Ford has revamped the Mustang for 2024, gifting it new looks and an interior that’s inching away from the past few kicks at a so-called retro design. Whether one thinks the ’24 Mustang moves the needle enough from last year in terms of styling matters not – after next year, it’ll have the American pony car market all to itself.
Starting the rodeo is a $37,000 Fastback model, equipped with a 2.3L EcoBoost engine. Purists will wail about a four-banger under the hood but one needs to remember this ain’t the 1980s anymore, not with the engine in question belting out 315 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft of torque. Both those numbers vastly eclipse those found in the 5.0L GT most of us coveted in high school – in measure if not in exhaust note. These days, a 10-speed automatic is the only transmission.
Those new-for-’24 LED projector headlamps are found on this pony’s schnoz, along with a lighting signature that’s sure to draw attention at the Barrett-Jackson sale in 2045. Side mirrors have body colour caps, the exhaust tips are bright and the size of sewer cannons, and the LED taillamps retain their too-cool sequential action. Nearly a dozen paint hues are on tap, plus a yaffle of racing stripes and hood/side graphics. We’ll select the tasty Atlas Blue since it looks great and is a $0 option. As a Mustang, it’s also tough to go wrong with the $0 Race Red.
In the cabin, we find a 12.4-inch digital screen acting as an instrument cluster and a 13.2-inch tablet serving duty as an infotainment centre. At this price, those screens are contained in separate housings, making the place look like an office desk with two monitors. Spendier trims get both screens behind a single housing for a much more cohesive look. The cloth seats are manual (you can claim weight savings, if anyone asks for power adjustments), the climate is single-zone, and the flat-bottom steering wheel is clad in vinyl.
Still, it’s not like this is a stripped-out penalty box. Tilt/telescope steering column action means drivers of all sizes can get comfy at the controls, and that huge infotainment system mentioned above features the type of Track Apps that used to be reserved for the brawny GT. There’s leather on the gear shift knob and the type of driving aids (lane keeping, automatic emergency braking, et al) one expects in a new car these days.
What We'd Choose
Our minds go straight to the $48,500 V8-powered GT, of course. But if prodded to buy the EcoBoost, we’d take a hard look at the $1,400 active valve performance exhaust, if not for the extra racket then for the Remote Rev abilities baked into the car’s keyfob. Note this option requires the selection of another option package costing $2,600 as well.
Less clear cut is the $6,500 2.3L High Performance Package. Even though it brings goodies like better rear-end gearing, summer tires, more bracing, the neato drift stick, and better brakes (just to name a few), marching to that price point almost puts customers behind the wheel of a GT. Decisions, decisions.
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.