What To Look For When Test Driving A Mustang

For lovers of fast cars, few vehicles offer the same visceral excitement as a Ford Mustang. Famous for having launched the “pony car” phenomenon of the 1960s, over the past fifty years the Mustang has seen countless improvements, special models, and collector’s editions. Now on its sixth generation, Mustang shows no signs of slowing down — indeed, the latest generation of this iconic car has been praised as one of the best yet.

But with so many Mustangs with so many different variations to consider, how should a first-time buyer go about purchasing a Mustang, and what should they look for in particular in the all-important test-drive? Here are a few general things to look for:

Engine

If you test drive a new Mustang — a 2018 or 2019 model — then it is especially important to check what engine is under the hood. Ford recently added its signature EcoBoost engine as an option for new Mustangs, which gives the car a radically different feel. Because the EcoBoost is much lighter than the V6 or V8, it takes a lot of weight off the nose of the car and gives an overall more agile and lively driving experience. For some drivers, this new agility is liberating; others will prefer one of the more traditional options.

Performance Package

Whether you are buying a new Mustang or a used one, the trim package will be an important consideration. The difference between a brand new GT and a basic model from a decade ago will be significant, and when you consider the different bells and whistles that special editions like the 2019 Bullitt Mustang come with, there is a lot to choose from. When test driving your Mustang, make sure you understand the features that have come standard with it, and in the case of used Mustangs, ask about any additions that have been made since.

Wear And Tear

While this isn’t something you will need to worry about when buying a new Mustang, if you are shopping for used models and want to avoid making extensive repairs yourself, you need to make sure that it is ready for the road. If a car has not been well taken care of, you will likely notice a roughness in the driving experience — tired shocks, unresponsive breaks, and an engine that sputters when it should growl. Be sure to make a checklist of common issues to look for, and don’t let your excitement at getting behind the wheel of a Mustang distract you from potential problems down the road.

Buying a new or used Mustang can be immensely exciting, but it can also be a little nerve-wracking. A muscle car isn’t a small purchase, and you will want to make sure that the Mustang you drive away in is the best one for you. Whether you are buying new or used, you need to make sure you understand the variety of engine options and performance packages available, and keep an eye out for wear and tear. But if you do your research and focus on the features and options that will give you the driving experience you want, you should be able to find a Mustang you’ll be happy to drive for years to come.

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