Arguably one of the most recognizable cars of all time, the 2021 Ford Mustang continues to deliver eye-catching style and driving excitement. Its ability to be personalized and performance-enhanced also have endeared Ford’s pony car to the public for more than 55 years. While the standard turbocharged four-cylinder might sound like a blasphemous choice for a muscle car, the EcoBoost model is legitimately enjoyable and affordable. The Mustang GT continues to carry the V-8 torch against crosstown rivals from Chevy and Dodge, but it bests them with a better combination of athleticism and livability. Sure, some of the Stang’s interior materials are subpar and its back seat is tight, but this legendary muscle car has evolved and consistently lived up to that title.
New Ford Mustang 2021
Ford upped the ante with some new performance for the 2021 Ford Mustang. The enhancements come in the way of a bit of horsepower boost in for the EcoBoost versions, as well as a more track-ready Shelby trim in the new GT500. The 5.0-liter V8 performance workhorse remains unchanged, but who cares? It’s awesome. Ford offers a manual transmission for most Mustang trims. Only the new GT500 dresses out with just an automatic, but it’s a 7-speed dual-clutch auto transmission with driver-selectable modes and launch control. Many Mustang versions are also offered as either fastback or convertible. Hey, whether you opt for the 4-banger or head to the track in the GT500, you are in for a screaming good time. And there’s a Mustang to fit a wide variety of budgets, needs and tastes. Oh, and we need to keep buying them, because if Ford senses consumer interest in Mustang waning, they will probably ax it as they have most of their car offerings.
The Ford Mustang 2021 honors its muscle-car heritage with a classic 2+2 seating configuration. The car’s focus, though, is on the two front seats. Both the driver and passenger have plenty of space, with comfortable and well-bolstered seats for longer cruises or enthusiastic driving.
Base models only offer a handful of manual seat adjustments, but you can upgrade to six-way power-adjustable bucket seats. Cloth seating is standard, but Premium models have full leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats.
The two back seats are very small and likely won’t be a good fit for adults for any extended period. Since the Mustang only has two doors, it’s also difficult to climb into and out of the second row.
You won’t have to worry about a cramped back seat in Shelby models – those performance-oriented cars ditch them entirely.
The Mustang has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear seats. The lower anchors are located deep in the seat cushion, and you may need to exert some force to attach the car-seat straps.
The Mustang sports a generally upscale and charming interior. It feels well-built, and most surfaces and materials are high-quality. The design is modern enough to stand out against some uninspiring sports car interiors, though you may notice a few hard plastic pieces. Ford injects a bit of nostalgia with cool touches like metal flip switches for certain controls.
You’ll get 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space in the standard Mustang Fastback, which is a good amount of room for the sports car class. The rear seats fold down for longer items. Additionally, the trunk opening is wide.
Mustang convertible models offer 11.4 cubic feet of space. That’s still a decent volume for this segment, as many cars have less than 10 cubic feet of trunk room.
A base-level Mustang is pretty slim on features. It only has the voice-controlled SYNC system with a small display.
Newly standard for 2020 is FordPass Connect. Through an app on your phone, you can remotely lock and unlock the car, locate it, start it, and check fuel levels and mileage. Models with the automatic transmission have standard remote start.
We recommend opting for a model with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which adds an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, and a nine-speaker stereo. This system consistently earns praise for its simple menu layout and user-friendly operation.
- EcoBoost is a strong base engine
- MagneRide suspension improves handling
- V-8 exhaust growl
- Available line-lock mode makes burnouts easy
- Retro styling
- Can feel heavy in corners
- Gets expensive fast
- Cramped backseat
- Poor outward visibility
- Lack of front parking sensors
For 2021, Ford gifts the four-cylinder Mustang with a more desirable engine and legitimate track-ready equipment. The former is included with the new High-Performance package, which adds a 330-hp EcoBoost four-banger and other hardware from V-8–powered models. The setup is available on the coupe and convertible, but the new EcoBoost Handling pack can only be had on the coupe. It transforms the four-cylinder Mustang from “enjoyable to drive” to “exciting to drive” thanks to unique suspension tuning and add-ons that will make for shorter laptimes on the racetrack. Newly standard equipment includes the FordPass Connect smartphone app and redesigned 17-inch wheels on EcoBoost models. The entire Mustang lineup also adds four new exterior-color choices: Iconic Silver, Twister Orange, Red Hot Metallic, and Grabber Lime.
FordPass Connect is now standard in across all trims, but there are a couple of even bigger changes. A new High-Performance Package for the EcoBoost versions retunes the 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo, squeezing out an additional 20 horsepower. The package also includes upgraded GT brakes and chassis calibrations, among other goodies. There is also a new EcoBoost Handling Package for fastback models with upgraded brakes, MagneRide active dampers and stiffer sway bars. To the Shelby lineup comes the new GT500. Although it gets the same supercharged 5.2-liter V8 at the GT350R, it uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic to change the cogs. It also comes with launch control, 20-in aluminum wheels and bigger front brake rotors, among other enhancements.
One of the big updates for the 2021 Ford Mustang is the addition of Grabber Lime Green. Other color options for this year include Iconic Silver, Red Hot Metallic, Twister Orange, Shadow Black, Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue, Race Red, Magnetic, Oxford White, Kona Blue, and Dark Highland Green. The Ford Mustang is a rear-wheel-drive, four-seat sports car that goes head-to-head with the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. It’s available in coupe and convertible body styles and five main trims: EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, GT Premium and the throwback Bullitt. High-performance versions include the Shelby GT350 and GT350R, along with the new Shelby GT500.
The rear-wheel drive Mustang range starts with a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder developing 310 hp and 350 lb-ft. With the 6-speed manual transmission (with rev matching), consumption is estimated at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving. With the 10-speed you gain 1 mpg on the highway. Opting for the convertible scrubs off some mileage. With the manual, it’s 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined. The convertible/10-speed matchup delivers 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.
The GT’s 5.0-liter V8 throbs with 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque while achieving 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined (manual) in the coupe, or 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined (auto). Mileage is the same for the manual-equipped hardtop as convertible but drops 1 mpg across city, highway and combined numbers.
A V8 propels the Shelby GT350/GT500, turning a 5.2-liter displacement into 526 hp and 429 lb-ft. The 350GTR only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and is estimated to achieve 14 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined, if anyone really cares about that. The GT500 only gets a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with selectable drive modes. Ford had not announced government-estimated mileage as of this writing for the GT500.
The Ford Mustang literally created the term “pony car” when it arrived as a 1964 ½ model, and has adhered to that concept ever since. Available in coupe or convertible form, the Mustang can easily adopt the demeanor of a grand tourer or bona fide sports car, depending on which engine and options you choose.
Even the base 2021 Mustang is an impressive piece, putting out 310 horsepower from a 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4. Purists will go for the Mustang GT which packs a 5.0-liter V-8 and 460 horsepower (and those all-important 5.0 fender badges). The hot-ticket item for 2021 is the arrival of the Shelby GT500, churning out 760 hp from a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8. Some 56 years on, the Mustang manages to toe that tricky line between modern and heritage without succumbing to either side.
A new High Performance Package features a version of the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 330 horsepower — 20 hp more than the regular version. The package also includes aerodynamic, suspension and brake parts from the GT Performance Package. The FordPass Connect telematics system is now standard.
The base EcoBoost models come with a 310-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, and the GT gets a 460-hp, 5.0-liter V-8. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
Standard equipment on the base Mustang includes remote keyless entry, Sync connectivity, cruise control and manual air conditioning. Optional features include a touchscreen multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, heated and ventilated front seats, rear parking sensors and dual-zone automatic air conditioning.
Available active safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high-beam headlights.
- EcoBoost: $27,765
- GT: $36,725
- Bullitt: $48,905
The 2021 Ford Mustang is offered in EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium and GT Premium trims as a fastback or convertible. There’s also a GT fastback and the fastback-only Shelby GT350/GT500/GT350R. Pricing reflects the $1,095 factory delivery charge.
The EcoBoost fastback ($27,765) and EcoBoost convertible ($33,265) come standard with 17-in alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, keyless entry and ignition, LED headlights, LED sequential taillights, a dual exhaust system, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with tilt-and-telescopic adjustment, a rearview camera, a 4.2-in screen, a self-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, Track Apps (a program that records performance data during track driving), electronically lockable front brakes (Ford says they’re to help warm up the rear tires, but people will use them for burnouts) and a 6-speaker audio system with SYNC, FordPass, two USB ports and an auxiliary input, plus the MyKey system with parental controls for geofencing, speed limit, stability control, audio volume, radio content, seat belt reminders and low fuel warnings.
The EcoBoost Premium fastback ($32,780) and the EcoBoost Premium convertible ($38,280) have 18-in alloy wheels, rear-parking sensors, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded infotainment system with SYNC 3, a 9-speaker stereo, an 8-in touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
The GT fastback ($36,725) echoes the regular EcoBoost’s features but with the V8 engine and bigger brakes. The GT Premium fastback ($40,725) and the GT Premium convertible ($46,225) add the EcoBoost Premium’s equipment inventory.
The Bullitt ($48,905) loses the GT’s decklid spoiler but adds red Brembo brake calipers, a 3.73 rear axle, different 19-in wheels and rubber, an upgraded exhaust system, some unique interior and exterior styling accents, a 12-in LCD instrument cluster, a heated steering wheel, an electronic locking center console and an enhanced security package.
Some features of the higher trims are available as options lower down. A Performance package (coupe only) adds 19-in wheels of a different design with summer performance tires, auxiliary gauges (including a boost gauge for the EcoBoost), a sport-tuned suspension, a larger radiator, bigger brakes, shorter gearing, a performance rear axle, a stability control system with a higher threshold and aluminum interior accents. The GT’s version has Brembo brakes up front and a Torsen (torque-sensing) limited-slip differential. The Performance package also brings eligibility for the adaptive suspension.
Depending on the trim, other options include 20-in wheels, a 12-speaker Shaker audio system, a digital instrument gauge, navigation, rear parking sensors, driver’s-side memory settings, adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.
Brembo brakes and a Torsen diff are standard in the Mustang Shelby GT350 ($61,535), which also comes with Recaro seats and an adaptive suspension. Heated and cooled power-adjustable front seats are an option.
The GT350R ($74,530) brings its own aero kit, plus 19-in wheels made from carbon fiber. It also saves weight by ditching the rear seat, infotainment system, air conditioning and tire inflation kit. These features may be reinstated by choosing the Electronics and Technology packages.
The GT500 ($73,995) shares many standard features with the GT350R, but it gets a supercharged version of its engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Other differences include launch control, selectable drive modes, 20-in aluminum wheels, larger front brake rotors with 6-piston Brembo Calipers, a 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, leather-trimmed suede sport seats, 12-in LCD digital instrument cluster, a rear spoiler and a dual exhaust with quad tips.
Don’t be fooled by its cylinder count—the standard turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder has enough punch to embarrass V-8 Mustangs of old. Likewise, the optional High-Performance package adds a more melodic and responsive EcoBoost engine derived from the defunct Ford Focus RS. The GT models are motivated by a 460-hp V-8 with an optional active exhaust that trumpets a thunderous roar. Both of these compelling engines pair with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic that makes the Mustang quicker than before. The V-8 version is also available with a transformative package (called Performance Pack Level 2) that adds track-ready equipment courtesy of the Shelby GT350. The optional EcoBoost Handling package also delivers racetrack readiness to the four-cylinder coupe.
Still, the special-edition Bullitt model may be the best all-around Mustang for sale today. Its enhanced V-8 engine makes an extra 20 horsepower (480 total), and it includes all the top-shelf performance parts available. This latest Mustang generation brought with it a much needed independent rear suspension, which replaced the archaic solid rear axle. The switch-up improves its handling and takes its ride quality to another level. Even with the less powerful engines, the Mustang’s modernized chassis delivers a comfortable and controlled driving experience. For added sportiness, there is an optional Performance package for EcoBoost and GT models. The electrically assisted steering is appropriately light in Comfort mode and nicely weighted in the other two. The Mustang’s brake pedal has a firm feel that we felt to be touchy in stop-and-go traffic, but it’s easier to apply smoothly at higher speeds.
Ford Mustang 2021 Versions
2021 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: The entry-level, four-cylinder Mustang is available in coupe or convertible and features 17-inch aluminum wheels, air conditioning, cloth seats, leather-wrapped shift knob (manual only), auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights and taillights, a 4.2-inch infotainment system with six speakers and Wi-Fi hotspot, and keyless entry with pushbutton start.
2021 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium: This trim level adds 18-inch wheels, a body-color spoiler, LED foglamps, multi-color ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, 6-way power driver seat, 4-way power passenger seat, heated/ventilated leather seats, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, rear parking sensors, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a nine-speaker audio system and SiriusXM radio.
2021 Ford Mustang GT: The V-8 Mustang builds on the EcoBoost trim and adds an engine oil cooler, larger brake rotors with four-piston fixed calipers, rev-matching on manual models, dual exhaust, LED foglamps, body-color decklid spoiler, 18-inch wheels, 6-way power driver/4-way power passenger seat, and rear parking sensors.
2021 Ford Mustang GT Premium: Additional equipment over the GT includes multicolor ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated/cooled leather front seats, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, Homelink, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a nine-speaker audio system and SiriusXM radio.
2021 Ford Mustang Bullitt: The movie-inspired trim level includes the GT Premium features and adds an active exhaust system, Brembo six-piston front brakes, oil pressure and vacuum gauges, heavy duty front springs, enhanced cooling system, 19-inch wheels, spoiler delete, a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, BULLITT-specific badging and strut tower brace, green accent stitching, heated steering wheel, cue ball shift knob, and enhanced security system.
2021 Ford Mustang GT350/GT350 R: Opt for a GT350 and receive 19-inch wheels, Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, engine oil, transmission and differential coolers, active dual exhaust, hood vent rear diffuser and spoiler, Recaro manual sport seats, and magnetic dampers.
2021 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500: The top-line Mustang features 20-inch wheels, unique front body panels, 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, leather/alcantara steering wheel, rotary shift knob, leather and suede seats, and 6-way power driver and passenger seats.
The 2021 Ford Mustang received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). The Mustang received a front crash prevention designation of Basic by the IIHS, as automatic emergency braking was not tested. In the small overlap front crash test, the Mustang coupe received an Acceptable rating due to a compromised passenger footwell and predicted injuries to the lower leg and foot. Mustang convertibles fared better with an overall rating of Good. Ford offers a Safe and Smart package which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, lane keep assist and alert, and rain-sensing wipers.
In some ways, the 2021 Ford Mustang is as just as you’d expect it to be. It has rear-wheel drive, an available 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, and all sorts of factory options to make it faster, louder and more distinctive. What you might not expect about the Mustang is the way Ford has committed to the standard four-cylinder engine. Base Mustangs used to be underpowered and unloved but not anymore.
The EcoBoost Mustang comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out a stout 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Not content with letting only the V8 Mustang have all the fun, Ford has added the High Performance package to the EcoBoost model for 2021. The Focus Focus RS-derived engine delivers 332 hp, and its 350 lb-ft of torque is spread across a wider rpm range than in the standard engine. Ford also adds the larger brakes from the V8 Mustang to this package. Also new for 2021 is the Handling package (available only with the High Performance package), which adds Ford’s impressive MagneRide suspension, uprated sway bars and super sticky Pirelli tires.
Inside, the Mustang is much the same as it has been for the past few years. Highlights include a pleasing retro design fitted with the latest technology options such as Ford’s Sync infotainment system and adaptive cruise control. Drawbacks are predictable, however. These include limited rear-seat and trunk space and a stiff ride when you opt for the high-performance suspension. Overall, though, we thoroughly enjoyed the 2021 Ford Mustang. It’s modern, fast, easy to drive, and available with just enough options to make it your own.
The 2021 Ford Mustang comes standard with a SYNC audio system featuring a 4.2-inch screen, six speakers, and two USB ports. FordPass is standard and includes a Wi-fi hotspot, remote start and lock/unlock, and vehicle locator through a mobile app connection. A SYNC 3 Package featuring an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity is available and standard on GT Premium and higher trims. An available B&O sound system features 12 speakers, a CD player, and HD radio. A 12.0-inch color digital cluster is available on GT Premium and standard on higher trim levels.