Class: Sporty/Performance Car
Miles driven: 189
Fuel used: 13.1 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 14.4 mpg
Driving mix: 80% city, 20% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/24/18 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas recommended
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||B
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||B|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Base price: $46,595 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Bullitt Electronics Package with blind-spot and cross-traffic alert ($2100), MagnaRide damping system ($1695)
Price as tested: $51,385
The great: Muscle-car power and attitude; great brakes and shifter, possible future collectible
The good: Decent ride, interior room, and trunk space for a performance-oriented sporty coupe
The not so good: Fuel economy, price premium for the “Bullitt” name
It all depends on how you look at it.
Certainly the Bullitt is a desirable car, but … $10,000 worth of “desirable”? As we said ….
That’s roughly the base-price premium between the Bullitt and the already hyped-up 2018 Mustang GT with Performance Pack 2 we tested earlier this year, a similarly focused — and very impressive — performance machine. So why bite the Bullitt’s extra cost?
Car aficionados might question the price, but not the pedigree. Fashioned after the 1968 Mustang used in the namesake film starring Steve McQueen, the 2019 model is the third generation of the Bullitt (the others being offered for 2001 and 2008-2009), and happens to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the movie’s release.
In the 2019 iteration, the Bullitt comes very well equipped and with numerous notable mechanical bits, including a 480-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 (which offers 20 more horses than the engine in the tested GT with Performance Pack 2), a front strut-tower brace, a 6-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter/”ball” shift knob/rev-matching on downshifts, electronic Line-Lock and Launch Control (for track use only), 3.73 Torsen limited-slip rear axle, huge Brembo brakes (more on these later), and wide tires (255/40-19 front, 275/40-19 rear). Bullitt-specific styling alterations delete the rear spoiler and the pony badge in the grille and add a special dash-panel number badge and monogrammed door-sill plates. Our tester also had optional MagnaRide suspension and blind-spot/rear-cross-traffic alert.
In most regards, the Bullitt is similar to the GT Performance Package 2 version tested earlier, so see that review for more details. But a few things are worth mentioning separately.
Included in the Bullitt (and available elsewhere) is a four-tone exhaust system that includes Quiet Start, Normal, Sport, and Track settings for increasing levels of volume. It sounded great. Also great was the clutch and shifter action, the latter thanks in part to a very short and precise throw, and we came to appreciate the rev-matching feature on downshifts. But really great were the brakes. We’ve driven other cars with Brembo calipers — sort of the benchmark for performance brakes — but these applied so quickly and strongly that they not only imparted great confidence and a “racy” feel, but their immediacy took some getting used to. (Kind of like in the “old days” when cars switched from manual brakes to the newfangled power brakes — not something younger drivers would have experienced.) Also notable is that while handling was expectedly excellent, the ride wasn’t correspondingly punishing — perhaps due in part to the optional MagnaRide suspension — and in fact was quite livable, even on our pockmarked Chicago streets.
Other “collector-series” cars are on the market, but the Bullitt has the advantage of being loaded into the already-great Mustang case. And though it’s also offered in black, the unique Dark Highland Green paint — blended to match that of the 1968 Mustang McQueen drove in the film — is an instant heads-up to any car aficionado you’re likely to run across, as it stands out simply by virtue of its color. And there aren’t many collector cars that can be described the same way.