There are few things more American than a Ford Mustang Convertible, and the 2021 model is the best one we've had since the car first came out nearly six decades ago. Sure, it doesn't come with a big rumbling V8 under the hood in this base form, but the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder still pushes out up to 330 horsepower with the High Performance Package and a meaty 350 lb-ft of torque that is on offer from low down in the rev range. In base form, you don't get much in terms of luxury, but you still get a fun-to-drive car at a friendly price. The Mustang goes up against competitors such as the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and is the go-to drop-top if you're not that serious about speed but very keen on having a good time.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible sports car receives two new wheel designs and three new exterior paint colors, but more importantly, it gains some new tech. The Ford Co-Pilot 360 suite of safety tech is now standard on all Ford Mustang models, as are auto high-beam headlights and rain-sensing window wipers. A few features and feature packages have also been reshuffled, and the High Performance Package gets a new Carbonized Gray color on the mirrors.
See trim levels and configurations:
This two-door soft top is one of the most iconic modern-day sports cars around, and, in our opinion, it's better-looking than the Chevrolet Camaro cabrio. Standard exterior features on the base model include LED headlights, LED sequential taillights, a dual bright exhaust outlet with rolled polished tips, and hood vents. The base car rolls on a set of 17-inch Sparkle Silver-painted aluminum wheels. The Premium adds features such as a blade decklid spoiler, Pony projection lights, LED fog lamps, and 18-inch machined-face alloy wheels with High-gloss Ebony Black-painted pockets. The available High Performance Package adds 19-inch alloys with a machine-faced finish and black-painted pockets along with Carbonized Gray mirror caps. On the paint front, Grabber Lime and Kona Blue are no longer available as they were in our 2020 review, but Antimatter Blue, Carbonized Gray, and Grabber Yellow are new for 2021.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible is a 2 door open-top sports car with similar dimensions to that of the Chevrolet Camaro convertible. The Mustang rolls on a 107.1-inch wheelbase and is 188.5 inches long and 54.3 inches tall. Including the wing mirrors, the Mustang Convertible is 81.9 inches wide. The manual model weighs in at 3,636 lbs while auto cars tip the scale at 3,656. Opt for the High Performance Package on the EcoBoost, and the upgrades see weight increase to 3,916 and 3,932 lbs, respectively.
Both the base and Premium trim come standard with Ford's 2.3-liter turbo EcoBoost engine. In the Mustang, this engine produces a healthy 310 hp and 350 lb-ft, significantly more than the 275 hp and 295 lb-ft on offer in the equivalent 2.0T Chevy Camaro drop-top. It might not be a true muscle car, but the Ford Mustang Convertible puts on a good show, and most ordinary drivers will be more than happy with the performance on offer. To keep the hardcore fans happy, Ford sells the Mustang Convertible with a six-speed manual transmission that provides slick and precise shifts, but a smooth ten-speed is also on offer in the USA. From a performance perspective, expect a 0-60 time in the high four-second range and a top speed of 155 mph with the High Performance Package, up from 145 mph without it. Our only disappointment is the lack of aural drama from the exhaust pipes. Ford does offer a High Performance Package that adds a larger twin-scroll turbo compressor, fresh engine calibration, and larger radiator for outputs of 330 hp and 350 lb-ft, and adds an active exhaust with quad tips. But, in something as lifestyle-focused as the convertible, this seems a little excessive and isn't worth opting for.
In the past, soft-top Mustangs have not been considered the most serious of sports cars, and while the fact remains that without a top, these vehicles gain weight and lose rigidity, the convertible Mustang is still an impressive driver's car. Firstly, when it comes to road comfort, the convertible is hard to beat; it still feels composed but manages to soak up bumps and road imperfections without jarring its occupants. When it comes to performance driving, one can feel the less rigid body and chassis squirming underfoot, which doesn't inspire confidence through tricky passes. Still, the lightweight four-pot engine up front helps make the turn-in response feel crisp and targeted. Mid-corner grip is impressive, but a jab of the throttle will see the tail step out loosely. Braking performance is impressive, and the car remains composed even during hard braking.
While there is some sporting pretense here, the Mustang Convertible is not a high-performance vehicle, and is best enjoyed at seven-tenths, where the engine doesn't sound as coarse and the body doesn't flex as much.
Just because it's a turbocharged, rear-wheel-drive sports car doesn't mean it has to sacrifice good gas mileage figures: the 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible will manage best figures of 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined. This figure drops down to 20/27/23 mpg for cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. With the High Performance Package, those numbers decline further to 19/26/22 mpg for the automatic and 19/25/21 mpg for the manual variant. The Chevrolet Camaro Convertible will do better at 22/30/25 mpg. With a 15.5-gallon fuel tank on board, the Mustang has an estimated maximum range of 357 miles in its most efficient guise.
The Mustang follows a 2+2 interior layout, meaning there should, in theory, be space for four people. In reality, though, you should consider the Mustang a two-seater car with a sizable rear parcel shelf. However, the good news is that those in the front get ample legroom and supportive manually-adjustable sport seats in the base model. Premium models get leather upholstery and power adjustability. The driver's seating position is great, and forward visibility is excellent. We did notice some cheap-feeling plastic bits inside the cabin, but the overall build quality is good.
Dropping the roof and adding a soft top usually means that trunk space is compromised, and that is the case with the Mustang Convertible, but to a lesser degree than usual: the convertible boasts 11.4 cubic feet, which is 2.1 cubic feet less than what you get in the coupe. This is still a very usable space and is enough for a solid trip to the grocery store. The other convertible pony car sold in the US - the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible - only offers 7.3 cubic feet of space. Small items can be stored in the two front cupholders, small door pockets, or the center console storage bin and small glovebox. The rear seats also double up as useful storage space.
The base model Mustang Convertible is sparsely equipped, giving the Premium trim more room to impress. Standard features on the base model include manual climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, active noise cancellation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a four-way manual driver's seat, a two-way passenger seat, and cruise control. Standard driver assistance features include blind-spot assist with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, lane-keeping alert, driver alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and dynamic braking. Premium models add features such as aluminum foot pedals, ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, illuminated door-sill scuff plates, heated and cooled six-way driver and four-way passenger power seats, and a reverse sensing system. Optional extras include features such as a 12-inch LCD digital instrument cluster with MyColor, and a heated steering wheel which are both included in the $2,300 201A package available on the Premium Convertible.
As with the rest of the features list, the base model gets a simplified infotainment setup, leaving the good stuff for the Premium model. The occupants receive a basic SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch LCD screen, AM/FM radio, and six speakers in base spec. You also get Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, FordPass, and FordPass Connect which includes a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Premium trim gets Ford's SYNC 3 system with an eight-inch touchscreen display and includes voice recognition, SiriusXM radio, a nine-speaker sound system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We would recommend going for the Premium trim purely based on the infotainment system alone. Premium cars are offered with a 12-speaker B&O option for $995 that includes HD Radio and a subwoofer located in the trunk.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible is yet to be recalled, but 2020 models saw four recalls issued: a misaligned front camera which affected various driver aids, and a distorted rearview camera, a cracked brake pedal bracket, and warning chime issues. Ford will cover the Mustang Convertible with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year warranty for corrosion and powertrain parts, the latter also being subject to 60,000-mile mileage limitations. Roadside assistance is also offered for five years or 60,000 miles.
The NHTSA and IIHS are yet to fully review the convertible. Basic safety features include traction control and six airbags, including dual front, front side, and driver and front passenger knee airbags. All Mustang Convertibles are equipped with lane-keeping assist, lane-keeping alert and driver alert, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot assist with cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, and dynamic braking. Premium derivatives also get a reverse sensing system.
In the world of hardcore sports cars, it's easy to get lost in the figures, big turbos, and tech of more exotic machinery, but at the end of the day, driving enjoyment is all that matters, and the Ford Mustang Convertible manages to combine fun with comfort and a modicum of practicality. The exterior styling is attractive, and the interior is stylish, albeit a bit on the budget side. Under the hood, that 2.3-liter turbocharged four-pot delivers enough power to entertain, but at the expense of the sort of engine note one would appreciate most with the roof down. Although the convertible isn't as sharp as the coupe, it still manages to deliver a relatively sporty driving experience, and paired with less weight and less power from the EcoBoost motor, it's a winning combination. The features list on the base model is a short one, but the Premium trim makes up for that with an extensive list of standard goodies. The price is right, the fun factor is there, and it carries the Mustang name; what more can you ask for?
With a pricing strategy aimed directly at the middle class, the Mustang Convertible has a strong sales record and is an actual performance car for the people. The base price of the 2021 Mustang Convertible is $32,655 excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,195, putting the Mustang Convertible within reach of most sports car buyers and making it one of the cheapest convertibles around. The Premium trim starts with an MSRP of $37,675, but optional extras will comfortably push that cost over the $40k mark. Finding a good used Mustang Convertible for sale is a walk in the park.
This isn't a stripped-down Lotus Elise or Ariel Atom; it's an everyday sports car that needs to be as practical and comfortable as it is fun. For that reason, we'd recommend forking out the extra cash and going for the Premium trim. The Premium adds luxury features such as leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and notably, a far more comprehensive SYNC 3 infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration. If we were doing the buying, we'd also get the $2,300 201A package that adds features such as a 12-inch LCD digital instrument cluster, heated steering wheel, and voice-activated touchscreen navigation system. Lastly, and perhaps to the chagrin of purists, the automatic is the better-suited transmission here, as a car like this is meant to be enjoyed while lazily cruising the coastlines of the USA with the top down.
These two have been going at it for well over half a century and are still fierce rivals. The Chevrolet Camaro is offered with a similar turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot, making a less impressive 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The good news is that it also gets a proper six-speed manual transmission and is offered with a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 335 hp. With a lighter curb weight and a finely-tuned chassis, the Camaro is the better driver's car and feels lighter on its toes through the twisty stuff. Whereas the Chevy offers a more sporty driving experience, the Ford is more practical and offers vastly superior trunk space, but the Chevy again is better equipped and comes standard with a seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, features only available on the Premium-trimmed Mustang. The Camaro is also a cheaper buy, even if only by a hair, making it a clear winner here.
There are two types of people: those who prefer their Mustangs topless and those who like a roof over their heads. That's pretty much what it boils down to here. Ultimately, those two types of people value different things. If you're on the side of things that prefer performance, handling, and simple driving joy, the coupe makes the most of a manual gearbox and light curb weight. If, however, you prefer a slower pace with a more relaxed feel and care little for how many tenths of a second you can shave off your lap times, or don't care for lap times at all, the convertible is a more subdued experience that caters to lifestyle motoring rather than all-out performance.
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