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Are Mustangs Reliable? [Here’s What You Need To Know]

Are Mustangs Reliable? [Here’s What You Need To Know]

One of the most popular cars on American roads for decades, the Mustang is a national icon in many ways. 

Having undergone various transformations over the years, there are those who swear by and will drive nothing but Mustangs! 

But are they reliable vehicles? Here’s what you need to know.

Since it has been a popular car for many decades, Mustang has gained a reputation for being a reliable vehicle. However, it has had problems with some of its later models, particularly those produced from model years 2015-2019.

From the moment the Ford Mustang made its debut in 1965, it has been a car that people could not wait to buy and drive.

In fact, on its first day of availability, more than 22,000 Mustangs were sold across the country. 

By the end of its first year of production, nearly 700,000 Mustangs were sold and on the road.

The 2015 Mustang has been arguably the lowest-quality model produced by Ford. This claim is backed up by the fact that the 2015 Mustang has to date had seven recalls for various problems.

The most serious issues involved fuel leaks that could lead to severe fires, and also door latches that sometimes opened while the car was on the road, which obviously could lead to severe consequences. 

After getting these problems corrected, Ford has had fewer problems with its Mustangs produced during these model years. The 2016 Mustang only had two recalls, both of which dealt with a loss of oil.

The 2017 Mustang also had oil loss issues, as well as a transmission issue that resulted in some cars moving despite being parked with the motor off. 

Is the 2020 Mustang a Reliable Car?

After reading about the problems associated with the 2015-2019 Mustangs, you may be wondering why anyone bothers to buy these cars anymore. However, Ford Motor Co. has been excellent at addressing and correcting any problems associated with the popular Mustang.

Because of this, the 2020 Mustang came back stronger than ever, and in fact, garnered a ranking as the top American sports car for 2020. Most Mustang lovers opt for the 2020 Shelby GT350 or GT 500, the latter of which has a V-8 engine with more than 760 horsepower. 

As for any recalls associated with the 2020 Mustang, they have been relatively minor ones associated with the car’s software.

One has involved the Mustang’s pre-collision feature from working as intended, while the other has been the transmission issue about the car possibly moving if not properly put into park upon stopping and shutting off the engine.

Other than these issues, the Mustang’s performance on the road has been virtually stellar. Featuring plenty of power under its hood, the Mustang is a vehicle that not only looks good but also performs well over the long term.

Which Mustang is the Most Reliable?

While many Mustangs have proven themselves to be reliable over the years, most experts tend to agree that the 2014 Mustang is the most reliable of the current generation. 

The last of the fifth generation of Mustangs, the 2014 model is viewed as being the most reliable because by the time it came along, most of the problems that developed in the earlier models had already been corrected. 

If you want a Mustang that is somewhat basic by today’s standards in terms of technology, the 2014 Mustang will work just fine and likely be very reliable for many years.

However, if you want a Mustang with more high-tech features, you’ll probably need to opt for a later model.

As for other model years you may want to consider when looking for a reliable Mustang, we suggest the 2011 and 2019 Mustangs, both of which get high marks for experiencing few if any major problems on the road. 

Will a Mustang Last Long?

If you buy a model of Mustang that has a reputation for reliability and you keep up with its regular maintenance, your Mustang should last you a very long time. 

According to research, the typical Ford Mustang can be driven well over 200,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. 

In fact, it is not uncommon for many Mustang owners to take such good care of their cars that they surpass 300,000 miles or even more, often experiencing only minor problems with clutch adjustments or other similar problems.

However, if there is one problem that does seem to be common among most Mustangs, it is rust. 

Generally impacting the car’s hood and rear axle the most, a typical Mustang will start to experience rust issues after 12-14 years. 

Attributed to paint that is too prone to the elements and blistering, rust can begin to develop as soon as the car reaches about 50,000 miles. 

If this happens to your Mustang and you want to fix it, expect to pay an average of $1,500 to a body shop.

Are Mustangs Expensive to Maintain?

If there is one good thing about owning a Mustang, it is that once you get one, it usually won’t be overly expensive to maintain. 

Coming in at near $710 for annual maintenance costs, the Mustang is only barely above the national average for all cars, which is $652 annually. 

As to what you’ll be spending your money on each year, other than oil changes and maybe new tires, there are a few things of which you should be aware that seem to come with Mustang ownership.

One of the most common is a squeaky steering column, which seems to have been a problem with Mustangs from early on in their production. Most of the time, it will only mean the suspension needs lubrication. 

However, it can also point to issues with worn shocks or struts, so get it checked out when you first notice the noise.

Also, since most Mustang owners think of their cars as the fastest on the road, the cars are often accused of rough idling. 

However, this usually only occurs in Mustangs that are regularly driven very hard and are not well-maintained. If you join this club, expect to experience problems with stalling and loss of power. 

Are Mustangs Good Cars to Drive Daily?

No matter the type of Mustang you own, you can be assured any Mustang is a good car to drive on a daily basis. 

As more technological improvements have been made to modern Mustangs, they are noted for fuel efficiency that is better than expected in cars possessing such powerful engines.

In addition, they tend to handle well in winter weather, offer numerous safety features, and rarely experience any major problems that result in expensive repair jobs.

Why is a Used Mustang So Cheap?

If you happen to stumble upon a used Mustang, notice a low asking price, and immediately wonder what is wrong with the car, you’re not alone. 

However, that low price probably doesn’t mean the car is ready for the junkyard. 

Instead, it’s probably priced so low simply because there are so many Mustangs still on the road today, and that’s a good thing. Indicating the car is reliable and long-lasting, you may want to give that used Mustang a second glance.

Though some models have experienced problems over the years, overall the Ford Mustang is viewed as a good buy both new and used. 

Still going strong in sales after more than 55 years, it’s a good bet that the Ford Mustang may still be around and on the road 55 years from now.

Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!