The 2021 Ford Mustang starts at $31,895 in Canada and at $27,205 in the United States before freight and delivery charges.
Addictive V8 engines, good infotainment system, still affordable.
V8 engine fuel consumption, average cabin comfort, dreadful EcoBoost engine sound.
The 2021 Ford Mustang is the only passenger car left in the brand’s U.S. and Canadian lineup, a strategy that follows the current market trend shifting massively to crossovers and pickup trucks. Well, technically, the magnificent Ford GT is still on sale, but its extremely limited production will soon come to an end.
The popular Mustang is outselling its direct rivals, the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, but since Ford introduced a turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the muscle car’s long hood, it now has two different characters. Equipped with the four-banger, the Mustang also competes with the Subaru BRZ, the Toyota GR 86 and the Nissan Z.
The turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost four produces 310 horsepower and an impressive 350 pound-feet of torque, when fed with premium 93-octane fuel. Our test car, a Mustang EcoBoost convertible enhanced with the High Performance package, includes a high-output version of the 2.3L engine, with 330 horsepower.
Lighter on the front end, this mill changes the car’s handling and drive, and gives it a bit more refinement as well. As expected, its soundtrack has nothing to do with that of the 5.0L V8 (GT and Mach 1), and even less with that of the supercharged 5.2L V8 (Shelby GT500), an important aspect for, well, older sports car fans.
The 2021 Ford Mustang GT boasts 460 horsepower, while the Mach 1 that launched this year gets 480. The Shelby GT500 rounds up 760 angry stallions and a monstrous 625 pound-feet of torque, but its price which hovers around $100,000 CAD or $73,000 USD makes it a very rare beast on our roads.
According to the chosen transmission (6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic) and body style (coupe or convertible), the EcoBoost four-cylinder engine presents combined city/highway ratings of between 9.4 and 11.0 L/100 km in Canada, and between 21 and 25 mpg in the U.S., as the High Performance package makes the engine slightly thirstier. During our test, we managed a reasonable 10.5 L/100 km or 22 mpg.
With the 5.0L V8, the 2021 Ford Mustang chugs down between 12.8 and 13.9 L/100 km or between 17 and 19 mpg on the combined cycle. That’s a tad more fuel than what the Camaro’s V8 engine needs, and about the same as the Challenger’s V8, but unlike these two rivals that require premium fuel, the Mustang can run fine on regular unleaded. In fact, only the GT500 requires premium, and the 93-octane stuff at that, guzzling it down at a combined city/highway pace of 16.7 L/100 km or 14 mpg.
Pricing starts at $31,895 in Canada and at $27,205 in the U.S., freight and delivery charges not included, while the Mustang GT is the V8 entry door at $41,780 CAD or $36,285 USD. Our EcoBoost convertible on test, equipped with the High Output 2.3L engine, automatic gearbox and a slew of convenience and safety features, rings in at $48,145 CAD or $43,375 USD.
Why You Should Buy a 2021 Ford Mustang
- Because it sets itself apart from today’s sea of bland automobiles and crossovers, and if muscle car nostalgia kicks in, a rip-snorting V8 engine can be had for a still reasonable amount of coin.
- The Mustang convertible is easy to live with, thanks to its power-folding soft top that only requires twisting a handle on the headliner to lock and unlock. However, the top can’t be raised or lowered while the car is in motion, unlike German-engineered droptops. Not a big deal.
- Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system is getting old—really old—but it’s still easy to use while driving, and it’s packed with features. Including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
- Performance freaks will love the GT as much as the Mach 1, the latter being a newly introduced track-focused variant that sort of replaces the Shelby GT350 and Mustang Bullitt. For those who can swing the monthly payments, the beastly Shelby GT500 drips with character, speed and sound.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2021 Ford Mustang
- The Mustang isn’t all that comfortable. While the front seats are fine, there’s very little room for back-seat passengers, and those upright seatbacks aren’t designed for lengthy road trips.
- Heavily raked front pillars and fat rear pillars (coupe or convertible, it doesn’t matter) cut down on outward visibility. It’s not as confining as in the Camaro, however, so at least that’s something.
- The V8 engines consume a lot of fuel, but that’s not really a surprise. The EcoBoost engine is a powerful little motor and a good alternative, but its soundtrack isn’t nearly as melodic as the V8’s—especially with the performance exhaust system. In fact, we don’t think it sounds good at all.
- Convertible shoppers looking for a comfortable cruiser don’t have any choices anymore. Those replacing the Chrysler 200 or Toyota Solara with a Mustang might find it too sporty and stiff, while its low seat cushions and laid-back driving position make entry/exit a challenge for less-mobile folks.
The 2021 Ford Mustang outsells the Camaro and Challenger because overall, it’s a better daily driver and caters to a wider audience. It’s also reasonably priced and still looks great after all these years. A Mustang GT coupe with the Five-Point-Oh and the six-speed manual is a no-brainer for high-performance enthusiasts who don’t want to ruin themselves financially.
On the other hand, for a pure retro, nostalgic, middle finger to environmentalists ride, the Challenger is a more convincing reinterpretation of a ‘70s muscle car. Still, the Mustang is a survivor and an emotional purchase in the dying world of passenger cars.