2000 Ford Mustang Review
Pros & Cons
- Strong V6 and V8 power, competent chassis and brakes, ragtop option.
- Solid rear axle, love-it-or-hate-it styling, poor stereo ergonomics.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The original pony car is still one of the best, and there's a good reason for this sport coupe's longevity.
Now 36 years old, the Mustang is quickly approaching middle age. Fortunately, it received a facelift and a serious dose of testosterone in 1999. The facelift sharpened the Mustang's looks considerably (some people like it, some people don't). Changes in styling were applied to the doors, hood, decklid, quarter panels, taillights and headlights, rocker panel moldings, side scoops and C-pillar appliques. And even more importantly, both the V6 and V8 engines were modified to produce additional horsepower.
Ford's Mustang has outsold the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird for the last five years. 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 moping about the Mustang's power deficit, so the Blue Oval gang massaged both the 3.8-liter V6 and the 4.6-liter V8, improving power output to more respectable levels. The V6 now makes 190 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 220 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. The V8 that's found in the GT's engine bay makes 260 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 302 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. If that isn't enough for you, check out the Ford SVT Mustang Cobra. It generates 320 horsepower.
We think that part of the 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. Ford improved the interior as part of the 1999 update. New interior colors and materials were added, and the driver and front-passenger seats were given an additional inch of aft adjustment. For 2000, the Mustang receives two permanent child-safety-seat tether anchors in the backseat. Unfortunately, in neither 1999 nor 2000 did Ford think it necessary to improve the stereo controls. We have always found them to be too small and hard to operate.
The Mustang driving experience is enhanced by steering improvements made in 1999. The steering has less kickback and gives the Mustang a tighter turning radius and increased road feel. The rear suspension has more travel than before, 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 a high level of protection as rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All-speed traction control (introduced last year) increases the Mustang's ability to stay out of a wreck, though Ford thoughtfully provides a traction-control defeat switch for the hooligan 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.