Sub-£30,000 used car shootout: Ford Mustang GT vs. BMW M4

For quite some time, it’s been the Germans who have been dominating the sports coupe market in the UK. V8-powered monsters like the C63, E90 M3 and first-generation RS5 were able to fight among themselves for segment supremacy without much interruption from anything outside the country. This was the case until, for the 2015 model year, Ford announced that the Mustang – its iconic muscle car – would be going global.

Sporting a massive 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 in an age when the Germans began downsizing their engines, the Mustang quickly became a big player in the sports coupe segment (as well as being a cheaper alternative). At the time, this didn’t scare the class leaders too much due to the upmarket polish they could offer that the ‘Stang couldn’t. However, now in the used car market, the price gap isn’t so big and the rivalry is really hotting up. With that in mind, let’s compare this all-American pony car to one of Europe’s finest, the BMW M4.

As you can see from the title, both these cars can now be had for under £30,000 on the used market. For that money you’ll be able to get one of these beauties in good condition with a respectable amount of miles on the clock.

First, let’s talk about the BMW. Under the bonnet, the M4 has a 425bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine capable of pushing it to 0-60mph in just a tenth over four seconds and a top speed of 155mph.

In terms of the Ford’s performance figures, they are as follows – the Mustang’s 415bhp 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 launches it from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 155mph.

The Ford is on the heavy side at 1720kg – but the engine’s character more than makes up for it.

The BMW’s straight-six may not have the raucous note of the ‘Stang’s V8, but it still pops and bangs. As you’d expect, this is more of precision tool that the brute force American – the M4 is around 200kg lighter.

The interior of the M4 is a much nicer place to be in terms of build quality too. The Mustang is noticeably cheaper – but that is to be expected given the car’s lower initial price tag.

So, which do you buy now they’re both around the same price point on the used market? Well, the brain says the M4, but the heart says the Mustang. You see, the BMW will definitely serve you better on a daily basis – it’s more economical, upmarket, usable and practical. You wouldn’t be disappointed owning one in the slightest.

The pony car, on the other hand, won’t serve you as well on a daily basis – it’s big, heavy, impractical and it guzzles fuel like there’s no tomorrow. However, none of that matters when you get it out on the road. The Mustang defies logical thinking and aims right for your emotions, capturing you with its charisma, charm and endless smile-educing driving ability.

In conclusion, you choose: head or heart?

Geneva Motor Show quiz

McLaren releases track-ready Senna GTR