by Jared Rosenholtz
You'll struggle to find anything more American than a convertible Ford Mustang with a rumbling V8 under the hood, and there has never been a better time than now to own one. The 2020 GT Convertible offers athletic performance, high levels of comfort and head-turning looks at a reasonable price - perfect for the wild at heart who yearn for the open road. The GT sits at the top of the Mustang Convertible range, with the EcoBoost version slotting in below it. It is available exclusively with a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 producing 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Competition comes in the form of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, which is slightly cheaper and more powerful. The Mustang Convertible is the easiest to live with in its class and offers an impressive selection of optional packages. Sadly, some interior pieces feel cheap and don't do justice to the image the GT Convertible is trying to project.
There aren't a lot of changes for the 2020 model year: all Mustangs now get the FordPass Connect smartphone app, which allows the owner or driver of the car to remotely start the engine, lock the car, check fuel levels and even schedule an engine start. There are four new exterior paint options, too, and they all sound pretty cool: Grabber Lime, Twister Orange, Iconic Silver, and Red Hot Metallic now adds some spice to the existing palette.
The 2020 Mustang GT Convertible carries over its styling from 2019 and features ten exterior paint options, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a raised decklid spoiler. LED headlights, fog lamps, turn lamps and taillights light the way, and features such as a capless fuel filler and side mirrors with integrated blind-spot monitoring add to the Mustang's practical appeal. Most notably, a fully-lined cloth top with center latch and electro-mechanical motor rounds out the convertible character of the GT.
The Mustang Convertible is 188.5 inches long and rolls on a 107.1-inch wheelbase. The convertible is the tallest Mustang in the range, with a total height of 54.9 inches; but it shares its total width with the Fastback and Bullitt versions at 75.4 inches excluding mirrors. It is also the heaviest of the bunch with a curb weight of 4,554 lbs when selected with the manual transmission, rising to 4,620 lbs for the auto.
The 5.0-liter Coyote V8 found under the hood of the 2020 Mustang GT Convertible features a combination of direct and port injection and produces 460 hp, and as Ford so elegantly puts it, 420 lb-ft of "tire-squealing torque". That's enough power for most, and as with any big American V8, low to mid-range torque is available in bucketloads, making everyday driving a pleasurable experience, whether cruising in town or merging onto the highway. It will also destroy most rice rockets off the line, too, with a claimed 0-60 mph time in the mid four seconds. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual with rev-matching functionality, but a 10-speed automatic with Ford's SelectShift technology is available as an optional extra.
You would expect the convertible version of any car to handle slightly worse due to it having a less rigid structure and more weight, but the differences between the fixed top and Convertible are almost imperceptible. The Mustang GT Convertible feels planted and offers a direct and well-weighted steering feel that boosts confidence when pushing on in a corner. At the limit, the GT Convertible will slip into a progressive and wholly controllable slide, which is entertaining to control with slight throttle inputs. Ford has struck a good balance between suspension compliance and performance, something that's getting harder to find these days, and makes the GT drop-top a pleasure to live with on a day to day basis.
Ford claims an EPA-estimated gas mileage figure of 15/24/18 mpg for the ten-speed auto on city/highway/combined cycles. The EPA hasn't published figures for the six-speed manual, and neither has Ford, but we don't expect them to differ vastly as in Fastback guise the manual yields a single mile per gallon less than the auto. These figures make the GT Convertible one of the thirstiest cars in the Mustang range; only the Shelby cars are heavier drinkers, and it would make sense, considering the fact that the GT Convertible has to haul around a considerable amount of extra weight. The Chevy Camaro convertible brags with a slightly more impressive 16/24/19 mpg, but this isn't much to write home about either. With a 16-gallon fuel tank, the 2020 Mustang GT Convertible should manage a run of 288 miles.
Officially branded as a four-seat convertible, you'll struggle to fit larger adults in the back; even regular-sized adults will find the back of the Mustang GT Convertible to be a tight squeeze. Legroom in the front is a respectable 45.1 inches, which should suffice for most, but a low roofline means you only get 37.6 inches of front headroom. In the back, passengers only get 29.2 inches of legroom and 35.7 inches of headroom, which means that the GT Convertible's rear seats will better serve as extra cargo space, in the absence of any real usability.
The trunk of the 2020 Mustang GT Convertible isn't completely useless, but a narrow entrance and relatively tall liftover will hamper loading larger items. Despite that, the trunk is quite deep, even with the top down, and manages to claw out 11.4 cubic feet of space compared to the Fastback's 13.5. That's enough room to fit two beach chairs and an umbrella, or a suitcase and two carry-on bags. Compared to the Camaro's minuscule 7.3 cubic feet of trunk space, the Mustang doesn't fare all that badly. Small-item storage is limited to a moderately-sized passenger-side glovebox, narrow door pockets, a slim center console, and two cupholders up front.
Inside, you get heated and cooled seats with six-way power-adjustability on the driver's side, four-way adjustable passenger seat, and four-way adjustable front head restraints - all wrapped in leather. Dual-zone climate control is also standard. The list continues with some impressive inclusions such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather steering wheel, a rearview camera, and a universal garage door opener - all courtesy of the GT Convertible being solely available in Premium guise. Two smart-charging USB ports are also included, as is a reverse sensing system, a soft door rollover, keyless entry, and optional extras such as lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The 2020 Chevrolet Camaro sports a similar features list, but includes nice-to-have tech features such as 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity.
Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system does duty in the 2020 Mustang GT. This system features an eight-inch LCD touchscreen display and includes 911 Assist, a six-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, and a nine-speaker sound system with a built-in amplifier, or an optional 12-speaker B&O system that also adds HD Radio. Bluetooth is a standard-issue, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unlike the Chevrolet Camaro, 4G LTE connectivity is an optional extra. The Sync 3's voice controls are intuitive and work most of the time, and when it can't recognize what you're saying, it will give clear prompts - which helps when you're a first time user. Overall, the system works well and offers a lot of add-on features such as the Amazon Alexa assistant app for improved navigation, traffic updates, and the like. A 12-inch LCD display can be optioned on as well.
No recalls have been issued for the 2020 Mustang GT Convertible, although a 2019 recall for the Mustang range affected some convertible models, pertaining to a failure on the instrument cluster. Still, Ford will cover new buyers with a basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty, which includes a five-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, and a five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.
Although the Mustang GT Convertible has not yet been rated by the NHTSA or the IIHS, the Fastback variant was awarded top-honors with a five-star overall rating. We do expect the IIHS ratings from 2019 - which were Good in all three categories tested - to carry over. The Mustang GT Convertible has auto high-beam headlamps fitted as standard and offers only a reverse sensing system and rearview camera off the factory floor. Adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking need to be added separately. Six airbags are standard: dual front, front side, and driver and front passenger knee airbags.
The 2020 Mustang is better than ever, especially in GT form, where it offers excellent value for money in terms of standard features and outright performance. Small tech updates and new exterior paint options mean you get even more customization, not to mention the excellent range of optional packages that can turn the GT Convertible into a seriously capable rag-top track car. The standard V8 engine delivers an impressive 460 hp and mountains of torque, which is more than enough power in and out of town, but you'll need a light foot to avoid visiting the gas station every second day. The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the Mustang GT's biggest rivals, and at a lower starting price offers strong performance and even gets a few standard tech features not to be found on the Mustang GT Convertible - it still can't match the Ford's overall practicality and ease of ownership.
The 2020 Mustang GT Premium Convertible starts off with an MSRP of $45,130, excluding a destination fee of $1,095. The Convertible asks a $9,500 premium over the GT Fastback and $5,500 over the GT Premium Fastback. The Chevrolet Camaro 1SS convertible has a starting price of $43,995, which is more than $1,000 less than the GT Convertible. Spec the Mustang GT Convertible out with all the available features, and you'll start bordering the $60,000 mark, excluding licensing, registration, and taxes.
|GT Premium Convertible||
5.0-liter V8 Gas
There's only one model on offer from Ford in the GT Convertible range, dubbed the Premium, but it can be customized in a number of ways thanks to an impressive list of optional extras. A fast Ford always looks good in Blue, so we'll have one in Kona Blue with the six-speed DIY transmission kept firmly in place. On the interior side of things, we'd look at the $2,200 401A tech package, which includes a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, voice-activated navigation, and some color accent leather seats. The $3,995 GT performance package is a must-have for those who appreciate the wind in their hair when they're going down the main straight at Laguna Seca; additions include a trick differential, larger radiator, and thicker sway bars. The standard 18-inch wheels should be upped to a set of 19's, but don't go any bigger if you care for ride quality.
The Camaro and Mustang enjoy a rivalry older than most of the people reading this comparison, and it's a rivalry that is more fierce than ever. First off, the Camaro is the cheaper car to buy, starting at an MSRP of $43,995 for the V8-powered 1SS as opposed to the Mustang GT's $45,130. The Camaro is powered by a significantly larger V8 engine measuring 6.2 liters in capacity. This translates into a power reading of 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque which is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or ten-speed automatic transmission - the latter being the same as the one found in the Mustang. This also plays out in terms of fuel economy, with the Camaro hosting the thirstier engine fo the two. Size-wise there's not all that much difference between the two, although the Chevy uses a 110.7-inch wheelbase, almost four inches longer than the 'Stang - but, the larger exterior doesn't translate into more interior space; in fact, the Mustang outclasses the Camaro in almost every department and offers a bigger trunk as well. Besides a few tech features, the Mustang offers a better standard features list. All in all, both offer excellent performance for a reasonable asking price, but it's the Mustang that's easier to live with on a daily basis.
In the year 2020, there should be no reason to feel bad about owning a convertible Mustang; they perform just as well as their tin-capped siblings, and despite a slight gain in weight, offer similar gas mileage figures and zero to sixty times. There's no getting around the fact that the standard GT is the more practical car thanks to its 13.5 cubic foot trunk, which is two cubes larger than the one on offer in the Convertible, but the other dimensions stay the same. If pushed to the limit by a professional driver, the coupe will be the better performing car around a track, but those slight differences will be imperceptible on the road. You can also add the GT performance package to the Convertible, as a testament to the fact that modern rag-tops are just as capable in the bends. The choice here simply comes down to preference, although the Fastback will save you money on the initial purchase price.