Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,700 – $17,000*

1994 Ford Mustang GT 2-door coupe

1996 Ford Mustang GT 2-door convertible

1994 Ford Mustang GT 2-door coupe

1994 Ford Mustang GT interior

1994 Ford Mustang Cobra engine

  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Fuel economy (V8)
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride (GT)

Cobras can be pricey, and don’t expect discounts on the limited-production Bullitt. Overall, though, Mustang delivers sporty performance at a reasonable price–especially in base and GT form. A major improvement over its predecessor, and more user-friendly for everyday driving than Chevy’s Camaro, the current Mustang is well worth a test drive.


Still rear drive, Ford’s popular ponycar gained new sheetmetal and dual airbags in its long-overdue redesign for 1994. Hatchbacks disappeared, but a notchback coupe and convertible remain. Exterior and interior dimensions changed only a little. Four-cylinder engines were gone. Base models got a V6 engine, while the GT held a 215-horsepower V8. Manual shift was standard; electronically controlled 4-speed automatic optional. All Mustangs now halted with all-disc brakes, with antilocking an option for the first time. Convertibles included a power top and glass rear window, with a rear defogger optional. Mustang Cobras with 240-horsepower V8s were sold only in limited quantity. Firmer suspended than ordinary Mustangs, Cobras came only with 5-speed manual shift and had all-disc antilock braking as well as a unique appearance.

Yearly Updates

1995 Mustang
No major changes hit the Mustang in its second season in mid-1990s form.
1996 Mustang
For 1996, a 4.6-liter overhead-cam V8 replaced the 5.0-liter. Special high-performance Cobras got a 305-horsepower dual-overhead-cam version. Cobra coupes arrived first, followed later by a convertible. Each engine gained platinum-tipped spark plugs, and the V6 added five horsepower.
1997 Mustang
Notable changes included the following: a monotone interior color scheme, “flecked” seat fabric pattern for the GT, optional gray leather interior for the convertible, and optional “diamond-cut” 17-inch alloy wheels for the GT.
1998 Mustang
Mustang returns virtually unchanged except for ten more horsepower in the GT.
1999 Mustang
Mustang got a major styling makeover for ’99. Included were new front and rear clips with styling cues from the original 1965 model and a new rear suspension designed to improve handling. All models returned and the Cobra got an even more-impressive fully independent rear suspension.
2000 Mustang
Except for a new Sport appearance option for the V6 Mustang, changes were few this year. The Sport appearance group included a rear spoiler, bright alloy wheels, and body stripes. All models got two rear child safety-seat anchors and a tri-color-bar emblem on front fenders. Base models were available with new 6-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels and, for the first time, with the same 16-inch wheels and tire size used on the GT.
2001 Mustang
The high-performance Cobra model returned for 2001, and the limited-edition Bullitt GT joined the lineup. Linewide changes included a new floor console, repositioned front cupholder, added tissue holder, power point, and parking-brake boot. A rear defroster was now standard, the optional Mach 460 sound system was newly available with a 6-disc in-dash CD player, and GTs got standard 17-inch alloy wheels in place of 16s. Also, GTs and Cobras got new hood and side scoops.
2002 Mustang
For ’02, major option packages were redesignated as submodels called Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. An MP3/CD radio was newly available, and Base Mustangs got 16-inch alloy wheels to replace 15s. The high-performance Cobra model sat out the first part of the 2002 model year.
2003 Mustang
Mach 1 and SVT Cobra editions were the big news for ’03–the Cobra actually arrived in limited-availability for ’02. Mach one got a 300-horse dual-cam V8 while the Cobra got a 390-horse supercharged V8. The Cobra also got independent rear suspension. V6 models could have the Pony Package which included sport graphics and a non-functional hood scoop.
2004 Mustang
All Mustangs wear commemorative badges to celebrate the car’s 40th anniversary. Other changes were minor as Ford’s ponycar would be completely redesigned for 2005.


longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

The 3.8-liter V6 engine in the redesigned Mustang developed 145-190 horsepower- The GT came with a 5.0-liter V8, which sent 215-240 horses to the back axle. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard with either engine; 4-speed overdrive automatic optional, operating with electronic shift controls. The old-reliable overhead-valve V8 disappeared after 1995, edged aside by a more modern 4.6-liter V8 with dual-overhead-cam configuration. Cobras got a 305-horsepower dohc modification of the V8, whipping out 300 pound-feet of torque. The dual-cam version of the V8 disappeared for 2002 and returned in the ’03 Mach 1. Also added for ’03 was the SVT Cobra. It had a supercharged version of the Mach 1 engine that thumped out 390 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/232
Engine HP 145-193
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 215-225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.0/302
Engine HP 215-240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 285
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 215-260
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 285-302
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 300-335
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 300-17
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Supercharged dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 390
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 390
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual



Road Test

All Mustangs take quick corners smartly, but because of a softened suspension, base cars ride with only modest jarring–considerably less shocking than in the past. A more stiffly suspended GT, on the other hand, grows harsh, actually crashing and banging over broken surfaces. Cobras and Mach 1s are stiffer-suspended yet, as expected, but their ride quality isn’t noticeably worse.

Acceleration is adequate with the V6 and either transmission, though automatic downshifts tend to be delayed when dashing uphill. Obviously, the V8 is the choice for performance, though increased weight in this generation makes that engine seem a little less peppy than before. Fuel economy is good with a V6, but not with V8 power. The 4.6-liter V8 in later models yields little acceleration improvement, but it’s smoother and more refined. Thrilling is the operative word for a session behind the wheel of a Cobra or Mach 1, both are true high-performance machines.

Wet-weather traction continues to be a problem on all Mustangs, especially V8s. All-disc brakes are fine, but we’d look for a Mustang with the optional antilocking brakes.

Entry/exit is easy enough, courtesy of the Mustang’s relatively upright stance (compared to Camaro, at any rate). Backseat space is truly tight, but the cockpit has an open, airy feel. Instruments are unobstructed, controls near at hand, and the dual airbags are a safety bonus.


Model Tested: 2001 Ford Mustang GT

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 2


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
Cargo Room - 1


Value - 5

Total: 42


2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
101.3 181.5 71.8 52.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
7.7 15.4 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.9 35.8 42.6 30.3
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
101.3 181.5 71.8 52.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.9 15.4 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 35.9 42.6 30.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Mustang 2-door convertible


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 2
Rear Passenger Injury - 3


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 132
Injury 96
Theft 178

Trouble Spots

Alternator belt
Description: The drive-belt tensioner pulley or idler-pulley bearings are apt to make a squealing noise when the engine is started in cold weather. (1994-96)
Automatic transmission
Description: The automatic transmission is notorious for shuddering or vibrating under light acceleration or when shifting between third and fourth gear above 35 mph. It requires that the transmission fluid be changed and only Mercon fluid be used. (1994)
Automatic transmission
Description: The transmission may slip and the engine may flare when the transmission shifts into fourth gear, which can often be traced to a bad TR/MLP sensor. (1994-95)
Blower motor
Description: Squeaking or chirping blower motors are the result of defective brush holders. (1994)
Description: Clutch pedal vibration is not uncommon. Does not indicate an engine or transmission problem. (1994-01)
Coolant leak
Description: The intake manifold on 4.6L V8 engines is prone to breakage resulting in coolant loss and possible overheating. The manufacturer is reimbursing owners who paid for fixes up to $735 and extending the warranty for others (1996-2001)
Hard starting
Description: If the engine does not want to start or cranks for a long time then stalls, the idle air-control valve may be sticking. (1995-96)
Heater core
Description: Installing a restrictor in the heater inlet hose may repair heater cores leaks. (1985-2002)
Spark plugs
Description: Spark plug hole threads in cylinder heads are easily damaged or stripped out when removing plugs because carbon builds up on them. (2004)
Vehicle noise
Description: A chattering noise that can be felt coming from the rear during tight turns after highway driving is caused by a lack of friction modifier or over-shimming of the clutch packs in the Traction-Lok differential. (1994-96)
Accessory belt
Description: On GT models with manual trans, the serpentine belt might come off in wet weather. A revised tensioner and water pump pulley are available. (2000-01)
Accessory belt
Description: The serpentine accessory drive belt on 4.6L engine comes off in wet weather requiring a redesigned water pump, tensioner pulley or both. (2001-02)

Recall History

1994 Mustang GT w/power lumbar adjustment
Description: Electrical short can result in overheating, melting, smoke, and ignition of surrounding materials.
1994-96 Mustang
Description: Tearing of bond between inner and outer hood panels during minor front-end collision can result in gap at leading edge of hood; could result in separation of outer panel.
1994-97 Mustang
Description: Replacement driver-side airbag modules might not properly deploy in a crash.
1995 Mustang
Description: On some cars, passenger-airbag’s inflator body is cracked and may not inflate properly; also, igniter end cap can separate, causing hot gases to be released.
1995 Mustang
Description: Some outer tie-rod ends can fracture within 50,000 miles; may result in shake or shimmy and cause wheel to tuck inward or outward.
1995 Mustang w/3.8-liter or 5.0-liter engines
Description: The engine-cooling-fan bearing can seize. Excessive heat may be generated, melting the fan-motor electrical connector, and possibly causing fan-motor components to ignite.
1996-01 Mustang w/manual transmission
Description: Vehicle could move unintentionally while in “Park.” Dealers will modify parking-brake control.
1998 Mustang w/V8 engine
Description: Some cars have missing or inadequately brazed joints between fuel-rail body and mounting brackets; separation can result in leakage.
1998 Mustang
Description: Some rack-and-pinion steering gears may have damaged shaft bearings.
1998-99 Mustang
Description: Speed-control cable on certain vehicles can interfere with servo pulley, preventing throttle from returning to idle when disengaging the speed control.
1999-00 Mustang
Description: Seatbelt retractor may have incorrectly formed pin shaft that could, in some circumstances, prevent seatbelt webbing from being extracted.
1999-00 Mustang Cobra R
Description: Ball-joint assembly could cause knuckle casting to fail. If this occurs, the lower control arm could contact the inside of the rear wheel. In some cases, steering of the vehicle could be reduced.
2000 Mustang GT (w/4.6-liter engine)
Description: A coolant-flow blockage exists at the intake manifold heater-core nipple, resulting in no coolant flow to the heater and, therefore, no warm airflow from the heater or windshield defroster.
2003-04 Mustang
Description: The rear surface of the accelerator pedal may come into contact with floor carpeting and catch, interfering with the pedal’s ability to return to an idle position. Unexpected, continued throttle application and/or increased stopping distances may occur. Dealers will install a shield over the cutout in the carpet behind the accelerator pedal.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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