Consumer Reports Says You’ll Suffer if You Buy a Ford Mustang Sports Car From These Model Years

  • Consumer Reports says you should be wary of some Ford Mustangs
  • 2018 MY ‘Stangs have been known to eat transmissions whole
  • 2015 and 2016 models should be avoided at all costs

Buying a used sports car is always a bit of a gamble. Generally, sports cars’ engines are higher-strung than their more pedestrian counterparts, and functionality is often placed in the (very small) back seat, favoring power and performance instead. The Ford Mustang’s track record for reliability usually manages to eschew this reputation, but not always. However, some Ford lemons always manage to eek their way off the Mustang production line.

Daily driving a 2018 Ford Mustang is a bad idea

An orange Ford Mustang sports car mid-burnout shot from the front
The 2018 Mustang has some issues | Ford

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The 2018 Ford Mustang is one such example. Consumer Reports is NOT very happy with this car. According to them, the 2018 ‘Stang does just about everything besides go fast poorly. The publication gave the 2018 model a lowly 1 out of 5 for reliability. That is, as is always the case with Consumer Reports, coming straight from owners and CR’s own testing.

Owners often complain of the mechanism for the top on convertible Mustangs, which consistently need to be replaced. Now that some years have passed, this may even need to be done out of warranty. Unfortunately, the 2018 MY ‘Stang was also subject to a handful of recalls, ranging from the transmission to the electrical systems, to fuel leaks. Finally, those transmission recalls can often lead to total failures of the Ford Mustang’s transmission.

2015 and 2016 Mustangs have a lot of problems

A grey 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost shot in a photo studio from the front 3/4
No sports car is problem-free | Adam Gasson via Getty Images

Regrettably, turning the clock back a few years doesn’t do much for the Ford pony car. Like the 2018 car, the 2015 ‘Stang has some serious issues with its powertrain. Once again, the sports car was given a 1/5 reliability rating by Consumer Reports. And, like the 2018 model, many of the issues are centered around the powertrain. One owner complained of paying upwards of $13,000 for a new turbocharger and A/C evaporator. Another had a motor go out after temperatures ran wild when a coolant pipe leaked.

Unfortunately, the 2016 Ford Mustang isn’t doing much better. In fact, the 2016 MY is the one you should avoid like the plague. Every single reliability category is ranked by Consumer Reports as a 1 out of 5. Owners complain of everything from burned-out tail lights to bum A/C compressors, to costly differential replacements. Clearly, if you want your Mustang to last many miles, this is one to avoid.

Which Mustang should you buy instead?

An orange Ford Mustang shot from the front 3/4 in the desert
Other Mustang models can be reliable | Ford

Unfortunately for those of you looking for a bargain sports car, the best solution here isn’t cheap. The most reliable Mustang will almost always be the newest in-warranty car you can afford. However, 2017 ‘Stangs received a 3/5 reliability score from Consumer Reports, and 2014 MY Mustangs have a 4/5 score for reliability. Should you want a cheap, fast muscle car, these are your best bets to avoid any and all suffering.

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