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The Ford Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV has received lots of attention recently – so much that people sometimes forget the original Mustang is still alive and kicking. In fact, it’s more than alive, seeing something of a renaissance. A new version of the Mustang is due in 2024, but don’t sleep on the current model, which U.S. News ranked as its top sports car for 2023. 

Changes for the 2023 Ford Mustang

A 2023 Ford Mustang muscle car racing on a motor speedway
2023 Ford Mustang muscle car | Ford Motor Company

Virtually unchanged for 2023, the differences between this year’s Ford Mustang and last year’s model may boil down to what’s no longer available. Gone is the Shelby GT500, following the Bullitt and other Shelby models to the pasture after they were discontinued for the 2021 model year, according to U.S. News. Additionally, two exterior paint options were dropped this year, Cyber Orange Metallic Tri-Coat and Brittany Blue Metallic.

How much does the latest Mustang cost?

Prices for the 2023 Ford Mustang start at $27,470 for a base EcoBoost fastback, which has a 2.3-liter 310-hp four-cylinder. It’s available with a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission and offers excellent performance. 

Opt for the $6,150 EcoBoost High-Performance package and get an upgraded engine with 330 horsepower and extra performance add-ons, including a larger radiator, larger brakes, a larger rear sway bar, heavy-duty front springs, a strut tower brace, a limited-slip rear differential, active exhaust, and summer tires.  

Those seeking V8 muscle will need to pony up $38,045 for the Mustang GT. Then you get the 5.0 V8 packing 450 hp and a throaty V8 rumble. It also comes with a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. The $6,700 GT Performance package adds heavy-duty front springs, Brembo front brakes, additional chassis bracing, a larger radiator, retuned chassis and stability control, a performance rear wing, a Torsen limited-slip differential, a larger rear sway bar, and summer tires. 

Also, for 2023, the top-level Mach 1 continues, starting at $56,270 before options. It adds 20 extra horsepower for a total of 470 hp and features most of the GT’s optional performance extras as standard equipment. 

2023 Ford Mustang performance

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Any way you spec the Ford Mustang, you’re getting a stallion capable of performance that ranges from fast to blisteringly quick. The 0 to 60 mph times start at 5.5 seconds for the EcoBoost and drop into the low 4-second range for the GT and Mach 1. The top speed is an impressive 155 mph for the GT and 168 mph for the Mach 1.

Regardless of performance, all Mustangs offer everyday useability with a back seat big enough for occasional use. The Mustang models offer a good ride that won’t punish you on the street and deliver respectable fuel economy. While the EPA hasn’t released official 2023 numbers, it’s safe to say they won’t be far from the 2022 model. For the 2022 model year, gas mileage ranges from 19-22 mpg in the city for the EcoBoost and up to 32 highway mpg. GT and Mach 1 models get 14-15 mpg in town and up to 24 mpg on the highway.   

Is the 2023 Ford Mustang a good car?

Yes, the 2023 Ford Mustang is a very good sports car. It offers a mix of fantastic engines, excellent handling and braking, and a compliant ride. The interior is solid and refined with few hard plastics. All models offer a long list of standard features, and the optional SYNC 3 infotainment system is easy to operate.  

Car and Driver also thinks highly of the Mustang, calling the entire lineup “fun.” It offers better ergonomics and visibility than the Chevrolet Camaro and is lighter and has better handling than the past-its-prime Dodge Challenger.  

Like its competition from Chevrolet and Dodge, the Ford Mustang is a throwback car, recalling the days of the muscle car era. However, unlike the other two, the Mustang has a long, unbroken line back to that period. Yet, it’s also the most modern and up-to-date. So, unless you have to have something with a Chevy or Dodge emblem or are pining for the new 2024 Mustang, the current 2023 model is the best pony car of the herd.