Best Bet
  • (4.7) 80 reviews
  • MSRP: N/A
  • Body Style: Coupe
  • Combined MPG: 19-21
  • Engine: 300-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
2008 Ford Mustang

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Ford Mustang

What We Don't Like

  • V6 automatic Mustang disappointing
  • No curtain airbags
  • No light, storage or cupholders in backseat
  • Optional gauges too dim in sunlight
  • Poor reliability history
  • Poor rear visibility

Notable Features

  • Side airbags now standard
  • ABS standard on GT
  • Coupe or convertible body styles
  • Standard audio input jack
  • High-performance Shelby GT500KR

2008 Ford Mustang Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The current-generation Mustang came out for the 2005 model year, and Ford is keeping it fresh in 2008 with new paint colors, additional safety and convenience features and yet another two versions that trade on the name of legendary racer and car developer Carroll Shelby: the Shelby GT convertible and, in the spring, the Shelby GT500KR.

The Mustang comes in coupe and convertible forms, with V-6 and V-8 engines in the base and GT trim levels, respectively. The two versions are further divided into Deluxe and Premium variants. Unfortunately, reliability has been below average in the GT version and downright poor in the Mustang V6.
(Skip to details on the: Shelby GT500KR)


Exterior
Styling cues are borrowed from Mustangs of the 1960s, characterized by a forward-leaning grille under an overhanging hood and by a fastback profile in the coupe version. Styling touches from the past include C-scoops in the sides, tri-bar taillamps and a "galloping horse" badge within the grille. Round headlights sit in trapezoidal housings. Aluminum-spoked wheels hold 17-inch tires on the GT, but V6 Mustangs get 16-inch rubber. For 2008, the V6 coupe gets an 18-inch wheel option, previously offered only on the GT. All told, the GT is available with four wheel and tire combinations.

Three new paint colors are offered for 2008.


Interior
Technically a "2+2," the Mustang has two front seats and two rear buckets that might qualify as seats but are not for most adult passengers.

The dashboard features chrome-ringed air vents and large barrel-style gauges. The three-spoke steering wheel has a black hub with the Mustang horse and tri-color logo. An available color-configurable instrument panel can display more than 125 background colors. For 2008, Ford adds an optional ambient-lighting option that gives drivers a choice of lighting color for the footwells and cupholder accent lights. In this case, the color choices are limited to seven, selectable by means of a dashboard switch.

Standard equipment includes keyless entry, interval wipers, cruise control, a heated rear window, and power windows, locks and mirrors. A CD player is standard, but the Premium trim levels include a Shaker 500 audio system with 500 peak watts. Optional on the GT is the 1000-watt Shaker 1000 stereo. Trunk space is 13.1 cubic feet, though the Shaker subwoofer, when equipped, takes up some of that space.

Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are a new option for 2008.


Under the Hood
Ford's 4.0-liter V-6 produces 210 horsepower. A 4.6-liter all-aluminum V-8 in the GT pumps out 300 hp and 320 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines run on regular gasoline and work with either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.

The two new Shelby Mustangs are the Mustang Shelby GT and Shelby GT500KR. The more modest Shelby GT, in coupe or convertible, has exclusive blue paint and gets a power bump to 319 hp. It rides slightly lower and has firmer suspension tuning. The Shelby GT500KR puts out around 540 hp.


Safety
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Mustang scored Good (the highest) for side-impact protection and Acceptable (one step lower) for frontal protection.

Previously optional on the Mustang V6, side-impact airbags are standard across the line as of 2008. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. Antilock brakes with traction control are standard on the GT but remain optional on V6 models. Side curtain airbags are not available.


Driving Impressions
The latest Mustang is more refined than its predecessor — and not just incrementally so, as you might expect from a new generation. The steering has a satisfying, confident feel that's especially appealing on twisty roads.

Suspension differences between the two models aren't dramatic, but the GT is considerably more sure-footed. Its ride is no rougher, and the overall experience is more civilized. The GT's steering response is more agreeable, too — well-behaved through curves, with little correction needed on straightaways. Technically, the solid rear axle is inferior to an independent design, but out on the road it's truly impressive and exhibits far less hop than expected when turning on broken pavement.

Acceleration with the V-6 isn't so enthusiastic at startup, though it's better for passing and merging. Where the manual V6 is surprisingly satisfying, the automatic version's drama comes more from the noise than the acceleration itself. Performance is vigorous with the V-8. Its exhaust noise can be intrusive, but only when accelerating hard, and some buyers are sure to welcome the intrusion.

The manual-shift GT almost seems like a different vehicle, with a unique and omnipresent exhaust sound. The gearshift position is good, but its action is a tad balky.


Shelby GT500KR
Forty years ago, Ford fielded a special-edition King of the Road Mustang. Commemorating that model is the Shelby GT500KR, which builds off the strength of the earlier Shelby GT500 with 40 more horsepower from the supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 for a total of roughly 540 hp. Ford Racing upgrades also include a sport suspension, short-throw shifter and a fast rear-axle ratio. A composite hood decreases weight. Look for this one in spring of 2008.

Differences between the regular Mustang and the earlier GT500 variants were subtle, and the KR follows, but with additional KR badging and stripes. The traditional pony logo on the grille is replaced with an offset cobra design, and the headlight enclosures angle in more sharply than those on the regular edition. The hood is fitted with two openings designed to vent heat from the engine bay.

The independent front suspension uses a MacPherson strut design, while there's a solid axle fitted in back. Ford goes out of its way to defend the use of a solid rear axle in the GT500 versions especially by recounting the successes of the Ford Racing Mustang FR500C, which uses the same design. Still, some enthusiasts are likely to bemoan the lack of an independent rear suspension in a car that starts at more than $40,000. The wheels measure 18 inches in diameter and were designed by Shelby himself, according to Ford. Back to top


Consumer Reviews

4.7

Average based on 80 reviews

Write a Review

Perfect buy!

by MobileCarFanatic from Mobile, Alabama on November 14, 2017

I test drove this car and it has been looked after very well! For the great state that it is in, I would buy this car right now if I needed one.

Read All Consumer Reviews

8 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Ford Mustang trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Ford Mustang Articles

2008 Ford Mustang Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Ford Mustang GT Deluxe

Head Restraints and Seats
P
Moderate overlap front
A
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Ford Mustang GT Deluxe

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
P
Overall Rear
P
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
A
Restraints
A
Right Leg/Foot
A
Structure/safety cage
A

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
A
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
M
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Ford Mustang GT Deluxe

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Ford Mustang GT Deluxe

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 7 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/60,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years