Rev your engines and get ready to hit the road in a Ford Mustang. But before you buckle up and take off, it’s important to know which model years to steer clear of.
While Ford has produced many exceptional Mustangs over the years, some have earned a reputation for being troublemakers on the road.
From faulty transmissions to subpar paint quality, these problematic years can drain your wallet and leave you feeling frustrated behind the wheel.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the Ford Mustang model years that are notorious for having issues.
By the end of this ride, you’ll have a better understanding of which Mustangs to avoid and which ones are worth your investment.
- 1 Mustang Years to Avoid
- 2 Fifth Generation Problems
- 3 Specific Model Years to Avoid
- 4 Common Issues
- 5 Transmission Problems
- 6 Electrical Problems
- 7 Body and Paint Problems
- 8 Water Leakage
- 9 Prone to Rust
- 10 Reliability Ratings by NHTSA
- 11 Generational Overview
- 12 Sixth Generation
- 13 Fifth Generation
- 14 Alternatives and Competitors
- 15 Chevrolet Camaro
- 16 BMW 2 Series
- 17 Dodge Challenger
- 18 Nissan 370Z
- 19 Share this post:
Mustang Years to Avoid
Fifth Generation Problems
The fifth generation of the Ford Mustang, produced from 2005 to 2014, experienced several issues that affected the vehicle’s performance and reliability.
Some common problems in this generation included faulty transmissions, poor paint quality, hood-area corrosion, and frequent battery discharge issues.
Specific Model Years to Avoid
Several years of the Ford Mustang are particularly known for their issues and should be avoided if you are considering purchasing one.
Here’s a list of the Mustang years to avoid, along with a brief explanation for each:
- 2005 Ford Mustang: This year suffered from all the common problems of the fifth generation, making it one of the worst model years.
- 2006 Ford Mustang: Although some progress was made, the 2006 model didn’t resolve many of the main issues from 2005, and it is also considered one of the most problematic years.
- 2010-2012 Ford Mustang: These years are known for their issues as well, so it’s wise to stay away from these models.
- 2014 Ford Mustang: This is another year to avoid due to problems with the fifth-generation Mustang.
- 2015 Ford Mustang: The 2015 model year is susceptible to develop problems, making it one of the most problematic years in the sixth generation.
Keep these years in mind when browsing Ford Mustangs, as avoiding these problematic models may save you time and money in the long run.
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Ford Mustangs, specifically from the 2005-2007 model years, have been known to suffer from transmission problems.
These may include rough shifting, transmission slipping or outright failure. To avoid costly repairs, be sure to keep an eye out for any warning signs of transmission issues and address them promptly.
Another common issue your Mustang may face is electrical problems. These can span a wide range of issues, from frequent battery discharges to malfunctioning sensors or fuses.
Routinely checking your car’s electrical components and keeping its battery in good shape will help prevent breakdowns due to electrical issues.
Body and Paint Problems
Some Mustang models have been criticized for their poor paint quality. This can manifest as uneven paint application or paint chipping off prematurely.
Additionally, certain years have been known to exhibit body issues, such as misaligned panels, so it is crucial to inspect your Mustang thoroughly before buying and routinely maintain its appearance to prevent long-term damage.
Water leakage is another common problem in older Mustang models. This can occur around the windshield, rear window or even door seals.
Leaks can lead to interior damage and musty smells, so make sure to inspect your car for any evidence of water intrusion and fix any leaks immediately.
Prone to Rust
Ford Mustangs, specifically those manufactured between 2005 and 2007, have been known to suffer from hood-area corrosion or overall rust issues.
To keep your Mustang in pristine condition, be vigilant about checking for rust spots and address any signs of corrosion as soon as possible.
Reliability Ratings by NHTSA
Searching through National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reliability ratings is a big help. Mustang models have varying reliability ratings, with some years performing better than others.
The 2017 Mustang, for example, has a 3 out of 5 reliability rating on Consumer Reports, indicating that it is a more reliable option than some earlier models like the 2005-2007 ones.
You should pay attention to these ratings when choosing your Mustang to ensure you get a model that best suits your needs and offers a good balance of reliability and performance.
In the sixth generation of the Ford Mustang, you’ll notice a modern design that incorporates some old-school Mustang elements, like the rear lights and the grille.
However, it’s important to know that the initial production years of 2015-2016 weren’t as reliable as one might expect.
You might be interested in the 2019 Ford Mustang, as it received better reviews regarding its performance, styling, and overall quality.
These later model years of the sixth generation featured significant improvements in terms of reliability and craftsmanship.
The fifth-generation Mustang was launched in 2005, becoming the first all-new Mustang since 1979.
As a fan of Ford Mustangs, you’ll appreciate how this generation was a callback to the original styling found in the 1964 1/2 and 1965 models, with its V-shaped grille and vintage-looking taillights.
In terms of the fifth-generation Mustang models to avoid, the 2006 Ford Mustang had numerous issues, including electrical problems, transmission errors, and body issues. So, it’s wise to stay away from this particular model.
Muscle car enthusiasts like yourself might find the fifth generation’s approach to the classic Mustang design appealing, as it recalls the days of the 1967 and 1968 Ford Mustang.
The Shelby GT500, created during this generation, also became an iconic representation of what a Mustang could be.
Alternatives and Competitors
In this section, we’ll dive into some prominent rivals and discuss how they compare.
The Chevrolet Camaro is a pony car that has been a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang since its inception.
Like the Mustang, the Camaro offers a range of engines and trim levels to suit your preferences.
However, two key problems with the Camaro include limited rear visibility and a smaller trunk than some of its competitors. Here are complete Chevy Camaro years to avoid listed.
While the Camaro shares some similarities with the Mustang, such as engaging driving dynamics and muscular design, the Chevy’s interior features and technology may give it a slight edge.
BMW 2 Series
If you’re looking for a more premium alternative, the BMW 2 Series could be an excellent option.
While it might not be as iconic as the Mustang, the 2 Series offers impressive performance, refined interiors, and advanced technology.
However, it can run at a higher price than the Mustang, and maintenance costs might be more expensive due to its German engineering. This leads to one of the known problems of BMW 2 Series – it burn more oil than expected.
The Dodge Challenger is another American muscle car competing with the Ford Mustang. Known for its raw power and classic muscle car styling, the Challenger offers impressive straight-line performance.
On the downside, it’s not as agile or fuel-efficient as the Mustang. Furthermore, the Challenger’s ride quality and interior materials are not as refined as some competitors.
The 2012 Challenger is regarded one of the worst years for the Challenger as it faced electrical issues, problems with the brakes among other issues.
Despite these drawbacks, the Challenger is a viable alternative if you prioritize power and aggressive styling over handling and fuel efficiency.
For those seeking a sports car with unique styling and strong performance capabilities, the Nissan 370Z comes as an exciting option.
This Japanese sports car offers engaging handling, a responsive feel, and a potent V6 engine.
However, it does have its drawbacks, like an outdated infotainment system and a noisier cabin compared to its rivals. And, the Nissan 370Z 2009 model has electrical faults and steering lock problems.
In conclusion, each of these competitors brings something unique to the table. Comparing them based on specific preferences, such as performance, styling, features, and budget, will help you find the perfect alternative to the Ford Mustang according to your tastes.