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Are Ford Mustangs Reliable? Scores, Trends & FAQ

black mustang

Ford Mustangs are famous for their iconic look, their muscle car past, and their power. Mustangs have always been fast, and they strike a unique appearance on the roads but are they reliable? How reliable are Ford Mustangs? From a reliability standpoint, are they the right car for you? Overall, Mustangs are only sort of reliable

This article will cover all of the most prominent reliability scores for the Ford Mustang, along with trends and common problems. By the end, you will have a good idea of whether you should feel comfortable buying a Mustang if you are worried about reliability.

car and road divider Ford Mustang Reliability Scores

Over the years, the Ford Mustang has had an up and down reliability rating. Sometimes, the Mustang does not receive timely reliability scores. That is because, in the past, reliability issues have arisen years after the car hits the market. That has made some reviewers hesitant to label the Ford Mustang one way or another too early so that they do not have to go back and revise their initial reactions. Some of this data is from 2020, as there have not been consistent scores put out for the newest models of Ford Mustang due to issues that will be addressed.

ford mustang in beverly hills
Image Credit: BKD, Pixabay

JD Power – 4/5 (2020)

JD Power gave the 2020 Mustang a reliability score of 4 out of 5. That is a good score that rates above average. However, JD Power has not been as kind to the Mustang in the past. A few models, notably the cars released in 2015, 2016, and 2017, scored poorly. Some below-average years actually netted a score of 1 out of 5 from JD Power. That shows a level of inconsistency in the reliability of the Mustang. While the 2020 model scored well, the latest scores for the newer models have not been finalized, and there is a chance that the reliability will slip in the future.

Repair Pal – 3.5/5 (2022)

Repair Pal gives the Mustang an overall reliability score of 3.5 out of 5. That put it at rank 20 out of 24 reviewed models in the category of mid size car. That is not great, but it is worthy to point out that sports cars are often far more unreliable than typical commuter cars. Repair Pal estimates the average yearly maintenance costs for the Mustang to be $709, which is far above the average of $526 for other cars in the category. Repair Pal did not flag any serious issues with the Mustang and noted that major repairs are not common.

black Ford Mustang
Image Credit: gammabaar, Pixabay

Consumer Reports – 47/100 (2022)

In the most critical review yet, Consumer Reports only scored the mustang 47 out of 100. That is a bad score. Within the review, Consumer Reports reportedly pegged the predicted overall reliability of the 2022 Ford Mustang at just 1 out of 5. The latest Mustang is an electric car, and it is the first of its kind. Any new models that try something completely new often run the risk of having long term reliability issues.

The 2022 Ford Mustang already had one major recall due to improper airbags, which was a huge red flag for Consumer Reports. The low score also highlights the challenges of trying to rate a car’s reliability when it is brand new. Cars are designed to run for over 100,000 miles and ten years or more and many issues do not arise until later in their lifespan. The 2022 Ford Mustang could turn out to be a very reliable car in the long run, but Consumer Reports is skeptical that it will be.

Composite Score – 66/100

Blending these scores together gives us a composite score of 66 out of 100. That is not great compared to other similarly sized cars, but it is actually very good in the realm of sports cars. Sports cars are notoriously unreliable, and Mustang actually ranks #1 in reliability for sports cars. The Mustang’s score of 66 is lower than other average sedans but higher than the typical sports car. It is also important to note that the unusually low Consumer Reports score could be considered an outlier. Without that low score, the composite score jumps quite a bit to 70 out of 100, which looks better than 66.

Ford Mustang GT
Image credit: Ford oskaline, Pixabay

car and road divider

Lifespan and Trends

Despite the lukewarm reliability scores, Mustangs still sell incredibly well. Roughly 100,000 Mustangs are sold each year and if they were completely unreliable lemons, you would expect that number to be much lower. Mustangs are still rated to last between 150,000 and 200,000 miles on average which factors out to 12 to 15 years. The average miles per year driven on a Mustang is only 12,000.

The trend with Mustang reliability is that there are no trends. Some years, Ford puts out an incredible car with few issues and great performance. Other years, Ford lays a lemon. Mustangs are frequently recalled in batches, with some years having a lot of recalls and other years having few to none. If you are planning on buying a used Mustang, you should definitely look into the model year’s history to ensure you aren’t buying a car from a bad year.

Overall, the Mustang is hit or miss in terms of reliability. If you get a good model year, you will be pleasantly surprised, but if you buy a poor car from a bad year, you could be in for a real headache.

Is The Ford Mustang Right for Me?

If you are buying a Ford Mustang because it is a sports car, then reliability should not be a problem. The Mustang is one of the most reliable sports cars on the market and has been for years. However, if you are buying a Mustang to be a commuter car or family vehicle and are looking for something with a little more of an edge than a Camry, the reliability leaves a lot to be desired.

If you understand the fact that a Mustang won’t be as reliable as other sedans and comes with an extra $200 per year in upkeep, then you won’t be surprised by any minor issues that could arise. If you are expecting a Mustang to compete in terms of reliability and repair costs with other sedans, then you could be in for a shock.

car and road divider Conclusion

In terms of sports cars, Mustangs are very reliable. Overall, Mustangs are only sort of reliable. The way you view your car and your goals for a new vehicle will determine how important these trends are to you. If you are expressly looking for a hotrod, you will be glad to know that Mustang is a reliable sports car. If you are looking for a car to get you from point A to point B, you might end up frustrated with the Mustang’s checkered past in terms of reliability.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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