The Ford Mustang, a beacon of American automotive heritage, continues to enthrall car enthusiasts globally. The 2024 model, with its perfect blend of raw power, state-of-the-art technology, and timeless design, is a testament to this legacy.
The Ford Mustang: A Timeless Journey
First unveiled in 1964, the Ford Mustang has become an iconic representation of American power and performance in the global automotive arena. Over the years, the Mustang has adapted to the changing times, integrating advanced technology and modern comforts while staying true to its performance-oriented roots. The 2024 model continues this evolution, offering a compelling mix of power, style, and cutting-edge features.
The 2024 Ford Mustang: A Design That Defies Time
The 2024 Ford Mustang maintains the classic fastback design that has become synonymous with the Mustang lineup over the decades. Its assertive stance, sculpted body lines, and iconic grille make it a head-turner on the road.
Inside, the Mustang seamlessly blends modern technology with classic design elements. The cockpit-style interior features a driver-focused layout with a large, customizable digital instrument cluster and a central touchscreen infotainment system. High-quality materials and comfortable seats ensure a pleasant experience, whether on a quick drive or a long journey.
In terms of features, the 2024 Mustang is well-equipped. Standard features include Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a premium audio system, and a suite of advanced safety features as part of Ford's Co-Pilot360.
Performance and Power: The Heart of the 2024 Ford Mustang
Under the hood, the 2024 Mustang offers a range of engines, from a turbocharged four-cylinder to a powerful V8, depending on the model. This power is channeled to the rear wheels through a standard six-speed manual transmission, with a 10-speed automatic available.
The Mustang's performance is impressive, with the GT model clocking a 0-60 mph time of under 5 seconds. The car's handling is equally commendable, with precise steering and maneuverability. Despite its performance credentials, the Mustang offers a comfortable ride, making it a practical choice for daily driving.
The 2024 Ford Mustang: A Fresh Take on a Classic
The 2024 Ford Mustang introduces the seventh generation of this iconic pony car. While it retains much of the DNA from the previous Mustang, the new model rides on the same platform and uses the same engines (with slight modifications), ensuring the driving experience remains familiar yet exciting.
Ford has given the 2024 Mustang a fresh look, with all-new bodywork except for the front pillars and roof. The overall design is a series of subtle tweaks to the Mustang's classic formula, resulting in more pronounced lines. The familiar long hood/short decklid proportions are still present, but the grille is now more upright, and the rear fenders resemble the Chevrolet Camaro.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2024 Mustang continues with its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup and uses the same engines as the last-generation Mustang, albeit with a few enhancements. A turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four powers the EcoBoost models, while the GT gets the 5.0-liter Coyote V8.
The GT's power has been boosted to 480 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Opt for the GT's optional active-valve exhaust system, and these figures increase to 486 hp and 418 lb-ft. These horsepower ratings now match previous special editions like the Mustang Bullitt and pre-2022 Mach 1.
The Mustang Dark Horse, the range's prize stallion, boasts a 500-hp V8 that benefits from strengthened camshafts, forged piston connecting rods, and a uniquely balanced crankshaft. This tire-smoking V8 can rev up to a redline of 7,500 rpm.
The standard Mustang EcoBoost gets a reworked turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder for the 2024 model year. It delivers 315 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful standard engine ever offered in a Mustang.
Transmission and Handling
As with the previous model, there are two available transmissions: a 10-speed automatic and a six-speed manual with standard rev-matching. EcoBoost models will be automatic only, while the GT will offer both messages. A Performance Pack will be provided for both EcoBoost and GT models, adding a limited-slip differential, wider rear wheels and tires, and larger brakes. The GT also adds a unique rear wing and brake ducts in the front fascia for increased cooling.
Two new features have also been added for 2024. GT models with the automatic transmission and EcoBoost models with the upgraded exhaust system get a new Remote Rev feature that allows you to rev the engine via a sequence of button presses on the Mustang's remote key fob. The second is a Performance Electronic Parking Brake, which comes on both Mustang models with the Performance Pack equipped. It looks like a traditional handbrake from inside the vehicle, but it's electronically controlled and can be used while the car is in Track mode to help get the Mustang into sustained slides more easily.
The 2024 Ford Mustang: Behind the Wheel
Given its similarities with the outgoing model, it's no surprise that the 2024 Ford Mustang feels familiar from behind the wheel. Anyone upgrading from a Mustang built in the last few years will immediately feel at home. However, Ford deserves credit for making the entire car feel sharper and more dialed-in than before, thanks to the powertrain tweaks that enhance the experience in the EcoBoost four-cylinder and GT's 5.0-liter V8.
Comfort and Interior
The seventh-generation Mustang is no bigger than its predecessor inside, so comfort is a relative term, depending on where you're sitting. The back seat is only serviceable for small kids — both the sloping roofline and legroom will be too problematic for an average-size adult. The front row is a much better place to be, and the Mustang offers excellent features, like heated and ventilated seats, to make your time on the road even better.
The most significant changes are found inside, arguably where they were the most needed. New screens and a changed dashboard layout make the Mustang feel more modern, though it does swap out some physical controls that we like in the current model.
Behind the wheel, a large 12.4-inch instrument cluster display is now mounted side by side with a 13.2-inch touchscreen that now sits up high rather than below a pair of air vents as it did in the outgoing car. There's still a volume knob, but the climate controls have now been integrated into the screen and are consequently harder to use while driving. The new screen is large and bright, though it is far from the driver.
Technology and Safety
The center touchscreen is powered by Ford's Sync 4 system, not the new Android-based operating system that was rumored. Ford says the system will debut on a new model shortly. It's slightly tweaked but will feel similar to what is seen on the Mustang Mach-E, just in a landscape layout instead of the Mach-E's portrait screen. One significant difference is the Unreal Engine integration. This is software derived from video games that make the system react quicker than any of Ford's in the past. The Mustang is the first car to implement this before it spreads wider into the lineup over time.
One of the few physical controls below the screen is a button with the Mustang's pony icon that opens up the car's performance pages. If equipped, this gives the driver quick access to various performance settings, including exhaust loudness, launch control, and the Performance Electronic Parking Brake.
The Mustang's safety technology is also upgraded, now offering reverse automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-centering assistance. The 2024 model also introduces a feature that Ford calls active pothole mitigation; it comes with the optional MagneRide adaptive dampers on EcoBoost and GT models and comes standard in the new track-oriented Dark Horse variant. Ford states, "The system continually monitors the suspension and relies on shock movement to detect potholes and changes shock behavior to prevent the wheel from falling into potholes." No word yet on which safety features will come standard or be optional across the Mustang lineup.
Driving the Mustang EcoBoost
The 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, with its shared characteristics with the outgoing model, provides a familiar yet enhanced driving experience. Ford has reprogrammed the 10-speed automatic's shift mapping, resulting in a more refined performance, although it still falls short of the smoothness and quickness of the best dual-clutch automatics. The best results come from manually controlling the shifts with the paddle shifters, which are included with the Performance Pack.
The Performance Pack, while adding a significant amount of content, comes at a hefty price of $3,475. However, for those planning on pushing their EcoBoost to the limits on weekends, it's a worthwhile investment. The limited-slip differential and upgraded Brembo brakes make a considerable difference. However, the additional $1,750 MagneRide adaptive suspension in the EcoBoost may not be worth the investment. It does little to improve the car's temperament at high speeds and can make city driving unpleasant.
The 2.3-liter engine provides enough power to put a smile on your face, with the slight turbo lag adding to the excitement. However, the accompanying noise during acceleration may dampen the thrill. Despite this, the four-cylinder Mustang is a competent sports car that offers more thrillchargess from its handling abilities than its powertrain. Coupled with decent gas mileage, it's still a winning recipe for shoppers to consider.
Driving the Mustang GT
The Mustang GT, with its V8 engine, provides a driving experience that is quintessentially Mustang. The change in character and emotion is palpable the moment you step into the car. The GT, equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission, delivers a unique kind of bliss that comes with a V8 and three pedals.
Ford's subtle tweaks to the V8 make this engine feel like it's peaked. The noise is ferocious and grows with intensity the higher the revs climb. Downshifts aren't always necessary for power, but we went through the ritual to hear the car sing. When the transmission is in the appropriate gear, rolling onto the throttle provides significant acceleration. But it's not scary; the GT's power feels controllable and exciting.
The gearshift itself feels like a clone from prior GTs. It's not quite the caliber of what you get in a Porsche 911 or Honda Civic Type R, but the shifts are quick and direct. We also appreciate the rev-matching feature, which you can deactivate if you prefer to do all the work.
You might expect the lighter EcoBoost to be the better-handling Mustang, but we found the GT to feel more planted heading into high-speed corners. This provided the confidence to push a bit harder. You don't have to hit extralegal speeds to get the most out of this car, but GT is intuitive enough to handle things if you do. The steering is reactive to small inputs, making on-the-fly adjustments a non-issue. And when you need to slow down, the upgraded GT Performance package Brembos has plenty more to give. We'll put them to the test when we get the car on the Edmunds test track soon.