2020 Ford Mustang GT Review: The Power of Dream Cars

Sebastien Bell
by Sebastien Bell

When people find out I’m driving a commuter car for this job, sometimes they look sympathetic and say stuff like “Ooh, it must be hard to write a review about that.” It actually isn’t.

Take, for example, this 2020 Ford Mustang GT. What can I really say about it apart from it’s very good?

It’s very fast and very loud and very impressive and as a result, it’s very good value for money, even though it’s kind of expensive. This GT Premium starts at around 40 grand, which is objectively a lot for something with little to no back seat. But if the measure of a sports car is how loud, fast, and impressive it is, this ticks all of those boxes with the same gusto as cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

Sure, it’s a little cheaper inside than them, but Ford isn’t stupid. It’s still putting its best people on the job, making sure that the design is fun, if not needlessly luxurious. The seats are extremely well bolstered, which, if nothing else, helps sell its sporty vibe and made of fine enough leather. The dash is all toggle switches and screens that are fun to press and look whizzbangy, respectively. And the track apps are well thought out and excessive in just the way you’d hope.

You really shouldn’t use the 0-60 timer, but the lights to go down a little drag racing Christmas tree in the binnacle and it does help give you a better understanding of what 460 horsepower feels like and how short a period of time four-and-a-half seconds really is. And this road is empty anyway.

Save the Manuals


Engine: 5.0L V8
Output: 460 hp, 420 lb-ft
Transmission: 6MT, RWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 15/24/18
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 16.1 / 9.9 / 13.3
Starting Price (USD): $37,075 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $52,775 (est, inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $42,590 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $61,925 (inc. dest.)

This one has Ford’s very good six-speed transmission, which is nice. I would certainly pick the manual transmission—for a handful of reasons. Firstly, Ford isn’t all that great at automatic transmissions. I was convinced that the 10-speed auto was awful until I tried it in a Chevy, and realized it was just being mis-utilized. Second, this is a sports car, you aren’t driving it everywhere, so having a transmission with a personality actually works here. I know that automatics are faster, but be honest with yourself, fast doesn’t matter as much as fun.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE First Drive

And be more honest with yourself, you aren’t taking your new car to a track where your insurance will be voided as you careen into the gravel with almost inevitable certainty. What you’ll really be doing is going out of your way to take the one curvy road or onramp or whatever at irresponsible speeds and the throttle blipping as you do scare the other people on the highway is all the excitement you’ll ever really need. Plus, levers feel better than paddles, which are a corruption of levers, so the manual is superior here.

And there’s just something right about a manual connected to a big, powerful V8. The 5.0 is a peach, making 460 hp, and it sounds like a dinosaur purring, at once frightening and heartwarming. In fact, to call this engine a peach is to do it a disservice. It’s glorious. Connected, taught, providing elastic acceleration that feels aggressive but manageable and impressive. It’s no wonder people lose these things driving out of Cars and Coffee; the sensation of being behind the wheel is one of absolute power and, as we know, that corrupts absolutely. Although in this case it seems mainly to corrupt ones sense of good judgment. But isn’t that kind of what you’re looking for in a sports car?

Meaty Mustang

One thing that I don’t really look for in a sports car is the Mustang’s sense of scale. It may not look like a very big car from the outside, but it certainly feels big on the inside. The Mustang feels big and chunky, and although that doesn’t make it feel lumbering by any means, it doesn’t exactly feel precise and delicate either. There’s a precision to the controls, which is lovely—the throttle reacts instantly—but the sense you get when the body is moving around you is that there’s a lot of it. And the big, chunky wheel, and the big meaty power band, and the big comfy seats all contribute to making this feel big. It’s more The Rock than Bruce Lee. I like The Rock, but if you’re looking for Bruce—as many people who are looking for a sports car are–you’ll have to look elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Review: Friendly Fuel-Sipper

Still, a big thank you goes to the equipped Performance Pack 1, which adds 19-inch wheels that are 9-inches wide, all the better to hold the road with; six-piston brakes from Brembo, all the better slow you with; a bigger radiator, all the better to cool you down during spirited driving; and a torsen-type differential, all the better to turn you with. These are all good things for a variety of reasons. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d shell for it because I know how often I get to the track (never), but I may be giving myself and my ability to show restraint too much credit. I might be an easier mark for the Ford dealer than a Boomer is to a grifter on Facebook.

Verdict: 2020 Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 Review

So yeah, it’s good. It’s not perfect, but if its combination of performance, price, and history make is a realllllly good option for a lot of people. What else can I say?

Well, I can say that if you’re buying it thinking you’re buying a four-seater, you are not. I once spent 5 hours in the back seat of a Mustang GT driving to Detroit and the results were a severity of cramp I thought was reserved for hospital visits. The roof is too low, the seats too narrow, the legroom non-existent. There’s a resonance frequency caused by your placement over the mufflers that turns the sweet exhaust note into the warcry of an army of cylinders intent on your destruction.

But yeah. Otherwise it’s great. If you’re thinking about it, go for it. If this is your dream, it may be achievable.

Hm. That wasn’t so hard, after all.

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  • Fast
  • Loud
  • Pretty


  • Feels big
  • Can be a bit much
Sebastien Bell
Sebastien Bell

Sebastien is a roving reporter who covers Euros, domestics, and all things enthusiast. He has been writing about the automotive industry for four years and obsessed with it his whole life. He studied English at the Wilfrid Laurier University. Sebastien also edits for AutoGuide's sister sites VW Vortex, Fourtitude, Swedespeed, GM Inside News, All Ford Mustangs, and more.

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