By on October 20, 2011

My brother wasn’t the most adventurous member of the family. When we were kids he was always whining: “mommy I don’t wanna go in the hot air balloon”, “mommy, I don’t wanna ride the pony”. These memories came flooding back when I stepped out of a cute, light little Fiat 500 and into the high-beltline V6 Mustang. As the Mustang pulled up, my first thought was: mommy, I don’t wanna ride the pony. My problem with the Mustang V6 wasn’t the car itself, it was the driver: me. Maybe it’s because when I was a kid my Mustang was killed by the Mustang II. Maybe it was because the last 5.0 was really just a weak-sauce 4.9. Before I even got behind the wheel, I was asking myself: what is the point of the pony car? Is it just to look cool? Deliver easy burnouts? Why not buy something else? The new V6 ‘stang is headlined as the holy grail of RWD car shopping; 300+ HP, 30+ MPG or as I like to say: all the hoon, half the gas. Because of the hype I had to see for myself if the V6 pony car is the perfect RWD companion, or should if $22,000-32,000 would be better spent on something else. Let’s find out.

From the outside, the Mustang checks all the right boxes for me: it’s big, it’s bold, it’s brash. The same could be said of the Camaro, except that somehow the Chevy’s form ends up being a tad cartoonish for my tastes. The Camaro reminds me of that kid in high school that tried too hard to be cool and ended just up being weird instead. The Challenger is as true to the old muscle car form as any, and is perhaps my favorite style-wise in this segment. The 370Z’s simple lines are in many ways the most conservative in the segment, and the Hyundai Genesis being fairly unique among coupes. Of course style is very much a matter of personal taste, and the Mustang’s look may not be to your liking. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Let’s talk engines. While the Mustang’s design has historically evolved slowly over time with evolution not revolution describing the chassis and drivetrain changes, 2011 is different. While last year’s Mustang received the same 210HP 4.0L V6 and 4.6L “modular” V8 (that trace their history back to 1968 and 1991 respectively), the 2011 model year brings not one, but two new engines to the plate. While the power-hungry in the crowd will gravitate towards the new 5.0L “Coyote” engine with its 412 or 444 horses (GT vs Boss 302), the 305HP 3.7L V6 is what we’re here to talk about.

Ford’s 3.7L engine is a member of Ford’s new V6 family introduced in 2006. This family includes the 3.5L engine in the Ford Edge and the 3.5L twin-turbo direct-injected V6 in the Taurus SHO. For Mustang duty, Ford opted to fit the 3.7L variant with dual variable valve timing, skipping over turbos and direct injection no doubt to keep costs low, the V6 ‘stang starts at $22,310 after all. This means Ford’s new V6, like those from Japan, needs to rev to produce the advertised numbers. For someone that’s driven Ford’s previous generation pony cars, this high-revving nature takes some adjusting to get used to.

The exhaust note of the new Mustang doesn’t sound like other high-revving V6s like the 3.7L from Nissan which is like a siren call enticing you to rev the nuts off the engine. Instead, the Mustang reminds me of a mid-90s Pontiac with an exhaust tuned to highlight a low burble. Noise aside, there’s no arguing with the numbers, the new V6 produces 305HP at a lofty 6,500RPM (up a whopping 46%, or 95HP from the old 4.0L V6). Because the V6 isn’t force-fed, the torque gain is a more modest 15% increase to 280lb-ft at 4,250RPM.

While many reviews bemoan the high-revving needs of the V6 compared to the V8-packing GT, the numbers match up against the competition favorably with the Genesis 3.8 sporting 306HP @ 6300RPM and 266lb-ft at 4,700RPM, the 370Z packing 332 at 7,000RPM and 270lb-ft at a very lofty 5,200RPM and of course the Camaro V6 at 312HP at 6,500RPM and 278b-ft at 5,100RPM. Combine this with recent reports that Ford is underrating the V6’s power output and the blue oval’s latest baby-pony is certainly running with the “string”.

If the numbers make you leery, I can assure you that V6-burnouts are extremely easy and quite satisfying. Easy and satisfying are the two words that frequently came to mind when engaged in shenanigans I would normally never admit to engaging in. Suffice it to say the new V6 is far livelier than ever before, and while you do need to keep the revs up to keep the fun going, doing so is a cinch. Instead of spending money on a new independent rear suspension, Ford chose to fit the Mustang with a set of features that are just about worth the trade-off. First among them is the slick new 6-speed manual transmission, the same as GT buyers get. Shifts are incredibly short and the feel is almost up to BMW standards. Base V6 buyers also get true dual exhaust, a limited slip rear diff, side-impact airbags for when your sideways shenanigans end up in a tree and the usual assortment of power windows and locks. Ford didn’t just fiddle with options, they also stiffened the chassis and tweaked almost every aspect of the suspension.

When the going gets twisty, he base V6 Mustang can end up feeling like it’s writing checks its brakes and suspension just can’t cash (something that could never be said of the old V6). Fortunately Ford offers a solution to this problem in the form of the $1,995 “V6 Performance Package” which buys you GT brakes, GT suspension, sway bar, strut tower brace, performance rear axle, and 19-inch summer rubber. If you are buying the V6 mustang for any reason other than price, this option is an absolute must-have and the only reason a gear-head should buy the base V6 would be if you plan on modding your pony extensively.

Out on the road, the live rear axle works flawlessly on smooth roads but broken pavement unsettles things in a way you don’t experience in more expensive chassis setups like the 370Z or Infiniti G coupé. Still, the Camaro with its crashy ride is far worse, and the Dodge is just too soft and heavy for performance aspirations. The unsettled feel on mountain roads I frequent, combined with the numb electric power steering meant it took a few days to really start pushing the limits of the car, which are actually fairly high despite the less-than-polished road manners. Without access to a slalom or skid-pad I can’t speak absolute numbers, but the horizontal grip is quite possibly the best among the V6 competition. It’s the feel that sells the Mustang short, and makes it feel like your car is secretly plotting to kill you in some spectacularly diabolical fashion. Mind you, the Dodge Challenger V6 has absolutely nothing up its sleeve, neither does the Hyundai Genesis, and that makes them rather boring in comparison. The Camaro on the other hand just feels like it’s going to kill you in some sloppy un-planned affair that will end up in the tabloids.

Inside, the mustang shows off Ford’s recent attention to interior quality with suitably squishy dash bits, optional real aluminum trim, and all the modernity you expect in a car from the 21st century wrapped in a suitably retro wrapper. While I find the lack of a telescoping steering column a fairly large omission (especially due to the reclined seating position) taller drivers are likely to be fine, short drivers, not so much. At 6-feet tall, the Mustang’s high belt-line and far-away steering wheel position made me feel like I was driving my dad’s Oldsmobile when I was a kid, not the feeling I look for in a car. Fortunately for the gadget lover, a retro wrapper doesn’t mean old-school electronics. Well, OK, so the Mustang is “stuck” with the old SYNC navigation system for the moment. Personally however, I call that a good thing as it is far, far more responsive than the MyTouch system that has been receiving fairly bad press lately for sluggishness and frequent system crashes.

The only downside to the older SYNC system is the lack of a second USB port, no internet connectivity and a few differences in the voice command system, all of which I wager 99% of buyers will never miss. As always with SYNC, voice commanding your iPod or USB device, the navigation system or radio is just a button press away, the best thing since sliced bread and without real competition from anyone. Once Hyundai brings the new UVO system to the Genesis, the Korean coupé will give the Mustang a run for its money, but that’s later. Also on offer is an up-level Shaker audio system on which “Ice Ice Baby” sounds particularly bitchin, dual zone climate control, and an interesting gimmick in the form of “My Color”. MyColor allows the driver to select from a pre-defined selection of colors for the gauge cluster, or you can create your own “custom” colors by entering R G B values in the on-screen menu. Check out the video below for more.

YouTube Preview Image

Of course, comparisons are essential when you see a V6 Camaro or Challenger in the Starbucks parking lot. In this three-way-shootout the Mustang shines. The Dodge can be almost dismissed early due to the 600lb heavier curb weight and much larger proportions. (Due to the added heft, the V6 Mustang is more comparable to the V8 Challenger R/T.) The Camaro is a close contender and you could be forgiven for buying a Camaro because you like the look, you would however be buying the slower vehicle as the V6 Mustang is quicker (with the right manual driver of course). If however you see an Infiniti G Coupe or Nissan Z in the parking lot, just stare at your latte and get in your ‘Stang without making eye contact; they will beat you at the stop-light-races every time.

Perhaps the most appropriate comparison of all however is to the “other” Mustang, the GT. It goes without saying that Ford’s new 5.0L V8 sounds better, delivers more torque, more horsepower, faster 0-60 times and some totally rad 5.0L badges. (I know, I’m a child of the 70s, so sue me.) Pricing and fuel economy are the real reasons you would shop the V6 over the GT. The V6 starts at $22,310 which is about what you’d pay for something like a Chrysler 200 and $7,000 less than a base Mustang GT. Adjusting for feature content (aside from the fire breathing V8), the V6 still enjoys a $5,000 lower starting point. For me, the $695 reverse sensing system is an absolute must because of the poor rearward visibility. The $1995 performance package is a no-brainer since it basically gives you GT brakes, suspension, rear diff, etc.  This brings my personal realistic base price to a still reasonable $25,000. Stepping up to the “Premium” V6 (as our tester was equipped) gets you the snazzier instrument cluster with MyColor lighting, better looking 17-inch wheels (which are replaced by the performance package), the up-level Shaker audio system, SYNC, Satellite radio and an auto dimming rear-view mirror for a fairly hefty $4,000 over the base V6. If, however you would like things like heated power seats, dual-zone climate control and navigation, you have to start with the Premium trim. Our tester was an essentially fully loaded V6 premium (manual transmission) that rang in a $32,320, or the same price as a GT with only a few options.

I think we all agree we live in the muscle car renaissance. This new generation of muscle car delivers the brash style we Americans seem to crave and six-cylinder engines that would easily dust the majority of “muscle cars” from the last 20 years. However, this is 2011 and not 1991, and the rest of the automotive landscape has changed as well. In this light the V6 is not a high-performance muscle car; that would be the GT. It is however a blast to drive, a fairly good value, and more than enough pony for most shoppers, including perhaps that brother of mine.

 

Ford Provided the vehicle for our review, insurance and one tank of gas

Statistics as tested

0-30: 2.0 Seconds

0-60: 5.1 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 13.8 Seconds @ 102.0 MPH

Fuel Economy: 25.2 MPG over 689 miles

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94 Comments on “Review: 2011 Ford Mustang V6 Take Two...”


  • avatar
    tonyola

    We shouldn’t forget that the V6 will be substantially cheaper to insure, particularly for younger drivers. It is the “base” car, after all.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      Allstate put the difference at $160 / year for a 25 year old single male. Substantially insubstantial.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Insurance costs are based more on the vehicle repair costs and other factors rather than horsepower or hoonability. Of course a DUI, 3 violations, and being 18 years old would raise premiums far above the monthly payments.
        YMMV

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Ford continues to offer more for the money than most, and the Mustang is no exception. I wonder for how long the ’68 Mustang style can be played, sooner or later they need to update it.

    What would a GT with all those options sticker out at?

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’ve heard some issues with the 6-speed manual, how is the trans holding up behind the V6? (given that the trans should be way overbuilt for the V6s power.)

    • 0 avatar
      retrogrouch

      Not well. The 3.7 cars are suffering the same issues and failures.

      http://www.allfordmustangs.com/forums/2011-mustang-talk/268693-official-2011-mustang-manual-transmission-rough-shifting-thread.html

    • 0 avatar
      Johnny Canada

      Great article, Alex. I think you should have mentioned that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has started an investigation into reported transmission problems. ABC News is also planning to air a report on Mustang transmission failures (similar to the BMW fuel pump issue that forced a recall). There is so much more going on here than loose flywheel bolts. It’s a mess.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’m not gonna dig through all the websites, but I *think* the Mustang is the only one of the three that offers a 6/stick combo. The Camaro and Challenger sixes only come with automatics.

    Also not noted in the article: Along with all the “stuff” in the Performance Pack, the rear axle ratio is changed from 3.31:1 to 3.73:1. At least in theory, this will degrade fuel economy. By how much? Who knows?

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Came very close to purchasing a V6 mustang. Didn’t do so for three reasons:
    1. The Shaker Sound system is actually pretty bad.
    2. alot of reports of that “slick new 6-speed manual transmission” failing in lots of spectacular ways, and ford not honoring the warranty.
    3. For some reason, in Maryland, they are just extremely hard to find on dealer lots compared to the GT.

    I bought a used 3.8 Genesis Coupe instead. We’ll see if that turned out to be a smart move or not.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Shaker system is tuned towards a boomy bass-heavy sound, but it can be tweaked through the sound control menus to be pretty decent (turn down the bass a bit, turn up the treble some, and set the occupancy mode to driver instead of full cabin).

      There have been some issues with the 6 speed manual, but they aren’t as widespread as the forum talk would have you believe (something that is confirmed in the TrueDelta reports) and if you are going to have an issue it tends to show up pretty quick – it looks like it’s a quality control and manufacturing issue, not a design issue, so if you have a good one, you’re set. If you do have a problem it is also 100% covered under warranty, the only exception being if the failure was due to aftermarket modifications or racing. Still, I can see why you would want to be cautious, but I’ve only had one Mustang customer at this point who has had one with the rough/hard shift problems.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      I know I’m swimming against the tide, but for any car I contemplate purchasing I go to crutchfield.com first and check out how much of a PITA replacing the stereo will be. The mustang got eliminated because of the hvac/stereo integration.

      I’ve installed an aftermarket head unit in every car I’ve owned and I know that OEM units have improved, but it still seems like they have a way to go. Especially in a car such as this which has a younger demographic – they tend to emphasize bass and blinky lights over flat response.

      Now get off my lawn. :-)

      • 0 avatar
        drylbrg

        I’d go after the speakers before I’d replace a head unit. The sound out of the head unit can be tweaked but you can only do so much with awful OEM speakers.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        As an a car audio geek myself I too don’t worry that much about head units these days since they are all integrated into the dash in ways that make them impossible to change. Instead swap out the speakers, add a real amp, plus some kind of digital tuning (JBL MS-8 is a good one) and you’ll be fine.

      • 0 avatar
        rochskier

        Mike:

        You’re not the only one!

        Twice a year I visit my folks a couple states away. That’s a 12-hour drive one way at about 5 to 10 over the limit.

        A quality stereo is essential to avoid losing one’s mind over the course of this journey.

        I’m happy to report that the Boston Acoustics system in my Dodge is well up to the task, and I’ve actually had no urge to replace it whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        You’re basically correct, they do tend to emphasize boomy bass, and the speakers aren’t really very smooth in general. I’ve replaced the speakers in the last two vehicles, the HU was ok. The last HU I bought was a total nightmare, due to it’s being hypersensitive to voltage variations. The fan coming on with the headlights would cause the HU to lock up, and basically I sold it out of frustration (It took a LONG time to set up again, as it lost all the settings in it when it locked up) and then found the cause and solution was just a cap in the power leads.

      • 0 avatar
        VelocityRed3

        Dude, you are my Audio-logical(tm) brother. My Mazda 3 had the factory HU for about 40 hours after I bought it.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      The Shaker’s nothing special, but then most factory systems leave a lot to be desired, even the fancy branded stuff.

      I had the Shaker 500. Perhaps the Shaker 1000 is better, but it wasn’t worth the extra cash to lose the ability to carry golf clubs in the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The Shaker 1000 is the easiest upgrade to skip IMO. All it really does is add a big boomy subwoofer to the trunk, and if the Shaker 500 needs anything, it isn’t more bass.

        For the same price as the Shaker 1000 upgrade any half-decent car audio shop could overhaul the entire system in the car for a much higher quality end result.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        Pretty much. I knew a guy who did that on a Fusion of all things. But there’s a part of me that hates both tearing apart the interior of a brand new car and paying someone to do it.

        The Mustang at least ought to have a Sony-branded system like all the other Fords have. What is “Shaker,” anyway? Is that a brand, or just a description of what the stereo did to my door panels?

        Of course, Volkswagen is selling Fender-branded audio systems now. What in gods name does Fender have to do with car audio? Is there a Twin Reverb in the trunk or something?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        I don’t know what ‘Shaker’ is supposed to be either. The Sony branding is relatively new (within the past several years). Before that it was just ‘Ford Premium Audio’, which, depending on the vehicle, was actually pretty decent. In the Expedition, Escape, Fiesta, and probably some vehicles I’m forgetting it’s still not a Sony branded system when you upgrade the audio, but the sound quality certainly improves.

        Before Shaker the Mustangs had ‘Mach’ audio systems, which as far as I know might have also been a made up brand.

        If you get someone who knows what they’re doing it’s pretty easy to upgrade the speakers and amp without making any visible changes to the interior. Wiring can be run under the carpets and amps can be mounted out of the way. As was mentioned above the stock head units are fine in most vehicles these days, and it makes it easier to continue to use the steering wheel mounted audio controls without having to buy adapter cables. Depending on the car the stock unit might have pre-amp outputs already that make it easy to drop an amp and new speakers in, but even if it doesn’t good line output converters aren’t expensive.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    This V6 Mustang’s quarter mile ET and top speed times would make it run neck and neck with some of the most storied and hallowed musclecars of yesteryear, according to published tests. Including the 1970 Hemi Cuda, the 1970 Ram Air 400 TransAm, the 1969 Shelby GT 500 equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet and last but not least the 1967 Corvette with the six barrel 427. All big block cars whose reputations are well-burnished and and rightly revered.

    We live in the best of times for cars when a car like this still gets over 25 mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      I’m not going to say that you’re right or wrong but you have to remember that those cars had very narrow bias ply tires. It was very hard to get those cars to hook up. When they are timed with more modern, yet still relatively narrow, rubber they are quite a bit faster. Modern engines still have much better head design and the presence of fuel injection puts them far ahead.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        +1 From personal experience: the problem with the old rubber in the late 60s and 70s is that once “lit” it just melted off the tire, so traction actually decreased. This might be o.k. for a dragster with a very big contact patch, but it was definitely not o.k. for street cars. Comparatively modestly-powered cars weren’t too badly hurt by this because they didn’t generate enough power to keep the wheels spinning long enough to start the “melt.” But high-powered monsters could . . . and did.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    In the looks department, I think the Mustang’s refresh also looks rather cartoonish, too. I felt the previous version was more in the spirit of the original, but without the Coke-bottle hump over the rear wheels. It was a clean, linear design. This one? Not so much.

    All in all though, it seems to be a good value for the money and looks like a ball to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      All these retro-mobiles look a little cartoonish but they are cool in different ways. At least with the new V6s the models with higher fuel economy won’t just be for secretaries anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Unless they’re pink!

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        The coke-bottle shape is a bit of a Mustang item of design. The early 70′s and the SN-95 (1994-98) Mustang’s had that narrow front, wide ass look that flowed back towards the rear spoiler. The Sn-95 was also supposed to be the first “retro-stang” with its twin-cowl dash, functional scoops in the doors, and “cheese-grater” tail lamps.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    “For me, the $695 reverse sensing system is an absolute must because of the poor rearward visibility. The $1995 performance package is a no-brainer since it basically gives you GT brakes, suspension, rear diff, etc. This brings my personal realistic base price to a still reasonable $25,000 for the manual and $26,195 for the slush-box.”

    FYI- You can’t get the Performance Package with the automatic transmission, only the 3.31 LSD for $395. So your $26,195 price for a V6 auto w/ performance package and reverse sensors doesn’t exist.

  • avatar
    Prado

    That test car looks hot! It’s a head scratcher to me why Ford eliminated this color for 2012 on the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I don’t know why either. It was one of the most popular colors. There were plans to bring it back the second half of production on 2012s, but the Japanese Tsunami and related damage caused a disruption in supply for a key material needed in several of Ford’s paints, and thus paint plans for 2012 models were heavily modified and revised and the re-introduction of Sterling Grey was scrapped.

      • 0 avatar
        rochskier

        A few months ago, I saw a 2005-2010 Mustang decked out in a very similar grey-green color with black racing stripes and black wheels with silver rims. I found it very attractive yet it did not scream, “LOOK AT ME!” in any fashion.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I am partial to Lava Red myself, but alas, this color was also eliminated by the Tsunami.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Lava red had an extremely short period of availability. Ford introduced the color on the 2010 Harley Davidson F-150, on which I didn’t think it looked that great (seemed to close to the standard black). On the Mustang it was a very sharp choice, especially when the light hits it right. There are very few with the lava red paint left on the lots (I’m seeing 5 in the entire state of FL, and two of them are Rousch conversions).

  • avatar

    The fuel economy.

    Is only 4 MPG less than my Fit gets.

    That.
    That’s pretty amazing.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I like the Mustang a lot but the $2000 jump for the V8 just seems worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Re-read the review , the price jump to the V8 is actually $5000 more.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Base V6 Coupe to Base GT Coupe (or Premium V6 Coupe to Premium GT Coupe) the difference is about $7,000 retail sticker. The difference in package discounts and incentives drops it to about $6,000 (not accounting for differences in base equipment). Besides the bigger engine you do get some improved performance parts with the GT, but interior appointments and technology/luxury features are pretty much the same in the base V6/base GT and the Premium V6/Premium GT.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    drylbrg,

    Rose-colored memories of how fast the old generations of musclecars were based on how they were equipped THEN, not how they could have or would have or should have been equipped NOW. No doubt the tuner crowd will seize this V6 Mustang and soon it will be in the 11 or 12 second ET range, making it in the very top echelons of musclescars of all time. But showroom stock versus showroom stock gives a valid comparison between the Big Block V8 polluting Monsters of yore and the smogged V6 of today.

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      There is no doubt that people remember those cars as being faster than they were back in the day. I was just saying that the reason they weren’t as fast as you’d think was the tires. I don’t think that slapping on some radial tires takes the cars too far from stock. When you do that you get an idea of just how strong those engines were. Remember, we’re talking about large, solid lifter, high compression engines with no emission controls.

  • avatar
    rem83

    It’s interesting to note that the numbers I found for a ’68 Shelby GT500KR are 0-60 in 5.5 with a 13.7 second quarter mile.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Alex –

    Have you driven a 2012 Mustang with the variable effort steering yet? It’d be interested in seeing how you feel the new options to tune steering feel effect the driving experience.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I checked out a 2011 V6 Mustang,and a 2011 Camaro both convertibles. As far as looks goes, as Alex mentioned,its subjective. As a GM retiree my loyalties went to the Chev. However as a couple in thier fifties, we found the Camaro was not as “user friendly” as the Mustang.

    Truth be known, after you add up all the numbers,the “out the door” price was over our budget.

    We settled for a gently used 08 V6 Mustang,and we love it.

    IMHO With all the retro cars I’ve seen, the 2005 to 2010 Mustang is the best looker of them all.

    Now as far as V6 Mustangs go,they are real popular with the tuner/mod crowd. I think that if you were to buy one,and keep it original,your resale value will look real good in 5 or 6 years.

  • avatar
    obruni

    wait, 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, and yet its NOT a high performance car?!

    what the hell, TTAC?

  • avatar

    You Americans – you can’t hide your bias no matter how hard you try. I must say it was a very good review, every bit of it – except it lacked a few pictures of the engine. I don’t blame you, subconsciously you kept your ugly cousin out of the family photograph even though she could lift more than all the men combined. Like I said I don’t blame you, this is North America and although we didn’t invent it we certainly made it better and more popular than anyone else on the planet – we did for the V8 what the Italians did for pasta and large breasted …

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …….subconsciously you kept your ugly cousin out of the family photograph even though she could lift more than all the men combined….

      What the &*$% does that mean? A strong, built woman is inherently ugly? While you certainly can find plenty that are pretty brutal, a fit woman that is not afraid of the weight room is (usually) totally hot!

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    I owned an ’11 GT Premium with the manual for a little over a year. I had wanted one for probably 20 years, and it was a lot of fun. But finding myself with two cars, a 50 mile Midwestern daily commute and a realization that my financial situation was not nearly as strong as it should be, I decided the impractical Mustang needed to go and I unloaded it at Carmax about a month ago.

    So, after a year with a car that the auto rags and fanboys have been foaming at the mouth over, some thoughts:

    PROS
    - Performance. The V6 is impressive, but the 5.0 is unbelievable. The gearing is just right, so it’s perfectly docile around town, but it will also push you back in your seat as it screams up to 80 on that onramp. I don’t think I ever managed a sub-5 second 0-60 time (clumsy left foot), but I’ll vouch for the fact that it still had plenty of pull when I finally backed off on a 5% grade in 6th gear. At 120 MPH.

    - Comfort. Best seats I’ve ever had, hands down. Even with those stupid headrests that jut out. Only car that didn’t fatigue me after a 10 hour slog – provided I didn’t hit stop and go traffic. Very quiet on the road, too. A fantastic, if not downright epic, cost-no-object interstate cruiser for two.

    - Style. I like the 2010 updates for the most part. It dials down the retro ever so slightly and corrects some of the old car’s more ham-fisted details, particularly inside.

    CONS
    - Fit/Finish. Is crap. My black example had blemished paint, door rattles, and the same thoughtlessly-place wheel weights the Camaro was lambasted for. The dash is great (misaligned aluminum trim excluded), but everything else is is made of rock-hard plastic (with finger-cutting flash on the worthless door bins), laughable pleather upholstery and cheap carpet that doesn’t extend all the way up the footwell.

    -Ride/Handling. My previous vehicle also had a live axle, so my personal expectations were low, but it needs to be said. Under ideal conditions, its great and beats the snot out of the sloppy ride in my friend’s Camaro. But not so much so under my pothole-plagued part of the world. And you’re in for a surprise the first time the rear end kicks out when you hit that rough patch while taking a corner even at responsible speeds. A note to enthusiasts who harp about there not being more RWD cars and have a) Never driven a RWD vehicle, b)Never driven in snow or c) Are delusional about their driving prowess: You don’t want to drive this car in the winter, period. If it’s a GT with the 3.73 rear, you’ll barely want to drive it if its wet out, which brings me to my next point…

    -Choose Your Rear Axle Wisely. The much-hyped MPG on these cars were based on the 2.73 (for the V6) and the 3.31 (for the GT). I have the 3.73 and I got, at best, 24 MPG if I really babied it (which is so freaking hard in these cars), not the advertised 26. I didn’t buy the car for mileage (duh) and it beat the heck out of my old SUV, so whatever. Just realize your mileage will vary. More importantly, the extra off-the-line torque from that 3.73 gets unruly if conditions aren’t ideal or you have a cinder block for a right foot like I do. To an extent, that’s part of the fun of this car, but get the 3.31 if you just want a cool cruiser.

    - SYNC. Has potential, but it’s half-baked and not properly supported. Lost the ability to access my phonebook and use voice commands to make calls when I got my iPhone 4. Couldn’t use voice commands to access my music when I plugged in my old iPhone 3G (SYNC was “indexing” my playlist for eternity). Adding one lousy song to my trusty old iPod required 20 minutes of re-indexing. Occaisionally forgot my iPod was plugged in until I disconnected it or restarted the car. The promised Pandora app finally showed up, but only for the 2012 models.

    - Ford. The worst part about this car is the company that builds and sells it. The quality control, as evidenced by the Getrag transmission problems (mine was okay, just balky and noisy), is lacking, as is the customer service. I’m sure some Ford employee or dealer will come on here and tell me how wrong I am, or how isolated it all is, or how if I just go to my friendly local dealer, they’ll take care of everything. That’s missing the point. I don’t want to go to the dealer and I shouldn’t have to. Even if my salesman was a great guy, I really don’t want to have to keep going back to him because my paint job is bad, or because I need him to walk me through some SYNC issue, or because Dearborn decided to ignore the transmissions and engine pinging altogether. What really kills me though is how the automotive media is so tone deaf on this. Yes, Ford’s really stepped up its products (although its the same, ultimately bogus narrative that was shoved down our throats with the Contour and first-gen Focus) while Honda has decided to punt and GM decided to go bankrupt, but that doesn’t mean Ford should get a free pass.

    But I digress. In short: The Mustang is awesome, but I don’t miss mine.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      I experienced the same Ford car issues, but not the dealer issues.

      I have found the local Ford dealer cheaper, kinder, and quicker than any other dealer. I take all my Toyota and Honda cars to the Ford dealer for an oil change. It is done for a low price with a smile. No appointment needed. Done in 30 minutes while I wait on a Saturday afternoon. The dealer sends someone to pick up the filter from a Toyota dealer nearby.

      The local Toyota and Honda dealer require an appointment one month in advance, and even with that, I wait and wait and wait, before being hit with a $40.00+ bill with attitude. Don’t even think about arriving without an appointment. I am thinking about giving the Ford dealer a shot at the wheel alignment on my Highlander.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        The dealer I bought from was atrocious, but the place I got the car serviced at wasn’t bad. And I really did like the no-appointment oil changes. Ford’s dealer network is very large, old and too varied in quality to make generalizations – same goes for GM. Like most other manufacturers, Ford’s got some sort of customer satisfaction program for its dealers, meaning that you get bombarded with surveys about your dealership experience – and the shady dealers will just try to pressure you into giving them good ratings, so its all moot and just another hassle to the consumer, IMHO.

        I’ve owned multiple Hondas and a Toyota. I’ve been almost always pleased by the service I’ve gotten at various Honda dealers. But Toyota…every single dealer I’ve set foot in has been just awful. Arrogant, dishonest sales departments and indifferent service departments. My folks have been buying Toyotas since 1980, and they’ve yet to find a dealer they didn’t despise, either.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        I’m new to the world of Fords. So….. we got got two Ford dealers in my area. I needed the plastic cover for my power outlet/cigarette lighter.

        At dealer number one the parts dude was too lazy to look it up. He told me to try the after market web site.

        Dealer number two, the guy spent 10 minutes matching my model and dash,and then taking the time to look at my dash. Then he orders the part,takes my phone number and calls me three days later. The part cost $7.50.

        Guess the dealer that gets my buisness?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve-O

      I own a 2012 GT and completely agree with your comments on the performance of this car. The 5.0 is simply an incredible engine. I’m happy I got the standard 3.31 rear end because I do a fair amount of highway travel and she averages 27mpg on a pretty flat, uneventful cruise at around 70-75. Once you get to 80-85 it drops to around 24.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      You don’t want to drive this car in the winter, period.

      I don’t want to drive any car in the winter without good tires! What make/model of winter tires were you using?

      Regardless, thanks for the detailed review.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Digging through the reviews here, came upon this post and thought I’d comment about the axle options for the Mustang in the GT at least, selecting the 3.55 or 3.73 axle options slows the 1/4 mile times of the car as it forces an additional shift into 4th instead of crossing the line in 3rd. Most of the fastest times set with the current Mustang GT have been with the 3.31 rear gears. By comparison the GT500 with its tremec TR6060 would have to use a final drive around 5.30 or more to match the 1st and 2nd gear tranmission of the Mustang GT

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    I’m probably a dork for knowing this, but the old 4.0L Cologne V-6 can actually trace it’s roots all the way back to 1962 when the Cologne-built Taunus V-4 was introduced. The 1968 V-6 was just a V-4 with two cylinders added on – for many years (all the way into the 1980s) the V-6 had siamesed exhaust ports and looked like a V-4 if you counted the exhaust pipes coming off the heads and not the spark plug wires. The V-6 even retained the offset crankcase designed to make room for a balance shaft, even though it wasn’t needed….it was easier than redesigning the block.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      I have the older pushrod version of this motor in my ’92 Ford Ranger truck and learned it’s an outgrowth of the 2.9L V6, which was a bumped up 2.8L and goes back to the 2.6L found in the old Capri’s.

      Then they modified it to an OHC, now DOHC motor and I hear it’s a lump of a motor now but back in its pushrod days, it was a pretty decent mill for the times.

      I have 235,600+ miles on mine and it still runs, leaks and all.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ Wheeljack….A dork?..I think not. Having being a life long GM owner,the Mustang V6 is the first newer Ford I’ve ever owned. Any info is good info.

  • avatar

    There will always be the V6 stigma associated with the base models, no matter how good they may be. They are still the slow sister to the sexier V8 models (or V6, as the case may be).

    My father has been checking these out lately. He “doesn’t need” a V8… But after a few test drives he realized quite quickly that the V6 isn’t up to snuff despite the on-paper numbers. He drives an Acura TL and kept saying the Camaro and Mustang V6 felt damn near identical in the power department, even though the Acura is a 6.5-7 second 0-60 car and the Americans are supposed to be in the 5 sec range. He ruled them out as a result, the excitement he was hoping for simply wasn’t present. And if you have driven a TL you will know that is pretty damning – it aint exactly a rocketship ‘Ring burner of a sedan.

    For my money I’d pony up (pun intended) for the GT or go full ricer and get a Nissan/Infiniti with that magnificent V6. The VQ is still one of my all time favourite motors.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      That was pretty much my standpoint when I got mine. The GT was totally unnecessary, yet somehow essential at the same time. The Mustang’s a “Go big or go home” sort of car. Plus it just looks all wrong without the fog lamps.

      Yeah, I paid 7 grand more for it, but it was worth 7 grand more when I sold it. So in the end it didn’t really cost me any more.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The character of the V6 Mustang is completely different from the GT. To get the most out of the engine in the V6 you have to keep the revs high and shift smart, it’s a sharp contrast to the gobs-of-ready-torque feeling that you get from the GT.

      I’ve found that older buyers feel more comfortable with the GT because the engine behaves like what they expect from a traditional American muscle/pony car, while younger buyers are more open to the more Japanese/import character of the high revving V6.

      I’m sure gearing has something to do with it, but the older 4.0 V6 feels a bit quicker off the line in typical city/town driving than the new 3.7. The older 4.0 runs out of steam though just where the new 3.7 really starts to come into its own.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        NulloModo…..Up here in Canada you need to do 75 to 80 mph on the highway or you will get run over.

        Your right, the 4.0 V6 does the job, but just.

      • 0 avatar
        ciddyguy

        You are totally right in the 4.0L V6, in my ’92 Ranger (pushrod version), it only revs to around 5000rpm whereas the new V6 redlines much higher but the 4.0L has more torque at the lower revs so it evens out somewhat, even with 160HP on tap.

    • 0 avatar
      rochskier

      I’ve driven the V6 Camaro, and it feels as quick as my Dodge Magnum AWD R/T. The Camaro has less punch off the line because it has much less torque, but its lower weight means that it runs from 0-60 in about the same time.

  • avatar
    Seminole 95

    Why do they make the speedometer hard to read? I like to set the cruise at 54 on my 45 mph speed limit daily commute (was told twice that police won’t ticket for less than 10 mph over).

  • avatar
    cugrad

    Its a shame that Ford built such a nice car then saddled it with such a bad transmission. I would likely be driving a 5.0 right now if it weren’t for the 5% chance that the car would have a major malfunction for which Ford appears to have no fix yet. I had a 97 Mustang V6 and drove it for nine years. Turned out to be very reliable (never got bitten by the head gasket).

    • 0 avatar
      Steve-O

      Do we really know what the percentage chance of getting a faulty transmission is? That question was on my mind when I ordered my 2012 GT, and I’m glad to say that she shifts flawlessly.

      I checked out True Delta and it appears the 2011 Mustang has slipped a bit but is still a very reliable vehicle. Lets hope Ford finds a solution for those folks having problems, but I would like to know what the actual numbers are.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnny Canada

        Good luck waiting for Ford to release that data to the public. Ford is in denial mode hoping to out run a forced Federal recall. I love the new Mustang, but won’t buy one with their current transmission specification. Last time I checked, Ford is still blaming their customers and updating the sound insulating blanket under the transmission tunnel. Sad.

  • avatar
    skor

    I’m hoping that the next gen Mustang will come equipped with the turbo straight six from Ford’s Oz Falcon.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I don’t think the Aussie I6 is ever coming to these shores.

      If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the engine lineup for the next-gen Mustang will be something along the lines of:

      2.0 EcoBoost (around 250 hp) – Base Engine
      New small displacement V6 (3.0 liter? maybe around 350hp?) EcoBoost – Volume performance model
      5.0 upgraded with DI (450hp or thereabouts) – Mustang GT
      5.0 DI twin turbo (600hp or so maybe without the EcoBoost branding) – New Shelby/Cobra

      The real question with be transmission options. Ford has stated that 8 speed autoboxes are coming for Lincoln, but if Chrysler is rolling out 8-speeds in Chrysler and Dodge brander vehicles, Ford might have to move those across the lineup to be competitive. The other possibility would be an evolution of the current PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox, maybe with an extra cog or two, with paddle shifters and a more aggressive shift program for the Mustang. I can’t see manuals with more than 6 speeds catching on, as that would just require too much shifting.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Porsche will have a 7 speed manual transmission in their next 911. Having a car with torque characteristics similar to the V6 ‘Stang, I find that I can ignore gears 5 and 6 on my suburban commute already. Using 3&4 seem to work fine and using 5&6 doesn’t seem to help economy, just requires more shifting to avoid sluggish response.
        I remember when a 7 cog freewheel was a BFD on a bicycle, now we got them on cars….

  • avatar
    ajla

    It was faster than the Chrysler 200 to 60, but ended up with the same trap speed.

  • avatar
    SKUSA_boy

    Only old people buy “muscle” cars these days. The kids would take a Mazdaspeed 3 over a V6 Mustang, and an Evo over a GT model.

    The stage coach rear axle in the Mustang is a joke. The same goes for the overly soft suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Not at all true. I have a lot of customers in their 20s-30s looking at and buying Mustangs, and I’ve seen plenty of younger drivers in Camaros. The Mustang GT seems to appeal to older buyers more, but a lot of that is the price point. Most people in their 20s/30s don’t have the income to support a payment for a mid 30K car.

      I won’t get into the benefits vs drawbacks of the live rear axle, as that argument has been played out hundreds of times already, but the suspension on the Mustang, and I would assume the Camaro as well, differs depending on the package. The standard V6 Mustang suspension is exactly like it should be – hints of sportiness, but not so stiff that it beats you up as a daily driver. Plenty of people buy these cars for the style and image and have no intentions of ever taking them to the track or driving anywhere near the car’s limits.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      That is most likely due to the fact that most 20-30 year olds can’t afford the GT model Mustangs and SS Camaros. There lucky to afford College and a wet dream.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Ponder, if you will, that a V-6 mill (do the younguns’ nowadays use the slang term “mill” for the engine?) IS, in a manner of speaking, a slant-6 engine.

    A dual slant-6 !!!!!

    Boss!!! Outtasight!!!!

    Is “groovy” “pushing it”?

    Whatever.

    Still cantankerous in the shanty confronting squalid economic times and awaiting the local herd/horde to commence their version of the “Occupy movement” (the Disgruntled One is one of the older hangers-on at local meetings and public affairs) and ready to scamper out of the shanty to occupy the local locale decided upon for “occupying.”

    Will take a few resumes along to possibly pass out.

    Remembering with fondness the quaintness of the much-loved ’72 Plymouth Duster-mobile with the stodgy slant-6 and 3-on-the-tree tranny and front bench seat and vinyl seat covering and the in-dash AM radio and the added-on 8-track tape player hanging below the metal dash with the two minute wedge-shaped speakers perched upon the rear “parcel shelf” behind the rear seat.

    This is the Disgruntled Old Coot shouting “Howdy” from atop the Ozark Plateau amidst a human horde/herd of brain-damaged weirdness of local yokels who apparently equate engine decibel output with volumetric efficiency and whatever your preferred power measurement is as measured at the rear (or front) wheels.

    Y’all drop on by now. Yah’ hear?

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    We just bought a base model Mustang. We were actually looking at the Focus, or perhaps the Sonic, but in the end, for a few grand more, we could have something we wanted that I knew was the better car by far.

    We have the very base model though, except for the rear spoiler and a automatic (due to the wife, and the problems with the manual). For $22k, you get a lot of performance. The car is also solid, and we don’t miss any of the stupid gadgets. Well, I can’t stand cloth seats, and I don’t find these to be the greatest, but it’s passable for now. I might have them re-covered in a few years, or find some leather units from a wrecked unit; we’ll see.

  • avatar
    Banger

    Part of me wants a base Mustang as a no-compromise (performance vs. fuel economy) daily driver. You’ve got to keep it in perspective– I’ve always driven four-cylinder compact pickup trucks, the fastest of which had about 140 horses, so 305 is going to feel *fast!* with an exclamation point.

    My fantasy has been to wait until our son is five or six years old (and thus only in a booster seat instead of the monstrosities we know as child car safety seats) and buy one, parking my 2006 truck, the Banger Ranger, using it only for weekend hauling duties. By that time, the Ranger will have earned a rest, anyway. It currently sits at 80,000 miles, and by that time should have at least 150,000 miles on it.

    I hope by that time they haven’t boogered up the styling of the Mustang too much and the much-ballyhooed transmission issues are completely sorted. I really like the current style.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Well if they have sorted the issues but effed up the styling, you might get a good deal on a certified used unit too.

      • 0 avatar
        Banger

        Good point, Dan. Every once in a while I stumble across a killer pre-owned Ford around here. The dealer I bought the Banger Ranger from happens to have a gem now and then. Maybe I can catch a lightly used, decently priced 2012-2014 Mustang up there on their lot when the time comes. Surely they won’t toss the current body style to the curb before the 2014 model year.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Hey man, I’m watching out for yah. I’m about to get remarried and start popping out little tricycle motors myself and Daddy still wants a cool car.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “Maybe it was because the last 5.0 was really just a weak-sauce 4.9″ – OUCH, Son! Try to remember that the ‘weak-sauce’ 4.9L brought the Stang, AND the muscle car back from the dead in the ’80s. And the final version in my ’95 Cobra may have had only 255HP/320lbft on tap, but it has a killer clutch system that puts nearly all that power down. Plus with its 2.73 final drive it gets 27 mpg on the highway, still posting 5 sec 0-60 times. Have a little respect for an icon. They are hardly what hype has made them to be.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I would consider one of these but only with an automatic trans. Even with the base 2.73 gear set power should still be about 6.0 seconds to 60 or less and 30 highway should be obtainable. Too bad the stick is a China made POS.


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