Expert Reviews

2024 Ford Mustang First Drive Review

The 2024 Ford Mustang may look familiar, but peek beneath the sheet metal and you’ll find a versatile two-door that can fit the personality and needs of almost any buyer.

It’s a people pleaser, and that’s plenty relatable. Enthusiasts, fashionistas, techies, and crooners are all represented in some way with the seventh-generation model, which sees some important and satisfying upgrades.

Subtlety Reigns Supreme

For starters, the exterior has been modernized and refined. In terms of overall impact, it’s a subtle transformation from the outgoing model, reminiscent of the fourth-gen model’s adoption of the New Edge design language in the middle of its lifecycle. You’ll be able to identify this new version via its sharp creases in the bodywork, giving it an edge of its own. The headlights also gain some personality; you’ll spot three segments in the enclosure that are a cue to the three segments in the tail lights. A new Bronze package brings the Mustang to a new era of automotive trends, which tints the badges and wheels for extra appeal. One of the best parts of the Mustang is the availability of exterior appliques, wheel options, stripes packages, and more to help it stand out in a crowd.

Like the previous generation, the 2024 Mustang is available in both coupe and convertible body styles, and shoppers can also choose between two motors: turbocharged four-cylinder, and snarling V8. Regardless of body style, the motor choice is hinted at with differences in the front hood with GT models boasting aggressive-looking vents, larger grille openings, and a different front splitter.


Four-Cylinder Fun

The overhauled 2.3L turbo four-cylinder features 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, the former being five more than before. A few quick autocross sessions in the now automatic-only entry model were quick to exhibit how eager the new Mustang is to change directions. It still feels like a rear-wheel-drive pony car, with blunt power delivery, but the steering and handling have improved significantly. However, it helped that all our testers featured the new Performance package, which adds some extra bracing for a more responsive chassis, and a limited-slip differential for improved traction.

On the autocross course at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California, the car was able to rotate easily, whether under braking or with the throttle, but it was easy to keep it under control and pointing in the right direction while carrying speed.

For those who want to have a little less control, all Performance pack-equipped Mustangs feature an electronic drift brake, which is applied similarly to a hand brake. However, the lever in the car doesn’t lock in place, and when applied in motion while track mode is active, it helps to lock the rear wheels to easily initiate slides and then unlock them quickly to regain control. Developed with help from Formula Drift drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa, the system operates differently depending on the speed you carry before initiating the drift and helps newbies learn the basics of sliding while maintaining a bit more control than having to do it the old-school way.

Don’t Forget About the Drop-Top

After playing with the coupe on the track we hit the streets with its convertible counterpart, which still feels fantastic while cruising down the highway towards windy canyon roads. The 10-speed automatic transmission is smooth when driven normally, but asking more out of it can seemingly cause it to hesitate while picking the best ratio. The cog-swapper works best when it’s placed in manual mode, letting you switch gears with the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The four-cylinder packs a loud, bassy soundtrack, which is fine though far from the spine-tingling stuff the V8 pumps out.

Eight Cylinders Are a Must


With our starting line in Pasadena, Calif., and our route taking us along the famed Angeles Crest Highway, we had plenty of time to familiarize ourselves with the changes to the V8-powered 2024 Mustang GT.


For starters, the motor puts out an incredible 480 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, while models equipped with the active valve exhaust deliver 486 hp and 418 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant comes with a six-speed manual as standard equipment, though a 10-speed auto is available as well. The manual comes with a bunch of fun features like rev-matching downshifts and no-lift upshifts. The automatic gets a gimmicky remote rev function that will let you hear your car nice and loud while you’re across the parking lot.

If it wasn’t for the wider Pirelli tires fitted to these Performance pack-equipped models, I’d estimate that it’d be easy to break the rear end loose; but instead, we get to enjoy plentiful grip and impressive braking performance thanks to huge Brembo brakes. Let loose, this pony car feels absolutely thrilling when laying into the throttle, and it sounds fantastic, too. It feels like the Mustang experience you’d picture in your mind. It’s capable of so much, as it can blast through intersections, effortlessly get up to speed, cruise smoothly on the highway, and also handle capably on windy roads. The steering is heavy and direct, though it lacks a feeling of grip and traction that would make it ideal on the track, but that’s the scope of the hardcore Dark Horse models.

Massively Upgraded Interior


While it’s fair to expect the Mustang to be this capable and cool, the interior has almost always lacked refinement. For 2024, Ford has done away with the idea of interior style for the most part, and thrown a pair of large, high-resolution screens into the cabin to provide some personality. The 13.2-inch infotainment screen is bright, animated, and easy to use thanks to tablet-like gestures like pinching, tapping, and dragging functions and features. It’s easy to reconfigure the display to prioritize relevant info, plus there’s wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The HVAC settings stay on the lower edge of the screen for easy access, even when the smartphone projection systems are active.


In front of the driver is a 12.4-inch display, which is neatly animated and easily configurable. Every time you swap through drive modes, a detailed and charming animation plays on the display. Adding some personality, Ford has even included a theme for the gauge cluster that mimics Mustangs of old. After a discussion with the car’s digital product design manager, I suspect that more old themes will be available in the future, either through an over-the-air update, or paid add-ons.

The interior materials are surprisingly nice, and the high-tech flair helps nicely streamline the interior. Optional Recaro seats feature tight bolsters that squeeze you in place. While the car offers several driver-assist and safety features, one new item is a safe exit warning, ensuring you don’t open one of the car’s large doors into an oncoming cyclist or vehicle.

Final Thoughts

All of these changes and upgrades add up to a much more modern muscle car. When it arrives later this year, the 2024 Ford Mustang will command an asking price of $39,095 for the four-cylinder coupe, while the convertible will start at $45,995. The 2024 Mustang GT starts at $50,595 for the coupe, while the GT convertible includes a few extra premium features and starts at $62,295. The automatic transmission is an additional $1,750, while the Performance pack costs $6,500, regardless of engine.

Those starting prices are about $3,000 more than the outgoing model, but that’s a decent price to pay for the high-tech cabin and sweeter style, not to mention the performance upgrade on V8-powered models. As the world shifts towards more electrification, I can’t help but wonder if this is the last Mustang generation with an eight-cylinder engine. And even if it isn’t, the upgraded model is still a joy, no matter your style, driving or otherwise.