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1978 Ford Mustang vs GMC Caballero

gmc caballeroThe GMC Caballero was a utility vehicle similar to a truck. The vehicle was GMC’s version of the El Camino with the appearance of a sedan in front. It was built with Malibu parts, but the chassis was 9 inches longer than the Malibu. Limited numbers of the Caballero were sold. Because the vehicle was similar to the El Camino, many GMC customers never realized this car was available.

The 1978 Ford Mustang was the last of the Mustang II generation. This car was not that popular because it simply did not handle as well as the first generation and was smaller due to the oil crisis at the time. The Mustang came in a Ghia model, a MACH 1, the Cobra version and for this year only the King Cobra. The most collectible car in this year, the King Cobra had a distinctive fire flare on its hood, an upgraded interior and a distinctive look in the rear.

1978 Ford Mustang – GMC Caballero Performance

The Caballero came standard with a 3L 200 cubic inch V-6. Other options available included 305-, 350- or 400-cubic-inch versions of the Chevy small-block V-8. This car was generally sold with a three-speed manual transmission. Gas mileage was about 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The maximum speed for this car was about 115 mph and it could tow up to 7,500 lbs. The rear bed had space for 34 cubic feet of cargo.

gmc caballeroOrdinarily, one would expect the Mustang to beat these numbers. The maximum speed for the Mustang II was 156 mph. With the 5.0L V-8 engine that generated 139 hp, this smaller car was able to generate greater speed and had better handling due its sports suspension. Gas mileage for this car ranged from about 12 mpg to about 17 mpg on the highway. There was only space for about 16 cubic feet of cargo, and the Mustang was not designed with any appreciable towing capacity. Back seat space was very limited and uncomfortable.

Value wise, the Caballero in today’s market is worth more than the Mustang, unless you have latched on to King Cobra. The Caballero is a great car for moving cargo and towing. The Mustang II is great for driving fast. While many Mustang lovers don’t like the Mustang II version, this smaller car kept the Mustang alive during a time when a number of muscle cars were discontinued including the Dodge Charger and the Plymouth Barracuda.


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