2016 Ford Mustang GT and American Sports Car Nostalgia

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2016 Ford Mustang GT and American Sports Car Nostalgia

September 20, 2016

The Mustang GT was the perfect way to end summer.  Other than a few days, I was able to have the top down nearly every day.  I usually end my car reviews with the price, but this time, I think I will start there – the base model Mustang GT Convertible starts at just under $50,000.  The model that was reviewed as $10,000 in additional options.  I decided to mention this first because I am based out of Alberta, and most likely, this vehicle would be purchased as an additional car to your daily driver. If you have the extra cash to buy a fun summer convertible, this is a GREAT option. The value is huge when you look at styling, fun to drive and performance.  There aren’t many competitors; probably the closest (from a pricing standpoint) would be the Mazda MX-5 (previously known as the Miata), but many want the sound of the GT V-8 engine and the look, size and American Sports Car appeal of the Mustang.

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Other American convertible options would be either the Corvette or Viper ($$$$$) or the luxury options; BMW, Mercedes, Jag and Porsche.  All of these are so expensive, leaving the extra third card option to the elite.

When I first got in, the smell of the car and the sight of the long yellow hood out in front of me immediately reminded me of the first standard I ever drove.  It was a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera in Chrome Yellow.  It had a standard H gear shift and was LOUD!1972_detomaso_pantera_chrome_yellow_for_sale_rear_resize

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From there, I drove a Dodge Viper with an insanely heavy clutch, a tricky battery that liked to die all the time resulting us in having to get it going by rolling and popping the clutch and a temperature gauge that frequently showed over heating.  It was a beast on the road and resulted in my left (clutch) leg being more muscular that my right from that crazy, heavy clutch!

From there, I drove a Yellow Ferarri 550 Maranello and a convertible Porsche Carrera to University for nearly 2 years.

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My Dad was a huge car enthusiast who held onto a 1969 Cougar in “Competition Orange” for 30 years before my older brother completely restored it and then built his house around it.  You heard that right – our Dad’s prized Cougar is now a focal piece in my brother’s home and the wall opens up into the garage so he can still drive it.  That Cougar spent many weekend evening out at the track drag racing.  Years later, I road raced cars briefly (Miata’s & BMW’s) in Texas under the guidance of my big brother who continues to race in Amateur and Pro World Challenge road racing on tracks across North America.  Today, my brother is still a car collector – now also dabbling in the world of electric cars and loving his Telsa.

The reason I am including all of this in my Mustang Review is because I think that American Muscle Cars in particular have so much nostalgia wrapped up in them.  The Mustang brought back all of these wonderful memories of my (late) Dad, living with my big brother in Texas in University and being spoiled by his car collection, stalling the Pantera, wowing my boyfriends with a Ferarri, taking the Viper to a backwoods Texas (aka hillbilly!) drag strip and spending countless weekends at race tracks all over the US.

The Mustang GT feels like the traditional Mustang we all know so well, but it also has all of the awesome technologies that Ford puts into all of their vehicles and it was SO MUCH fun to drive!  It’s a 6-speed manual.  It doesn’t have all the crazy luxuries that you might find in a BMW or Mercedes – it is a basic sports car.  A simple convertible top and not many dials or buttons inside.  There are definitely a few options for the more adventurous driver.  There is a sport mode which is pretty fun and then a track mode which removes traction control and is AWESOME!  I took the Mustang out to a few back roads near Devon to check out this feature.  It was SO fun – I only wish I had access to a track to really have some fun.  The last option is for weather; rain or snow.  I didn’t try this option out.  My only complaint about the options is that I would have liked to have left it on sport mode, but you do need to turn it on every time you get into the car – or at least I didn’t see an option in the settings to do this.

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There are also 3 steering wheel options – the sport and track modes make the steering wheel extra tight and make performance driving easy.  The car grips the road at high speeds and has excellent and precise handling. If you are looking to actually use the back seat for passengers, they will need to be the child-sized variety as there is little to no leg room and if you have a tall driver, the seat will be all the way back, touching the rear seats.  That didn’t stop us from installing 2 car seats for my little guys and a booster for my big girl.  There are two bucket seats in the second row; so enough for 2 rear passengers.  If you are thinking about installing car seats, it is tedious.  Obviously, this car wasn’t made for car seats, but does have the anchors that are required in case you have to install one.  While the car seat installation might have been tricky, the kids wanted to be riding in the car constantly.  The entire family loved this car!

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The exterior styling is beautiful.  Not as boxy as years past and the lines definitely give it a more high end sporty look.  The black carbon wheels are perfect, especially on the yellow model.  The interior is uncluttered and comfortable.  The usual features of Ford can be seen in the Sync 3, gauges and dash display.

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For those of you wondering about the trunk – it’s actually a good size!  Definitely big enough for golf clubs or a bunch of shopping bags!
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The front seats are comfortable and sporty, hugging you on both sides.  They are also heated and cooled, which makes driving with the top down in cool or hot temperatures more comfortable.
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There are some really cool, and easy to access track options.  You can record laps, there is a count down timer, acceleration, stay informed on levels etc.  All of this is displayed right above the steering wheel.img_4003
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If this car isn’t in the budget – definitely try and rent one.  It is a very popular rental!  Fun to drive, looks great and who doesn’t love a convertible? Thanks Ford – we love working with you!  The Titanium Fusion is up for review next.

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