Capsule Review: 2010 Ford Mustang GT

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed

“Life’s too short to buy the same car twice,” I always say. As the owner of a 2002 Mustang, I figured it would be my last example of the stallion. It’s not that I dislike the car, but I still haven’t checked “German” off my automotive ownership list and I’m dying to do it soon. When I showed up to the rental counter and was presented with the choice of a base Grand Caravan and a spanking new Mustang GT with the much-publicized interior upgrades, I didn’t need to blink twice. Minutes later, Montreal was fading in the background. So how did the GT fare in forcing me to re-assess my edict? The truth is, the car delighted me in all the ways you’d expect.

The burble when I turned the key was erection-inducing. The interior was a huge step up from the New Edge Mustang. But the best parts of the car, like the nostalgically long, bulging hood, the retro-styling and the torque were all present and reporting for duty. Ah, yes, the Mustang GT’s party-piece is the effortless torque it produces, almost from the get-go, to the very end.

I loved the styling on the new ‘stang, even if RF didn’t. The front lights look menacing, but retain the elegant shape of the retro Mustang. The rear lights have a few more accents, which give the car a more futuristic posterior. Who cares if you can’t see how wide the rubber is at the bottom? As long as you can smell it, it’s OK.

This is still the car that epitomizes cheap and cheerful. Yeah, I get that interior plastics are still cheap, but they look a lot better this time. And when the exhaust note is ripping up the innocent, skin-so-soft faces of the children in cars beside you, and you know that heaping mounds of torque can be summoned by flicking your ankle, who cares? Porsche drivers, I guess.

Screw it, I’ll buy a Mustang twice, even if I said I never would. I was already customizing my new Mustang in my head (I wonder if they do a red interior) before I even reached RF’s house. And then I took the exit off the Interstate. And that’s when I fell out of love.

In the narrow streets of East Providence, I took a turn on Cypress Street at an alleged 65 miles per hour. As my rear wheel hit a manhole—not even a pothole—I felt it. The car axle-hopped. The wheels spun uselessly in the air for a fraction of a second, wasting all of the power produced by the engine. I’m used to it, mind you, and I just held my course until the landing. Just like my 2002 Mustang. Live rear axle and all. Seven years later, and they still haven’t fixed that? I guess life really is too short to buy the same car twice.

Samir Syed
Samir Syed

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  • Recluse Recluse on Aug 11, 2009
    From rmwill: I still dislike the clutch on the GT. I wish the action was more progressive. I don't recall seeing this in any review of the 2010 GT, but I wholeheartedly agree: When I did a test drive, I was VERY surprised at the high and abrupt clutch engagement.
  • Merc63 Merc63 on Sep 28, 2009

    Let me preface this with: my current daily driver is a BMW. It's my third. I've owned musclecars, sports cars, and sport sedans from around the world. I've spent many years autocrossing and out on track days at road race tracks on both coasts. This is the background I'm coming from. I just got back from a test drive of an '10 GT in Baltimore. Loved it. Love the iconic styling, as if Ford had simply evolved the original Mustangs the way Porsche has evolved the 911. It's not retro so much as it's simply evolutionary. 5 speed '10 GT, 19" wheels, Sync, etc (never turned on the stereo). Went in looking at the Kona w/white stripes GT they have in the showroom (which is the color I want). Got to work the car over some typical Baltimore rough pavement, a couple nice twisties, and got to open it up a bit, as well. Rode better than my 7 series, and way more composed over bumps than most IRS equipped sports cars/sport sedans I've driven. And the track pack is supposed to be even better. Absolutely glorious sound. This one had the optional 3.55 limited slip rear axle, which delivered plenty of off the line punch. But, there's a 3.73 available for the non-track pack cars (it's standard in the track pack). The 5 speed isn't notchy, and feels good, though it's definitely not a Japanese feel. The shorter final drive though just made the car want to jump off the line, while still beaing very easy to drive, and the induction note piped inside (neat trick) growls nicely with every gearchange. And it has a great mischevious popping and growling on the overrun as you are decelerating. Steering, even without the track pack is sharp and responsive. It just wants to turn and feels really well weighted. The car feels pretty light on it's "feet" too. Interior quality was good, and more than adequate for both the price point and the category. Love the styling of the interior, too. The whole car isn't really retro, it's more like the Mustang just kept being made in that iconic style all along and looks like what it would have looked like had they simply evolved it over the years. I'm GLAD it's not generic Japanese or generic European. People complain about the livge axle being skittish over bumps, but in my epxerience over the years, any IRS equipped car that is set up to pull anywher enear 1 G will aslo be skitterish over bumps. Even my 740iL can be skitterish over bumps in corners at times. The last M3 I drove (set up for track days) definitely was. But out on the track, as well as an autocross course, a live axle and IRS will work equally well. In fact, you get no camber chage during cornering with a live axle. And as real race results have shown, the Mustangs have been doing quite well in teh US and in Europ on road race tracks against BMWs and Porsches. After driving the '10 GT, I can see why.

  • Lou_BC Mr. Posky outraged over an old guy passing er releasing some gas. How are those sedan sales going?
  • Theflyersfan There's still the serious lingering doubt or fear about sinking so much money into an electric VW, a company notorious for having epic gremlins in that area. Honestly, I want to see long-term, at least 80,000 miles, examples and how they held up. Maybe then.
  • Lorenzo They were willing to go against their customers' preferences to satisfy government, but now that they see it doesn't pencil out, they change their tune. Now is the time to tell 'em what we really want.
  • Tassos Generally I prefer that exploited labor remain domestic like in the service and trade industries. Given the complex and global integration of supply chains and materials sourcing I accept that most manufacturing must be managed by foreign 'kapos'.
  • Lorenzo 1 million barrels is 42 million gallons. The country uses 368 million gallons a DAY. The reserve was set aside after Hurricane Sandy caused a gasoline shortage for emergency vehicles. The hurricane season starts on June 1 and is predicted to be active. Nice going.