Unusually, the Mustang has knee air-bags for the passenger as well as the driver, for a total of eight airbags. The others are immediately in front of the driver and passenger, thorax airbags either side of the driver and passenger to protect their upper bodies from side-impacts, and side-curtain airbags to protect the heads of both front and rear-seat passengers. A reversing camera is standard.
Ford has used stronger than normal steel in some structural parts of the car’s body for a stronger passenger cell – the part of the car that contains the passengers. The idea is that if the passenger cell deforms less in a crash, the occupants are less likely to be injured.
An interesting addition is Ford’s MyKey system, which allows parents to program the car (via the ignition key) to protect their offspring from injudicious impulses. You can limit its top speed, limit the stereo volume, block phone calls and text messages when driving, and even increase the frequency of the seatbelt reminder.
On the other hand, while there is stability control and its accompanying suite of electronic braking aids, there is no automatic emergency braking. Nor is there any other active driver aid such as lane-assist (which would warn you if the car veered off course) or blind-spot warning (which tells you if there’s another car beside you that you are about to change lanes into). And the seatbelt reminder operates only on the front seats.
Partly due to the near-absence of such safety-assist technologies, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) awarded the Mustang only two stars for safety, from a maximum of five, in January 2017. Crash-testing showed protection to be poor for passengers in the rear seats, with serious head, chest and leg injuries likely from a 50km/h frontal impact (because seatbelts could not restrain rear passengers safely). The driver and front passenger fared much better, with protection from frontal, frontal offset and pole impacts rated as acceptable (one down from good, the maximum of four levels), and from side impacts rated as good. Nevertheless, in the frontal offset test the airbags allowed driver and passenger to contact the steering wheel or dashboard with their heads. Whiplash protection from rear-end crashes was also rated as poor in the rear seats, and marginal in the front. The car assessed was a V8-engined Mustang Fastback GT – other versions have not been rated.