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The 2020 Ford Mustang Doesn’t Have to Be Good to Be Loved

Some cars are special. Certain models have been so deeply locked into the world that how good they actually are matters far less than what they are. Within the off-road world, the Land Rover Defender will always be heralded as one of the all-time greats, regardless of its actual greatness. The Lamborghini Countach is one of the most posterized supercars in all of history. No one cares that it’s slow and will likely blow up because it’s a Countach. The Ford Mustang might be in the same boat. 

The Ford Mustang has been around since 1964 and all but saved Ford at that time. The Mustang has been a staple in American motoring ever since. That is not to say there haven’t been stinkers in there, though. For as many great Mustangs as there’s been, there’s been just as many that were junk. The bad ones don’t seem to matter, though, do they? The Mustang is good across the board regardless of any pesky “facts.”

The 2020 Mustang 

Consumer Reports rated a bunch of sports cars under $40,000. The 2020 Mustang just squeezed into the top 10 but was the last and lowest-rated car to get the Consumer Reports recommends label. 

As tested: the 2.3-liter turbo-4 and GT V8 Mustangs

There are many different Mustang variations with all types of power options, transmissions, and aesthetic packages. For the sake of simplicity, we are only talking about the two models Consumer Reports tested the Mustang Coupe premium with 2.3-liter Turbocharged four-cylinder with ten-speed automatic and the Mustang GT with the 5.0-liter V8 with 6-speed manual transmission. 

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is unveiled during day one of the 2019 The North American International Auto Show
2020 Ford Mustang GT500 | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

These are two very different cars, but the point remains the same; It doesn’t matter how good they are; Mustang buyers, just kind of, always love them. 

The Overall score of the 2020 Ford Mustang

Consumer Reports did a mixture of hands-on driving tests. They predicted long-term reliability and customer satisfaction based on previous models and what they know about the current parts being used. Even though the V8 got much better scores, the four-cylinder still gets love just for being a Mustang.

Across the models that cost under $40,000, the 2020 Mustang got a CR rating of 72/100. While that isn’t that bad, the score is hard to understand without the Mustang X-factor. 

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There are many categories that the 2020 Ford Mustang did three out of five or worse on. The Mustang was pretty bad on fuel economy, noise, ride, back seat comfort, and trunk/storage. Transmission, acceleration, and braking are the only categories that got all five out of five marks. 

The future is unclear but CR is still calling shots

It can be hard to predict the future, but CR gave the 2020 Ford Mustang only three out of five for predicted reliability. Similar stats can be seen in previous years, yet the CR approval checkmark remains. The engine and transmission of previous years have been very reliable in general, but body integrity and electronics have had a lot of problems.

But do any of the Ford Mustang’s problems matter?

No. Consumer Reports that predicted consumer satisfaction is at a perfect five out of five. Consumer Reports is basically saying they understand that Mustang owners won’t be turned from loving their pony short of catastrophic problems. The 2020 Mustang will follow the long history of Mustangs being loved, regardless of how good or bad they are. I can dig it.