By on May 30, 2012

For someone who prides himself on slaughtering the sacred cows of automotive journalism, such as the irrational infatuation with the CTS-V Wagon, it was about time that I got a taste of my own medicine. The Ford Mustang V6 ended up being the bitter pill that finally bitch slapped by bloated, post-adolescent head back down to normal proportions. But just as I had swallowed the last bit of humble pie, there came another vehicle that led me to question the received wisdom propagated by enthusiast publications.

In my mind, the V6 Mustang carried an inexoribale stigma of poor moral character, prior credit delinquencies and even borderline femininity. One buys a Mustang for the booming, belligerent V8 engine. A V6, no matter how good, would never be right, and the failure of the SVO edition (yes, I know it’s a turbocharged 4-cylinder) despite its dynamic superiority was, in my mind, vindication of my idea that all Mustangs must have 8 cylinders.

Not even the critical acclaim for the 305 horsepower 2011 Mustang V6 was enough to sway me. Like a stubborn, pig-headed Car Lounge regular convinced of the inferiority of “fail-wheel drive”, I firmly supported V8 Mustang hegemony, turning down V6 Mustang press cars and doing whatever I could to book myself into the Boss 302 or Shelby GT500 versions. It was Davey G. Johnson of Autoweek who first put me on to the fact that the V6 Mustang was worth driving. “It’s great,” he said in between drags of American Spirits. “It’s lighter, there’s less weight over the front wheels, it’s still fast. It’s what I’d buy if I wanted a new ‘Stang.”

I couldn’t believe that a grown man, an auto enthusiast no less, would profess his admiration for what I thought of as mere fodder for administrative assistants and the Hertz Fort Lauderdale rental lot. I let him know as much, but Davey wasn’t having any of it.

“Dude, you’re like 7 years old. You don’t even remember when the V6 Mustang really was a secretary’s car. Yeah, the Boss is cool, but I’m telling you, the V6 is awesome.” Fast forward 7 months and I’ve been bugging the Ford fleet guys for first crack at the Boss and the upcoming 2013 Shelby GT500. I’ve just sold my Miata and my first press car since is a Mustang. A V6 Mustang. I’m hardly petulant or jaded enough to complain about my disappointment in getting a free car for a week, but I felt a certain twinge of irony when i thought about the idea of my nimble, flickable elementally pure Miata being replaced by the Mustang Low T edition – all of the weight and heft of the Ford ponycars, none of the ragining masculine essence that makes them so anti-social and fun.

This one was different. Although it conspicuously lacked the 5.0 badges that I longed for in a Mustang, it had the wonderful fabric Recaro bucket seats from the Boss. Unlike its track-focused brother, the 6-speed manual was light and crisp, the clutch easy to operate and it still made a burly burble when prodded – it just sounded more 370Z than 351 Windsor. Put the power down in a V8 Mustang, and the back-end bucks and jives, like an adolescent girl performing a racy hip-hop routine in front of her mortified parents. If the V8 is like an out of control Miley Cyrus, the V6 is like Taylor Swift, putting the power down in a demure, dignified manner with minimal histrionics.

As good as the Mustang V6 is, I’d still have to have the V8, no matter how flawed. The wart-laden driving experience (as someone used to Japanese cars, the Mustang’s seat position, vague steering and overall heft are alien to me) and price premium is all negated by the gurgling V8′s note and superior forward thrust. “Coital” is the word to describe the feeling of tearing through the gears in a 5.0 Track Pack, the ultimate street Mustang. The Boss 302 is a bit much for the daily grind. The GT500 just screams “I NEED CIALIS” and the interior looks like a brothel.

On the other hand, there is a V6 powered Ford that is unreservedly better than the much hyped V8, and it only came to light after spending some time with the F-150 SVT Raptor.

The Raptor may be the most hyped American vehicle next to the CTS-V Wagon, but unlike the two-box Caddy, which is admittedly versatile and somewhat practical, the Raptor is a single-purpose vehicle. Once you get past all the hyperbolic copy about blasting through the desert and long-travel Fox shocks, the Raptor really is an utterly miserable vehicle in 99 percent of situations that you encounter behind the wheel. In mixed driving, I got 11.4 mpg as the vaunted chassis and suspension setup did its best to make sure I knew about every frost heave and pavement patch on the road. The 6.2L V8 was full of sound and fury but all did was signify to other drivers that I was a goofy looking show-off with a noisy orange truck. Those who knew better (i.e. use trucks for manual labor jobs) mocked the short bed, and the additional 7 inches of width did not come in hand when navigating the two-lane city streets on my commute to work.

Reconciling the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the Raptor with reality seemed impossible, until I read that almost all of the test drives praising it to high heaven were conducted off-road, whether at a Ford-sponsored press event in a desert locale, or somewhere else sandy and rugged. Living with the car every day outside of those environments made the idea of setting it ablaze for an insurance payout seem favorable. The 26 gallon fuel tank would ensure a fiery death, like a Buddhist Monk protesting Burma’s military junta, and then I’d take the insurance money and buy my favorite truck, an F-150 Ecoboost Platinum. The Platinum may be a truck for someone who comes to the job site for an hour and then heads to the golf course, but it’s far more useful for me to have a cushy, leather-lined SuperCrew than a dune-bashing brotruck considering that the nearest desert is halfway across the country. Up here, the Platinum, generously equipped, is $62,000, while a loaded Raptor is about $65,000. Even a Lariat, at about $49,000, would be fine. The truly rapid acceleration of the Ecoboost combined with the reduced heft and additional creature comforts are right up my alley. The silly posturing and off-road pretensions that go along with the Raptor are not – I’m the kind of person who calls an electrician to change a light bulb. But the F-150, to me, is a Ford product where having the lesser model with a V6 is actually a benefit. But I still want to see a new Mustang SVO, with the 3.5L Ecoboost, so I can do awesome burnouts full of whistling turbos and fluttering wastegates. Maybe I’m still as immature as Davey G suggests?

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120 Comments on “Of Virtuous V6s And Crappy Raptors...”


  • avatar
    omer333

    I had a 2006 V6 Mustang that was traded fro a Civic Si Sedan a few months before I had my first child. I loved the car, it could get out of it’s own way without trouble, great interior, rode well, and could drive from Monterey to LA on pretty much one tank of gas.

    When the kids are a bit bigger, I hope to get into a new Mustang V6, because 300+ horsepower at the crank on regular gas, cheaper to get into, and lower insurance are worth it to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      “When the kids are a bit bigger, I hope to get into a new Mustang V6, because 300+ horsepower at the crank on regular gas, cheaper to get into, and lower insurance are worth it to me.”

      You just hit the nail on the head for what I’m kinda wanting to do. My son is about to turn a year old. Once he’s out of the huge baby seat at four or five years old, I really wouldn’t mind a base V6 Mustang with the track pack for my daily driver. It makes some sacrifices in practicality, what with being a two-door with a short decklid and all, but really, as far as ponycars go, it’s just about compromise-free. I mean, hard to beat the combination of 305 HP and 31 mpg in the real world. Would certainly be a different ride than my ~140 HP Ranger pickup!

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    The Raptor is undeniably a cool truck, but I do agree there is little use for it…especially on trails in the mountain west except maybe in the desert. I’d certainly be satisfied with an XLT Ecoboost.

    I understand that the V6 Mustang is a great car, I’ve had a few new ones for rentals and they really do scoot. Those were without the handling package, and that is really needed! My dad’s new 2012 Mustang GT is quite a ride, and definitely worth the V8…he has the track pack and with a premium, it’s quite a fun car in the backroads of northern Utah as well as cruising to Vegas, Denver, or to my place in Boise.

  • avatar
    Jon Fage

    The aluminum hood on my 2011 Mustang V6 has completely rusted (or, “oxidized”, as aluminum does not “rust”) through in only 18 months. Also, the entire seam under the hood is oxidized. Great car performance-wise, but it’s starting to look bad.

    My dealer recommended a new hood for my ‘stang, but Ford of Canada only wants to do a cheap fix and denied the request for a new hood.

    Any other new Mustang owners out there with a similar issue?

    • 0 avatar
      vwbora25

      in this day and age, that type of build quality is unacceptable

    • 0 avatar
      Fantagma

      I have a 2005, bought new. If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed the hood (to carbon fiber, or something else) a long time ago. I’m in Canada, the hood bubbles up pretty much every year. Sometimes I have to get it touched up (always dealership work) twice in the summer. Look it up in the forums, you’re not alone. Mine hasn’t oxidized through though. Love the car, but ya, by now they should have done something about that.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Not a Mustang, but our 2008 Ford Taurus X, also with an aluminum hood, started bubbling and peeling at the edges after only two years. We’ve since sold it, but Ford refinished and repainted it under warranty. From what I understood at the time, it was a known issue. I believe there was a TSB on it. It struck me as strange in an otherwise competent and well-built vehicle to have such a serious quality flaw.

    • 0 avatar

      The Freestyle, Taurus X, and Expedition (the last for perhaps a decade now) generally suffer from the same problem. Ford engineers apparently haven’t learned that using steel inserts inside an aluminum hood is a bad idea.

      My Taurus X is out of warranty, but a Ford dealer offered to fix the hood “at cost”: $300. So far this strikes me as too much to pay for an obvious engineering mistake on Ford’s part.

      Can’t say I’m a fan of Ford quality in recent model years.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Are we talking about galvanic corrosion? What else doesn’t Ford know about building cars?

        Actually, this has been going on since at least the 2000 model year, so Ford knows they are shafting their customers and continues to make the conscious choice to do so. Considering their track record, buyers should know better.

        Ford’s lawyers can beat up your lawyers:
        http://nj.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20110805_0001778.DNJ.htm/qx

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        There is a TSB about it that says the problem was from iron particle contamination prior to painting. Instructions in the TSB include sandblasting and sanding down the effected trim pieces and completely resealing and repainting. The anti-corrosion warranty is 5 years unlimited miles.

        A quick Google search shows this isn’t a Ford only problem. Honda, Toyota, GM, and Chrysler all have plenty of hits for rust and corrosion. Not living in the rust belt I don’t see a lot of cars with rust or corrosion issues regardless of brand, so this is news to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon Fage

        My wife’s car is a 2005 Freestyle. Not a speck of rust on it and it has over 120,000 kilometres on the clock. Why is the Taurus X suffering a similar problem to my Rustang?

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Jon –

        The official reason that some hoods have the bubbling is iron particle contamination. There are some people that seem to think it’s because of fluid from a cleaning dip not being fully dried off before painting and other that think it’s residual gasses from welding that get trapped under the paint. Whichever reason you pick, it seems to be a flaw in the manufacturing process that allows the paint to be applied to some hoods before they are properly prepped, not a design flaw that would effect every vehicle. The problem with diagnosing issues from forum posts is that the people who don’t have any problem don’t take the time to register and talk about it, so out of hundreds of thousands of owners the couple dozen that have a problem make all of the noise and it makes issues look far more widespread than they are.

        The TSB number is 06-25-15 and isn’t listed for Mustangs past the ’07 model year, but the repair instructions are clear that the entire effected area should be sandblasted, sanded down, cleaned, sealed with a polyesther sealant and then primer, resanded, and repainted with new clearcoat applied. If those processes are followed, the issue shouldn’t come back. Even though your Mustang isn’t covered under the TSB if you mention the number it may help to make sure the proper procedure is followed to remedy the issue.

        The anticorrosion warranty technically only covers actual perforation while the 3/36 bumper to bumper covers all paint issues, but many dealers will step up and fix paint/finish issues beyond the initial 3/36.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I don’t know about Fords, but my alluminum hooded Miata did this same thing.

        And as to the Raptor, I don’t know of anyone that would take a 65000 dollar truck into the areas a Raptor might be useful. Old Jeeps, Old Land Cruisers, and old things in general are the weapon of choice as far as I have seen.

    • 0 avatar
      superford

      I would be curious to see a picture of your 18 month old hood that has “completely rusted through”. I find it a little hard to believe. In any event Ford warranties paint defects for the full 3year / 36,000 mile warranty period. True “rust through” called Perforation is covered for 5 years with unlimited mileage (at least in the US)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Late last year had a V6 stripper Mustang convertible. We drove it all around southern California and well – we hated it. We felt it was weak in the power department, and the rental car grade no option interior cheap. We did like a practical trunk and seating for four (sort of) and the ease of operation of the roof.

    I suspect with more options and not setup to make Budget Rent-A-Car happy, it is probably a better ride – certainly a manual would have helped.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve driven an Auto V6 ragtop. Bleh. With the stick, the performance package and those drool-worthy Recaros it is another car.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        I had the convertible in Miami for a couple of days. Totally fell in love with it, Cologne V-6 and everything. If I had the garage space, I would buy one.

        I had a 2012 coupe, but it didn’t have the same effect. The top needs to go down.

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        joeveto3:

        I did my time with a ragtop… For the 6 years I

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        Ah, no edit button!! Sorry.

        joeveto3:

        I did my time with a ragtop… For the 6 years I owned my Wrangler, every August-January the doors and windows were stored in the garage. At night the top came down. I totally understand the appeal. But when I got my ’12 Mustang I had to get the hard top- you have to for the performance package ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        My wife and I rented a ’12 V6 ragtop last summer and drove from MI to MA and back, approx. 1400 miles on a car that had 400 miles when I picked it up.

        We really liked the car…decent interior, good power from the V6, and excellent gas mileage (low 30′s on the highway even driving like a moron).

        Unfortunately, the thing still has horrendous cowl shake – for this reason I’d never, ever buy a car that was originally designed as a coupe. Especially one so big. I guess I’m spoiled by the hewn-from-granite chassis on my S2000, but I like my cars solid and generally hate droptops for this reason. Also, the automatic transmission is GOD AWFUL. Feels like its only linkage to the engine is a pile of wet mashed potatoes. It just wants the next highest gear, and doesn’t particularly care what the throttle percentage is. Not “sporty” at all – but that’s the price you pay for gas mileage. I bet that car with the 6MT is a hoot.

        By the way Derek, very proud of your accomplishments since your days of trolling HAN ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Last year ‘s rental car could have still been a 2010 — if the car in question was a 2010, that was the old doggy 216hp 4.0l Cologne V6 and not the 305hp 3.7l Duratec V6. Night and day. The new V6 is within a few horsepower of the outgoing V8.

  • avatar
    mattfarah

    I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but as the owner of an orange Raptor, I just want to offer some insight. Granted, I get lots of press cars, so the Raptor isn’t exactly my primary ride, but I’ve still managed to rack up 27,000 miles on it since I bought it in June of 2010. As someone who needs a truck to transport 4 people and a bunch of camera gear from place to place (sometimes on-road, sometimes off-road), the Raptor is perfect. It’s bigger than the F150, but that size translates to lateral stability, which is great for filming. The ride smooths out immensely when you have additional weight in the car (even just 2 extra passengers produces much better ride quality), and though the tires are massive 35″ off-road spec tires, they are noticeably quieter than any other off-road tires I’ve driven on, still give the truck impressive handling abilities, and are still original with about 30% tread life. I expect to get an easy 32,000 miles out of them. The truck is comfortable for 4 passengers, full of features, with the best navigation system I’ve ever used in a car and a great radio. It cruises effortlessly at 90 mph and has good enough brakes to sustain that speed safely, despite the tires. And it can hit sixty in 7 seconds.

    Now, about the engine. The 6.2L engine is great, for what it is. I just drove Hennessey’s supercharged 6.2L and it’s unbelievably fast. However, yes, the fuel economy is shit. If Ford comes out with an Ecoboost Raptor by the time my truck is done serving me, I would happily trade for that engine. But even in Los Angeles, the Raptor is surprisingly practical as a work truck (though maybe less so if your work involves logging and/or tons of gravel) and I have yet to find a parking garage too small for it. As someone who needed a truck for work and also has the desire to drive something fun, cool, and different, the Raptor is a great value.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Very cool to hear! I need to drive a 6.2l F150, I wonder what the pull is like compared to my FIL’s 89 F350 with a 460 and 5MT.

      While I dream of a owning a Raptor, I’ll keep the Matchbox one I’ve had since 2010 on my desk…good motivation for better motivation.

    • 0 avatar
      John

      I am definitely too old. I never thought I’d see the day when a $65,000 F-150 was considered a “good value”. Guess if I live another 20 years someone will be saying a $165,000 F-150 is a good value.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Derek is Canadian I believe, so those are Canadian prices. The Raptor starts at just under $44K with D&D in the US. It would cost more to build it yourself with off the shelf parts starting from a stock extended cab truck.

      • 0 avatar
        mattfarah

        $65k must be CDN. My Raptor, fully loaded without the (ridiculous) vinyl package, was $49,500. The most expensive Raptor Super Crew I’ve ever seen (also loaded, but with Vinyls) was $56,600

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      Now I understand. mattfarah is the one guy who may occasionally actually use a Raptor off road. These silly trucks are aimed at kids yet none can afford one. $65K for a pick up is a great value? As I like to say to people driving these ‘look at me’ idiotic vehicles like Hummers: “Hey nice truck. Sorry about your penis”.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    Meh…still a V6 Mustang is still for teen-age girls and Secretaries. Plus, it’s overpriced. If you’re going to pay that much and still have a lously V6…what’s the point?

    As for the Raptor…did Ford fix the floppy frame issue?

    “I’d take the insurance money and buy my favorite truck, an F-150 Ecoboost Platinum.”

    Why? So you can have a truck with a V6 that drinks fuel like a V8? Ford should be given an award for the propaganda they sold to us that Ecoboost was actually an economical alternative to a V8. In testing…with the same rear axle ratio, the 5.0 actually got BETTER mileage than the TwinForce V6. Not near the 20% better Ford claimed.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon Fage

      Really 86SN2001?

      Overpriced? I bought my 2011 new in 2010 and had it off the lot (taxes, freight) for less than $25,000 Canadian without a trade-in.

      I am neither a secretary nor a teen-age girl. And my 305 HP is almost the same HP rating as the 2010 GT.

      Oh – and I average 9 litres/100 km.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Overpriced?

      Edmunds suggests they’re going for $22k. (Add $2k for the performance package, and $400 for the limited slip.)

      What on earth are you thinking of that’s cheaper and also superior to that 300 HP deal?

      (I’m not a muscle-car guy. I don’t even like Mustangs. But if you’re not willing to throw out Corvette money it sure seems like one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals around.)

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      I gues my previous post got insta-deleted for mentioning a certain infamous Chevy fan/Ford hater who used to frequent these parts.

      Anyway, the spirit of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is strong in this one.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Sorry 86SN2001. Whatever you may think of the Mustang, the V6 is hardly a “lousy” engine. Far, far from it.

      • 0 avatar
        luvmyv8

        True. I used to be the same way about Mustangs needing to be V8′s to be “real”, not so with this new 3.7 V6. I haven’t tested a Mustang with this engine BUT I did with a crew cab F150 XLT. Yes a crew cab fullsize truck with the 3.7. That motor was certainly no dog, not a rocket, but plenty of usable power and reasonable economy. I can only imagine what it would do a 6 speed stick Mustang, wouldn’t suprise me if it was faster then my previous ’06 Mustang GT…..

      • 0 avatar
        noxioux

        +1 A few months back, I watched a 2012 V6 ragtop chew up and spit out one of the old modular GT’s. It wasn’t even close. The V6 Stang is a hell of a value.

  • avatar
    alexcassidy

    “irrational infatuation with the CTS-V Wagon…”

    You spelled “completely justified” wrong.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Why do I get the feeling ttac doesn’t like domestics when you use two Fords to review in article?

    The lowly V6 Mustang can wax a BRZ/FT86 around the track by about 3 seconds, half that in the hands of a professional such as Pobst). The latter which has weekly reviews and this is your first for the domestic equivalent?

    • 0 avatar

      What in God’s name are you talking about? Nowhere was the Toyobaru mentioned. I haven’t even driven it. I used these two because they have been reviewed to death ad nauseam and I wanted to show how my preconceptions about these two cars ended up being completely reversed after some real seat time. The one I thought would be lame ended up winning me over, and the one I was excited for ended up being a disappointment.

      The compulsion to look for anti-Detroit editorial conspiracies in every single post is baffling.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Particularly when you endorsed an alternative to the one you didn’t end up liking from the very same Ford F150 model line. Good luck.

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        welcome to the new reality of American politics. Irrational thinking lacking evidence is now the standard. I’ll admit I’ve done it on here too, much to my chagrin.

        I don’t see anti-GM here. What I see generally is valid criticisms, just at times there seem to be more focused at GM than others.

        The one thing I will say that I don’t understand is why VW/Audi/Skoda get a pass on rebadging jobs and GM is constantly hounded on it. I would think that VW/Audi should be called out more on this even if they do execute the details a bit better. That would be my only gripe, but that is aimed more at the industry and not at this website.

        Partially GM needs to do better because it is GM, and partially because I think people really want GM to be better and yet somehow it just never seems to be there.

        GM in many ways represents the USA in the national psyche and people are upset that it isn’t the standard of the world that we wish it to be. Which also is why people defend it so vociferously, unfortunately, GM just needs to to do better. Good enough in this world is no longer Good Enough.

  • avatar
    mikey

    At the age of 58,I have probably have had more driving experience in reverse, than most of the posters here, have in a forward gear.

    That being said. My 2008 V6 Mustang rag top,with all of its 210 HP ,is all I ever want, or ever will need, in a car.

    YMMV

    • 0 avatar
      Duncan

      I can see how a V6 Mustang Convertible would be appealing to someone who spent so much time in reverse. 210 HP is more than enough for backing up and with the top down, you don’t need to rely on a rear-view camera or hope there’s nothing hiding in your blind spots.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      At the age of 55, I probably have nearly as much experience behind the wheel as you do, and you are much too easily satisfied. I complain quite a bit about my car “Only having 372 HP”(Plus maybe about 15 or so more due to intake and a catback exhaust). I would be able to say, “I’m satisfied” with about 75 more. I know the number because I was able to drive a friend’s car as he added power to it over a 2 year period,and when it dynoed about 425 RWHP, I said it was “enough”.

      I don’t think the number will decrease in 3 years, actually, since I’ve driven my friend’s blown 440 Challenger with 709 RWHP, it might go up!

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        Buy a new ZX-14R & spend ($2k?) on a full exhaust replacement. Stock it does 9.7′s in the 1/4 and with the exhaust ONLY someone has done high 8′s. You also end up only spending about $15k OTD if you look around.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      At 41 I don’t have anywhere near the time behind the wheel that you do. But based on what I’ve seen on the road from middle age drivers, that extra two decades means exactly diddly squat.

  • avatar

    I’ve never understood the hate on crew-cab stubby bed trucks. Most truck uses don’t require 8 or even 6 feet of bed. You need to haul 4 people way more often than you need to haul something for which a 5′ bed would fail. I had one for a while and it was awesome.

    The Raptor is the offroad equivalent to a track pack or maybe the Boss: it’s the $5-10k in upgrades that you’d put into it if you wanted to use it on track/offroad.

    As a crew cab, it can be your people hauler, your tow/haul vehicle and your offroad toy. If you don’t have any use for those things, then it’s obvious a silly purchase, but that doesn’t make it a silly vehicle.

    Re:V6 Mustangs…the tragedy is that the V6 is awesome, but the price difference between equivalent enthusiast-spec V6 and V8s isn’t enough. Might as well spend a couple grand more and have the V8.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      If you don’t need the bed that often, and it’s primarily a people hauler… you don’t need a truck.

      Get a $1000 trailer and a tow kit. Now you have all the bed functionality you need, and you can get a vehicle that can do the primary job of people hauling better, for less (super cab trucks start where the top trim Escape or mid-tier Explorer ends), and with better fuel economy. There’s a tremendous number of vehicles that have sufficient towing capacity to tow what a casual user needs to tow. For those of us who are not regularly towing construction equipment or large boats, the amount of money you’d save on the price tag and in in fuel would pretty quickly comp the occasional trip to U-Haul to rent something that can do the job on the rare time the towing capacity of a regular SUV would be exceeded.

      The unspoken suspicion when you see a tiny truck bed is that guy is a poser whose primary concern is that he be seen driving a truck, but really wishes he was in an FJ Cruiser.

      That would be the criticism of short beds. When you create something designed to fulfill dual purposes, you get something that is bad at both jobs.

      Not saying I agree or disagree with that critique. But that would be the criticism.

      • 0 avatar

        A short or typical extended cab is much worse at hauling people than a 5′ bed is at the vast majority of non-contractor truck jobs.

        Renting equipment sucks. The reservation, pick up, drop off loop adds like a half day to any activity.

        Oddly enough, I have a $400 trailer that’s done duty behind my previous Wrangler and my current Wagoneer, so in a way I’m practicing what you preach.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      For me at least, part of the problem with crew cab trucks is the sheer amount of wasted space. Your average full-sized extended cab truck still has a perfectly usable back seat, while either being able to dedicate more length to the bed (why you bought a truck, right?), or to just not being an unmaneuverable behemoth. Most crew cabs have enough rear leg room to shame a Maybach 62.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        If I set behind a grown adult in an extended cab my knees dig into the back of the front seat, in a crew cab I can stretch my legs out. On the F-150 you can also fold up the rear seats against the rear bulkhead to give a ton of open flat interior space.

        You can get the crew cab with the 6.5′ bed (usually have to special order because it makes for a very long vehicle and most dealers don’t stock many that way) or you can always get a bed extended that will give you that added length when you need it.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      There are only two Fords I would really consider buying. One is a Mustang GT, and the other is the Raptor. A friend had one for a loaner overnight, and I loved it. Who cares about the bed?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Back in the 80′s I spent a good chunk of change to get my FI 5.0L to approach 300 flywheel horsepower, it was worth it to me.

    However, we are living in the golden years when a SECRETARY’S Mustang has 300 flywheel HP, and the upgrades are 400 HP and above!

    I really like the idea of the V6 with the man trans, recaros and performance package. That reminds me of my Mercury Capri RS Turbo that I owned a long time ago. If the car’s engine hadn’t been crap, it would have been a great ride

    The car as described above sounds like the kind of car you can use everyday in the future when gasoline gets above $6/gallon, as we know it will. I love the idea of the 5.0 Coyote, but I sure won’t want to feed it when the inevitable happens.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Forget the Mustang – if you want a real hot-rod, buy the Camaro.

    On any day, it’s still true that all things being equal, a Camaro will beat the pants off a Mustang.

    That’s not to say I dislike the Mustang, but the V6 is the better deal all around, but that’s what I’d get, and no one asked…

    Ford V8s have that burbling sound that sounds like they’re underwater. Chevys just sound better to me.

    • 0 avatar
      LBJs Love Child

      The Camaro V6 beats the pants off a Mustang V6? You and the fanboys at Camaro5 seem to be the only ones holding that fantasy.

      http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/04/il-track-tested-2010-chevrolet-camaro-v6-vs-2011-ford-mustang-v6.html

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      That’s about as truthful as saying “if you want a real sedan, buy the Impala”. We get you don’t like Ford, but try not to make it sound like your opinion is fact.

      Regardless, it’s hard to take someone serious who waxes eloquence about K-cars and W-bodies all day long.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Speaking of sound- have you heard the V6′s side-by-side? It’s embarrassing. The Camaro V6′s have this high pitch rice-burner sound that’s grating. Im not sure if it’s the muffler’s fault or direct injection… Who knows. The Mustang with manual trans (manual gets a deeper, throatier exhaust than auto) sounds great. I’ve driven the crap out of both cars (both ’12, both manual, ‘Stang with Performance package).

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        Not sure what you mean by “rice-burner”/high-pitched grating sound. The best engine sound IMHO is of F1 cars hitting 22k rpm. The closest you can get is a 600c sportbike as it zips through 10k, 12k, 14k rpm heading towards redline.

        I’m seriously thinking my next car is going to be one of the older S2000′s that had a 9k redline, but I want to actually hear it in person first…

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        It’s not the good kind of sound that you like from F1 cars. It sounds like the car is wheazing and not at all happy to be near its redline. You just have to hear it the way my friends and I did… My friend whose Camaro I’ve driven many times pulled out of this parking lot revving the engine close to redline. A group of my friends and I were standing by and as we heard her leave we all looked at each other with confused faces and spent the next 3 minutes talking about how horrible it sounded.

        Again, this was the V6. I have heard the SS and it sounds quite nice.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I just love stirring the pot!

      True about that burbling sound, though. I do like the Chevy V8 sound much better. Not a fan boy – I hated GM for over 20 years, just speaking from personal experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Robstar

        multicam> Thanks for the explanation. I can tell you one sound that annoys me – My 05 STi near idle. It has a low grumble/rumble & sometimes (completely stock) sets off certain car alarms in the car garage near my work, so I guess it’s not only the sound but whatever vibration it produces annoys me & the resulting car alarms annoy me as well.

        The only other car I’ve heard pulling away (not redline) that I didn’t like was a porsche 911 (07 IIRC). Didn’t like the sound at all.

        ALSO> FWIW, I wear 2 hearing aides so my world of sound is probably much differently experienced than yours :-)

    • 0 avatar

      Zackman, with all due respect the Camaro Is a wretched car to drive. I’d take a ragtop V8 for a summer cruiser but until the ZL1 changes my opinion, I’m not sold.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        That may not be true anymore. A lot of the ZL1 tuning made it into higher level Camaros, and according to the enthusiast rags, it makes an enormous difference in the way the car handles. Supposedly the car is a great driver now.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        @Derek;

        Full disclosure: I haven’t driven a new Camaro. Too dangerous for me and others on the road due to being legally blind in my left eye, and the lack of visibility out of the car at critical angles.

        High-Performance cars are just a fantasy for me as I’ve never owned one, the closest being my 1964 Chevy Impala SS convertible 283 2 bbl powerglide I owned when in the service 40 years ago.

        Sadly or deliberately, my cars have all been 4 or 6 cyl engines, my current Impala being the most powerful car I’ve owned since my ’64. My wife’s 1970 302 Mustang convertible when we were married doesn’t count, though I enjoyed driving it for a couple years until we sold it.

        I’ve always enjoyed the hot rods others owned when having the opportunity to be a passenger.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The 5th gen car is for Camaros what The Phantom Menace was for Star Wars.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Funny, just tonight a guy in a Camaro SS pulled out by us and punched it, and I mentioned to my wife how it sounded so good at full throttle, like a ripping sound, you could almost hear a backfire when he slowed down for his turn. A Mustang has a much deeper burble sound, very distinct and completely different from an LSx, regardless of which V8 the Mustang has they are all pretty similar.

      I like both for different reasons, but IMO the LSx only sounds really good when its being worked, and the Fords sound good at almost all speeds. I could live with either one though. And I know you were just trying to stir the pot, but surely you know 400lbs is tough to overcome. :)

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      Blech. Have you driven both? The Camaro is about 5 feet too long, 2 feet too tall and 1000lbs too heavy. And feels it. For its own porkiness, at least the Mustang feels light on its feet.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        While I have not driven the a Mustang GT I have been driving a friend’s Camaro SS on and off for the last three weeks. I have no access to a track, but on the street and highway the massive thrust that the SS produces will let you forgive a lot of sins.
        Every time I stand on the gas in this monster, I can’t help but start laughing like a crazy person as 90 MPH comes and goes and every guy in a beige Camry watches, green with envy. While I’m not in the market for a car in the near future, this impractical, gas guzzling, tire-eating, rolling-blind-spot, impossible-to-park beast will remain on my short list when I am ready.
        Until you’ve driven something with 400+ horsepower, be it Mustang or Camaro, you just won’t understand.

  • avatar
    loj

    We’re so amazingly spoiled. This is a pony car with over 300 horsepower that gets 30 mpg on the highway and costs what, $22k? Well-equipped with performance suspension/brakes and Recaros for $28k?

    Remember when the “secretary’s car” had 88hp and the GT had 225? Not that you would want more than 225 horses, as the brakes were terrible and you had to build a suspension bridge worth of braces and trusses beneath the thing to keep it from twisting its Fairmont chassis to pieces. And if you kept it from putting it in a ditch butt-end first when the rear suspension bound up you were doing pretty well.

    And we LOVED IT!

    To me the only downside to the ’13 Mustang (besides the lack of 3-across rear seating, which would imply Challenger bulk) is the styling. I saw one on the road the other day and was pretty appalled at how clumsy the new front and rear treatments are. The gimmicky tail lights and textured/shiny black plastic on the rear and the bulbous Euro-pedestrian-proof snout really mess up what was a clean design.

    I don’t care about cylinder count. A 4 cylinder turbo in this car would be REALLY interesting. Heck, get the weight low enough and a naturally aspirated DI 4 cylinder would be a lot of fun.

  • avatar
    Almost Jake

    Derek K. – Your writing style is painful and cumbersome to read. Please get to the point without so much “color”.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    If you drive the Craptor as it was allegedly designed to be driven, you’ll break it and void the warranty.

    If you drive the Craptor as a DD, you’ll waste fuel and look like a total idiot with your jacked up truck with harsh, punishing suspension…

    That’s not even getting into the fact that the truck is as wide as a dualie in the FRONT and BACK and makes any other full size pickup seem nimble like a FIAT 500.

    Also, forget about loading anything in the tiny bed.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The Raptor allows the Obama regime to spend a fortune on the Border Patrol while really only transferring tax dollars to the UAW.

      http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2010/11/ford-svt-raptor-border-patrol-630.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      mattfarah

      please get your facts straight: if you are off-roading a Raptor at high speed and you bend the frame, it does not void the warranty. Simply put, that bit of damage is not covered. Your warranty still covers all the things it says it will cover when you sign the agreement to buy the truck.

      • 0 avatar
        toxicroach

        Given the speeds required to bend the frame and how cheap it was to fix, I thought the people whining about it were a bunch of spoiled assholes.

        Ford’s not going to pay for every bit of damage caused by your hobby of offloading at 100 mph in your $60000 truck? Shocking and unfair!

        Major case of first world problems, I can tell you that.

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        It wasn’t just that. While the owner in question acted like a massive mangina and cried all over the internets, Ford denied the problem (Fiestas, Mustang transmissions, Craptors), even got one of their engineers on some car show to disparage their customers… the simple fact is that the inherent design of the truck is fragile in that area.

        Will blazing down one road at 80 mph and big air kill it, yes?

        Will prolonged off road use eventually weaken and bend it… maybe? I drive my truck down my rutted, nasty, muddy gravel driveway about 3-4 miles a day. I don’t/can’t creep along at 2mph unless I’m towing a horse trailer or tractor.

        If the frame were to bend driving at 35-40mph on a crappy country road with 800 pounds of scrap iron in the bed, I’d be mad.

        Off road use is a very nebulous term and while the random idiots give it a bad name, a lot of us do actually use off road vehicles and would expect a truck to be covered under warranty if logging roads, construction sites, heavy loads, etc. were to grenade it.

        I don’t really have faith in the design of the Raptor or its frame after that entire incident.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s tough to say if any truck frame can handle hitting what was similar to driving into a curb in excess of 80 MPH. I’ve read that all of the Raptors in that club with bent frames had modded leaf springs to give a softer ride. Too much rebound when landing a jump can send a truck ‘ass over tea kettle’ so they were effectively trying to bottom them out.

      The Raptor isn’t for everyone and hot rod pickups never are, but thankfully we that choice.

  • avatar
    bodegabob

    Most people don’t need a bed in back. They drive trucks because they think they are cool or just can’t imagine driving anything else.

    I had a nice (for its time) ’95 Ranger for a while. When it was new I had it parked at work. Someone made a special trip to my cube to tell me — horrors of horrors — that the inside of the bed was scratched. “Yeah, I guess it is. it’s for carrying stuff, you know . . . that’s what I did with it this weekend ” Blank stare.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Does anyone else see the irony in someone who owned/drove a Miata feeling that a V6 Mustang is somehow an inferior vehicle? If anything, I’d think that the power of a new V6 Mustang would be quite a bit of an upgrade over a 4-cylinder Miata.

    • 0 avatar
      I_Like_Pie

      The miata is a true sports car and one of the four or five best driving cars on the road today.

      From the perspective of driving a twisty road…the mustang is a pretty drastic downgrade.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        That’s terrific, but the theme of this article is the power of the car, not the handling ability. And a Miata is no match at all when it comes to acceleration compared to a new V6 Mustang. And I also think you missed my point about the irony of owning/driving a Miata (which people unfortunately think of as a chick car or a gay man’s car) and then bashing the V6 Mustang simply because it doesn’t have a V8.

      • 0 avatar
        I_Like_Pie

        But the article was just as much about the Mustang being thought of as a chick/gay guy’s car.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        White Shadow, I also saw the irony. But the way I see it, different cars have different purposes, and so should be judged accordingly. The purpose of the Miata is to have great handling & be fun to drive, and it passes admirably. The purpose of the Mustang appears to be to enable the driver to be a complete asshat, which the V6 apparently doesn’t do; thus, it fails.

  • avatar
    bucksnort

    I seem to recall reading that the ecoboost V6 F-150 was actually quicker 0-60 than the Raptor…maybe even to 1320. It also has a similar tow rating to the Raptor.

    The F150 ecoboost I drove was astounding…same benefit as the lightened front end of the V6 Mustang.

    Ford is putting the V6 ecoboost in the 2013 Explorer….a SHO Explorer? They are going to call it the Sport version. They have to detune it a bit because the sideways transmission cannot handle the torque. It could be interesting to see an Explorer sport put up against some of the competitors’ V8′s.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The EB truck is faster than the Raptor, but a tick slower than a similarly-equipped nonRaptor F150 with the 6.2L.

      You can equip an EB truck to tow up to 11300 and its lowest tow rating possible is 8000. The Raptor tops out at 8000, but you can equip a 6.2L nonRaptor to tow 11300.

      A big advantage to the EB truck is that you can get it on any configuration and is avaiable with the max payload package (as high as 3100lbs). Right now the only way to get the 6.2L in the F150 is on certain high-dollar version SuperCrews or on the Raptor. The highest payload rating on a 6.2L F150 is 1810 and the Raptor is only rated for a weak 1020.

      The biggest complaint I’ve seen on the EB trucks is that fuel economy is poor (as in big V8 poor) when you’re using them for towing/hauling and you won’t get the EPA numbers if you opt for a stout gear package. Some are worried how well they’ll hold up over the long term as well. Otherwise, people seem to love them.

      It’s maybe worth bringing up that even though they offer the same tow rating in the F150, Ford decided to use the 6.2L in the Super Duty over the Ecoboost. I don’t know if this was done for cost reasons, longevity concerns, or consumer demand but it might be something to think about if you plan to often use an EB truck at its higher limits.

      I’d expect the EB Explorer to be about as fast as the EB Flex. So it will be quick, but it won’t scare the X5M or SRT Jeep.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The mileage will depend on how you’re driving it. Pickuptrucks.com averaged 21mpg on a EcoBoost F-150 with the 3.55 rear end unloaded, and 8.5mpg towing a 9,000 lbs trailer through the western rockies. The 5.0 will drink more gas unladen, but might edge out the EcoBoost with a similar load depending on how much you get on the boost. No truck will ever come close to the EPA figures with that large a trailer behind it, and if your needs include logging a ton of miles with close to 10,000 lbs behind the truck it might be worthwhile to take a look at SuperDuty with the diesel anyway. It should be easy to come close to doubling the mileage of a gas truck with a diesel while under heavy towing load.

        The EB 3.5 in the Explorer isn’t so much detuned as it’s a different engine from the one in the F-150. The F-150 EcoBoost has twin independent variable cam timing, the one used in the SHO, Flex, and now the Explorer is variable timing on the intake only.

      • 0 avatar
        bucksnort

        I agree, EB longevity could be an issue. That’s why I am waiting a couple of years to see what happens.

        Towing forces the EB to stay on the boost so mileage would have to suffer. The big block would not be affected as much.

        I am not sure I agree on the performance issue though. Oddly, the Explorer can be up to 300 lbs lighter than the Flex although it is not exactly clear on the Ford website. Not sure how the Flex could be heavier. The Explorer could be up to 600 lbs lighter than the F150. Given I saw an EB F150 0-60 in the low 6′s in a truck magazine, that could put the Explorer in the mid-upper 5′s. That won’t match the M’s or the SRT’s but the standard X5 is listed at 5.3 secs. I doubt the 5.7 Grand Cherokee can get close.

        The real drawback is the Explorer/Taurus/Flex transmission is not strong enough to take the full torque rating of the EB. What might be more interesting is an EB Expedition, especially if they can get about 500 lbs out of it. My 2008 Expedition tips in at over 6,000 lbs….a lot for the 5.4.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I was sort of under the impression that the EB F-150 was specifically created for the guy who needs a pickup like once a year, making it a more livable truck the other 51 weeks a year (similar to the Ram’s coil spring rear suspension). And, like the Ram’s suspension, HD truck buyers use their trucks enough to not really see the benefit.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Maymar –

        Perhaps a bit extreme, but you are on the right track. The EcoBoost F-150 gives you the same tow rating as the 6.2 V8 with far better fuel economy in all situations. The fuel economy will be better than the 5.0 V8 in unladen driving, and in most towing be pretty even or at worst slightly under, but it has a lot more torque, better acceleration, and higher tow ratings than the 5.0.

        If you need a truck once a year you probably don’t really need a truck. But for the family who has a boat they like to take out once or twice a month but don’t live right on the water and don’t want to pay the cost of having a spot at a marina (pretty common around here) having a truck that can tow a large boat when you need it to but gives good mileage for the day to day commute and errands makes sense. Weekend racers who need to tow a car trailer here and there throughout the year, people with campers that like to get out into the woods on long weekends, people who show livestock who need to bring their animals to events, etc, would be in similar situations – they don’t need to tow all the time, but when they do they need something on the high end of the towing scale. The EcoBoost truck gives that capability plus better fuel economy than a V8 for the times that capability isn’t needed.

        Those who have a heavy trailer hooked up to the back of the truck the majority of the time are better off going with a three quarter ton type of vehicle as those are designed for constant tow use and have upgraded suspensions, brakes, transmissions, rear ends, cooling systems, etc, to handle that type of duty day in and day out.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    The Mustang SVO was my first new car and I loved it. I know I’m not the normal big block muscle head, so my selection of new cars is limited, and I do like this V6 Mustang.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I wouldn’t kick a V6 Mustang out of bed for eating crackers… nuff said.

    The Raptor is absolutely insane and silly. One of the local principals has one as his daily driver. He had the balls to ask his brother in law (who also happens to be a principal) if he could borrow the BIL truck to haul some stuff because “He didn’t want to scratch his truck.”

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Ha ha! That’s funny. Ironically, that happened to me when a friend and I went on a camping trip years ago and he made me drive my K-Car thru the woods ’cause he didn’t want to scratch his F-150! I guess because my car was oldest…

      We took the K-Car and not a scratch was experienced!

      I never went camping with him again, either…

  • avatar
    afflo

    I don’t get the Secretary thing… Trying to think of most of the admin assistants I’ve known… I’m seeing a ton of crossovers, compacts, or used whatevers. It’s definitely not a “go buy an impractical 2+2 kind of career. . Isn’t the median salary something like 35,000/yr? It seems more like a budget alternative for $5k less with plenty of power.

    Sad to hear about the quality issues. My brother briefly had a 2004.5 V6 manual, with the 40th anniversary badges. He didn’t keep it long – we come from a Honda family, and (like my experience with a GM pickup,) we tend to view a warranty as more of a feel good thing that you’ll never use than something that will acquaint you with the service department (he had ongoing problems with the front suspension and steering rack).

  • avatar
    Towncar

    I raised an eyebrow at all the talk of oxidizing aluminum hoods. I’d never heard of this before, and I’ve had a ’95 Riviera with one for years. (Yes, I do know true Panther Love, but still I’m periodically unfaithful.)

    Anyway, the GM paint quality of the mid-90s was not good, but the hood is still perfectly solid. Ford must be doing something wrong.

    And since we don’t have enough subjects going in this thread–I wish Sajeev would do a Vellum Venom on the swoopy Riv.

  • avatar

    The F-1 Raptor is my favorite Ford.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The SVO never had a chance. It was in excess of $6,000 over a Mustang GT and that was enough to get you a whole other Mustang. The Raptor is $3,000 on top of a similarly equipped Lariat with the 6.2 option. The King Ranch upgrade is $5,000 over the Lariat.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      The SVO Mustang was more expensive and not as fast as a Mustang GT of the same vintage, that much is true. But the fact of the matter is that the SVO Mustang had a superior suspension and 4-wheel disk brakes, while the Mustang GT had drums in back and the most basic suspension. Still, it was a hard sell for most Mustang guys because it came down to one big thing–the price and performance ratio. A GT was simply less money and faster in a straight line. Unfortunately, not a lot of people knew how easy it was to get big HP gains out of a factory turbocharged car in those days.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It was the SVO’s power surge that did it for me. It essentially doubled the 2.3′s output when it came on and slammed you into the seat with the loudest turbo I’d ever heard. I didn’t mind the turbo lag, you just had to plan for it. Then the thing could turn, stop on a dime and give you change. KONI shocks too? Are you kidding me?

        If it was priced the same as the GT, I’m convinced it would’ve outsold it. Who wouldn’t give up a 1/2 second in 0-60 for world class performance? I did buy a new 5.0 in ’88, but still kept an eye out for an SVO.

        Around ’91, a co-worker shows up with a clean ’84 SVO. He said his wife hated it and wanted a 4-door (baby on the way). Bingo, I had a Colt Vista wagon with his name on it. He wasn’t convinced and I had to give up a FWD Dodge Charger turbo to seal the deal. I still own the SVO.

  • avatar
    justanotherwb

    The Raptor is a thing of beauty because it is along with the BOSS Mustang one of the few vehicles made for the masses that is capable of making vehicles costing double look silly by beating them at their own game. No I hope that nobody is using a Raptor as a daily driver, hopefully there are Raptors out there whose tires never feel the bite of concrete or asphalt.
    If you buy a Raptor as your daily commuter you’re a moron, and I am sure Ford would agree with me on that point.
    As far as your knocks on the Mustang V-6, I don’t care, if you’re opinions was worth considering you’d be writing for MT or C&D.

    • 0 avatar

      Excuse me, but if your opinion was worth a single iota YOU would be at least writing for a blog, instead of attempting a cheap shot at a young writer (who I’m sure doesn’t even know you exist) in the comments section of a well executed posting. Now crawl out the basement and go pleasure yourself to Car and Driver or Motor Trend or any other automotive newsstand dribble you can get your hands on for $12 a year.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Easy there, Nancy. One doesn’t need to write for a magazine or even a blog to have a valid opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        daveainchina

        Opinions are like the holes on our bottoms. Everyone has one. And frankly after reading M/T and C&D for years. I’m much happier reading this website and a few other online sources. They are more personal and you don’t get the sense that they are just shilling for $$ from advertisers or press fleet vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Setting aside the Boss, I have no idea what you’re talking about with the raptor. What $120,000 truck does it make look silly by beating it at its own game? Presumably its game is off-roading, and for half the cost of a Raptor I could buy a 2006 Wrangler Rubicon, put a few mods on it, and have just as capable an off-roader as this toy. If I spent 60K on a new Wrangler I could build the meanest off-road machine this side of the Tiber River. Nevermid the potential Toyota off-roaders I could build with that money or less.

      An ~$80,000 H1 costs more than this Raptor but I’d argue it probably tears the Ford apart.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        The H1 doesn’t have a ton of suspension travel and I don’t think it would do all that well in the rocks. They are built primarily to not get stuck and to take some abuse and keep going. And as a Cruiserhead I will have to disagree with your assessment of the capabilities of a 60k Wrangler. I will say this, in a country with very few paved roads where a truck has to be stout (Afghanistan) the truck of choice I see is the 105 and 70 series Land cruiser and the HiLux.

        Im just ragging you on the jeep bit though. I wouldnt mind having one myself and I think after an axle upgrade they are very capable and fun even in non Rubicon form. That damn Raptor is to big to be any fun though.

    • 0 avatar
      justanotherwb

      The opinions about the Raptor and V-6 Mustang are simply not well-formed. For the Raptor he decides to check on whether it’s a good daily commuter? Did any of us need to hear how that would turn out?
      As far as his review on the V-6 Mustang I am not really sure what he is saying other than he’d prefer the V-8.

      What truck costing $120k can a Raptor embarrass? If my memory serves the Raptor finished 3rd in the Baja 1000, class 8 division. Class 8, is full modified full size 4×4, check some of the entrants out, these vehicles are costing well in excess of $120k.

    • 0 avatar
      justanotherwb

      I believe the Raptor would compete closely with the H1. I was in the Army and while I am not going to knock the H1, I have little doubt the Raptor is right there with it.

      And you’re right it was a cheap shot on Derrick, how cheap is “it’s not a good commuter” as a dig on the Raptor? It’s like saying I’d hate to hit a brick wall in a MotoGP race.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    justanotherwb that was kinda a cheap shot at Derrick. Have you read what Baruth says at MT an C&d? Off soap box
    The Raptor appeals to the 7 year old in me. If I had 50-60 k to blow, I’d buy one. You can get a V-6 Mustang with track pack and some other driving goodies for around 25k.

  • avatar
    markholli

    Derek, you’re obviously not the buyer the Raptor was designed for. You have to recognize it for what it is: a very expensive, very pricey look-at-me machine like the H2, or the lifted 4-door Wrangler with knobby tires and perfectly polished paint without a single scratch, dent, or other evidence of actual off road use. It’s all about the image.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    IF I was going to get a V6 Mustang, thats the one I would want. Performance Pack with the Recaros and a 6-speed. 300hp is plenty, the lighter engine is probably great for handling, and mileage would be better than a 5.0 (though not as great as people think when you upgrade the final drive from the one tested for the EPA).

    But just the other day I was at the light next to one, with the Perf Pack wheels, I am pretty sure it was a stick too judging from how the driver was revving it at the light and “jumping” the clutch. He was obviously just being impatient, I was in our CRV so he wasn’t trying to race or anything like that.

    At green he pulled away, and there was no signature Mustang burble. It sounded pretty much like a Dodge Caravan at full throttle. No way I could pass up that sound just to get a couple extra MPGs. Make mine a 5.0 please.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      You can only take the V6 up to a 3.31 from the factory (standard rear axle is a 2.73). The 3.31 is standard on the GT with a stick (3.15 with an auto) and can up upgraded up to a 3.73. So, yes, fuel economy will drop some with the performance package, but the really short rear axles are only on the GT.

      Ford Racing and American Muscle both have some affordable exhaust kits that give the V6 a nice burble (plus when combined with a cold air intake will give some of that fuel economy back).

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        True, but all I am saying is that the often bragged on 30mpg V6 isn’t what it will get with the Perf Pack. Admittedly though I have no idea what that combo is rated at, maybe the difference isn’t enough to care about?!?

        I am curious though, if someone wanted a really high performance V6 and didn’t care about MPGs, would it be worth it to swap in a 3.73 rear end? IIRC it’s well under $500 to change them out.

        And I am sure an exhaust would help a bit, I doubt you can make a V6 sound like a V8, or else Ford would probably already offer it.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I spent some time in a new Mustang last month. If you care, you can read about it. http://goo.gl/Fs5sR

  • avatar
    jason

    What is the value of this article? You had these vehicles for a week and we get almost no specific information about them. I can appreciate the self-effacing side of it, but I expect TTAC to provide entertainment and information (in differing ratios) in it’s articles. This one provides neither. Lately I find myself looking forward to the Junkyard Finds and little else on TTAC. Less volume and higher quality would be a step forward.

  • avatar
    superford

    First, Congratulations on landing an auto journalist job at the age of 7. This would seem to be quite an accomplishment.

    Having said that, maybe your lack of experience, and possible predjudice as a self professed “driver of japanese cars” might not make you the best choice to review a vehicle like the Raptor?

    It got poor fuel economy with a 420HP 6.2L engine, widebody, lifted suspenstion & huge offroad tires.
    -Agreed, the fuel economy is atrocious, but was this really a surprise to you?

    It was ill suited for city driving.
    -No kidding. This is akin to saying a hang glider is ill suited for bass fishing. The Raptor wasn’t intended for the city (nor for every driver). Presumably this is why the press test drives were in off road locations rather than lower Manhattan?

    “I’m the kind of person who calls an electrician to change a light bulb”
    -Again, maybe not the best person to review a Raptor (or any american pickup truck for that matter)

    “Those who knew better (i.e. use trucks for manual labor jobs) mocked the short bed”
    -I kindof doubt this, but if so, I can assure you they are mocking your japanese cars as well.

    Agreed, the raptor is not the perfect commuter vehicle. But the fact that Ford had the balls to build it is a wonderful thing.

    This is the golden age of automobiles!

    Without choices like the Mustang & the Raptor we might all be driving abominations like the Prius…


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