Road test: Ford Mustang

Posted on May 30th, 2016 by James Luckhurst

The Mustang finally brings all its glitz and glamour to UK shores.

 

Road test: Ford Mustang

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What is it?

The Ford Mustang is the US muscle car that we’ve waited 50 years for. It has finally arrived in the UK in right-hand drive in either fastback or convertible body styling.

How safe is it?

As well as comprehensive electronic driver aids, the car is the first vehicle to be equipped with a knee airbag that is integrated into the glovebox to free up passenger legroom.

Who should buy one?

The initial outlay is impressively competitive and the performance
statistics are blisteringly fast, so this is a car for motorists with a burning desire for speed.

Road test by Maxine Ashford published 31 May 2016

 

 

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
Road test: Ford Mustang

It may be in its sixth generation since first going into production back in 1964, but this is the first right-hand-drive Mustang to be offered in the UK and customers have been champing at the bit to place orders. In fact, sales have already exceeded the 3,500 mark, with prices starting from £30,495 for the lower-powered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine.
But the bulk of buyers have opted for the all-singing, all-dancing mighty 5.0-litre V8 GT model, so it was that car in Fastback guise with a six-speed automatic transmission that we put through its paces.
First, the car’s jaw-dropping good looks cannot be ignored. Ford describes the Mustang as a ‘car that will make you feel alive’ and it does just that with its long bonnet, trapezoidal grille, traditional shark-bite front bumper, muscular haunches and raked rooflines. Add in the tri-bar LED tail lamps and an engine soundtrack to match its looks and the Mustang is a car that radiates character and confidence.
In busy town centres, visibility is hindered by the small windows, yet the car is deceptively agile and easy to manoeuvre. But the Mustang is built for performance, and it’s out on the faster lanes where it really excels. Acceleration through the six-speed automatic transmission is effortlessly fast and you can use the paddle shifts if you fancy extra control over the gear changes. In addition there are selectable drive modes to adjust the gearshift patterns, electronic stability control, throttle responses and steering to match Normal, Sport+, Track or Snow/Wet settings.
The road holding is beautifully assured, meaning tight bends can be attacked with confidence and the vehicle’s sublime balance means any body roll is kept to a minimum. If sliding is your thing, the Mustang will oblige with the traction control switched off. But otherwise, the handling and driving dynamics can be as exciting and controlled as you desire.

SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Road test: Ford Mustang

The interior is deceptively spacious up front and the passenger has oodles of room, thanks to the positioning of the knee airbag within the glovebox area. Back seat passengers are less well catered for and long journeys may cause some discomfort.
The Mustang is a wide vehicle and the doors are lengthy, so you need to be mindful when parking in supermarket bays or you could find yourself waiting for returning shoppers.
The boot is reasonably practical, with a capacity of 408 litres (332 litres on the convertible models) and there are numerous handy storage compartments throughout the vehicle.
All dials and controls are perfectly positioned for ease of use, and the car is richly equipped. On the downside, the cheaper materials incorporated into the cockpit area let the overall appearance down. But it’s worth remembering the price tag before being too critical.

SAFETY
Road test: Ford Mustang

Due to the low UK sales volumes, the car is unlikely to undergo the usual Euro NCAP testing. It was, however, awarded the highest safety marks in the equivalent US tests. Features include a pedestrian-friendly pop-up bonnet, electronic stability control with three settings, Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps and a full set of airbags including the world’s first glovebox knee airbag.

EQUIPMENT
Road test: Ford Mustang

The Mustang is kitted out with plenty of innovative technology. It features Ford’s SYNC 2 infotainment system with voice control and a touchscreen which lets you select music, control navigation and temperature. On some models the satnav is a £795 option which also adds a pitch-perfect 12-speaker Shaker Pro premium audio system. Standard models feature nine speakers.

COSTS

Road test: Ford Mustang

Few would believe the starting price for the Mustang line-up is just £30,495. Many models with just a fraction of the character and styling would cost far more. But even the most economical 2.3-litre EcoBoost model can only achieve combined fuel efficiency of 35.3mpg. In reality expect to see about 20-25mpg at best. Insurance groups in the 40s will also hit the bank balance hard.

WE SAY
The Mustang finally brings all its glitz and glamour to UK shores.

AT A GLANCE:
Price: £35,995 as tested
Performance: 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds
Economy: 23.5mpg combined
Insurance: Group 43
Tax: Band M (£1,100)

Figures for the Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Fastback automatic