Today we got our first official look at the refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang. While there’s lots to digest – no more V6 engine, MagneRide dampers, new active-safety tech – the most polarizing update to the Mustang is its design. It’s hard to remember the last time a restyled car caused such a schism among fans.
To help us answer the simple question of whether the face lift was an upgrade or downgrade, we’ve put the 2018 Ford Mustang side-by-side with the 2015-2017 version. Take a look below, use our slider tool to compare old versus new, and let us know what you think of the update.
The 2018 Mustang looks most different from the front. Note the new hood that now plunges down 0.8 inch (20 millimeters) lower than before. The hood vents have been redesigned, while a larger and wider grille opening necessitates a slightly restyled front fascia. The headlights, now LED units, also have a new shape to their housing. It’s a more aerodynamically sculpted, more modern look for the front of the Mustang – but does it make the car look dowdy compared to the 2015-2017 version?
Tweaks to the rear of the 2018 Ford Mustang are a little subtler, starting with new LED taillights, and continuing with fresh bumper and spoiler designs. You’ll be able to tell the cars apart by their exhausts: EcoBoost models with the 2.3-liter turbo-four engine get two tips, while the 5.0-liter V8-powered GT has quad exhausts. There are also three new paint colors for 2018: Kona Blue returns, while Orange Fury (seen here) and Royal Crimson.
There’s no denying the cool-factor of a full-digital instrument cluster, now available as an option on the 2018 Mustang. That’s a radical departure from the outgoing version’s twin analog gauges that flanked a digital trip computer. Other changes included new trim for the center console, new aluminum finishes for the door handles, new seating upholstery designs, a new Mustang badge on the dashboard, and even a redesigned key.
After seeing them back-to-back, tell us in the comments: do you prefer the 2018 Ford Mustang or the pre-facelift version? The new model goes on sale in the U.S. this fall.