2016 vs 2017 Mustang

2016 vs 2017 Mustang

Last Updated June 12, 2023 | Meghan Drummond

The 2016 Mustang was so good that many wondered what Ford could possibly improve for the 2017 Mustang. The answer was “not much.”

The 2017 Ford Mustang kept the trim packages from the 2016 model. The horsepower and torque are untouched, and there’s really only one feature that’s new to 2017.

The major differences between 2016 and 2017 amount to a few key color changes and one technology upgrade. In terms of major changes, it wasn’t a very exciting year, but that was mostly because there wasn’t much that needed to change.

No Hood Turn Signals for 2017 Mustang

Though many were excited to see the return of hood mounted blinkers, ultimately Ford decided to discontinue the hood lights after a single year. While this makes the 2016 Mustang special, it’s certainly a disappointment for those who really love this little detail. Of course, you can add hood signals onto your 2017 if you so desire with Starkey's Heat Extractor Turn Signal Kit.

White Platinum 2017 Mustang

2016 vs 2017 Mustang: Color Changes

Guard, Deep Impact Blue, and Competition Orange were tossed out of rotation for the 2017 year. Taking their place were Lightning Blue, Grabber Blue, and White Platinum Metallic.

White Platinum Metallic was only offered for 2017, giving it an exclusive feel. This color is similar to Mustang’s standard “Oxford White” but is a bit brighter and has a metallic glint in the sunlight.

Grabber Blue is a color that’s been part of Mustang history since the first generation but has only been available sporadically. This was the first year it had been offered since 2014 and the only year where it was available for the S550 platform.

Lightning Blue was a new color for 2017 and was popular enough to be carried over into the 2018 year as well. One of our favorite blues available for Mustang, this shade is the perfect in-between for Deep Impact Blue and Grabber Blue.

Lightning Blue Mustang

Added for 2017 Mustang: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

SYNC3 was the major addition to 2016’s Mustang, and 2017 continues to improve on connectivity features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow your phone to display a simplified interface on your car’s infotainment and improves the relationship between your apps and your car. There are a few differences in the actual execution of these features though.

Apple CarPlay

Apps that are installed on your phone and are compatible with Apple CarPlay show up on your car’s infotainment screen, allowing for easier navigation. Only compatible apps are displayed, and all of this is handled automatically.

CarPlay has a number of benefits that are growing every day. Though at first it wasn’t possible to use third-party map apps, compatibility has since been added for applications like Waze.

Siri integration allows for touch-free navigation and manipulation of these apps.

Android Auto

There are significantly more compatible apps on Android Auto than there are through Apple CarPlay, but most of the mainstays are pretty common. People like having choices for navigational software, and they like having multiple streaming options for music or audiobooks.

Android Auto doesn’t require a compatible car. You could simply run it on your phone. Of course, running it through your phone does negate the safety features of not looking at your phone’s screen frequently.

Apple CarPlay

CarPlay vs Android Auto

The major difference between these two systems is that Apple CarPlay really doesn’t want you to use the buttons and will try to get you to use voice commands as much as possible. While this is an important safety feature, it annoyed some users. On the other hand, the Android system is more free-form, but subsequently didn’t give users enough direction regarding its full capabilities and relies more on exploration and discovery.

Both of these systems are awesome and are dictated more by your choice of phone than anything else. If you don’t have a vehicle with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support and would like to add it there are always aftermarket options available that will allow you to do so. It’s sometimes a little clumsier than having a built-in system, but it’s a simple enough upgrade.

Though these additional features and colors might not be a reason to buy a 2017 Mustang over a 2016 Mustang, Ford did a great job of following up two incredible years with a third, just in time for the revamp of the 2018 year.

It may be frustrating for Mustang enthusiasts who want a new launch every year, but there is something to be said for the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Ford certainly took that to heart this year.

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Sources: 2016 Mustang Brochure, MustangSpecs | 2017 Mustang Brochure, Ford | Image Credit: Cochran Ford | Safford of Fredericksburg | Al Jarzirah Vehicles Agencies Co.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.