2011 mustang 5.0 with 150k or a 2009 mustang gt 4.6 with 115k same price

I am looking at getting a new mustang and trying to decide between a high mileage 2011-13 5.0 or z lower mileage 2009 mustang 4.6 with 115k miles. Both manual premiums, what would you suggest a high mileage 5.0 or lower mileage 4.6 for the same price which is about 12-15k. Thanks

The 5.0 has a LOT more power (112 to 120 more). The manual for those years can be a problem. That is one reason I chose an automatic in my '13. The engines live a long time (200K) as long as the oil was changed at the proper intervals with the proper oil (5W20). Avoid it if the engine was modified in any way including cold air intakes.

If you can live with 300 HP, the 2009 will be a good reliable car and the transmission is very sturdy. I owned a 2007 with a 5 speed manual. Great car. The interior quality isn’t great but there are easy solutions to most of the problem areas.


No , you are not looking at a new Mustang . You are looking at used vehicles that have to stand on their own condition . A 2009 might be better than a 2011 but an independent shop can inspect the vehicle and improve your chance of not buying a money pit. Have you even seen these vehicles ?


Seconding the advice above to secure a pre-purchase inspection by your own mechanic (at your expense, around $100) before signing any paper-work. Were I making the decision I’d worry a little about the 2009 simply b/c of the problems the auto industry was having at that time. I’d guess the safer bet are the 2011-2013 versions, even w/more miles on them.

What happens if someone uses 10W30 instead of 5W20?

I would buy a 165k mile vehicle that had reliable oil change records with good quality oil, versus 115k miles with unknown history. Knowing how hard the previous owners drove it would be nice to know too. If you buy from a dealer they hide all this information so it’s hard. 115k miles is right at that point where it’s high enough for there to be damage from neglected oil changes, but not high enough for the problems to show up.

Mustangman does make a point about the transmissions though. Ford has a reputation of a major engine or transmission problem in an otherwise solid vehicle.

Increased wear on bearings with tight clearances the thicker oil cannot reach as easily. Greater startup wear, timing chains and variable valve actuators.

Both engines require the thinner oil.

And Ford does’t build the manual transmission. Tremec makes the '09 5 speed and Getrag the '11 up 6 speed so convential wisdom (or old mechanics tails) doesn’t apply.

The coyote has significantly more power. I would lean heavily towards the 5.0, but it would come down to the specific cars you’re looking at. With that said, these days $12k- $15k is going to be a bit light for a coyote powered Mustang in decent condition.

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CarFax allows you to check reported maintenance history for free - simply add this car by VIN code on your account “garage” and you will have records which were reported, which are surprisingly detailed on my data sample