The Ford Mustang is a pony car that was first introduced in 1964. Since 1964, the Mustang has been offered in various forms such as a fastback, coupe, and most recently as an Electric Vehicle (EV).
While many of us dreamed to have a Mustang as a first car when we were in high school, is the Mustang a good first car?
Is A Mustang A Good First Car?
Depending on the model of Mustang, some Mustangs can be a good first car depending on the power of the vehicle. An 8-cylinder Mustang may be too much for most new drivers to be able to safely handle.
Risks Of Driving A Mustang As A First Car
Too Much Power
As mentioned, there are different Mustang models which have different engines translating to different levels of power.
Below are some examples of the different Mustang engines and the power they produce:
|Mustang EcoBoost Fastback||2.3L GTDI I-4||310 horsepower||350 lb-ft|
|Mustang GT Fastback||5.0L Ti-VCT V8||450 horsepower||410 lb-ft|
|Mustang Mach 1||5.0L Ti-VCT V8||470 horsepower||410 lb-ft|
|Mustang GT500||5.2L Supercharged V8||760 horsepower||625 lb-ft|
For a first-time driver without a lot of experience, choosing a Mustang with too much power can become dangerous quickly on the road.
Mustangs are two-door coupes, which can be cool to look at, however, may not be practical for everyone’s needs. If you need more storage space or plan to have multiple passengers often the size of a Mustang can be limiting.
For a new driver, visibility is important! Although the Mustang has better visibility than the Camaro (for example), it still may not be sufficient for a driver with limited experience.
The smaller side rear windows, the slope of the roof, and high beltline contribute to the not-so-great visibility.
When driving straight, visibility is less likely to be an issue. However, new drivers should also consider that they will need to see when backing up, parallel parking, and navigating in tight parking garages or in congested cities.
Depending on the location where you plan to do most of your driving, the blind spots can be more or less of an issue but definitely something that should be considered when purchasing a first car.
Inclement Weather (RWD)
If you live somewhere that is subject to inclement weather, you should consider the fact that the Mustang only comes in rear-wheel drive.
Although this is a feature that many sports car enthusiasts want for handling purposes, RWD can make a vehicle more difficult to drive when the weather is bad.
Rear-wheel drive means the drive wheels are located in the back of the car which is also the lightest part of the car. This makes it more difficult to get traction in ice or snowy conditions.
Due to the rear-wheel-drive nature of the vehicle, Mustangs are prone to fishtailing. Fishtailing happens when the rear wheels lose traction causing the vehicle to move erratically from side to side which can be alarming to any driver but especially a new driver.
A new driver who doesn’t know how to handle fishtailing should consider getting a vehicle that has all-wheel drive.
Mustangs are recommended to run on premium gas. Premium gas comes at a higher price than regular.
Although there are some people who put regular gas in their Mustangs, that is not recommended. Using an octane that is lower than what is recommended can cause pre-detonation which can damage your engine.
If the newer driver is a teenager or college student with limited income, selecting a first car that runs on regular gas can provide a cost savings at the pump.
Another consideration is that sports cars are more expensive to insure.
Just generally, a new driver is already going to have a higher car insurance premium because of their lack of a driving record. Furthermore, sports cars are more expensive to insure because people driving them tend to drive faster leading to more accidents.
Accordingly, if you are looking to save money on car insurance, a Mustang isn’t the best option to consider.
A first-time car owner also needs to consider the maintenance of their new car.
Several owners with the 8-cylinder Coyote engine-powered Mustangs have complained about the mysterious “Type-writer Tick” sound coming from the engine. Many owners claim that the noise started being made shortly after their first oil change.
In response to the numerous customer complaints and dealership visits, Ford issued technical bulletin 7718-2011-2019 that applies to Coyote-powered Mustang and F-150 trucks.
In this bulletin, Ford advises that the noise is a normal characteristic of the engine and that repairs do not need to be made to remedy the noise.
Benefits Of Having A Mustang As A First Car
Eco Boost (May Get Better Gas Mileage)
Some Mustang models are equipped Ford’s 2.3L EcoBoost engine. These are direct-injected, 4-cylinder turbo-charged engines that deliver 310 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft of torque.
The design of this engine results in increased gas mileage as compared to its 8-cylinder counterparts that power the GT, Mach 1 and GT500 cars.
Automatic Mustangs with the EcoBoost are rated as achieving 21 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Manual transmission Mustangs powered by an EcoBoost are rated as 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.
One of the big reasons people are attracted to Mustangs is how they look!
Who doesn’t want a car that looks cool and gets stares when they pull up, especially as a first car? The curb appeal of the Mustang is definitely something many people consider.
Size (Easier To Park)
Although we mentioned earlier that the size of the Mustang can have some downsides, it can also be a positive.
Newer drivers are often not confident parking and maneuvering larger vehicles in all situations, thus the smaller size of the Mustang can be beneficial for someone who is just getting comfortable behind the wheel.
The safety of a car is always important, but especially so for a new driver. The Ford Mustang has high safety ratings and below are some of the safety features the Mustang has that make it a good first car choice:
- Lane-keeping system
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rearview camera
- Pre-collision assistance
- Emergency braking
- Anti-lock brake system
- Stability control
- Front, side, and knee airbags
- Seatbelt pretensioners
A Ford Mustang can be a fun first car for some people but it isn’t the best first car for everyone. If you are looking for more space, less costly gas and car insurance, or live in an area subject to inclement weather, you should probably consider a different vehicle for your first car.