After the major 2018 Mustang refresh, it was understood that not much would be changing for the 2019 year, but we’re surprised by all the things that did. As Ford prepares for the end of the sixth generation, it’s clear that they were holding some surprises back to make the next two years a grand finale.
Some of our favorite packages made a return, and some features that had been kept as GT exclusives were offered to EcoBoost Mustang fans as well. If there’s one thing Mustang fans love, it’s the freedom of choice, and this year offers it. For the first time, you can get active valve exhaust installed in any model of Mustang, including the EcoBoost. Active valve exhaust allows you to control the decibel output of the Mustang’s exhaust, making sure that you have enough rumble for the track but don’t wake your neighbors at three in the morning. Also newly available for any model of Mustang is MagneRide, a suspension upgrade that reduces body roll and improves handling.
2018 Mustang vs 2019 Mustang Exterior
Paint options for the 2019 Mustang saw minor adjustments. Two new colors, Need for Green and Velocity Blue, were added to the lineup. It’s always great to get well-saturated color on a car like the Mustang, and we thought both of these offered a little something special.
Velocity Blue’s highlighting feature was the pearlescent sheen that made it a truly unique blue, while Need for Green reminded us of those great classic muscle car colors that were never afraid to be bright. The only other unique to this year color is Dark Highland Green, a color that’s exclusive to the Bullitt.
Unfortunately, we lost a few colors as well. Royal Crimson, Triple Yellow, and Lightning Blue aren’t available for the 2019 year.
2018 Mustang vs 2019 Mustang Sound
The only real change to the interior is that there’s a new brand name associated with the music system. For 2019, Bang and Olufsen took over for the premium sound system. On any of the Premium models, you have the option to add a Bang and Olufsen 12 speaker audio system that has a CD player, HD radio, and a subwoofer. In 2018 Shaker was in charge of the premium sound system. While both companies are incredible, the general consensus amongst Mustang enthusiasts is that the B & O system has a better bass sound and cleaner detailing in the sound than the Shaker system.
Overall, it’s a small change, and people are likely to be happy with either sound system, but it’s great to see that Ford’s trying new things.
2018 vs 2019 Mustang: Package Offerings
As is usual, every year sees the rotation of a few package offerings. This year we didn’t lose any though! Instead, we saw the return of the California Special as well as the addition of the Bullitt trim level.
The Bullitt special edition is really the big news of 2019.
For the most part, the Bullitt is a GT with the level 2 Performance Package. Red painted Brembo brake calipers, monotube shocks, unique stability control, etc. Then it adds just enough Bullitt branded details for this special edition to really stand out. A white cue ball shift knob, Bullitt branded strut brace, and of course a Bullitt logo on the driver’s airbag cover. You don’t have to be a Steve McQueen fan to see the appeal of this special edition. Then of course, there’s the color.
True to the movie, the Bullitt special edition comes in a dark green that complements the black accents of the car startlingly well. Many have pointed out that this color is really almost reminiscent of a British racing green, and it certainly has that kind of classic appeal to it. You also have the option of adding MagneRide, which is probably a good idea considering how much it improves the handling and reduces body roll.
GT350 and GT350R
One Mustang that did see a performance boost from their 2018 version was the Shelby GT350 which saw some improvements. With the improved grille design and rear spoiler, the new version promises better aerodynamics than its previous iteration.
The Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tires are a big improvement over the 2018’s Pilot Super Sports. The new ones are essentially a pair of slicks that are somehow street legal but are sure to deliver better acceleration and a shorter braking distance, a good thing for all the speed demons out there. Just don’t drive them in the rain. Larger anti-roll bars were added, and minor tweaks were made to traction control.
The GT350R didn’t see any additions or deletions, but honestly, considering the carbon fiber wheels, it’s still a great value.
2018 Mustang vs 2019 Mustang Price
Though price increases are significantly less noticeable than they were for last year, it was easier to justify when there were so many significant performance boosts as part of the yearly update. This year there are significant refinements to existing technology, but nothing as novel as last year’s improvements.
Fortunately, we didn’t see an increase in the cost of package options.
2018 Mustang vs 2019 Mustang Base MSRP
||2018 Base MSRP
||2019 Base MSRP
|Mustang EcoBoost Fastback
|Mustang EcoBoost Fastback Premium
|Mustang EcoBoost Convertible
|Mustang GT Fastback
|Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium
|Mustang GT Fastback Premium
|Mustang GT Convertible Premium
|Shelby GT350 Fastback
|Shelby GT350R Fastback
2018 vs 2019 Mustang Package Prices (Selected)
|Black Accent Package
|GT Performance Package
|GT Performance Package Level 2
|California Special Package
|EcoBoost Performance Package
|Wheel and Stripe Package
|Carbon Sport Interior Package
2018 vs 2019 Mustang
Ultimately, the 2019 Mustang isn’t a better pony out of the gate than the 2018 one, but it does offer a few more options. If you were torn between the EcoBoost and GT because you really wanted active valve exhaust but weren’t sure you needed the additional horsepower, then this is the first year you really have the freedom to pick out exactly the features that are right for you.
The big winners for the 2019 year are the people who were waiting for the Bullitt special edition for this generation and EcoBoost fans that wanted to get additional equipment to improve the feel and sound of their daily driver.
Sources: 2018 Mustang Brochure, Ford | 2019 Mustang Brochure, Paintref |2019 Mustang Review, Car and Driver | Image Credit: Ford | Motor Trend | Mustang 6G