Does a true pony car need to be a gas guzzler? Over the years, the Ford Mustang has reported varying fuel efficiency stats, some that are commendable and others that would make an environmentalist blush. Lets take a look at how Mustang MPG has evolved over the years.
With the wide range of engine and transmission options that were available, there isn't a lot of reliable data on the fuel efficiency of the first gen Mustang. A September, 1964 owner survey published in Popular Mechanics magazine reported mileages varying between 8 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The editors' test car, a 260 with automatic transmission, averaged between 25.5 mpg at 30 miles per hour and 17.8 at 70 miles per hour.
Second and Third Generation Mustang MPG
By 1973, Mustang sales had begun to slump. Couple that with the looming gas crisis of the ‘70s, and it was clear to the Ford brass that a change was in order. The second gen Mustang — known as the Mustang II — was a lighter, smaller and more fuel-efficient car altogether. In fact, 1974 would mark the only year in the model's history in which a big block V8 engine was not available. At the time, the Mustang II was a commercial success, though many today find its emphasis on efficiency over performance to be a betrayal of spirit of the original.
Mustang MPG Today
Now in its fifth generation, the Mustang of today has regained its reputation as a speed demon. For the 2014 model year, Ford reported a mileage of 19 city/29 highway on a 3.7L V6 with a stick shift. The 5.0L GT was somewhat more thirsty, averaging 15 city/26 highway with a manual transmission. The top-of-the-line Shelby GT500, equipped with a 5.8L supercharged V8, reports 15 city and 24 highway mpg.