The Ford Mustang continues its reign as the world's top selling sports car. I've driven all the best ones and it's easy to see why.

·5 min read
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 (1)
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

Ford

  • The Ford Mustang sold more than 100,000 units globally in 2019.

  • This is the fifth year in a row that it's been the most popular sports car worldwide.

  • Its popularity comes from the fact that it's an objectively good car, which has options for every price point and performance level.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The indomitable Ford Mustang, bringer of power to the masses, has successfully taken over the world once again as 2019 marks the fifth consecutive year the Mustang has been the best selling two-door sports car in the world — coupes and convertibles included. My sincerest congratulations to the Ford Mustang.

The news comes via a Ford press release, which reports the Mustang sold 102,090 units globally last year, according to IHS Markit's most recent new-vehicle registration data. Most of the demand, it seems, came from here in the US, where 72,489 Mustangs sold domestically. But in particular, German sales increased 33%, Polish sales increased almost 50% and French sales nearly doubled. 

Guess the Mustang is really something the Europeans want. 

Jokes aside, it really doesn't come as a surprise to me that the car is so popular. The current-gen Mustang is not only one of the best-looking in decades, but it's also objectively a good car. It has back seats that aren't tiny. It has a big trunk. It's comfortable to drive. And there are more variations to choose from than ever. People love choices, and the Mustang gives them many.

Mustangs are also available at very reasonable price points. You get a lot of car in return for what you pay for. 

Here are some of the best new Mustangs I've driven. 

Ford Mustang High Performance Package

Ford Mustang High Performance Package
Ford Mustang High Performance Package.

Ford

Anyone who gives you grief about the four-cylinder Mustang because of the old trope that all American muscle cars need to have V8s doesn't know what they're missing out on.

Because a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine is inherently lighter than a big and heavy V8, the four-banger Mustang has more communicative steering over its V8 brethren. There's just so much less weight sitting over the front axle. 

The result is a car that feels much smaller to drive than it actually is. It's agile and darty and plenty quick, especially when you get it with the High Performance Pack engine and the optional handling package. That gives you a fancy suspension system, a limited-slip rear axle, and a set of sticky summer tires. 

Either the 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual will do here, but it's also great to have the option.

Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2

Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2
Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2.

Ford

The Ford Mustang is also one of the last cars you can get with a naturally aspirated V8 — a V8 that makes 460 horsepower, by the way. And with a starting price of $35,630, the Mustang GT represents a true democratization of power. You don't need to spend a disgusting amount of money on something European to get big power anymore. 

The Mustang GT comes with all sorts of options, as well as a manual transmission. My advice? Spring for the Performance Pack 2. It's offered exclusively for GTs with the six-speed and you get a lowered stance, a black rear spoiler, improved steering, 19-inch wheels, a widened front splitter, and a set of performance tires.

Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford Mustang Bullitt
Ford Mustang Bullitt.

Ford

Anyone who's seen Steve McQueen's detective thriller "Bullitt" will be familiar with a dark-green Mustang. The modern tribute is painted in that shade of green, has 20 extra horsepower over a normal Mustang GT, and includes a bunch of performance bits from the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

What is a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350? That's next.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 (2)
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

Ford

The GT350 is perhaps the best car I drove last year. From the outside, it's another Mustang, but its engine is what makes it special. 

It has a 526-horsepower flat-plane crank V8. All that means is it revs faster and is much louder. It's technology that is largely used in racing, as well as in Ferraris and McLarens, which cost many times what the GT350 does. 

The GT350 only comes in a manual, but it's such a nicely weighted and sharply cut transmission that even taking it to the grocery store is a joy. The only downside to this car is people will keep trying to race you on the highway. Ignore them, because that's dangerous and you are better than that.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.

Ford

The GT350R is basically the regular GT350, except that it is even more track-focused. That means it's even louder. It has no rear seats. It has fancy carbon-fiber wheels. 

It is good.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

Ford

Sitting atop the Mustang hierarchy is currently the baddest Mustang you can buy — the Shelby GT500. No manuals are offered here, but you do get a supercharged V8 that puts out 760 horsepower. This one’s an exercise in responsibility.

The GT500 is the one you bring to the drag strip or a track. It’ll do both superbly well. It’s even great to daily drive, you just have to be careful and keep watch over your speedometer. 

The beauty of it all is that you can get one for less $80,000.

Read the original article on Business Insider