What Is The Best Value S550 Mustang?
Last Updated: June 18, 2021
Whenever you are buying a car, you want to get the absolute best value for the car. With a new Mustang, getting the best bang for your buck means the most performance for the least money spent. Thankfully, the S550 Mustang has performance and personality by the carload so it’s easy to get great value already. If you’re looking for the absolute most for your budget, then each of the trim options for the S550 has something valuable to offer you and your wallet. Now, within the S550 Mustang lineup, you’ve got a lot of options that all cover different budgets running from under $30,000 to over $75,000 in top trim, and each model offers something different as a starting point whether for a build or for just daily use as your car. If you just can’t figure out what S550 Mustang is the best bang for your buck, we’re here to help!
Bang For Your Buck
Best Entry S550 Mustang: 2015-17 EcoBoost, 6MT
If you are just looking to get into an S550 platform Mustang, the absolute cheapest option that you can build on is the early EcoBoost models. While you can get into an S550 with a V6 for slightly less money, the EcoBoost will have better aftermarket support, lighter weight which means better handling, and will be cheaper on fuel as well. Fitted with the manual 6-speed gearbox, the EcoBoost is a very fun and tossable car that will keep you happy but possibly looking for a bit more power in stock form. A good condition used EcoBoost will set you back under $20,000 and brand new it will be your cheapest option at $27,000.
If you still want to keep with the EcoBoost engine in your S550 Mustang but want more power without doing any upgrades with aftermarket parts, you can move up in price to the High-Performance package EcoBoost. This gives you an uprated motor from the Focus RS to 330 horsepower, upgraded suspension, Pirelli P-Zero Corsa performance tires, active exhaust, and a lot more additional parts to justify the nearly $7,000 package price.
Handling Bargain S550: 2018+ GT PP2 or HPP EcoBoost
If you want to get into the best bang-for-your-buck handling S550 Mustang, the best option is the 2018-2020 GT Performance Package 2. These cars, while more pricey than any EcoBoost option, gives you the Coyote V8’s signature exhaust note, much more power, a tight 6-speed manual, and massively upgraded interior. A used GT Performance Package 2 should come in cheaper than the EcoBoost High Performance package and will provide that classic Mustang experience. Additionally, the GT Performance Pack 2 adds 305 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires to the car as well, giving it tons of grip when accelerating or cornering.
Bargain Drag S550: Base 2018+ GT, 10R80
If you don’t care much about cornering, or if you simply want to go as fast as you can in a straight line, there is a perfect S550 for you. As a bargain drag car, there are few options better than the 2018 GT with the 10-speed automatic. Of course you can get the car with the 6-speed manual as well, but to simply go as fast as possible down the road the automatic is a much better option. The manual option is one of the easiest ways to have a fun V8 Mustang that is still much faster than many of its competition as well.
The GT with the 10R80 gearbox takes aftermarket upgrades incredibly well and can build power very well. Our record-setting Silver Bullet is based on an automatic 10-speed 2018 Mustang GT and through our time with it has become much more than stock. These cars can handle a lot of power without any modifications and can make a great platform for upgrades.
Best Overall Bargain S550: 2015-2017 GT PP, 6MT
Overall, the best bang-for-your-buck S550 Mustang you can buy is the 2015-2017 Mustang GT with the Performance Pack and the manual gearbox. It may be slightly outdated in appearance, but they offer tons of performance for generally under $30,000 at today's prices. For under $30,000 you get a slick manual 6-speed, a five liter V8, higher performance tires, and much more. When it was new, the GT Performance Pack was a good deal, but now a few years on they are an absolute bargain.
If money is no object, you can get some serious performance figures straight out of the showroom. One Mustang trim like this is the Mach 1. While many people may see it as simply a fancy GT model, it is much more. It took the cooling setup and Tremec 6-speed transmission from the Shelby GT350 while using the proven Coyote motor with the setup from the Bullitt to increase power. Just like the other Coyote Mustangs, you can build power very easily and the additional cooling in the car keeps it from overheating after heavy driving for longer times. It also offers the 10R80 transmission if you don’t want a manual and is blisteringly quick with it. If you add the Handling Pack, it only improves the car further with a massive rear wing and grippier tires.
For the absolute performance enthusiast bargain, there is only one model that could be best. The Shelby GT350, although on the expensive end, is an absolute bargain when you consider it’s ability to easily keep up with much more expensive and impressive cars. In fact, the GT350 has beaten cars like the Ferrari California Turbo and Lamborghini Gallardo around race tracks like the Nurburgring by a few seconds. The 5.2 liter V8 from the GT350 paired with the slick Tremec TR-3160 made the GT350 one of the most memorable modern Ford products, and will definitely increase in value for the time being.
If money is no object at all, the GT500 is your highest performance factory Mustang ever and has on multiple occasions embarrassed more expensive and looks the part as well. Fitted with high-performance tires and cooling, as well as the optional track wing, the GT500's 760 horsepower and dual-clutch gearbox put the car in supercar performance in terms of power and performance. The GT500 gives you the most performance possible for under $75,000 and performs well on track and on the drag strip while being entirely daily drivable.
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