Enthusiasts often list the Mustang as one model that can be instantly recognized even without mentioning its make. Of course, this is so because it has been successful over the decades.
Even though a car enjoys massive success, it doesn’t always mean it’ll be a good first car. If you’re buying your first car, should the Ford Mustang be on your list of options? Let’s explore more on the topic.
Here’s the short answer to whether the Ford Mustang is a good first car:
The Mustang delivers superior performance compared to other pony cars. However, its biggest advantage may be the biggest reason it is not ideal as a first car. Its high cost of maintenance and insurance makes it unsuitable as a first car. Its fuel economy is also not encouraging for new drivers who aim to minimize costs.
How Popular Is the Ford Mustang Among First-Time Buyers?
Most teens religiously crave the Mustang. There’s the thrill of driving a sports car combined with the excitement of owning one. Of course, this certainly puts it at the top of their list.
It is not only fun and exciting to drive but also gives a sense of power to the driver. However, just because teens crave the Mustang doesn’t mean they usually get to own it.
A greater percentage of car buyers are above 20 years old. This makes the Mustang even scarcer among teens. Most parents would consider other alternatives instead of the Mustang.
Most first time drivers don’t go for the Mustang. A major reason first time drivers avoid the Mustang is its poor fuel economy. New drivers usually want a fuel-efficient car that provides average performance.
While the Mustang is not overly expensive to maintain, there are many other options that are cheaper than it is.
That being said, Mustangs are more popular among experienced and/or older drivers.
How Easy Is the Ford Mustang to Drive?
The question itself is contextual. Speaking on the power, handling and overall performance that the Mustang gives, it’s a pretty easy car to drive.
Hence, it’s best for new drivers to maintain average speeds and keep both hands on the steering wheel. They’d drive easier that way.
However, the fast-paced Mustang usually gets tempting for drivers who end up over speeding. This could be quite dangerous for new drivers.
When we speak on balance and aerodynamics, the Mustang isn’t exactly an easy car to drive. Going on high speeds can cause it to lose balance, especially when approaching corners. This can also come about because of braking too hard.
The Mustang’s long hood and short rear make it even more difficult to maintain balance at high speeds. It is also light like other sports cars and has a powerful engine, perhaps even too powerful. The rear wheel drive also makes balancing difficult.
Hence, only experienced drivers can control the Mustang properly at high speeds.
Inexperienced drivers may lose control and the infamous Mustang spin can occur. These factors can make the Mustang difficult to drive.
This further proves its unsuitability for a first time driver.
How Easy Is Basic Maintenance on the Ford Mustang?
The Ford Mustang has an average annual repair cost of $709, according to RepairPal. It is relatively expensive to maintain as the average car costs about $650 to repair annually. However, the Mustang requires only routine maintenance to keep it running efficiently.
At about 4,500 to 5,500 miles, Mustang owners need to change the engine oil. The oil filter would also have to be replaced. It’s also a good idea to align the wheels and also check the engine for fluid leaks.
When a Mustang gets to 14,500 miles, its engine would require an air filter change. That’s because at that mileage, the air filter would have trapped a significant amount of dirt. It’s best not to prolong the replacement as doing so would cause a decrease in your Stang’s performance.
Some drivers use their Mustangs for regular city commuting. In that case, they may not have to consider replacing their brake pads till they get to 29,500 miles. This, of course, will be done besides the oil changes every 4,500 miles.
However, if drivers use their cars for frequent racing and brake too hard, their brake pads would wear out faster. If they frequently drive in heavy traffic, they’d also wear out their brake pads faster. This means it would have to be replaced more regularly.
Your mechanic would inspect your pads before advising you on the proper action to take.
Ultimately, as long as you follow the basic maintenance routine, repair costs would remain low.
How Reliable Are These Models?
RepairPal gives the Ford Mustang a 3.5 out of 5 reliability rating. This ranks it 20th out of 24 for midsize cars.
The 2015 redesign proved tough for Ford. The Mustang received low reliability ratings in the first 3 years. Consumer Reports gave the 2015 and 2016 a 1 out of 5 reliability rating.
The 2019 model, however, has a 77 out of 100 score in quality and reliability from J.D. Power. 2018 had an improvement in its rating and had an 82/100 score.
The 2020 model went further to bag an 88 out of 100 score. It also has a predicted reliability rating of 4 out of 5 from J.D. Power.
From J.D. Power’s yearly ratings, it’s reasonable to say the Mustang experiences an annual improvement in its reliability. Thus, we can expect more from the 2022 model and subsequent years.
The Mustang also has a higher severity probability than other cars. This means that a problem has a higher chance of being a major one in Mustangs than in other vehicles.
What Are the Most-Sold Cars Among First-Time Car Buyers?
First time car buyers are usually in the market for cheap cars with fair maintenance costs.
That’s why cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are preferred over the Ford Mustang as a first car.
The Honda Civic may very well be the most sought after car parents usually purchase for their teens.
It is fast, cheap, easy to maintain, and still brandishes a classy look. Most often, they buy the Civic as a fairly used car to minimize costs even further.
There’s a reason the Corolla is the bestselling car in the world. Both new and old drivers, rich or poor, love it. It even made Consumer Reports’ list of “Best Cars for Teens Under $20,000”.
The Corolla is one of the most reliable cars ever produced, some even argue that no car matches its reliability. Hence, for this reason, amongst others, it is a favorite of first-time car buyers.
Adding more style to the list, the Taurus is flashier when compared to the other cars popular among first-time car owners. Still, it is significantly reliable and is loved by inexperienced drivers. It also doesn’t cost too much to maintain annually.
First-time buyers also love the Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta and Ford Focus, to mention but a few.
How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Ford Mustang?
The average Ford Mustang costs an average of $1,571 yearly to insure. The amount, however, varies depending on the company, location, type of coverage, gender, age, driving record and even credit history. Insurance companies charge higher rates to insure sports cars and they usually consider the Ford Mustang to be one.
This is so because sports cars are more likely to be involved in crashes than regular sedans, SUVs or pickup trucks.
Most first-time car buyers are young people and younger drivers usually have to pay more to insure their cars. It is also noteworthy that teens are charged higher for insurance because they’re more likely to be involved in a crash than older drivers.
The insurance costs neither favor sports cars nor younger drivers. Judging from this, we cannot consider the Mustang a good first car. Except, of course, you don’t mind the exorbitant costs that come with it.
With all of this being said, you should not consider the Mustang for a first car. Whether for a teen or for an adult, the ownership costs and the insurance costs are just not worth it.
A less expensive, fuel-efficient car with a great reputation for reliability should be examined instead. If you’re more experienced, and don’t mind the relatively high maintenance and ownership costs, then the Ford Mustang can be a really fun car to own and drive.