Used 1997 Ford Mustang Review

Edmunds expert review




What's new for 1997

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.

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.






Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.