Car prices in the United States are on the rise, with average costs currently sitting around $30,000. Even so, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get some great deals on fun, powerful vehicles. The Ford Mustang, for example, made MotorTrend’s list of the best sporty cars you can get for under $30,000.
Where the Ford Mustang ranks
With a base price of $27,765, the 2020 Ford Mustang sits a few thousand dollars below MotorTrend’s $30,000 cutoff. On a list of 16 vehicles, the Mustang ranks at No. 13, beating the Fiat 124 Spider, the Dodge Challenger, and the Chevy Camaro. Ranking at the very top of MotorTrend’s list is the Jeep Wrangler, which comes in at $29,790.
The Mustang isn’t the most budget-friendly car on this list. That would be the Kia Soul GT-Line, which starts at approximately $21,335. However, each of the cars here, the Mustang included, get the nod for affordability, sportiness, and overall quality.
What you can expect from the 2020 Mustang
At the base level, the Ford Mustang comes with a 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that gets 310 hp. It also has a six-speed manual transmission. It gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Mustang performed fairly well in its safety tests, receiving a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. However, it only received an “Acceptable” rating in its overlap front crash test.
Like other Ford vehicles, the Mustang offers a suite of safety features known as the Safe and Smart package. Among the included features are rain-sensing wipers, forward collision control, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane keep assist, and blind-spot warning. As far as infotainment, a 4.2-inch touchscreen with a SYNC audio system is standard. Features include remote start, remote unlock, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
MotorTrend notes that while the base model is an affordable sporty option, this doesn’t include any extra features. In fact, in order to keep the Mustang under $30,000, you cannot opt for any higher trims or performance packages — if you try to go for any add-ons, the price will jump up pretty rapidly.
If you’re looking for a sportier experience, the Mustang has an optional 5.0-liter V8 engine. You might also opt for the High Performance Package, which will certainly give you more power, but will cost you.
Extra power at a higher price point
For the car enthusiast with a slightly higher budget, the Ford Mustang offers an EcoBoost Turbo High Performance Package, which brings the vehicle’s overall cost up to $33,405. This package will bring the horsepower up to 332 at 6,000 rpm. MotorTrend praises the additional power, stating that it “feels stronger the higher it’s revved.”
This package also includes an optional 10-speed automatic transmission, which gives you a little more control and power at higher speeds. However, this does add $1,595 to the price tag.
This High Performance Package, while pricier, is a great option for folks who are just getting into sportier vehicles and want power that they can still maintain control over. MotorTrend describes it as “accessible,” stating that it isn’t overwhelming even at peak power. However, it is worth noting that the Mustang’s plastic paddle shifters do feel somewhat cheap, which can make for a slightly less pleasant experience.
The 2020 Ford Mustang is definitely an affordable option if you’re looking for a sporty vehicle that comes in under $30,000. However, if you want extra power or more advanced features, you’ll need to be prepared to spend just a bit more.