While we’d never deny anyone their love of the Chevrolet Camaro, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the Ford Mustang is an American icon. That said, it doesn’t hurt that the 2019 Mustang looks better than ever, has a long list of powertrain choices, and has become more refined when it comes to driving dynamics.
Now, we would never buy a muscle car without a V8 engine and a manual transmission, but the 2019 Ford Mustang GT Fastback does come with the new 10-speed automatic and that helps it hit 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds — 3.9 to be exact. Nonetheless, we recently tested the 2019 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level Two which comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, so we were definitely in a happy place.
2019 Ford Mustang GT Exterior
The new Ford Mustang received most of its meaningful upgrades during the 2018 model year so there is nothing new for the 2019 model year. Nonetheless, the new Mustang’s exterior design is one of the muscle car’s major highlights. Design highlights include a lower, remodeled hood and grille for a meaner and more aggressive look. There is also a new front splitter along with new LED headlamps with really cool LED signature lighting. The back of the new Ford Mustang gets minor updates to the LED sequential taillamps, a revised bumper and standard dual exhaust with quad-tips on the GT model. Our favorite design feature other than the sleek LED signature lighting in the headlamps is the sharp line that runs across the side of the new Mustang. Depending on the color you pick it really accentuates the sporty character of this beast.
But, what’s up with those tires – they look a little weird? Well, the new Ford Mustang GT comes with two Performance Packs including Level 1 and Level 2. The Performance Pack Level 2 you see here is more suited for the track and rides on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires which are 1.5-inches wider than the tires found on Performance Pack Level 1. That means you’ll get better grip when you’re throwing the Mustang GT around on a track.
2019 Ford Mustang GT Interior
Interestingly, the Camaro SS, Mustang GT, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack — none of them come standard with leather seats and all cost more than $35k. We find that a little strange, but let’s get more into the interior of the Mustang GT. Standard features on the $35,355 base Mustang GT include dual-zone climate control, power cloth front seats, Ford’s Track Apps gauge cluster, six-speaker sound system, and the base SYNC system with Bluetooth and USB/AUX connectivity. Standard safety tech includes a rearview camera and reverse sensors. Optionally, the $2,000 301A package adds SYNC 3, a nine-speaker sound system, selectable drive modes (which you definitely need), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and 2 USB ports. Navigation costs $795. Manual cloth Recaro seats cost $1,595 but not really because you can only get them with the Performance Pack Level 2 package and that brings the price to $47,240. Stay with us.
Let’s toss all that away. If you start with the $40,350 Mustang GT Premium you get heated/cooled power leather seats, SYNC 3, selectable drive modes, and everything else we mentioned above and MUCH more. Adding Performance Pack Level 2 brings that price tag to $49,050. Finally, you can add leather Recaro seats for $1,595 which brings above $50,000. But keep in mind, they are manual Recaro leather seats that aren’t heated or cooled.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a Mustang GT and don’t care about the Performance Pack Level 2, and want to enjoy some luxury and tech, the $40,350 Mustang GT Premium is the model you want to go for.
2019 Ford Mustang GT Performance
Power for the 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level Two comes from the 5.0-liter V8 we’ve come to love and adore. Making a total of 460 horsepower and maximum torque of 420 lb-ft, the Mustang GT can from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed 155 mph.
The Performance Pack Level 2 fills the gap between the Mustang GT and the GT350 and competes with the Camaro SS 1LE. So what does Performance Pack Level 2 give you? Not counting visual enhancements the Performance Pack Level 2 adds:
- 305/30/R19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Summer Tires.
- Brembo six-piston front brake calipers w/larger rotors.
- A beefier front splitter.
- Upgraded springs, sway bar, K-Brace, strut tower brace.
- Large radiator.
- MagneRide damping system.
- TORSEN differential with 3.73 axle ratio.
- An upgraded chassis, stability control, EPAS, and ABS tuning.
All that helps the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 perform like a beast on the track. While most of these added features are available on the PP1, the real difference between the two models is made by the tires. The Sport Cup 2 Tires provide more sticky grip, improve handling, and allow you to go mad on the track. How does it compare to the Camaro SS 1LE? Both are fairly similar when it comes to performance but if you’re pushing us to make a decision, we’d have to say the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 is a tad bit sharper.
So what’s the added cost? The Performance Pack Level 2 package costs $6,500 – however, you can’t get it without the $2,000 301A package so overall it’s an extra $8,500. That means to get into a Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2, you’re looking at a starting price of $44,850! Comparatively, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE starts at $44,995.
When it comes to fuel economy, the 2019 Ford Mustang GT gets an EPA-estimated 16/25 mpg* (city/highway).
2019 Ford Mustang GT Safety
Depending on which 2019 Ford Mustang you pick, you can add on a range of driver assist technologies including lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and park assist.
2019 Ford Mustang GT Overall
The new Ford Mustang GT is still a great sports car and offers some the best performance per dollar on the market. However, that price tag can get pretty massive as you tack on packages and options. And if you’re not hitting up the track every weekend you can do without the $6,500 Performance Pack Level 2 Package. At the end of the day, you can still get a 6-speed manual Mustang GT for $35,355** and hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. You can even hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds if you throw on the 10-speed automatic and that’ll only cost you a total of $37,945**. Visit your local AutoNation Ford dealer for a test drive today.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.