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Is new Mustangs (2021) handling really this bad?


I’m currently looking for some “real deal” sports car and it came to my attention that… There’s not many of them out there tbh. I was looking specifically for:

  • legit 2 door coupe (specifically 2+2 seats config)
  • manual transmission
  • RWD
  • sold in Europe, new
  • NOT German
  • (somewhat) affordable

Those are hard requirements. After some light research I realized that in current market dominated by regular boring cars in glorified trims attempting to make them a bit less boring (like BMW M, Audi RS, Ford ST etc.), one of VERY few cars that match all criteria is Ford Mustang.

Unfortunately I’m a bit more into cornering than straight line acceleration so I immediately got worried about Mustang bad handling reputation and general clumsiness. The only versions available in my country are V8 GT and V8 Mach 1 (EU spec, equivalent of Mach 1 PP1 in US, not possible to get PP2) so I’m only considering Mach 1 as of now. To US people I’d like to mention that Mustangs in EU are actually quite expensive and for example such Mach 1 costs here around 65k usd (80k usd incl. tax) so it’s not really “bargain” and it actually scratches top of my budget for car.

So with all that in mind - is this bad reputation still true for 2021 Mustang GT with Magnet Ride suspension, especially Mach 1 variant? I know it’s heavy but… so is Nissan GT-R for example. Yet still it’s regarded as “supercar killer”. It seems to me really weird and counter intuitive that car so expensive, with such giant and actually decent tires could handle worse than eg. BRZ. Even considering lower weight. Because from all this hate train in the internet I got impression that Mustang handles worse than anything else on this planet including significantly cheaper cars… So is it really this bad or is it just some burden that follows new Mustangs because old ones were crappy and had solid rear axle?

I mean it’s not like I’m gonna take this thing on track day every weekend but I don’t want to feel like I’m driving a bus either… I’m perfectly aware that German cars would handle better due to all those electronics etc but like I said I don’t want German car so it’s not really my goal. Still I’d probably be a bit disappointed if it’d come sideways at speeds where waaay cheaper cars like BRZ wouldn’t even sweat cornering stock-vs-stock.

Before I also (strongly) considered BRZ but it’s no longer sold here. All other cars that I like fail in at least one or more criteria (Supra, MX-5, Alpine A110, Cayman and few others) and like I said those are hard requirements, so I’m really struggling to even find any alternatives apart from similar cars like Camaro and Challenger (which probably handle even worse and don’t look all that appealing to me)…

Only you can decide if you like the handling. It’s pretty good.

I currently own a solid axle Mustang GT. I do track days with the car at Sebring International, one of the roughest tracks in the US. I can keep up with BMWs, Audis, Porsches on the straights and in the turns. No magnetic ride control to help. The older Mustang can handle. The newer ones handle even better.

IMSAs GTD race class, basically a GT3 car class, the independent rear Mustangs are competitive with the best German cars that cost similarly to a Euro spec Mustang.

Go test drive one. Make up your own mind rather than accept uninformed opinions from people that have never owned one.

Oh yeah , Crappy !!! Where are you getting this . Have you never heard of Carrol Shelby ? I think he choose them for a good reason when he could have just about used anything he wanted to. Besides you are in Europe so the support for German vehicles should be excellent . I almost think you are a young person dreaming but if you are not why would even think of using almost all you can afford on a performance vehicle . You need some margin for tires and other expensive things like insurance.

Shelby chose the AC Ace for race cars, modifying Mustangs were for profit. He also modified Dodge Omnis, Shadows, Dakotas and Ram Vans.

Shelby raced those GT350 Mustangs. They were not just for street use. They were modified specifically for use as racing cars.

Both the Cobras and Shelby Mustangs were sold as road cars for profit.

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Do you own a similar car now? Can you drive a mustang and compare it to your current car? A test drive will answer your concerns.
You can theorize all you want but only getting in a car will prove you right or wrong.
New camaro? Too heavy. New challenger? Too heavy.
New mustang? Who knows.

Yes, but it appears that the identical Toyota GT86 is sold in Europe, where I presume that you live.

Toyota 86 - Wikipedia

I haven’t seen any info confirming that 2nd gen GR86 will be sold in Europe. 1st gen GT86 is no longer offered in 2021 here.

I doubt many, if any Ford dealers will have Mach 1s available for test drives.

No, never owned car like this. Currently I’m using 2008 fwd hot hatch that I hate and don’t even feel comfortable mentioning here because it’d be lame af :smiley: . But it’s not rocket science to deduce that any car even remotely considered “sports car” will be better in every aspect. I have not driven sufficient number of sports cars to properly judge Mustang performance in big picture, even if I’ve driven one now. It’s going to be my first “proper” RWD sports car. However I’m kind of person who gets really attached to things emotionally. So unless I crash it on first tree near Ford dealership, I’ll probably keep this cars for many years to come. That’s also why I’m looking for 2+2, not purely 2 seats car since it significantly reduces probability that I’ll have to change it any soon due to severe practicality issues. I believe it may actually be my first and the only sports car I will ever buy in my life since it’s young people thing to get cars like those. Later you’re starting to think rationally and get some lame practical 4 seats cars
with decent trunk space and good fuel economy… So it’s now or never. I’m still stupid and want to take advantage of that while I still can. Also yeah, it’s gonna be my daily.

Not trying many cars is also why I’m mostly seeking for opinions in the internet hoping that there’s someone who had opportunity to drive way more cars than I did and could comment on that matter having several years of experience. Since it’s long term purchase I want it to be good and give me joy for years to come. Realizing after 2 years that “damn this thing drives like brick” would be far from optimal. But so would be deciding after 2 years that “damn this thing totally lacks power” if I got eg. BRZ (which sounds likely considering that my current car has 2x more torque than BRZ, around the same power, about the same weight and it feels slow af). So it’s though decision for me.

That’s also why I didn’t ask on Mustang related forums because it was obvious that everyone here would tell me how wonderful this car is, including people who never had any other car and have no idea how it compares.

Mustang sounds like really versatile car that gives a bit of everything - a bit of power, a bit of practicality, a bit of sliding fun due to rwd and looks good. Currently the fastest car (in fact the only “fast” one) I had opportunity to ride was CLA 45 AMG. It was experience that really pushed me towards looking for something with a bit more power. I know Mustangs are really difficult cars to drive and I’m aware I’ll have to be really careful with it in order to not become cars & coffee meme material but I guess I’m up for the challenge.

Nonsense , just like any vehicle a loose nut behind the wheel can make anything a road hazard .
We have had Mustangs and there is nothing difficult about driving one ( except in snow and ice but that applies to all Rear wheel Drive vehicles ) .

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I think you’ll find the Mustang’s handling great, but it uses a lot of gas, and is large by European standards. What about a VW Golf R?

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+1, on all points.
About 6 years ago, while motoring safely through snow in my Outback, I spotted a car stuck in snow, on a corner in my neighborhood. It was a Mustang, but the same thing could have happened to any other RWD car that lacked traction control and/or decent tires and/or a driver who knew what he was doing.

The following winter, on the same corner, I spotted the same Mustang, stuck in snow. Apparently the owner hadn’t bought better tires in the interim and/or hadn’t learned how to drive in snow.

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I heard about snap oversteer issues related mostly to solid real axle in older models and weird assists that have tendency to kick in even when they shouldn’t and overcorrect especially if you run on aftermarket ultra grippy tires. But I guess as long as I’ll stay away from semi slick tires it shouldn’t be a problem, especially since recent models don’t have solid rear axle.

I don’t like hot hatches. I mean primary reason why I mentioned I don’t want German car is that everyone here has one. We usually joke that there’s more M Performance BMWs in our capital city alone than ever left BMW dealerships. People slapping fake M badges are notorious here. Depreciation is tremendous. When I searched “coupe” “2 door” “rwd” “manual” in local car trading platform, around 80% of vehicles were BMWs, Mercs and Audis. Hot hatches are also around every corner. It’s kinda nature of European cars market. Even I had hot hatch because like I said “everyone” has Opel OPC / GTC, Audi S / RS, Veloster N, Cupras, Golf GTI and so on. Seeing some “actual” sports car like Alpine A110, MR2, S2000, Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, 350Z, 370Z, Supra is like unicorn here.

Hell, I’d swear I spotted more 911 GT3’s, AMG GT’s and Audi R8’s here than cars like S2000 or MR2 lmao. If you go to shopping mall there’s almost 100% chance to spot at least one German supercar. Everyone here seems to have weird kink for German cars and it’s a bit annoying. Everyone owns one - your grandpa, uncle, colleagues from work and even neighbor’s dog…

Gas… yeah well… But I guess I should be able to handle it. Modern cars are quite efficient. Ford claims around 12L /100km. My current crapbox due to low efficiency of old engine has 8L / 100km in diesel (which atm is more expensive per L here than petrol). So I don’t think it’s gonna be that much worse in the end.

a newer rwd v8 like a mustang would drive ok. each gen seems to reduce the harshness factor. go drive a 2002 mustang, and then a 2010 model and you will easily notice the change. most all car mags love the more refined ride from each gen. a 2020 would be even better. but, for $50k cant you just get a 2015 vette? easy to find low mile ones. and the gm dealer network should allow service.

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Not sure if there is a reasonable support for Corvette in Europe .

He wants a four seater. If he got a Vette he would be back complaining about the low speed Ackerman affect on steering.

The Corvette is not a 2+2 coupe. If a 2-seater is acceptable (it isn’t, remember?), then the MX-5, Cayman, Evora and A110 would be possibilities. They will all handle noticeably better than a stock Mustang. The Evora and A110 are a bit pricy, too.

I suggest to the OP that a 2+2 may not be all that important. When the children arrive, you really can’t use the Mustang, unless it’s a Mach-E. Putting a child in a car seat means getting in on the opposite side of the car. Good luck seating a child going into any coupe on the same side as the seat, at least as long as it faces to the rear. Seat in the middle? Does the Mustang have middle seat belts? I don’t think so. You and your spouse will definitely want a sedan, estate car, or SUV for the kids. My son-in-law has a GTI. He likes the practicality of a hatchback and the handling of the GTI package. When they have children, my daughter will drive the family car every day, and he will continue to commute in his hot hatch or an equivalent replacement with his manual transmission.

Since it’s so difficult to find what you want, I suggest you consider your priorities and drop off the last one or two desires and see what’s left. My guess is 2+2 is at the bottom of the pile, but that’s just me reading your posts. This thread is fun, keep us informed.

Just think back to the days when the Mustang was on the Falcon platform. I never had to worry about cornering in the Falcon.