New 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible review

Tyler Heatley

21 Oct 2021

It might have been born in the USA, but how does this V8 Mustang cope on British roads?

YesAuto Score:

68/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging


+ Muscle car kudos

+ Torquey V8 engine

+ Glorious soundtrack enjoyed alfresco


- Interior materials

- Scuttle shake

- Indecisive automatic gearbox

Verdict: A Ford Mustang is more than just a car… It’s an automotive experience. Just like standing in the rain at a music festival, there are genuine shortcomings, but there’s nothing quite like live music. To that end, the Mustang is four-wheeled rock and roll.

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible review: the five-minute read

The Ford Mustang is an automotive icon, but in the UK at least, it has been forbidden fruit for decades. The notion of a brawny muscle car in this country had been perceived as a bit like wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson to a funeral. However, this new Mustang with a fresh European audience in mind has proven to be nothing but successful since its introduction years ago. In fact, Ford claims it to be the best selling sports car – if you paint that term with a broad brush.

It certainly looks the part, and while the Fastback’s roofline is handsome, some people won’t be able to resist the allure of the Convertible. It retains that stocky look that’s oh so purposeful with its strong body creases and broad shoulders. A large grille, bonnet vents and concave backside adds more character to this modern Mustang.

The cabin continues that chunky feel with large toggle switches and big buttons lining the dashboard. It’s an interesting place to sit with large bolstered seats holding you in place as you survey your two-tone surroundings. A 12-inch touchscreen takes center stage, but the Sync system it runs is now starting to feel a bit dated. Also a bit disappointing is the extensive use of hard plastic that degrades perceived quality.

All Mustangs are 2+2s, but the rearmost seats are only really ideal for occasional use or extra luggage space. Front passengers have plenty of room as well as loads of adjustment in their seats to get comfy for lengthy trips. While the boot does have a narrow opening, its 332-litres of space is pretty good for a convertible GT.

Once upon a time, you could get a Mustang with the old Focus RS 2.3-litre engine, but that has been killed off. Instead, you receive a 444bhp naturally aspirated V8, which is the engine we’d recommend in any case. Here you get the full-fat Mustang experience with a thunderous soundtrack, real mechanical muscle from low in the rev range, and some spirited performance. It accelerates with real gravitas and unyielding strength, not to mention a rumble that is directly beating your eardrums when the roof is down.

Mustangs of old used to drive like sponge puddings, but this car is considerably more athletic. It’ll keenly change direction, although understeer is inevitable if you barrel into a corner too quickly, but the weighty steering is enjoyable to use. This Convertible does feel its weight through the corners and under hard braking, but it does a respectable job of keeping body roll in check. Sadly, the convertible does suffer from some scuttle shake thanks to its lack of roof, although this might be an acceptable trade when cruising in the sunshine. 

The Ford Mustang Convertible is not really agile enough to class it as a sports car in our book, but it certainly acquits itself well dynamically for a muscle car. As long as you don’t mind the fuel bills, this characterful V8 machine is genuinely useable every day. It is a heart over head purchase for sure, but that’s exactly what a Mustang should be.

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Extended read…

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible interior and infotainment

The Ford Mustang Convertible’s interior is exactly what you’d expect from a muscle car in terms of design. Every element is big and bold, detailed with chrome, and simplistic in style. Contrasting silver trim elements break up the black nicely, and while not an intricate space like some rivals, it does feel purposeful.

Unfortunately, when you start touching parts of the cabin the materials used are a bit underwhelming. There’s plenty of hard plastics throughout that feel pretty cheap in places. Sure, in comparison to previous left-hand drive Mustangs it’s a big step up, but in a right-hand drive market, we’ve come to expect better.

All cars come with a 12-inch infotainment system as standard, which is pretty generous of Ford. It runs the Sync 3 interface which is fine, but not the most intuitive piece of software in this class. You are able to plug your Android or Apple phone in for Android Auto or CarPlay.

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2021 Ford Mustang Convertible practicality and boot space

Practicality is actually pretty good in the Mustang when compared to other 2+2 rivals. It’s a given that the rear seats are best suited for children, or maybe adults in desperate need of a lift to the pub, but there’s loads of room upfront. Larger fostered leather posts with plenty of adjustability mean that all shapes and sizes will be able to get comfortable. There are a few cubbies dotted around for life’s flotsam and jetsam.

The boot is a pretty generous 332-litres, however, the opening itself is rather narrow. This car’s rear seats also fold down to allow for larger items to be stowed, making the pony car rather practical in the grand scheme of convertibles.

2021 Ford Mustang Convertible engine

Engine choice for the Ford Mustang is easy, it’s the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 or nothing – just as God intended. There was a turbocharged 2.3-litre available for a few years, and while it did handle a little better, the full-fat muscle car experience is best.

It’s a strong engine with plenty of mechanical shove low in the rev range, allowing for ample forward momentum at almost any given moment. Its baritone rumble turns into rolling thunder when you squeeze the throttle. Dramatic, muscular, and with 44bhp, plenty punchy.

There are two transmission options, a lovely mechanical six-speed manual, or a 10-speed automatic. For us, it has to be the manual as it’s a wonderfully involving companion for the V8. The auto is fine and smooth most of the time, but it does have a habit of meandering up and down the gears without much conviction. ‘Drive stick’ as the Americans would say – it’s cheaper, too. 

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2021 Ford Mustang Convertible driving

Let’s get the science out of the way first. If you’re after the best handling Mustang, buy the coupe. Why? Put simply, cutting the roof off a car makes it structurally weaker, which means the chassis needs reinforcing – something that makes the whole package heavier. Driven back to back you’ll notice the Convertible’s tendency to quiver over undulating Tarmac and the additional weight throughout the corners. However, if you’re after a Mustang to cruise in, all that might not matter to you.

It’s the best handling Ford Mustang to date, for sure, with plenty of grip and good body control. The steering is also reassuringly weighty and provides some feedback through the wheel. This Mustang will predictably understeer if you’re ham-fisted with it, but equally, tweak the throttle at the right moment and there’s some oversteering shenanigans to be had. If you’re after true agility you might want to look elsewhere, this remains a big heavy car, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to drive.

Pottering around more sedately, the ride is surprisingly supple in comfort with the optional MagnaRide adaptive suspension. Tightening things up helps reduce body roll, but the ride can be a bit too brittle on UK roads in this state.

Driving a V8 Mustang is a mighty empowering thing, and while the coupe is still our pick, the Convertible brings enjoyable alfresco motoring to this modern muscle car. 

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Tyler Heatley

21 Oct 2021