Faith in S550 Restored - 2019 Bullitt Mustang Review

Faith in S550 Restored - 2019 Bullitt Mustang Review


I’m not sure how to start this review. Normally I’d have some pithy anecdotes and a couple jokes, probably a jab at Dodge owners, to kick things off. Not this time though. What I have to say about the 2019 Bullitt Mustang is pretty simple. This car restored my faith in new Mustangs. I know that’s a pretty big statement, but it’s true.


Yo Dawg, we heard you like movies. So we took your Movie Car to the movies.

You guys probably remember that a few years ago we picked up two 2015 Mustangs. One was an auto GT that received a Whipple blower, full Kooks exhaust, and custom tuning from Livernois Motorsports. The other was a manual EcoBoost with a full Kooks exhaust, Airaid Intake, MGW Shifter, and Livernois tuning. Before those cars we had a 2012 Yellow Blaze GT with a Magnuson blower. I liked all those cars. “Liked” is the key word. I didn’t love any of them. I like to love my cars; and while I only had a week with the 2019 Bullitt Mustang, I can see it being a car I would love.


I'd be proud to call this car mine.

So what makes this Bullitt better or different than my last three Mustangs? In one word, Soul. The Bullitt just oozes attitude. As soon as you’re behind the wheel you know this car is something special. So let’s try to quantify that and look at some of the things that are instantly noticeable. First; while the build quality of the 2019 isn’t perfect, it’s leaps and bounds better than either of our earlier S550s. This car had about 7,500 miles on the ticker, and the interior had developed nary a buzz or rattle. That’s rare for any model Mustang. The body panel gap issues of the early 2015’s have been greatly reduced, and the car just feels tighter overall.


Each Bullitt Mustang come individually numbered.

Next, somehow this car feels smaller than it should. When I would drive our 2015 Mustangs the massive flat hoods made the cars feel huge. I’d occasionally have to remind myself that I was driving some land-whale Dodge. The change of the front-end design on the 2018+ Mustangs have a very real size perception impact from behind the wheel. That perception translates into a greater to a feeling of confidence. The car feels smaller, so you end up being more comfortable hanging the tail-end out or pushing harder into a corner. My 2015 EcoBoost Mustang was great on the track, but from a confidence standpoint it doesn’t hold a candle to the Bullitt.


Simple and clean styling is a hallmark of Bullitt Mustangs, that includes the classic black wheels.

However, confidence means nothing without the ability to back it up with performance. Our 2019 Mustang Bullitt test car was equipped with the MagneRide suspension system option, and I’m here to tell you it’s worth every penny Ford charges for it. This suspension system is better than most aftermarket shock kits out there. Really, to get better performance you’re probably going to have to spend a boat-load on some high-end adjustable dampers and sacrifice some ride comfort and NVH. The MagneRide system is continuously variable on the fly and the firmness is adjusted differently in each different driving mode (Comfort, Sport, Track, etc).


This is about the only exterior badging on the car, but it definitely gets its point across.

Really, the only downside to the MR fluid filled dampers future mod-ability. You’re probably not going to be able to change out the factory springs without the MagneRide controller giving you some issues. Since it’s so good from the factory, and the stance is spot-on, I’d definitely tick the option box for the MagneRide suspension. I’d just consider it a notch or two below the Shelby GT350 and enjoy it.


The Bullitt's Dark Highland Green paint is not immune to the Southern curse that is pine pollen in the Spring.

Speaking of GT350, the Bullitt has touch of that Ford Performance DNA. Keeping in tradition with previous Bullitt models, the 2019 comes out of the factory with a nice little bump in power over the GT model. Our test car had the ever popular GT350 intake manifold, throttle body, and intake bolted to its 5.0L Coyote V8. That helps it churn out 480HP, and the free flow exhaust makes sure it sounds good doing it. I still like the looks of the 2001 2V Bullitt’s aluminum intake better, but it’s hard to argue with nearly doubling the power in 18 years.


Thinking of buying a GT350 Intake, just buy a Bullitt instead.

And on the topic of sound, the Auto Rev-Matching on Downshift added to the 2019 Mustangs as a standard feature is absolutely fantastic. That may actually be my #1 favorite feature of the car, and Ford was egalitarian enough to release it across the board. Just hearing the engine rev-up through the Bullitt’s improved exhaust made me row down though every gear each time I slowed down. It simply makes the car feel more fun. However, I suspect the real reason Ford added this feature was to cut down on the shock load (and therefore subsequent warranty claims) on the manual transmission.


I wonder how often you have to change your plug wire on a Gen 3 Coyote?

One of the improvements featured on this Bullitt that really took me by surprise was the performance enhancements made to the MT-82 6-Speed Getrag Manual transmission. We’ve owned two MT-82 equipped Mustangs, the 2012 GT and the 2015 EcoBoost, and improvements were made to the trans between those two generations. Now in the 2019 Mustangs it has gotten even better. The shifts are much smoother and precise. I didn’t notice any odd whining or clutch chatter either. I was actually astonished how much better it is, especially compared to our old 2012 GT. Make no mistake, the MT-82 still has a glass jaw. However, for street duty in a stock car this updated version isn’t bad.


The competition's view. This has always been one of my favorite angles on an S550.
Speaking of “street duty”, one of my favorite aspects of the Bullitt is it’s understated styling flying under the radar while running out on the town. It’s not overly ‘badged-up’ , and is refreshingly subtle. Besides the Ponies on the wheel centercaps the only exterior badging is the Bullitt Crosshairs on the faux gas cap. That style emblem is carried inside on the airbag cover, and there’s an individual numbering plaque on the passenger’s side dash. It you don’t know Mustangs you probably would never notice a Bullitt. I think of it as the ‘Quietly Confident Gentleman’s’ Mustang. Perfect for a night on the town, with just the right amount of hooliganism. If that description fits the definition of a car you’d like to own, you should definitely check out the 2019 Mustang Bullitt.

Finally, we'll be releasing a new review video everyday this week on SVTP YouTube Channel and posting them below. Please take a minute and subscribe to our channel. I'd like to hit 10,000 subscribers in the next few months:

Bullitt Week Day 2

Bullitt Week Day 3

Day 4 of Bullitt Week brings a discussion of PoU

In Day 5 we explore whether the 2019 model lives up to the Bullitt Tradition

We have a Bullitt Week Bonus Day taking a look at what the future may hold.

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Im glad they are making the Bullitt a car they make nearly every generation. Eleanor has her place, but the Bullitt cemented the fastback Mustang into the lore of classic musclecars. This current edition is absolutely badass.

That damn MT-82 though... For as low volume as manuals are becoming, why does Ford not stick a beefier unit in there?
Im glad they are making the Bullitt a car they make nearly every generation. Eleanor has her place, but the Bullitt cemented the fastback Mustang into the lore of classic musclecars. This current edition is absolutely badass.

That damn MT-82 though... For as low volume as manuals are becoming, why does Ford not stick a beefier unit in there?
That was my eyebrow raising moment, as good as the review said it’s gotten it still had that disclaimer. It’s still an mt82
If I had a choice for an S550 it’d be a DHG Bullitt with a GT350 powertrain with DI. Full exhaust mod then leave it alone engine wise. Some suspension work, wheels/tires, and it’d be a very nice corner carver.

Pick your poison.
That was a nice, thorough review. It tells me that Ford is serious about improving the build quality and features on the Mustang with each new MY. If I was looking for a 2-door sporty ride, I'd be hard pressed not to take a l.o.n.g look at this new Bullitt. I love the appropriate green paint, red Brembo calipers and interior. Oh, and that hood is awesome!

Looking forward to the remaining Bullitt videos coming.

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