The 1990 Mustang continued, again pretty much unchanged. Unit sales were declining in the midst of a recession but the reality is that Ford was in trouble with the Mustang due to a lack of new investment and limited updates each year. Most of the changes this year were safety related.
There were no significant changes to the exterior styling for the 1990 Mustang. Most of the interior changes for the year, were related to safety and weight reduction. The latter being an always important benefit for both performance and fuel economy. Some additional interior changes include color changes, with a combination of 4 single tone colors and 4 two tones for the convertibles.
Shoulder belts in the rear became standard, and a passenger side airbag was available. A safety dictated headrest was added to the seats. The driver side airbag was made standard equipment in 1990 to satisfy a federally mandated requirement that all cars have a passive restraint system. This change eliminated the tilt steering wheel option but the added safety measure was worth the sacrifice of convenience.
The following were feature changes in 1990;
The driver received an airbag.
The fuel filler door was no longer unlocked by a button inside the glove box door.
The LX and GT model got 140 MPH speedometers.
The LX got a drivers foot rest.
They removed the armrest on the console and added map pockets on the doors.
The tilt steering wheel was no longer offered.
Shoulder belts for rear passengers became standard
Headrests for front seats became standard
Passenger side airbag was available
The two only engine choices remained. The 2.3 liter inline 4 cylinder engine and the 5.0 liter V8. The V8 still posted an impressive 225 horsepower, making for solid performance and a relatively big power bang for the buck when you consider that the car could be had in coupe form for little over $10,000.
To celebrate the Mustang’s 25th anniversary, all Mustangs manufactured between April 17, 1989 and April 17, 1990 received a dash plaque decorated with a galloping pony badge, the three tribars and 25th anniversary stamped at its bottom. In 1990, there was also a limited run of 4,103 cars. They were 5.0 LX convertibles produced for a contest held by 7-Up, but the contest was cancelled at the last second. This package included a white leather interior, white convertible top, the turbine wheels from the GT, and special deep emerald green metallic paint with colour-keyed bodyside moldings and door mirrors. Collectors refer to these cars as 7-up cars. Never one to miss an opportunity, Ford used these cars to promote the 25th anniversary of the Mustang.
The one-two combination of a recession and lack of investment by Ford saw volume take a big hit. market and an unimproved car, resulted in a drop of almost 80,000 cars.
Special Edition Models & Variants
The 1990 Mustang GT came standard with 16 spoke sport wheels, color matched body-side moldings, solid front grille, and 225hp 5.0L high-output V8 engine. Performance upgrades included stainless steel exhaust and headers, 10.84 inch front brakes, progressive springs, 1.3 inch front anti-sway bar, 0.83 inch rear anti-sway bar, performance struts and shocks, and 15 x 7 inch wheels with performance P225/60VR-15 Goodyear tires.
Starting in mid-April and running through the late 1990 model year, Ford placed 25th anniversary, tri-bar pony badges on the passenger side dash of all LX and GT Mustangs. The called it the 25th Anniversary Mustang but since the changes applied to all cars it was hardly a special edition model. We count it as both an 1989 and 1990 model on the site. If manufactured before April 17, 1990 the emblem on the dash commemorating the Mustang’s 25th anniversary will have been put on the car.
The Anniversary 7-Up Convertible was a special edition car for 1990 only. The car was originally developed as a promotional “give away” for the 7-Up brand. The plan was to build 30 cars for the competition, but after only 2 had been built, the whole promotional scheme collapsed in a heap. In the end, Ford went ahead with production, but for an entirely different reason. It became known colloquially as the “7-Up Mustang.”
With its age comes obsolescence and with lack of investment that was true for the Ford Mustang. The result was a big drop in sales as the Mustang stayed where it was and competitors built newer, better products. Sales fell to 128,189 units, down 39% versus the prior year and the recession didn’t help. The convertible GT and coupe models continued to lag in sales behind the 5.0 liter V8 equipped LX models. And the reason was as before, due to the fact that loyal 5.0 V8 performance fans had figured out that the same high output engine and even slightly better performance could be had at a lower price by choosing the LX model. To dive into the model and body splits as well as see charts and percentages, check out our 1990 Ford Mustang Production & Sales Numbers deep dive.
% of Total
2 Door - Hardtop LX
3 Door - Hatchback LX & GT
2 Door - Convertible LX & GT
Options and Pricing
The base prices kept going up despite no changes to the cars in 1990. Base sticker price for 1990 coupe edged up close to the $10,000 mark at $9,753. The hatchback passed the magic $10,000 mark and was listed at $10,259, while the convertible continued to be priced at premium at $14,810. For more detailed options and pricing, please check out our 1990 pricing and options research.
2 Door Hardtop
2 Door Hatchback
2 Door Convertible
Exterior & Interior Colors
A total of 12 colors were available for the 1990 Mustang model year. The colors certainly switched from bright and bold to lots of blue and black hues in 1990. There were three shades of red, one yellow, one white and the rest were blues and blacks with the exception of a single dark green. For detailed colors, color palettes, codes and interior colors please check out our in depth 1990 colors information post.
Dimensions & Weight
The 1990 Mustang had the exact same dimensions and weight as the prior year model.
Body Length - Notchback/Hatchback
Wheelbase - Notchback/Hatchback
Trunk Capacity - Hatchback
Trunk Capacity - Notchback
The engine options were unchanged for 1990. The 90-horsepower four cylinder kept the awesome upgrades from the 1987 model year which greatly improved drivability with easier startup and a smoother idle. The hard-charging 5.0-litre H.O. V-8 kept its horsepower and torque number, now up to 225-horsepower and 300 pound-feet respectively and really started to pick up in popularity amongst buyers. For more information on engines for 1990, you can find the information here.
Engine Name & Year
Power (hp @ RPM)
Torque (lb/ft @ RPM)
1990 – 140 Lima Inline 4 Engine (2.3 L)
90 hp @ 3800 RPM
130 lb/ft @ 2800 RPM
1990 – 302 H.O V8 (5.0 L)
225 hp @ 4200 RPM
300 lb/ft @ 3200 RPM
Below is the performance data for the 1990 Mustangs that we could find. The improvements in 1987 stuck for 1990 and that was a good thing for Mustang owners. Below we have included 0-60 mph times, 0-100 mph times as well as quarter mile times and top speed where available.