1999 Ford Mustang Review
Pros & Cons
- The 1999 Ford Mustang is faster, roomier and more capable than last year.
- We're not sold on the new styling. The stereo still has miniscule buttons. The Mustang is still not as quick as a Camaro.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Ford gives the Mustang a makeover for its 35th birthday. An entire exterior redo includes revised front and rear clips, new taillamps and headlights; fresh door, hood, decklid and quarter panel sheetmetal; and redone rocker panel moldings, side scoops, and C-pillar appliques. The big news, however, is the under-skin changes that include engine output improvements, steering gear enhancements, and gains in rear suspension performance.
Ford's Mustang has outsold the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird combined for the last four years. Remember that this is in spite of the fact that the Mustang has suffered a performance disadvantage since its redesign in 1994. Nevertheless, Ford executives seem to have gotten sick of automotive journalists and gearheads griping about the Mustang's power deficit, so the Blue Oval gang has massaged both the 3.8-liter V6 and the 4.6-liter V8, improving power output to respectable levels for 1999. The V6 now makes 190 horsepower @ 5250 rpm and 220 foot-pounds of torque @ 3000 rpm. The V8 that's found in the GT's engine bay makes 260 horsepower @ 5000 rpm and 302 foot-pounds of torque @ 4000 rpm.
If the standard GT powerplant doesn't satisfy your urge-to-merge with highway traffic, a highly advanced SVT Cobra model is available for the 1999 model year. Not only does this pony feature more horsepower (320 @ 6000 rpm), but it comes standard with independent rear suspension, a first in the Mustang's 35-year history.
We think that part of the previous Mustang's sales success can be attributed to the car's comfortable interior. Since 1994, the 'Stang has offered drivers and passengers supportive upright front chairs, well-placed controls, clear views out the front and side windows, and nice dashboard and seat materials. They have upped the ante for sports car comfort in 1999, giving the driver and front passenger seats an additional inch of aft adjustment. Also appearing in the 1999 Mustang is new leather and cloth upholstery, new interior colors, and improved placement of the power seat controls.
The Mustang driving experience is enhanced by new steering gear, which reduces kickback, gives the Mustang a tighter turning radius, and increases road feel. The rear suspension has more travel than last year, smoothing out the bumps that could easily upset the previous model. Ford has also made four-wheel antilock brakes standard on the GT.
The Mustang has always been crashworthy, offering drivers and front seat passengers the highest level of protection as rated by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). This year Ford increases the Mustang's ability to stay out of a wreck by offering all-speed traction control on the car for the first time. Ford thoughtfully provided a traction control defeat switch for the kid in all of us.
Mustang is one of the most recognizable nameplates on the road. The improved horsepower, updated exterior and revised interior mean that it will likely maintain its spot in the hearts of American buyers. Heck, if the rumors at GM are true about the cancellation of the F-body Camaro and Firebird, this may be the only pony car left for the new millennium.