2020 Ford Mustang Review: Smart packaging makes it more desirable than ever

The Mustang retains its hallmark exterior for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Mustang is an iconic car. For decades it has been one of the most desirable muscle cars on the planet attracting everyone from celebrities and collectors to veterinary assistants and dental hygienists. It's a symbol of American prosperity that's continually being improved, even without major generational change.

The 2020 Ford Mustang is the product of those small but impactful adjustments that make the Mustang a comfortable cruiser with dynamic engagement at the ready. Even as we get close to 2021, the car still has a touch of nostalgia with switchgear that mixes modern design with the aerospace-inspired design aesthetics of the past.

But this isn't a car that wants to be piloted. It wants to be driven.

2020 Ford Mustang The Mustang's interior has unique design.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2020 Ford Mustang

When equipped with the 2.3-liter high performance Ecoboost engine and a six-speed manual transmission, the Mustang is plenty powerful even without the growl emitted from the backend of a Shelby GT 500. Unlike the gearbox in the Chevrolet Camaro, the Mustang's is tuned to properly encourage driving. Rev high and let the good times roll.

The model came equipped with a Performance pack that included a 3.55-inch limited slip rear axle;19-inch machined-face aluminum wheels with low gloss Ebony-painted pockets; summer tires; an active performance exhaust; black-painted strut-tower brace; an "Engine Spun" aluminum instrument panel; Magnetic-colored exterior mirrors; a Gauge Pack; GT Performance Package front splitter and belly pan; hood accent strip; heavy-duty front springs; larger brake rotors with four-piston fixed calipers; larger radiator; unique chassis tuning; unique EPAS, anti-lock brake system, and stability control tuning; and an upsized sway bar.

The Mustang's handling is engaging but doesn't constantly require input. The car sticks to the ground but doesn't pass on every lump and bump into the cabin.

Ford has given the Mustang a steering wheel that feels good in-hand and has buttons that area easy to operate on the fly.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Seating is comfortable, at least for front row occupants. The second-row seats of the Mustang remain best left for groceries, puppies, and babies.

The infotainment system is perfectly functional with Ford's SYNC system that makes picking and choosing what you want the system to do quick and easy. The 8-inch screen is plenty responsive.

Even with the Performance pack and manual transmission, the car remains a perfectly capable daily driver.

In rag top form, the Mustang still has the same appeal it did decades ago. It's a comfortable cruiser in warm climates but putting the top up creates a soundproof enough barrier in inclement weather that you won't wish you had the fastback version.

It's those improvements that make the Mustang, specifically this Mustang, among the best uses for $35,000 in today's muscle car marketplace. It's sportier and more fun than the Camaro and with the convertible option, gives buyers who love to drive a reason to get out on the open road int he spring, summer, and fall.

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Ford EV manufacturing

Ford plans new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford's new TN facility may be one of the largest in U.S. history.

Ford

Earlier this year, Ford outlined its plans for significant investments in electric vehicle development and construction. Today, the automaker announced a big step forward in that roadmap that will include two new facilities, billions in new spending, and thousands of new jobs.

The $5.6 billion Stanton, TN factory will be called Blue Oval City and will bring 6,000 new jobs to the area. Ford says the site will include a BlueOval SK battery plant, and that electric F-Series trucks will be manufactured there. The assembly plant is designed to be carbon neutral and to send zero waste to landfills once it's up and running.

Ford Blue Oval City Ford plans to create a combined 11,000 jobs.Ford

Ford notes that Blue Oval City will be one of the largest automotive manufacturing sites in U.S. history. The campus sprawls 3,600 acres over six square miles, and will house assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The vertical integration of all functions on one site should lower Ford's production costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The $5.8 billion Kentucky site will be a dedicated battery manufacturing complex that houses two separate battery plants. The location will supply Ford's North American assembly plants and is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. The facilities in both states are being built as part of a joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, pending regulatory approval.

Ford Blue Oval City The TN facility is expected to be carbon neutral when it's up and running.Ford

The increase in production capacity can't come soon enough for Ford. Earlier this year, the Mustang Mach-E EV debuted to strong demand, and the automaker will soon roll out the first electric F-Series truck. Called the Ford F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be the first electric truck from a legacy automaker.

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The Mach-E is the first EV to pass testing.

Ford

Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror can either be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you're doing when they appear. You may be in for a surprise the next time you see them, though, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E just passed police testing and could end up in municipal fleets in the near future. Ford Pro provided the vehicle for testing by the Michigan State Police and it passed, making it the first all-electric vehicle to do so.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Vehicles are tested in several key areas.Ford

The Michigan State Police tests include acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed pursuit programs. Emergency response handling is also tested. To help law enforcement agencies make decisions about the vehicles that will best suit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new model year police vehicles and publishes results for use by other agencies nationwide. It's one of two agencies that perform such tests.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford Pro provided the vehicles for testing by the Michigan State PoliceFord

The Ford Mustang Mach-E landed earlier this year and has been in high demand since. The Blue Oval initially offered the EV in a handful of trims and recently added a high-performance GT model to the lineup. All versions of the SUV feature sweeping lines and strong infotainment tech, and some offer extended range batteries with an all-wheel drive option. However, if you're hoping to get your hands on one, be prepared to wait. Current delivery times on Ford's website start at 20 weeks and extend to 28-plus weeks.

Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E launched earlier this year and is in high demand.Ford

Ford Pro is launching soon and will offer a range of electrified and internal combustion vehicles to commercial customers of all types. The portfolio will eventually include the 2022 Ford E-Transit and 2022 F-150 Lightning, and likely the Mustang Mach-E, given its ability to pass the law enforcement tests.

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