Base vs Premium Trim Comparison of the 2019 Ford Mustang

Base vs Premium Trim Comparison of the 2019 Ford Mustang

Last Updated February 5, 2020 | C.J. Tragakis

This guide is designed to help you decide whether the base trim or Premium trim Mustang is the right one for you. We’re looking specifically at the 2019 model year, but most of the information will still be helpful for 2015-2018 and 2020 S550 Mustangs as well.

Officially called the 200A package (for EcoBoost) or 400A package (for GT), the short of it is that the Premium trim offers a more luxurious experience, with leather seats, more technology, improved sound system, and nicer interior trim. However, there’s no difference whatsoever in power or performance.

As a nice compromise between the two trims, the base trims can be optioned with the 201A (EcoBoost) or 301A (GT) packages. For about half the cost of splurging for the Premium Mustang, you receive many of the features you would get standard on the Premium trim, though without the leather seats.

Read our full detailed guide below to get a specific breakdown between the two trim levels as well as top-level overviews of the advantages and disadvantages of each trim, so that you can decide which features are must-haves for your Mustang.

2019 Ford Mustang: Base Trim vs Premium Trim Overview

2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Base in Velocity Blue
While the vast majority of differences between base and Premium trims are inside the cabin, note the lack of rear spoiler and satellite radio antenna on this base EcoBoost, as well as the smaller 17-inch wheels.

For 2002-2004, Ford offered three different trim levels: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. With the launch of the S197 Mustang in 2005, the offerings were simplified to just the Deluxe and Premium, each available with either the V6 or V8 engine.

Beginning in 2009, Ford dropped the “Deluxe” label and began referring to the base trims simply by their engine type (e.g. “V6," “EcoBoost,” or “GT”). The uplevel trim remained “Premium” (e.g. “V6 Premium," “EcoBoost Premium," or “GT Premium”). In common parlance, most enthusiasts will refer to the entry-level trim as the “base” Mustang.

Make no mistake: Especially with the S550’s refinement and technology, the base Mustang is anything but basic. Perhaps most importantly, it should be stated that you lose absolutely no performance potential by selecting the base trim. If anything, there could even be the slightest argument that the base trim levels have superior performance due to slightly lighter overall weight, but you’ll never see this pan out in real life and Ford offers no information regarding the topic.

Below, we will delve into the specifics of the features and options that are available when you upgrade from the base trim to the Premium trim, for both the EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder and the GT with its 5.0-liter V8 engine.

2019 Ecoboost vs EcoBoost Premium Comparison

The EcoBoost Premium (called the 200A package, replacing the base model’s 100A package) adds or replaces the following features in addition to the base model’s standard features, for an additional $5,015:

  • 18” aluminum wheels with high-gloss ebony black-painted pockets (replaces 17” wheels)
  • Blade decklid rear spoiler
  • LED fog lamps
  • Heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators
  • Pony projection lights
  • Reverse sensing system
  • 9-speaker sound system with amp
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability (6-month prepaid subscription included)
  • SYNC 3
  • 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar control
  • 6-way power front-passenger seat
  • Heated and cooled leather-trimmed front bucket seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Aluminum foot pedals
  • Ambient lighting with Ford MyColor and 4.2” digital instrument screen
  • Chrome door speaker trim
  • Chrome instrument cluster, vent, and cupholder trim
  • Brush aluminum instrument panel appliqué
  • Illuminated door-sill scuff plates
  • Premium door trim
  • Soft door rollover
  • Universal garage door opener

However, you can add the 101A Equipment Group to the base level EcoBoost for $2,000 to receive the following upgrades that are similar to the Premium level. You don’t get the leather seats or fancy interior trim upgrades, but you do get the selectable drive modes with toggle switches, SYNC 3 with upgraded audio system, and larger wheels. If you don’t need the leather, this package makes a lot of sense as a compromise between the standard base trim and the Premium.

  • 9-speaker sound system
  • Blade decklid spoiler
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Remote start system (with automatic transmission only)
  • Reverse sensing system
  • 6-way cloth power driver’s seat with power lumbar control
  • 6-way cloth power front-passenger seat
  • Selectable drive modes with toggle switches
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability (6-month prepaid subscription included)
  • SYNC 3
  • 18” aluminum wheels with high-gloss ebony black-painted pockets (replaces 17” wheels)
  • All-season 235/50R 18 BSW tires

2019 Ford Mustang GT in Orange Fury LED Fog Lights
Another small detail to note is that the LED fog lights are standard on all GT models and the Premium EcoBoost, they are not available on the base EcoBoost.

While you can add the EcoBoost Performance Package to a base model, you can’t add the Carbon Sport Interior Package or the EcoBoost Pony Package unless you get the Premium, so keep that in mind as well. Moreover, the EcoBoost Premium adds the ability to add the following options, as part of the 201A package add-on, also called the Premium Plus Package:

  • 12” LCD Digital Instrument Cluster
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Premier Trim with Color Accent Group
  • FordPass Connect
  • Voice-activated touchscreen navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Memory settings for driver’s seat, mirrors, and ambient lighting

2019 GT vs GT Premium Comparison

For an additional $4,000, the GT Premium trim offers the following options over the base GT trim:

  • Heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators
  • Pony projection lights
  • Selectable drive modes with toggle switches
  • Heated and cooled leather-trimmed front bucket seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Aluminum foot pedals
  • Ambient lighting with Ford MyColor and 4.2” digital instrument screen
  • Chrome door speaker trim
  • Chrome instrument cluster, vent, and cupholder trim
  • Brushed aluminum instrument panel appliqué
  • Illuminated door-sill scuff plates
  • Premium door trim
  • Soft door rollover
  • Universal garage door opener
  • 9-speaker sound system with amp
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability (6-month prepaid subscription included)
  • SYNC 3

You’ll get power seats on both the GT and GT Premium trims, so it’s mostly just a matter of whether you want leather seating and more refined interior trim pieces. Otherwise, very similar to the EcoBoost’s 201A package, the 301A package on the GT base trim can be added for $2,000, providing many additional features from the Premium level. The GT comes with more features than the EcoBoost to begin with, so the list is a bit shorter but still very much worth considering:

  • 9-speaker sound system
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Ambient lighting with Ford MyColor and 4.2” digital instrument screen
  • Selectable drive modes with toggle switches
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability (6-month prepaid subscription included)
  • SYNC 3

In terms of further visual upgrades, you can’t add the Carbon Sport Interior Package or California Special Package to a base GT Mustang, only to a Premium. You can upgrade your base GT Mustang with the Performance Package 1 or 2, however.

As with the EcoBoost, you can’t get the Premium Plus Package that was added in 2018, called the 401A package on the GT, without first selecting a Premium Mustang. This highest-level package group includes:

  • 12” LCD Digital Instrument Cluster
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Premier Trim with Color Accent Group
  • FordPass Connect
  • Voice-activated touchscreen navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Memory settings for driver’s seat, mirrors, and ambient lighting

Main Advantages of the Premium Trim

If you want leather seating, you’ll have no other choice than to select the Premium trim. The leather-trimmed buckets look very nice and really show how far Ford has come in improving the Mustang’s cabin over the years. Also, audiophiles may find it necessary to upgrade from the adequate 6-speaker system in the base trim to the 9-speaker premium sound system in the upgrade packages and Premium trim level, which is also SiriusXM capable.

2019 Ford Mustang Interior Dashboard
As part of the Premium trim or upgrade packages, you get selectable drive modes and a set of very sharp looking toggle switches.

It is nice to have the larger 8-inch SYNC 3 screen in the Premium trim, but the small 4-inch screen in the base models still does the job just fine, and probably helps to keep your attention on the road. With that said, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are considered virtual necessities these days, and they don’t come with the standard base trim infotainment system. The smaller unit does still come with the back-up camera (as is federally mandated), but you won’t get the helpful proximity alert sensors. As a stylistic note, the base level dashboard looks a bit more dated; there’s more real estate being taken up by plastic because of the smaller screen and the telephone-style number pad is an odd thing that Ford seems to favor. It’s definitely a case of function over form, which is not a bad thing in a performance vehicle.

The Premium trim also offers the selectable drives modes (five with the manual transmission, four if you get an automatic) and really cool-looking toggle switches as standard equipment. The base trim comes with steering modes, but there are only three and they are less performance-focused that the available drive modes. You can also double-press the traction control button in base models to engage Ford’s AdvancTrac Sport Mode, which reduces traction control and stability control for more spirited driving (use this responsibly!).

Finally, the investment made upfront for the Premium will typically give you just a little bit more back if or when you choose to sell your Mustang. This is something to think about, but the vast majority of your decision here should be about how you will enjoy the car.

Main Reasons to Stick to the Base Trim

Despite all the advantages of the Premium trim, the base trim is simply a more affordable option. You can still get a modern, practical sports car for a price that is noticeably lower. In some ways, it can also make you feel more connected to the driving experience, with less technology and fewer features to worry about.

2019 Ford Mustang GT in Orange Fury with Pony Lights
The pony logo puddle lights that shine onto the ground are a cool feature of Premium trims, but hard to consider a must-have.

Plus, adding the 201A or 301A package to your base Mustang will give you almost all of the features from the Premium package, for about half the cost. If you don’t need the leather seats and interior visual upgrades, we think this is the sweet spot that balances affordability and features. We would never push anyone to make financially irresponsible decisions, but if you’re opting for the base EcoBoost or base GT, the $2,000 upgrade package really gives you a lot in terms of infotainment and technology...not to mention the MyColor ambient lighting!

Choose the Trim that Matches Both Your Budget and Wishlist

No matter whether you’re buying new or used, EcoBoost or GT, base trim or Premium, there’s one thing that’s certain: you’re going to have a blast driving your Mustang. There’s no other car out there that can match the personality and driving experience of Ford’s pony car, and there’s no community quite like the enthusiasts that love to own them.

Image Credit: Ford

Sources: Ford

Base vs Premium Trim Comparison of the 2019 Ford Mustang

While there aren’t any performance differences between the base and Premium trims of the 2019 Mustang, spending a bit more for the Premium will give you more creature comforts and technology. But is the package worth the price? Read our guide to dive into the features of each trim and find out which one is the right choice for you.