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Many car hunters want to look at a used Ford Mustang for budget-friendly thrills. While a Blue Oval pony car might be a much more practical option than a Jaguar XK or a more exotic luxury grand tourer, some model years could be problematic. For instance, several S550 models, like the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Ford Mustang, could be worth avoiding. Consumer Reports asserts that these models are among the used vehicles to avoid from the last 15 years.  

Which used Ford Mustang model years does Consumer Reports recommend against choosing?

While the Ford Mustang is entering its seventh generation of continuous pony car production, no generation is perfect. Specifically, three model years from the sixth generation (S550) could be more problematic than they’re worth: the 2015, 2016, and 2018 model years.

A 2015 Ford Mustang S550 cruises around a corner in the desert.
2015 Ford Mustang | Ford

Consumer Reports says that the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Mustang models from the S550 generation are among the Blue Oval’s used cars to avoid front the last 15 years. The 2015 and 2016 models are the first two model years of the sixth-generation Ford pony car, while the 2018 is the first year of the facelift model.  

Which Mustang is better, 2014 or 2015?

The 2015 Mustang is an evolutionary step forward from the 2014 model for fans looking for well-rounded performance acumen. Specifically, the 2014 Ford Mustang is the last model year of the fifth-gen (S197) pony car, featuring an antiquated live rear axle. 

Unlike an independent rear suspension setup, a live rear axle acts like both wheels are holding hands. Instead, the S550 ditched the old-school rear-end setup in favor of independent rear suspension. However, Consumer Reports says the first model year of the S550, the 2015 Mustang, might be too problematic for first-time buyers. For instance, the 2015 model has 42 complaints with the NHTSA for engine problems like stalling. 

Is the S550 Ford Mustang reliable?

The 2015 and 2016 Ford Mustangs have owner reports of engine and drivetrain issues that could compromise their reliability, per Car Complaints. For instance, the 2016 Mustang has 40 NHTSA complaints about engine issues like stalling and oil leaks at as little as 20,436 miles. 

A 2016 Ford Mustang S550 cruises up a back road.
S550 Mustang | Ford

However, the 2016 model is still a solid used Ford Mustang option compared to older models. Moreover, the GT trim’s carryover Coyote V8 engine has an abundance of available parts and a tenure stretching back to 2011.  

What’s wrong with the 2018 Ford Mustang?

The 2018 Ford Mustang pushed the performance envelope by adding 25 horsepower to the existing Coyote 5.0L V8 engine as well as a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. However, the model also has 19 NHTSA engine issue complaints for knocking, ticking, and excessive vibration. 

A silver 2018 Ford Mustang blasts across an urban bridge.
2018 Ford Mustang | Ford

Still, with the unit volume and evolutionary performance of the S550 Mustang, these complaints are more of an inconvenience than a serious problem. Moreover, if you want peace of mind in your used pony car, a 2017 or 2019 model year might suit your needs. 

What do you think of a used S550 Mustang? Tell us in the comments below!


S550: Is a Used 2015 Ford Mustang Worth It?