Performance On A Budget: 2012-2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302
This is the best affordable Ford Mustang around.
The Ford Mustang. It is one of the best budget performance cars money can buy — with aggressive looks, a big V8 engine under the hood, and performance to match European cars costing twice as much. But even Ford's affordable pony car has been susceptible to price creep and even a base GT model will set you back $35,630. Remember, that's before you get the nicer interior of the Premium trim or the increased performance of the Performance Package.
Even if you are willing to forgo luxury features, the cheapest Performance Package Mustang with a V8 will cost over $40,000. That's a large chunk of money for a young buyer looking for their first performance car. So if you'd like a Mustang with all of the performance goodies but you are on a budget, you should look at the Boss 302.
The Boss 302 name was first used in 1969 as a performance option to rival the new Chevrolet Camaro. It took several decades but Ford finally brought back the Boss 302 designation in the 2012 model year as the most performance-oriented Mustang below the Shelby GT500. This was around the same time the Mustang started to be taken seriously as a world-class sports car, rather than a simplistic American muscle car. But unlike the GT500, which was power-obsessed, the Boss 302 was built to be a Mustang you could take on the race track — there was even a special version called the Laguna Seca edition. Only 2,000 total cars were built between 2012 and 2013 with just 764 of them being Laguna Seca editions.