Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Affordable Ambitions from Your Summer Ride

With spring here, summer days and road trips are right around the corner. After this long winter, warmer days are surely welcome and provide the perfect opportunity to get out and explore this great land of ours. No matter where you live – up in the mountains, or down by the sea, you can go further this summer by searching the available used cars in your area. With so many to choose from, particularly those just coming off lease terms, you’ve got options in abundance. The trick is figuring out which one will be your perfect summer ride…

Make Mine a Mustang

The 2016 Ford Mustang, to be exact. Topping U.S. News & World Report’s 10 Best Cars to Buy this Summer, the Mustang is about as iconically American as you can get. And with its drop-top option, what better way to catch a summer breeze?

With seating for four passengers and strong safety ratings for the sports car segment, a used or certified pre-owned Mustang is a smart choice this summer – not to mention affordable. With a starting MSRP right at $24,000, used options will come in significantly lower, but with matching bells and whistles to this current model year. In other words, more bang for your buck.

Powered by three compelling engine options, drivers have a tough choice as to how many ponies they want to command. Standard operation comes from a 3.7-liter V6, capable of 300 horsepower and 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway fuel efficiency. The EcoBoost version is ideal for those who want a bit more power, and savings at the pump. Featuring enhanced fuel efficiency numbers of 21 mpg city and 32 mpg city, this Mustang can certainly take you farther – for less.

But, for those of us interested in the sports car segment, the target is always more muscle. To that end, check out Ford’s 5.0-liter V8 engine, producing a whopping 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. No surprise here, but fuel economy does take a hit, with a return of 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. However, this is pretty much expected from V8 engines. You’ll just need to consider which is more important to you – saving a few bucks at the pump, or flexing extra muscle.

Regardless of how many horses you corral under the hood of your used Mustang, you’ll enjoy the best safety ratings for this class. Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2016 Mustang with its highest scores. Part of these ratings come from the fact that the Mustang offers drivers more assistance enhancements than others in the segment. Options like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, along cross traffic alert and forward collision warning all support a safer ride than you might expect from a sports car.

Safety aside, sports cars are all about making a statement. Given the 2016 Mustang’s extensive palette of exterior colors, you’ll have no trouble doing that this summer. Between Competiton Orange, Race Red, and the classic-looking Triple Yellow Tri-Coat, you’ll be turning heads and inspiring envy wherever your summer travels take you…