The Ford Mustang, America's best-selling sports car for 22 years, has been honored with the 2008 Motorist Choice Award in the Sporty Car segment by car buying information Web site IntelliChoice.com and automotive consulting firm AutoPacific.

The Motorist Choice Awards were designed to recognize vehicles that appeal to both the heart and head. The awards are calculated by combining IntelliChoice.com's cost of ownership data with AutoPacific's owner satisfaction information culled from more than 40,000 new car and truck buyers.

"The Mustang is an outstanding value, and it satisfies owners from the six-cylinder buyer all the way up to the muscle car guy who's driving a Shelby 500KR," said George Peterson, president, AutoPacific. "That's a combination that's hard to beat." Vehicle owner satisfaction was measured in 45 different areas. The Mustang outranked its Sporty Car competitors – the Volkswagen Eos, Hyundai Tiburon, Mitsubishi Eclipse and last year's winner, the Scion tC -- in 17 categories, including Image, Vehicle Reputation, Power & Acceleration, Reliability, and Fun to Drive.

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"It really speaks to the quality of Mustang and its status as an American icon," said Fritz Wilke, Mustang brand manager. "The Mustang is a symbol of power, performance and coolness, and anyone who owns one knows that they are a part of something special – a piece of Americana that goes back 45 years."

Mustang appeals to a broad range of consumers because the brand offers a wide range of choices, Wilke says.

"From Bullitt to Cal Special to GT500 to Warriors in Pink to the Pony Package, there is a Mustang for every taste," he said.

The Mustang also has the most fuel efficient V-6 in its segment, Wilke says.

"The Mustang V-6 offers best-in-class fuel economy, sporting 26 miles per gallon on the highway," he said. "And for serious enthusiasts, we have Mustangs that provide serious horsepower. A 5.4-liter Supercharged V-8 is available with 500 hp and 480 foot-pounds of torque."

The 2008 Mustang GT convertible has been recognized for best-in-class safety. It is the only convertible to earn a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) after tests for frontal crash, side impact and rollover.

In addition, VEHIX TV™ recently named Mustang among the vehicles with the best resale value, beating out models from Honda, BMW, Porsche, Audi and nearly all domestic automakers.

About the Ford Mustang The Ford Mustang, introduced in 1964, is Ford Motor Company's longest-running nameplate. It has also been the best-selling sports car for 22 straight years. Mustang sales hit an astounding 419,000 in its first 12 months on the market and topped the 1-million mark in the first two years, shattering the sales records of any single model in the history of the automobile.

Ford built its 9 millionth Mustang this year, and the company is commemorating another important milestone in pony car history with a special 45th anniversary edition for the 2009 model year. Only a limited number of 2009 Mustangs – featuring 45th anniversary badging – are currently available for purchase, fueling speculation that the 2009 Ford Mustang model may one day become a collector's item.