2018 Ford Mustang Review
2018 Ford Mustang Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Senior Vehicle Test Engineer
Jason joined Edmunds' testing team in 2006 as a vehicle testing engineer. Jason believes true appreciation of modern cars stems from owning really, really bad old ones.
- Strong power from both the four-cylinder and V8 engines
- Civilized ride quality and low noise levels
- Cabin blends modern convenience with retro style
- Cramped back seat
- Long, heavy doors and mediocre cabin access
- Performance package ride quality can be bouncy
- Revised front- and rear-end styling
- The V6 engine has been discontinued
- Four-cylinder and V8 engines are more powerful
- Newly available adaptive suspension dampers
- Part of the sixth Mustang generation introduced for 2015
If you've been away from the pony car segment for a while, prepare yourself for a shock: The modern Mustang is refined, rapid and rewarding. This generation's road manners took a big leap forward when the entire 2015 Mustang lineup received — for the first time in 50 years — an independent rear suspension. This change facilitated the Mustang's transformation into a more sophisticated and comfortable car while its performance capabilities reached new heights.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2dr Coupe (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.30 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$211/mo for Mustang EcoBoost
Avg. Midsize Car
For 2018, Ford gives this generation of Mustang a significant refresh. Some changes should help address prior complaints we had about the car (a retuned suspension plus newly available adaptive suspension dampers for a claimed improvement in ride quality), while others are proverbial icing on the cake (more power for the Mustang's 5.0-liter V8). The Mustang's new automatic transmission has an eyebrow-raising 10 speeds. It might seem like overkill, but we've found this transmission in other vehicles to be quick-shifting and very smooth.
These changes should keep the Mustang a highly desirable pick for a pony car. Of course, it still has some primary competition: the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. All three are genuinely great cars, especially considering the price. If you're looking for the most well-rounded one, though, the Mustang is the way to go.
What's it like to live with?
For more insight into the Ford Mustang, check out our extended test of a Mustang GT. We covered everything from fuel economy to infotainment technology and interior quality. Even though our time was spent in a GT convertible, most of our observations are applicable to all Mustangs regardless of body style or engine configuration.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.9 / 10
Edging its chief rival in day-to-day usability, the 2018 Mustang has an array of enhancements that should broaden its appeal while expanding its performance. Base Mustangs are accessible, and V8 models deliver pulse-quickening performance yet maintain enough civility for daily use.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Coupe (5.0L V8 | 6-speed manual | RWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mustang has received some revisions for 2018, including a retuned suspension, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, a more powerful V8 and the deletion of the V6 model. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Mustang, however.
|Overall||7.9 / 10|
The 5.0-liter V8 is a gem. It's powerful and remarkably docile. Maybe too much — the exhaust note is rather meek. Although the standard suspension feels less planted than the Performance Pack's, the car's limits are roughly the same. It's softer, but hardly dumbed down.
Our test car lacked the Performance Pack's shorter 3.73 rear end, which helps explain its slower sprint to 60 mph (5.2 seconds vs. 4.7). The trap-speed gap (108.2 mph vs. 111.2) is notable. But in the real world, this V8 still hauls the mail. The 2018 Mustang should be quicker still.
No Performance Pack means no ultra-touchy brake pedal, which is a relief in daily driving. This car actually stopped 2 feet shorter from 60 mph, needing just 106 feet, with its standard brakes. The pedal is firm yet easy to modulate.
It feels a bit synthetic under normal conditions but quickly becomes an ally in fast corners. Responsive and surprisingly precise. Adjustable effort levels are more noticeable in parking lots than at speed.
This car with summer tires posted very similar numbers in our handling tests to those from a Performance Pack GT we also tested. The latter feels more buttoned-down on the road, though. The 2018 model promises to further improve on its handling precision.
Clutch engagement isn't quite intuitive, and misses aren't readily forgiven. Still, the GT is super easy to drive. The gentle throttle tip-in keeps most of those 435 horses in the stable. The linear brake feel is most welcome.
The standard GT suspension is certainly more supple than the Performance Pack's firmed-up version, though the former amplifies the latter's bouncy feel on some surfaces. If you're drawn to this car for its performance, you'll likely find its everyday comfort more than adequate.
Our test car had the Recaro seats, which offer both excellent lateral support and remarkable long-distance comfort. But adjustability is limited. The rear seats are uninhabitable for most humans due to the low roof and rear glass.
There's a bounciness to this suspension and summer tire combo that can make the car feel unsettled on imperfect pavement. Harsh impacts are uncommon, and bump compliance is noticeably better than with the Performance Pack. The 2018 model's retuned suspension should ride better.
Noise & vibration8.0
The Mustang keeps wind noise in check nicely, and despite the big 20-inch summer tires, road noise remains modest on most surfaces. The mild V8 burble through the firewall is a constant but welcome companion. Plenty quiet for a pleasant road trip.
The Mustang's interior is an impressive effort, featuring good quality materials and fun pony-car flourishes without going over the top. The dual-cowl dashboard looks cool.
Ease of use8.0
Most buttons and levers are straightforward in operation and feel well built, though the faux-metal toggle switches are flimsier than they look.
Getting in/getting out7.0
The Mustang's long doors are awkward in tight spots, but the front seats aren't as low as you might think, so you don't plop way down. The Recaro side bolsters can require extra contortions to get around. Rear-seat access is a chore.
The Mustang is less likely to trigger claustrophobia than certain rivals. The high beltline still creates a bunkerlike feel, though. The front seats accommodate all shapes and sizes, unlike the rears.
Despite the high beltline, the Mustang's visibility is above average for the segment, aided by windshield pillars that aren't too wide and expansive rear glass that gives a decent rearward view. It's still nice to have the backup camera.
Nicest Mustang cabin in modern memory, but you'll find some cheap-feeling plastics if you poke around. Zero squeaks and rattles.
The Mustang's a notably more practical car than its chief rival, the Camaro. Easier trunk access, more cargo volume and a friendlier cabin. Still, any decent compact hatchback will at least match the Mustang's utility.
The interior storage is adequate, but the door pockets don't hold much and the console bin is on the shallow side.
The Mustang's trunk checks in at a decent 13.5 cubic feet, but the optional Shaker stereo includes a trunk-mounted subwoofer that makes two golf bags a pretty tight fit.
Which Mustang does Edmunds recommend?
The Mustang's V8 is irresistible, so go for the gusto and get the GT model. Be an American hero and stick with the standard six-speed manual. Add useful day-to-day civility at a reasonable cost by choosing the optional active valve exhaust and dual-zone automatic climate control. The Performance package is totally livable on a day-to-day basis and sharpens up the Mustang's responses, so go ahead and tick that box, too. Make sure to get it in a wild color such as Orange Fury because you only live once.
2018 Ford Mustang models
The 2018 Ford Mustang is available in EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT and GT Premium trim levels for coupe (fastback) body styles. Convertibles are available in all but the GT trim (the GT Premium is offered). Say goodbye to the V6-powered Mustang — it has been dropped for 2018 — while a new 10-speed automatic transmission is optional on all models and includes a remote-start function.
The Mustang EcoBoost is the new entry-level variant now. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that gains 20 pound-feet of torque this year for a total of 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a new 10-speed automatic is optional.
Despite representing the bottom rung of Mustangdom, EcoBoost models are equipped with a surprising amount of racy hardware as standard: a limited-slip rear differential, launch control (only with the manual gearbox) and an electronic line-lock to facilitate burnouts (at the track only, of course). Standard creature comforts are more pedestrian and include 17-inch wheels, manual cloth seats, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 4.2-inch center display screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports and a six-speaker sound system.
Notable options packages include the Performance package, a unique version of which is available for EcoBoost and GT models. This includes larger brakes, 19-inch wheels and summer tires, a shorter differential ratio, a bigger radiator, stiffer front springs and a larger rear stabilizer bar. This package additionally allows access to new-for-2018 MagneRide adaptive suspension dampers.
The EcoBoost Premium keeps all the same hardware but adds 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, revised cabin trim, power front seats, a nine-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-inch touchscreen with the Sync 3 infotainment system.
GT models really step up the Mustang's performance game. They come with a 5.0-liter V8 (460 hp, 420 lb-ft) that has been revised for 2018 with the implementation of direct and port injection and a host of other changes. The GT's six-speed manual gearbox gets revised gearing this year, too. The 10-speed automatic is optional. The GT Premium adds the creature comforts of the EcoBoost Premium trim.
Notable optional features for the Mustang include a digital gauge cluster, a heated steering wheel, a navigation system, various exterior and interior styling packages, Recaro front sport seats, a 12-speaker sound system, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Mid-life crisis car
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2dr Coupe (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Always liked and wanted a Mustang. Kids are grown and wife said if you really want one let’s look. Found a magnetic gray one with ecoboost and 101A package. It gave me SYNC 3 with the big screen radio without having to get the premium package since I did not want leather. Drove home 6 hours after getting it and got 33-34 mpg going 70-75, not bad for a 310 hp Mustang. 13000 miles and … 18 months later still love this car. No mechanical issues and averaging 29 mpg. 29000 miles and 3 years later, still as fun as the day I bought it and now averaging 33.5 mpg. Who needs an electric car? This looks way cooler.
5 out of 5 stars
First Time Mustang Owner
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2dr Coupe (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I bought the 2018 Ford Mustang Ecoboost with 6 speed manual trannsmission. It comes well equipped even in the basic options (without the premium package) It handles exceedingly well and provides a comfortable ride. The four cylinder has get up and go when you need it. The exterior styling is fabulous. Sometimes I come into the garage at night just to look at the car. The trunk is … spacious. I rarely carry anyone in the back seat since the space is tight. The Ford Sync technology is very helpful especially since my State has a "hands free" law with regard to cell phone usage. I average about 26 MPG. Maintenance costs have been minimal since my Dealer provides the first three oil changes free of charge. I feel like I got a lot of car for my money. Over a year and a half later I am still a very pleased with this Pony!
5 out of 5 stars
10K miles, still loving this car!
Charles Greenwell, 08/16/2018
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium 2dr Convertible (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I think I got the last Mustang convertible left in the state of Texas having the color I wanted [Royal Crimson], with the equipment [Ecoboost, auto trans., navigation] & packages [Pony, Smart & Safe] I wanted, & nothing that I did not want & wasn't willing to pay for. I was glad to have found it [Thanks, Edmunds!] & willing to drive to the dealership [Auto Nation Ford] in Arlington, TX, … to see it, drive it, & trade for it. I wasn't sure I'd be happy without the V-6 engine I had on my previous Mustangs, but I've no complaints with the Ecoboost 4. Plenty of power, 10-speed automatic, & good gas mileage.
5 out of 5 stars
I Can't believe this is a Mustang
2018 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 6M)
It is been over 20 years since I've been inside of a mustang period since then, I've had numerous European, Asian as well as domestic sports cars. Never would have imagined a mustang be parked in my driveway. To say I'm impressed with this vehicle is an understatement, the fit and finish workmanship and performance are noteworthy to say the least. The V8 along with the active exhaust … performance package, and myriad of electronic safety features as well as limitless dashboard configuration and lighting options, it's absolutely fantastic. I much prefer manual transmissions so again I was completely surprised but I selected the 10 speed automatic or the manual, but this transmission is a game changer. He got ours completely loaded to include the lane keep assist as well as emergency braking along with every other feature offered. This vehicle is the complete package and is one of just a few of the almost 72 vehicles I have owned, that I look back at sometimes after I park it. Love the lines. Negative is a backseat room and trunk could be bigger, beyond that this is certainly a world-class sports car.
2018 Ford Mustang videos
ELANA SCHERR: When you're talking about the Ford Mustang, you aren't just talking about a car. You're talking about a legacy. There's more than 50 years of style and performance, everything from big muscle bruisers to everyday cruisers. In fact, the Mustang is so important that when Ford Motor Company recently announced it was going to stop making cars to focus on trucks and SUVs, the Mustang was the only exception. There's still a wide variety of Mustang's to choose from today. Everything from the top of the line GT 350 to the entry level, four cylinder turbo EcoBoost. Today we're going to find out how the EcoBoost fits in with Mustang's history. Broom-broom, Mustang. So I was pretty excited to go do a review on a Mustang, because who doesn't like Mustangs? Mustangs are cool. I mean, that's the whole reason people buy Mustang's is because they're cool. And on the surface, the EcoBoost Mustang, which this is, is every bit as cool as the Mustang that you would hope that it would be. It's got fantastic exterior looks. You can get in a lot of different colors. The interior in the 2018 Mustang is head and shoulders above any Mustang interior since, I don't know, Houndstooth in 1971, or something. It's really good and it's not something that Mustang has normally been known for. So there is a lot to like about this car. Unfortunately, this particular model, which is extremely highly optioned-- it's a premium performance package-- I didn't like it. I didn't want to say that I didn't like a Mustang. And right now you're probably like, eh, Elana, you're just grouchy because you're having a bad hair day. And really, you like this Mustang. And that's true, I am having a bad hair day. But we had the test team take it to the track and all of their findings kind of backed up what I felt about it. And they all have fantastic hair. So this is truth. This is a four cylinder, turbocharged car, 2.3 liter, 310 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque, which is up from 2017, and it has a lot of power. On paper, that's great, right? I mean, this car runs a 13 second quarter mile, which is faster than most of the classic V8 Mustang's that you would have driven. But just being fast on paper doesn't mean that it feels fast. And I feel like this engine is always trying really hard. It has its best power when it's up in the RPM. And so on a road like this where I'm driving right now, and it's curvy, and there's not a lot of traffic, and I get to stay on the gas, this car is super fun. And you know, it feels great. It has a lot of passing power. But in sort of stop and go traffic on the freeway, you're always way down on the RPM. And it's kind of herky, jerky and sometimes it's a little slow to respond to. And it doesn't feel fast. It is fast, but it doesn't feel fast. That's the first strike against it for me. I know that there are some Mustang purists out there who are like, what, a four cylinder, a turbo in an American muscle car, how dare you. But there is four cylinder turbo history in Mustangs lineup. If you go back to 1984, there is the SVO Mustang. So there's a reason for this car to exist. It has grandparents. And this car does do a lot of the same things that the original SVO did. An engine isn't solely responsible for the feel and performance of a car. And in 2018, Ford put the 10 speed automatic into this EcoBoost Mustang. It's an option. You pay more for it. And I wouldn't. I would get the manual. This is the same 10 speed that's in the Raptor. It's the same ten speed that Chevrolet uses. And it's a really good transmission. It's also very tunable for the car that they're putting it in. And Ford tuned this transmission to go with the EcoBoost and keep it up in that power band that we were talking about. While that is great for performance, it's really unpleasant for sort of daily driving for traffic. The transmission wants so badly to please you, thinking that you're always wanting as much power as possible. So it's like working really hard. When I'm in a car that has different moods, I usually find myself driving in track modes, because I like them better. But in this car, I'm in the normal mode and it's still too stiff and too frenetic for me. And I don't understand why they didn't just put in a boring driving mode. I think that Ford wanted to rescue the base Mustang from the rental car reputation and to make it a performance car. Now, some of the things that I'm complaining about in this car might be specific to this trim model. Because like I said, this is a premium, which is great. Premium stuff is all this nice interior, a big screen, which I would absolutely recommend. I think that is worthwhile money spent on the Mustang. But this is also a performance package, which means it has stiffer springs and it has a different chassis tune. I don't know if that affects the transmission tune, but it might. And I wouldn't put all of that stuff onto the EcoBoost. It's possible that the very base Mustang without the performance package is a little easier to drive and doesn't have some of these things that I'm complaining about. So before you cross this car off of your list, I would definitely do a test drive. Like, you go drive a base model EcoBoost Mustang and see if maybe it suits your needs better than it suits mine. Let's talk about some things that I like about driving the Mustang. I already mentioned that I think the interior is fantastic. And the handling is really good as well. Again, this is a performance package and I think it's a little bit stiff for daily driving. But it is extremely fun for roads like this. Some of the earlier Mustangs in this generation, I felt kind of rolled around on the chassis when they were in turns, and kind of moved a lot when you were on and off the brakes. And there's none of that in 2018. One of the things that struck me about this car is all of the options on it and how much that raised the price. This one as equipped, $41,000. Now, you can get a V8 Mustang for less than $41,000. In fact, you can get a V8 Mustang with a premium package so that you get the good interior stuff for less than $41,000. And that is what I would do if I was looking for that whole Mustang lifestyle. Getting into the EcoBoost, I had expectations that this car did not meet. Mainly, that it was going to be sort of easy to drive and very comfortable. But it met expectations that I wasn't even asking it for. And I think that there's a certain kind of shopper who might really love this car and might not be considering it. And you should be. And that is are you looking at the Subaru BRZ? Are you looking at the Miata? Are you interested in a two-seater, high revving small engine? Is that your thing? Because this car is great in that category. It has more horsepower than the Subaru. And it has more trunk space than the Miata. And it would really feed all of those desires. If you're just wanting something you can flick around the canyons, and you feel sporty, and you've got style-- and this does that with kind of more of everything. So that's where I would be looking if I was interested in one of those cars. Mustang has never really been known for having spectacular interiors. The 2018 model can change that. Although, it's still not the Hearst Castle or anything. I mean, you know, you're not going to throw a banquet here. But it's not embarrassing either. I mean, there's some really nice details that they've done. It looks excellent. I think the styling is good. It isn't too compact all around you. They've worked really hard to add brightening elements to it both in details, like these sort of metal trims, or optional metal turned plastic pieces here, and around some of the gauges and stuff. In the menu here, there's a whole section that has to do with the ambient light color. And this is something that car manufacturers are starting to do I think because it's fun, but also because it sort of brightens up the interiors of cars, especially if you're driving at night. And so they'll put these little lighting bars in the dashes, sometimes in the cup holders, and in the door. The whole front half of the Mustang is very comfortable. You've got plenty of room around you. You've got room for you and a passenger. You're not going to be bumping into each other. It's very easy to reach all of the important controls. A lot of controls are on the steering wheel, which I find very convenient. And the ones that are over here are usually things that you wouldn't be messing with while you were driving anyway. Normally, I haven't been particularly impressed by digital dashes, but Ford did a really good job on this one. So this has the optional leather. The leather is nice. It's soft, it's comfortable, it looks good. The stitching is nice and it has some perforated details. The seats themselves are very narrow. They're comfortable for me, but they have these side bolsters that might be uncomfortable for a larger person. So this is definitely a car that you would want to test sit-in before you made the purchase. At this point, people know that the four passenger part of a Mustang is not a promise that they really plan to keep. There's no leg room back there. Not only is it uncomfortable once you're back there, but it's really difficult to get in and out. I mean, you basically have to fling yourself out over the seat. There isn't a huge amount of storage in the Mustang. It has the two cup holders. It has a slot for the phone. It has reasonably sized door pockets. And it has a little center console that's deeper than I expected it to be and has another USB port in it, as well as a 12-volt charger. The center stack on the Mustang is not super interesting, but it's not hard to use either. And the screen is a good size and easy to see while you're driving. It's funny, because the four cylinder Mustang has performance that's as good or better than the V8 cars from the 60s. But we still wouldn't really consider it a performance car. I'd really cross shop it with other four cylinder, fun two-seaters if you want a little bit more room and a better daily driver. For more information on Mustang, go to edmunds.com. For more videos like this, please subscribe. And follow us on social media.
2018 Ford Mustang Review
Edmunds special correspondent Elana Scherr gets the keys to the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost. In this video, Elana talks about how the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang fits in with the history of V6 and V8 Ford pony cars and takes a closer look at the entry-level Mustang's new 2018… interior and options.
2018 Mustang Highlights
|Combined MPG||23 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$228/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.3%