6.24.2009

Ford Mustang GT Review




Okay, throw the old script away. You know, the one where Mustang invents the pony car, but after a couple of hot new kids named Challenger and Camaro come to town, rapidly loses its edge.

That was so 40 years ago. Literally.

One thing is immediately clear after an afternoon...much less a week...in the 2010 Mustang GT:

Ford is serious.

The new 'Stang ought to be just a mid-cycle refresher...but it goes a big step further...it's slightly smaller, a bit lighter, handles and rides a ton better than last year's...and the interior is now a much nicer place to do business. We're talking a jump of two or three grades of materials and workmanship. And it's lighter and airier than the Challenger and Camaro, both of which tend to sit you low and cloak you in darkness.

The GT comes with those big fog lamps in the grille, leather trim sports seats, a power 6-way driver's seat, air, ambient lighting, the Shaker 500 audio system, SYNC, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel standard.

Oh, yeah...and a 325 horsepower 4.6 liter V8, which logic says ought to be mincemeat for the V8 Challenger and Camaro, but ends up being very competitive...partly due to the weight and size savings I mentioned earlier.

All that for a base price of $30,995. Sure, a six-speed manual would be better than a five, but the five shifts smoother and easier than ever before.

The one I had for a week (up until this very morning, in fact) had the premier trim with color accent (see photo above) for $395, a Security Package (another $395), a Comfort Package with heated seats ($595), and the 3.73 rear axle ($495). With destination and delivery ($850), the total tab was $33,725...a couple grand less than the Challenger.

Gas mileage? 16 city/24 highway, according to the EPA. Again, a six-speed would be nice.

A lot of the goodness in the new Mustang GT comes from last year's Bullitt package, right down to the throaty exhaust note and the chrome cue-ball shifter. Here's hoping they're not done with that franchise and that there will be a new Bullitt to raise the bar further still.

I took it to the local cruise night this past weekend...the Ford guys were all over it...and the GM and Mopar guys expressed admiration too. They talked about the styling, the interior upgrades, the engine note.

But the thing everyone dug most?



Yep...gotta love the sequential turn signals. Tells the guys in lesser cars where to follow.

Write this down...if pony cars survive at all, Mustang's here to stay.


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