Review: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2019 Mustang Bullitt edition in one sentence:
After about 20 minutes in the car, my wife said to me, “Riding in the passenger seat of this car is a bummer.”

I think you get what she’s saying, right? This car is all about the driver. If you’re consigned to the passenger seat, all you can do is watch and envy.

Oh, and one other observation, this time from a teenager folded into the back seat: “Hey, they misspelled bullet.”

So at least the public education system scores a point.

The Basics

The Mustang comes in five trim levels, starting with the base EcoBoost, working its way up through a couple of GT models, and capping it all with the remarkable Bullitt.

(Side note 1: As I explained to the teen in the back, it’s not supposed to be bullet, as in ammunition. This car is an homage to the iconic Steve McQueen character in the movie Bullitt from 1968.)

The EcoBoost varieties have 4-cylinder engines that produce a little over 300 horsepower, while the big boys pull out the 5.0-liter V8 with a substantial 460 horsepower.

Move up to the Bullitt edition — which is what I drove for the week — and you’re graced with an additional 20 horsepower. You know, for your quick getaways and when you’re chasing bad guys through San Francisco.

The Bullitt also removes the spoiler and adds cool wheels. And you get plenty of Bullitt logos in case you forget what you’re driving.

Manual transmission is standard (and appreciated) while a 10-speed automatic is available if you wanna sip your latte while driving across town.

The Mustang Bullitt is loud. I’ll just say it, it’s damned loud. However, you can spare your neighbors in the morning and late at night by opting to use the Quiet Mode. Yes, that’s what it’s called. It dampens the ungodly growl that will rattle windows.

(Side note 2: Quiet Mode was actually invented by a Ford engineer whose neighbors called the police on him because of the noise.)

Looks? Well, it’s gorgeous. It looks like the mean machine it is.

The Inside

Not the most comfortable car you’ll drive — it’s not a luxury sedan, for crying out loud — but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. The cabin feels good.

The seats are well padded and supported, supplying a nice ride for you and the front seat passenger. As for the back seat, well, if you have smaller kids they’ll fit okay. The teenagers who rode in the back of my Bullitt had to be contortionists.

It’s what you expect from a muscle car.

The layout is well-designed, providing the driver with a fun experience. Knobs and buttons are easily accessed, and very easily understood.

Materials are good, if not great. Nothing about the interior of the Mustang feels cheap.

Storage space up front is decent for a somewhat smaller cabin, and trunk space is good.

The Drive

Well, c’mon. Unless you’re intimidated by rock-solid sports cars, this is an experience to make you grin.

I know some people will opt for the automatic transmission, and I understand the convenience factor.

But shifting this wild horse brings back the thrill of driving. They’ve even included rev-matching when you downshift, so the Mustang’s engine will anticipate the gear and keep things sweet and smooth.

(Side note 3: Rev-matching means you kinda have to sound like a d-bag, because the engine kicks out a deep vrooom each time you do it. All you can do is smile at the guy in the car next to you who thinks you never got out of high school.)

The steering is remarkable and fun, the overall handling is good. The Mustang provides more of a smooth ride than you’d expect, although there are times your passenger might feel a bit jostled.

The Tech

Plenty of gauges and dials on the dashboard to entertain your eyes and impress your friends. There were a couple of switches I was afraid to touch, in case it was an ejector seat or something. Ha!

You’ll find a good amount of driver safety aids (blind spot warning, collision alert, adaptive cruise control) and a great sound system.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, and the CarPlay worked flawlessly during my week.

The Bottom Line

Listen, this is the car that gets reactions from other drivers. At least twice a day people waved at intersections and wanted to talk about the car.

More than a few commented on the Bullitt design, and one guy even challenged me to race. Uh, no. You go ahead.

But what it underlines is the fact that the 2019 Ford Mustang is about driving enjoyment; not just yours, but even some of the people around you.

Go have some fun.

The Details

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
5.0-liter V8
6-speed manual transmission
480 horsepower
Fuel economy: 15 city/ 24 highway
MSRP: $46,595

Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer

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