard has a nice two-toned, double bubble layout that is nicely textured; the gauges and controls are easy to view and manipulate; and the front bucket seats offer great lateral support. We won't dwell too much on the back seat, because no one in their right mind buys a sports car for rear seat room.

As you have undoubtedly read, the Mustang is a very driver-friendly car, very easy to navigate around town, and pretty forgiving on the freeways. We like its lively tail, but it can be disconcerting when traveling on twisty two-laners. If you are looking for a car to go canyon storming in, you may be more satisfied in a Chevy Camaro. In the final analysis, though, the Mustang has the goods that most people want. A nice interior, supportive seats, aggressive styling, and decent performance at a competitive price. It has long been Ford's recipe for success to provide cars that appeal to a wide range of people, and anyone looking for a fast, fun daily driver should take a look at the Mustang.

1997 Highlights

GT models and base convertibles get new interior color options, and cars equipped with an automatic transmission get a thicker shift lever. New 17-inch aluminum wheels are optional on the GT. The Passive Anti-Theft System has been introduced to all 1997 Ford Mustangs.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Ford Mustang.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
Reliable attractive commuter car
2dr Coupe
Own V6 5spd for 6+ years and drive it daily. I am over 40 and have driven a wide variety of company vehicles. I've only owned GMs and Fords, with models years dating from 1970 to 2003. This has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. The only thing that broke (excluding normal maintenance stuff) during the first 120k was the power seat switch. After 120K, I started having lots of problems with the rear. But engine, electronics, AC, interior are still good. In snow: HORRIBLE wheel spin. Gets stuck very easily and can't climb inclines most cars handle with ease. But steering and braking control is ok for this type of car.
4.88 out of 5 stars
I totalled out my first one
2dr Convertible
i bought my first 97 and on the way home with it a fool ran a stop sign at about 50mph and t boned me. i woke up to smoke from the aiar bags but i was alive. i hurt my neck a bit from the air bag impact but i was fine. i went ahead and ordered me another one with 17 miles on it. i got the sports appearance package, the mach 460 sound system (SWEET) and an alarm system with a motion sensor. the company statement was if my baby was stolen and i still had the two fobs they would give me 5k!! i still have it and at 113k it still runs great. ive replace the suspension system but can still take those turns at 60mph easy.
5 out of 5 stars
Still going strong!
GT 2dr Coupe
My 1997 mustang GT is 23 years old with 210000 miles and still going strong! I’ve only spent about $500 on repairs over the life of the car (excluding maintenance, tires ...) It still runs as good as when it was new. I did have to replace the drivers seat due wear and tear of getting in and out for 20 years! Get some good all season tires if you plan on driving in the snow. I would recommend this car to anyone. I plan on getting another mustang... I just hope it holds up as well as the 1997
4.75 out of 5 stars
Love my 'Stang!
JB Hoss,02/03/2004
2dr Convertible
This car is a real head turner - and without any non-factory adjustments. Great styling, a comfortable ride, and reasonable fuel efficiency make this car a great package. The 6 cylinder is a little tame, but makes for an excellent cruiser to take on long trips - especially along the beach or other scenic areas. Once you go topless, its hard to go back!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Ford Mustang

Used 1997 Ford Mustang Overview

The Used 1997 Ford Mustang is offered in the following submodels: Mustang Coupe, Mustang Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Coupe, GT 2dr Convertible, GT 2dr Coupe, and 2dr Convertible. Pre-owned Ford Mustang models are available with a 3.8 L-liter gas engine or a 4.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 215 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Ford Mustang comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Ford Mustang?

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Which used 1997 Ford Mustangs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Ford Mustang for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Ford Mustang.

Can't find a used 1997 Ford Mustangs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Mustang for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,826.

Find a used Ford for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $7,865.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Mustang for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,175.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $24,360.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Ford Mustang?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Mustang lease specials