By on April 15, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Ever since I left the city, you, you, you
You and me we just don’t get along
You make me feel like I did you wrong
Going places where you don’t belong

—Drake, “Hotline Bling”

Biloxi, Mississippi is a place where dreams go to die. Sad imitations of Vegas casinos line the coast half-filled with retirees giving away their fixed income, one pull of the lever at a time. Nobody ever wants to be there. You go to Biloxi if you can’t afford to go to Vegas, or if you can’t make time to get down the coast to Tampa Bay. Biloxi was punched directly in the gut by Hurricane Katrina, but nobody ever talks about Biloxi the way they talk about New Orleans. If Biloxi recovered, nobody noticed.

So it was appropriate that when I arrived at the Gulfport/Biloxi airport rental counter, nobody could seem to find my reservation. In my six years of renting a different car every week, that has never happened. Maybe I should have taken it as a sign to just go home, but I didn’t. After I found my reservation number on my app, the frazzled woman behind the counter apologized profusely for the delay, and whispered to me, “I’m going to give you something really nice to make up for the inconvenience.

Oh, no.

You see, I’ve been avoiding Mustangs lately. I have done a wonderful job convincing myself in the last few months that selling my Boss 302 was the smart thing to do — the right thing to do. I’ve even done a good job convincing myself that I don’t want another Mustang when the Fiesta goes to Lease Return Heaven in about 10 months. I’ve come to appreciate front-wheel drive and slight understeer. I have enjoyed having four doors. I like not being afraid of the slightest dusting of snow. I’ve cut my gasoline expenditures by 33 percent. Every intellectual, upper-left-brain thought I have had about my decision to take my talents to a dealership in Manchester, Kentucky, has been a positive one. I broke up with not just my Boss, but with the Mustang in general. It was a painful separation, to be sure, but time has healed all wounds.

So when the keys to a 2016 Mustang V6 Convertible slid their way across the counter to me, I took a deep breath, exhaled fully, and prepared to fight the visceral reaction that I knew was coming my way in the amount of time it would take me to walk to Spot Number 22.

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible Trunk, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Along with the “TAG APPLIED FOR” plate that might as well say “LICENSE TO EVADE POLICE,” I immediately noticed how easily I was able to insert my 27-inch suitcase inside the convertible’s massive (for a pony car convertible, that is) trunk. “Hmm,” I thought, “couldn’t do that with the Boss.” My laptop bag also easily slid into the trunk next to it. “Kind of practical, really,” I said aloud to nobody in particular.

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible interior, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Once I sat in the Mustang, I couldn’t help but notice just now improved the interior is in its newest generation. While there was a certain charm to having a spartan interior in the race-ready Boss 302, the V6 convertible is better off for having a modernized, more intuitive, ergonomically superior cabin. Since my rental was a base V6 model, it came with the most basic version of SYNC, with a small, non-touch screen for infotainment options. And you know what? It worked just fine. Shifting the Mustang into reverse meant the screen displayed a view from the optional rear-view camera, making for an easy exit from my parking space.

I connected my iPhone 6S Plus with a USB cable to the port in the center console for media purposes, and I also quickly and easily paired my phone with the standard Bluetooth functionality. I had a long drive ahead of me to Hattiesburg, but I needed to take a fairly important conference call on the way there. I had 15 minutes to swoop into the closest Chick-fil-A drive-thru lane, grab some food, and get on the road.

Naturally, I put the top down.

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible top down closeup

Putting the convertible top down is as simple as twisting a handle and pressing a button. No finicky and cumbersome latches to deal with. When the top is down, the Mustang manages to pull off a trick that few convertibles can; it actually cuts a more attractive silhouette. While I’ve gotten used to the new Mustang’s body style, I still tend to see a bit of Altima Coupe in the profile. When the top goes down, however, it becomes less Nissan and more Audi, reminding me of the S5’s stately shape.

This was not lost on the sweet young brunette, southern-belle-in-waiting who took my order at Chick-fil-A. “I love your car,” she cooed. To a teenaged girl, neither the size of the engine under the hood nor the nature of the rear suspension matter. My Mustang was a red convertible, and that was enough to make her instantly smitten. “Brian, isn’t this a cool car?” she called to an unfortunately acne-ridden co-worker. His one look in my direction was enough to let me know that he’d been trying to get her attention in any way possible for the last several weeks, and his obvious utter failure to do so, combined with her obvious immediate lust for the Mustang, made me hope that he was in no way responsible for handling my food.

With my large unsweetened tea (total sacrilege in Mississippi) nestled snugly in my cup holder and my Grilled Chicken Club sandwich on my lap, I remorsefully put the top back up and dialed into my conference call. For the next 60 minutes, nobody on the line knew that I was in a car, much less a Mustang convertible. The road noise inside the cabin at highway cruising speeds was at a mere whisper, to the point where I was able to take my phone off of mute and participate fully in the call. When I used to take calls in my 302, the most frequent comment from my fellow participants sounded something like, “BARK! PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!”

Which isn’t to say that the 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 can’t make its presence known when it wants to. One aggressive kick to the throttle, and the demeanor of the Mustang changes. While it doesn’t sound like a V8, there’s a suitably husky tone to the exhaust that reminds you that even the basest of Mustangs can still scoot. It feels every bit a five-second car, fast enough to blow the doors off of nearly everything on the road — or roughly equal to a Mustang Cobra R from 20 years ago.

Damn, if it isn’t a great time to be alive.

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible back seat, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

The back seat is, of course, utterly and completely useless — but it’s still better than the one found in the Camaro. I sat back there just long enough to determine that I could fit, and then got out. I wouldn’t recommend asking anybody that you care about to sit back there for any measurable length of time, lest you find your friendship irreparably damaged.

You might have guessed that I didn’t track my rental Mustang convertible, nor did I do any serious hooning in it — but that’s not the purpose of this car, anyway. It’s brilliant what Ford and Chevrolet have managed to do with their respective pony car platforms. There’s literally a Mustang or a Camaro for everybody. Pick the brand that you want Calvin to piss on, and buy the other one. Need to set some track records? Allow me to introduce you to the GT350 or the ZL1. Want some streetable performance that you can live with? How about a GT or an SS? Looking to drop the top at a comfortable price and still have that muscular look? Here’s your V6 convertible.

At the risk of sounding like the Ford shill that so many of you think I am, I know which I’d pick: the Mustang, all day, every day, and twice on Sundays — if only for the simple reason that you can see out of it.

In order to get your V6 convertible, optioned just like mine with an automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, and power-adjustable driver’s seat, you’ll need to plunk down $32,735 at your nearest Ford dealer. In a day and age where the average new car transaction price is nearly exactly that number, it’s hard to argue that a genuinely quick, comfortable, stylish, and — most importantly — droptop V6 ‘Stang isn’t a tremendous value. If I were buying one, I’d cut a grand or so off of the price by opting for a manual transmission over the somewhat clunky auto.

And much like a few years ago, when I drove the last version of this car in a much more desirable locale, I can’t help but feel that, for most people, this V6 Convertible Mustang is Best Mustang. You simply can’t go any faster on a public road in a V8 than you can in this steed, so why bother with the extra two cylinders unless your manhood is genuinely threatened by their absence?

My only complaint is that Ford has made it impossible to get this V6 as pimped out as my 2013 Premium Package rental. In order to get all the creature comforts, you have to step up to the EcoBoost Mustang Convertible for an extra $6,000. I’m sure that there’s a perfectly sound business reason for that decision, but I think I’d rather have the sixer than the turbo.

Either way, as you might have guessed, spending a few days with the 2016 V6 Mustang Convertible did a great deal to reignite my passion for Ford’s iconic ride. As great as the Fiesta ST, Focus ST and Focus RS are, there’s an intangible feeling that comes with driving a Mustang that a hatch can’t replicate, no matter how great it is. However, instead of getting the biggest and baddest Mustang available next year, maybe I’ll just get the one I’d enjoy the most day after day, and the one that would put much less strain on my wallet.

Welcome back to my heart, Mustang. My brain might say otherwise, but we both know that I missed you.

[Images: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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109 Comments on “2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible Rental Review...”


  • avatar

    Can’t wait to see how many of these get totaled during MUSTANG WEEK.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The article is a bit flowery, so, what did you find wrong with the vehicle.

    I do think the latest Mustang is quite a good move by Ford. Ford has managed to build an attractive vehicle that even has a 1970’s suspension in the rear. Much better than a live axle (from the horse and cart era).

    I did see quite a few of these whilst I was in Key West (among the many motor scooters and geriatrics riding Can Hardly Davidsons), that is convertible Mustangs. I did stop and check out most of them. I do believe Ford has a way to go with build quality and panel fit. I even saw quite a few new Corvettes with shoddy panel fits, especially where the door marries up to the front mud guards (fenders), very sloppy.

    Ford can and should make this Mustang into the most successful Mustang, like I stated above, improve build quality!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      here’s what I don’t get- why is it imperative that a review has to say something “bad” about a product? I’d prefer an HONEST review where the reviewer genuinely liked the product, and not one with fake “balance” injected to appear unbiased.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        – No mention of ride quality (especially given new independent rear suspension)

        ‘ No real mention of transmission behavior (he said it’s clunky in a glib way)

        – No mention of handling

        – No mention of body rigidity (particularly important in a chop top)

        – No mention of seat comfort

        – No mention of audio quality from stock head unit & speakers

        – No mention of things such as exhaust note, approximate build quality, interior materials (especially at touch points)

        – No mention of fuel economy with the V6

        – No mention of switchgear feel or operation

        – No mention of many, many other things that even Jack (who isn’t as methodically detailed as some other reviewer, but who manages to get the critical bases covered) would have emphasized

        Bark may groan that I’m picking on him unfairly, but this was not only not nearly detailed enough to be a “review,” but it wasn’t detailed enough to be a “first drive.”

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          @DeadWeight makes fair points. Had this article been titled “Returning home to Mustang” to indicate nostalgia, or a return of a love, it would probably have not drawn his ire.

          That said, I found the piece well written and entertaining. I’m also a bit of a Mustang fan, so it was very easy read for me. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Brett Woods

          And yet I felt I had read a meaningful review. But then again, I am not starving for details. I also rented a new red v6 – had it for a month. But it was 2011. That engine is fast enough for fun, burnouts and all. It was limited to I think 113mph. I had it up to 90mph on those pitch black Ohio roads driving Cleveland to Youngstown. Extra evil grin as the road dwindled down to one lane for miles with traffic cones on either side – empty hwy of course. That was when I couldn’t feel the front tires without micro-sawing the wheel. One finger turns in the parking lot though. Does the ’16 come with the adjustable weighting?

          Weird things I remember were – the trunk wires were flapping and wrapped in electrical tape – I use shrink tubing even on home projects these days (looks like that is fixed) 2) No up/down adjustment on the passenger seat, wtf? I didn’t like being at a different height than my passenger who, however, never complained about staring at the dashboard. 3) That was all that bugged me. I did not feel anything funny with the rear suspension.

          That car was awesome, and is right at the top of my list for a new car if I decide to go old school. Now that I think about it – Yea, I am craving some details about the ’16. Any chance of a retrospective part two?

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          I was waiting for this review. two months back I rented the same car in Las Vegas (although mine was black).

          Ride quality? Excellent although, to be fair, the Nevada roads are much better than those I normally drive.

          Steering? Slightly numb but, other than that, it had no bad habits that I could discern.

          Handling? No real body roll, no obvious under or oversteer, it felt solid and competent on the freeway off-ramps when I managed to push the car a bit. I’ve owned two live-axle Mustangs, a ’69 Mach I and an ’85 GT. The IRS is a major improvement and I, for one, don’t miss the live axle one bit.

          Body rigidity? I saw no evidence whatsoever of cowl shake. the car felt almost as solid as a true sedan, although, again, this was on nice roads. Air management with the top down was quite good. The interior remains relatively quiet, normal conversation volume is all you need. This is a great freeway, top-down experience.

          Transmission? Just a bit slow to initially downshift, but once it does so, the shifts were reasonably quick and sharp.

          Seat comfort? Always an issue for me (having a 36″ inseam), I found the seat to be quite comfortable with decent bolstering and I had no trouble adjusting it to give me enough thigh support.

          Audio Quality: Not bad with decent volume available. It suffers the usual cheap-speaker sin of having slightly muddy bass and a midrange peak.

          Interior quality? Materials are certainly pedestrian, but there is no feeling of being inside an extra-large laundry detergent container as with the previous-gen Camaro. There is a fair amount of texture and no obvious hard plastic surfaces in places where your body parts spend most of their time.

          Exhaust note: Actually very nice. Stay off the throttle and it’s nice and quiet. Put your foot in it and it has a nice V6 growl.

          Fuel economy? I used about a half tank in most in-town driving, netting about 20mpg.

          Switchgear feel? It seemed quite good, a definite improvement over earlier Mustangs.

          If it were not for the fact that I live in the snow belt, I would have bought one when I recently traded the CTS Wagon. The trunk held our suitcases and carry-ons, there was no top-down penalty as there is in the previous-gen Camaro. It is a screaming bargain. Nits? As Bark mentioned, the package alignment sticks you with certain unavoidable choices, the biggest being the really small LCD screen in the base model. I say, forgo the leather, the Ecoboost 4 and enjoy the V6 model along with the savings. Hit the Crutchfield catalog for some better speakers and an amplifier and you should be right in the sweet spot.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >>Steering? Slightly numb but, other than that, it had no bad habits that I could discern.

            I noticed this too, and I switched to Sport+ mode. That firmed up steering nicely.

            >> Fuel economy? I used about a half tank in most in-town driving, netting about 20mpg.

            I had the Eco-Boost; the previous renter got 24mpg, but since I was in Sport+ mode, I lowered the average to 21 mpg. :)

            >> Switchgear feel? It seemed quite good, a definite improvement over earlier Mustangs.

            In the 2015 GT Premium Convertible, everything felt… well, premium.

            Bark was preaching to the choir.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            The new Camaro’s interior is on par with the current Mustangs if not a tad better in higher end models. In fact it won an award on interior from JD Power if that means anything.

          • 0 avatar
            Brett Woods

            Good one bunkie

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There’s always something. I’ve never driven a car that was perfect. If I had, I’d own it.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Bark can wear his Ford t-shirt as clickbait and beg us to call him out on his massive erection for all-things-Ford, but the truth is that Ford quality is really $hitty right now, from problems with transmissions, to problems with motors, to problems with fit/finish on body panels and other assembly problems, to recent problems with flaking paint on many of their NEW VEHICLES (including F Series pickups):

          http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/dozens-of-ford-vehicle-owners-fed-up-with-flaking-paint-problems-1.3261390

      • 0 avatar
        mdensch

        That was the problem I had with the “old” TTAC—hyperventilating cynicism masquerading as objectivity.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Fords panel fit and build quality lately has been hit or miss. I have checked out quite a few new model offerings such as the Edge, Mustang, Explorer several Foci and a Fusion and found something wrong on each example. The worst was the Edge. it’s exterior panel fits, hood alignment etc were comically bad. The Focus had a large gap in the rear seat headliner where the molding was supposed to line up and cover said hole.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        y’know, I’ve seen a lot of these cars, and I think a big reason for it is the design of the body itself. Certain kinds of panel fits are easier to make sure they look aligned than others. It’s kind of like the hoods on the original Caliber/Compass/Patriot, or the 2002-2006 Silverado; the way the edge of the hood curved down onto the fender meant they needed a large gap to prevent the hood from hitting the fender upon closure. On the Silverado, that was one thing Lutz railed on; it nearly always looked like the hood wasn’t latched properly even though it was. changing the location of the hood seams to the inside edges of the fenders eliminated that problem.

        I think that’s really the issue on some of the newer Fords. It’s not that panel fit variation is worse, but that the design of the panel fits just makes the normal tolerance/variation way more visible to the untrained eye.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    ” Nobody ever wants to be there.”

    So what were you doing there? ;)

    “His one look in my direction was enough to let me know that he’d been trying to get her attention in any way possible for the last several weeks, and his obvious utter failure to do so, combined with her obvious immediate lust for the Mustang, made me hope that he was in no way responsible for handling my food.”

    I genuinely LOLed at this. yep, that’s the way we are at that age. “I saw her first, she’s MINE.”

    “I’m sure that there’s a perfectly sound business reason for that decision, but I think I’d rather have the sixer than the turbo.”

    AFAIK it’s to Ford’s benefits w.r.t. CAFE if people take the Ecoboost over the V6. Last year I think you could get a V6 premium convertible, but there must not have been many takers so it seems like it’s gone for 2016.

    And now, ladies and gentlemen, DeadWeight:

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Cadillac CTS by JoHanJerkoof has worse gauges and is less good looking than this. Melody Lee made a commercial with the CT6 by John Wu the shoe designer because branding, and ATS gauges!

      Pontiac!

      :D

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It gets better:

        Gauge cluster in base XT5 (SRX replacement):

        http://www.xt5forum.com/forum/members/842-caddy-albums-cadillac-xt5-picture113-cadillac-xt5-gauge-cluster.jpg

        Cadillac new motto:

        “Because we’re run by morons dumber than dog $hit! That’s why”

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Nope. You couldn’t get anything “Premium” with the 3.7-liter V6, whether in coupe or cabriolet form, even in 2015. It’s pretty much just the base engine; adding any options requires you to upgrade to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost. I think Ford is gearing up to dump the 3.7-liter outright.

      • 0 avatar
        Carzzi

        For 2016, the V6 mustangs even had their 3.5mm aux jack snatched away. The owner’s manual refers to it, but it ain’t there. That’s how much the goddamned EPA has forced Ford to push the EcoFloorPolisher four onto its customers.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          everyone’s getting rid of aux-in jacks. take your conspiracy theories elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            You just attacked Carzzi for discussing the same phenomenon you introduced as a topic a few posts earlier. Is everything okay?

          • 0 avatar
            Carzzi

            The aux jack deletion is just one of the thousand cuts to kill the V6.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          That is the single worst aspect of the current Mustang. If you want anything above baseline equipment be prepared to shell out thousands more, put up with an economy car sounding noisier engine that requires premium to get those magical 310 Hp and 32 highway ratings with automatic and the added worry that the engine/turbo may not live anywhere near as along a life as the bulletproof 3.5/3.7 Cyclone engine family.

  • avatar

    After Katrina, my understanding is that Biloxi got to work and rebuilt itself as best it could, while Nawlins, well, we all remember the news reports, don’t we?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The whole area sounds very hot and swampy and illiterate. Is that true/false?

      • 0 avatar
        Goatshadow

        The casinos were repaired quickly because money. One barge-based casino was lost when it washed inland. Afterwards, they did away with the law stating that the casinos had to have their gambling on the water instead of on land.

        People drive from Mobile to Biloxi to gamble all the time; it’s a tourist trappy area and more vibrant than anywhere else in Mississippi. It is still hot, swampy, and illiterate though.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      As did Texas a few weeks later after Rita. No media; just did it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The center stack in this new one has quite the Porsche/Audi look about it. Nice clean gauges as well. I’d be interested to see how the interior looks with leather. And wood. And a Lincoln badge on the front butIwillquitnow.

    Did they do away with the color change thing you used to be able to do on the dials?

  • avatar
    ajla

    There is something very cheerful and open about the Mustang convertible.

    Not for me. I need a vehicle that projects a proper amount of contempt for other humans and does not prompt conversations at drive-thrus or gas pumps.

    In the Ford showroom that likely is best served by the Fusion Sport or SHO. In Mustang-land probably a base GT.

    I’d also need the V8 if I bought a Mustang. 90% because I like V8s and 10% for the threatened masculinity thing.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Which Lexus would you buy?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I like Lexus products, but I’m not really a luxury car guy.

        The best car for me would be a 6.0L civilian Caprice. I love that thing.

        Hypothetical runners up would be a *slightly* modernized Crown Victoria LX Sport with the current 5.0/6A powertrain or a Plymouth version of the LX cars (so less agressive than the Charger and less gangster than the 300) with some semblance of build quality.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Fair enough, go find one of those Caprices!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          It’s kind of funny that you’re upset about LX build quality but then talking about a Panther.

          If you like those police Caprices, keep your eye out. The first ones are getting old enough to appear in auctions. If you spend some time looking chances are decent that you can find an unmarked version with low miles and a low number of drivers.

          Be aware that the interior is super-Spartan, though.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            And be sure to have an actual cop search the back seat for contraband and needles stashed by a perp…

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Like the Charger there are a lot of depts that are getting rid of their Caprice PPVs early, often with only 60K on them. Check publicsurplus.com.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Too bad you just missed a “ecoboost” 5.0 6sp AT converted Marauder that was just sold last week. http://mercurymarauder.net/forums/showthread.php?t=101115 the thread is also on there for the build, first the 5.0 6sp and then once that was given a shake down he strapped the pair of turbos on it. He then mentioned that it could be for sale and it was quickly snapped up.

          In the build thread there is also some info from the guy that went with a 6sp manual behind the 5.0 in his Panther.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    “It feels every bit a five-second car, fast enough to blow the doors off of nearly everything on the road — or roughly equal to a Mustang Cobra R from 20 years ago.”

    Ain’t that the truth.

    Remember the base Mustang of 1996? The one with the 3.8 that struggled to make 150 hp and required head gasket replacements more often than 1996 Hondas required timing belt replacements? Now here we are twenty years later, and the base Mustang has more than twice the horsepower and is likely to go 200K or more before experiencing any powertrain-related failure.

    The evolution of the base muscle car from “poser-mobile” to “serious contender” has been astounding.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      remember the Fox Mustang? base 2.3 liter with like 80 hp? Solid competition for the Iron Duke-powered Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      doctorv8

      “Remember the base Mustang of 1996? The one with the 3.8 that struggled to make 150 hp ”

      I remember being pretty impressed with that motor, considering the base offering in ’93 was the anemic 88 HP 2.3.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Or the 4 cylinder version in the 80’s that had all of 88hp? I keep my eyes out for an 87-93 LX V8 Convertible. On Autotrader or Ebay, someone will put it in as the wrong engine type. The F-bodies also were equipped with the Iron Duke 2.5 for a year or two early-on in the 80’s.

      Those were dark days indeed. Now, 300 hp from a V6 and nearly 30 mpg highway? It’s nearly unbelievable.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        I wouldn’t say it was that dark. You could get respectable performance from a performance car back then due to the fairly light weight even with what would be considered econobox horsepower these days.

        I’d say the late 80’s and 90’s were not dark days its just that we live in a golden age of performance. Cars have gotten really really good in just about every area although at the expense of weight for the most part.

        I wonder if people in the 60’s referred to cars and performance from the 40’s and 50’s as the dark days?

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      Only 150? Then the V6 Mustangs I beat in my stick shift Altima in high school make more sense now. I thought I was just really good at driving irresponsibly back then.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Being afflicted with “old”, I’ve had many opportunities to sample Mustang’s with the devils number of cylinders. Granted, I LOVE the Inline-6. I’ve had a bunch, including an un-killable Fairmont. But generally, base Mustangs did their best to keep a car-fanatic like myself from every owning a pony. Until…

      First, the best-friend’s ’66. It was a meticulously restored Black over black, manual-trans base car. It wheezed, coughed, sputtered, pointed its nose high like a bass boat, and shifted with guess-o-matic precision. This was about 1986, so they weren’t THAT old yet. Nope.

      Second, his track-team buddies early 80’s hatch in maroon. A very attractive car, with the automatic and 3.3 liter 85 (yes, 85) horsepower inline-6. Kind of a wheezy fishbowl, and didn’t compare at all to the mid-eighties GT. Not as bad, but still bad.

      Third, my dear family-owned 2005 4.0 V6 sled. We’re getting there in the motor department, it’s even a little punchy, but the constant water leaks and dissolving interior plastics are truly criminal. My early Focus was screwed together better, and the windows fell into the doors on that one.

      Finally, I rented a 2014 to cruise Route 66 (I took pictures and wrote about it, but this is a TOUGH crowd, so it remains confined to disk in fear). This was a really good car. It looked right, held a child-seat, drove well, and we could put stuff in it. Small stuff.

      As my hair gets grayer and thinner I have to make a decision soon, before I start to look ridiculous in anything less than an old Town Car. The 2016 is sounding like it’s arrived.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I had an 83 with the inline 6, it was sad. The stupid thing accelerated like a 4 banger but drank gas like an V8. It was my first car so you would think I would automatic love it, but nope I knew it was crap. It was stolen and replaced by an ’85 Civic S1500 hatchback that was all kinds of awesome.

        The only problem I have with these new Mustangs is the character lines in the hood peak right in front you (driver or passenger). I known its odd but it bothered me the first time I sat in one and now can’t see pass this flaw. I know these pony cars have the traditionally long hood/short deck style but to me it feels like the hood is never going to end. In contrast my Z’s hood drops out of view smoothly giving excellent forward visibility. Also why doesn’t Ford bring back the fastback ‘Stang? Like many car’s these days the rear window is so sloped its begging to be a hatchback.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Heh, some trivia about those old in-line sixxer Fox cars. They had a unique K-member for the I6. The V8 and I4 cars shared the same K-member and if you had an I4 car it was a pretty straight forward swap to put a V8 in there. If you had the I6 though it required a K-member from an I4/V8 car if you wanted to install a V8 as a bolt in.

          Not really a problem to replace though IIRC, only 6 or 8 bolts held the entire front suspension in place and that includes the struts.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Well C&D got 5.5 seconds 0-60 from a regular V6 coupe with automatic and std 3.15 rear gears which is probably the same exact setup that this heavier convertible has so I seriously doubt its a 5 second car or a Cobra R slayer.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I just cannot deal with the sightlines in the Camaro. I’ve had my share of two door domestics with bad sightlines(and no rear camera) and none were as bad as the Camaro. The Mustang doesn’t seem nearly as bad and I’ve had a few Chrysler LX cars as rentals and they were nearly early 90’s Accord-like compared to the Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Agree on the sight lines. I rented a Camaro convertible a few years ago and placing the car wasn’t intuitive. I had to make a conscious effort to learn where the 4 corners were and used speed bumps to practice / play.

      More recently I rented the Mustang convertible EcoBoost and it was easy to drive and position. The Premium GT comes with leather, sync3, puddle lights with the horse-y logo, and a bunch of other fun stuff. If I were buying though, I’d go with the V6 and a manual. I think the V6 has real engine noises whereas the EcoBoost augments with a soundtrack (4 cylinder turbos don’t sound so good).

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Nice review. I got to rent an Ecoboost convertible in my recent trip to Florida. That car is surprisingly fast. I may or may not have been near triple digits a few times.

    Mine had the premium package so leather, sync 3, etc. At the end of the day, I rather have the 4 cylinder with a manual and the V6 with the auto. The 4 cylinder felt almost like a rubber band unless the car was in sport+ mode.

    I can’t believe you didn’t take a dig at the hard plastics abound in the Mustang. I think the design and look is good (with the exception of the gauge cluster), but the quality of what you touch… not so much. Better than the 11-14 though, so that is nice. This car optioned out to be $37k too.

    Anyways, I think we all know the answer to this car: Buy the V8 and walk away. Can’t afford it new? Just wait one year and buy it on CPO at a 20%-30% discount.

  • avatar
    kkop

    ‘Basic SYNC’

    After renting quite a few Fords over the last few years, I think of it as ‘DOS-prompt SYNC’. What a horrible system.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Don’t give these manufacturers any ideas, please. As Lexus shows some are all too eager to turn back the hands of time on infotainment interfaces. I get the sinking feeling Mini will introduce a punch card interface on their next gen of cars for a “period correct retro feel”

  • avatar
    NoID

    And this Reason #2 is why the Challenger will never, ever truly compete with the Mustang and Camaro. DCX/Chrysler LLC/FCA never developed a drop top.

    Reason #1 of course being curb weight, but there’s not a lot to do about that considering it rides on a derivative of the old MB E-class architechture. Which makes me wonder, did then-DCX have plans for a convertible Challenger sharing knowledge/development from the topless E-class coupe, but the divorce but the kibash on that plan? I guess I’ll never know, and anyone who does know doesn’t run in my circles.

    That said, had I tripped over $40 grand on my way out the door this morning, my commute to the office would have included a detour to my local dealer to drop that cash on a 2016 Challenger Scat Pack Shaker in B5 Blue.

    • 0 avatar
      omer333

      Get ready for Big Truck’s retort in 3… 2… 1…

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The LX absolutely isn’t an E-Class derivative. It uses some MB hardware (rear suspensions, AWD system, the 5-speed auto before they went 8-speed), but it’s a unique chassis.

      That said, there were plans for a convertible, which were cancelled on account of money issues (with the Challenger hitting the market at the time of the financial crisis). From Allpar; “Challenger convertibles were to be added for 2010, explaining the front seat belt mounts, mounted ragtop-style instead of being bolted to the B post (courtesy oh20). The convertible was reportedly cancelled in light of cash shortages.”

  • avatar
    319583076

    “TAG APPLIED FOR”? Jesus wept!

  • avatar
    SC5door

    The wheels make this car and those are just right.

    Too bad about not being able to get the bigger screen on the V-6 models.

  • avatar
    rcx141

    These cars make everybody sound like a Ford shill. I got my GT when it first came out, and I like it more every time I drive it. There’s literally nothing I dislike about the car.

  • avatar
    David Walton

    So Bark,

    Does this new Mustang tell the Camaro to step outside? Or vice versa?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      I doubt it, GM really nailed it performance wise. Think of this as a repeat of the 90’s and early 2000’s. The Mustang is the more livable of the two with decent performance where the Camaro asks you to sacrifice some for great performamce.

      We will see if the sales numbers follow history as well?

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    This was reading worse than an MT article (Don’t have to go too far to find something worse than MT articles, it is usually right below that in the comments section) until I read

    “At the risk of sounding like the Ford shill that so many of you think I am, I know which I’d pick: the Mustang, all day, every day, and twice on Sundays — if only for the simple reason that you can see out of it.”

    Thank you for reminding us of your usual Ford bias, however I agree with your choice of Mustang. I was smitten by last gen camaro, until I sat in one. It would have to drive/look and feel like a Ferrari for me to forgive its terrible visibility. Cheap ass interior materials didn’t help either. I have seen too many high school girls in Mustangs to want one, but if I am forced to pick between Mustang and Camaro, I will pick a Mustang.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    “this V6 Convertible Mustang is Best Mustang.”

    Which Mustang is Best Mustang? My Mustang is Best Mustang because local produce.

    Anyway, I had the luxury of an EcoBoost version of basically this same car last year, in Pearl White. With the top down, it feels less battle-shippy than the hood implied. I drove a fourth-gen F-body for years so I’m used to long hoods that you can’t see the end of, but at least those ones sloped. The Mustang’s hood is almost like an aircraft carrier. And with the top up, the only car with worse visibility is any flavor of Camaro. But with it down, it almost, ALMOST, made me question why I spent all those years as a Trans Am person. These Mustangs are simply the better car, and I’m the complete opposite of a Ford person.

    Since I had it in San Francisco, I decided to drive up to the northern redwoods and beaches in this car. CA 1 in Marin County is NOT a Mustang road. It’s more of a Miata road. But there was no other car as attractive in front of John Muir’s treasured forests.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Still waiting for DW’s comments on Bark’s new Ford logo embossed kneepads.

  • avatar
    Occam

    I had one as a rental for a 5 day trip a few months ago.

    I thought it was wonderful – I’m honestly surprised how much I liked the automatic. My wife commented “I haven’t heard you complain about the automatic on this thing the way you usually complain when you drive my car.”

    And she was right. I was forced to admit, with no shortage of shame, that it had an automatic that I’d be okay living with.

    My only real complaint about the car was how jittery the body felt going over some bumps, but that’s almost impossible to avoid in a 3500+ lbs unibody car with no roof structure. Well, that and the hood – it was a surprisingly hard car to park in cramped quarters until I got a good feel for how far the hood sticks out. Sitting so far from the front axle and so close to the rear axle gives an odd “driving from the back seat” feel.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Mom and Dad had a Ecobost convertible rental when flying into Phoenix for our daughters baptism. Which means they had a roughly 5 hour drive to Gallup and a 5 hour drive back.

    I was shocked it was a 4 cyl Ecobost and not a base V6 but I had to help dad find the underhood release to check. That was about 5 days into his trip and he had no idea he was driving a boosted 4.

    It is a great time to be a car guy.

  • avatar
    AK

    I too prefer the v6 to the ecoboost.

    Love that you can wind it out (comes alive at 4k) and it sounds good doing so. Seems to be pretty reliable as well.

    The ecoboost is certainly stronger but the 6 just suits the car better. Weird.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This review was less informative than usual. I tend to think the Baruths should recuse themselves from reviewing Fords (or, if named Jack, U.S.-built Hondas).

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      HOW DARE YOU INSINUATE THAT BARK IS SOME SORT OF FORD SHILL!!!!

      That’s not accurate nor fair! /s

      *This “review” was nothing close to a review (see my comments above).

      • 0 avatar
        Shawnski

        Well, maybe you should fire Bark by no longer clicking and on what he has to say. That wouldn’t be any fun though since it wouldn’t be about you. On the other hand your belligerent style probob does lead to more clicks, so the site is appreciative.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Or maybe Bark should, you know, actually do even a rough facsimile of a review of this car when the title is “2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible Rental REVIEW.’

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      All I can say about that is this:

      I left my contract with Honda in March of 2012, more than four years ago. They haven’t put a penny in my pocket since. They asked me to come back in early 2013 and I declined.

      In this same four-year time period, Honda has held approximately nine European or Japanese press previews where they flew members of the US media business class to various fabulous locales. I didn’t get a single invite, because Honda USA boycotts me at the request of Ed Loh and Jonny Lieberman.

      I assure you that any residual fondness I have for waking up at 4:30 AM and going to the assembly line is long gone and does not affect my reviews of Honda products nearly as much as my general distaste for the Torrance PR crew.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Well, then you must REALLY like your Accord. (I don’t blame you… I thought seriously about buying one before deciding I really needed a giant Toyota padded cell instead.)

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I like the interior of this car, but the way the wheel blocks part of the tach and speedometer just drives me nuts. Maybe if that screen wasn’t in the middle, they’d fit within the view of the wheel.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    “You simply can’t go any faster on a public road in a V8 than you can in this steed, so why bother with the extra two cylinders unless your manhood is genuinely threatened by their absence?”

    Right, because the V8 is always about reckless driving and proving your manhood. It’s not possible to prefer it for the sound.

    That said, the V6 does sound pretty good in its own way. A shame Ford has so severely restricted the equipment that can be paired with it.

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      One interesting thing about the V6- you can get it with the 3.55 gears. The stand alone option is $350. Makes a huge difference, obviously.

      V6, 6 speed and 3.55 is a fine combination for $25k. Pick out some better wheels/summer rubber and you’ve got a good amount of fun for really cheap.

      I was tempted when I was shopping last year.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        I think you’d be insane to not get the shorter gearing. I’ve read a few reviews of the tall gear V6 mustang (previous gen) and it sounds like the super wide gearing really takes the playfulness out of the engine.

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    This is a well timed article. I’m currently shopping for a mustang vert. I really want a GT for sound, ego, and goodies like leather heated and cooled seats, etc… But I can’t afford one new and there aren’t any used in a few hundred miles of Atlanta. I don’t like the idea of the turbo 4 for reliability reasons. I think the v6 will be plenty enough power for me since I mostly do mountain backroad driving and cruising and will never track it. There are like 8 to choose from in the area that are previous Florida rentals with less than 25k miles for $20-25k advertised so probably could get a few thousand off that. Seems like a lot of car for the money… Maybe enough to make me reconsider waiting for a GT.

    • 0 avatar
      omer333

      I would do it a heartbeat.

      My wife and I had a similar conversation the other day while shopping for a new car for her, she said that even though she wants an SUV with a third-row in something that’s not a Chrysler or Dodge sh!tbox, when she saw a Subaru BRZ on the dealership floor, she almost changed her mind.

      • 0 avatar
        lzaffuto

        Definitely considering it. One of the consequences of the Ecoboost popularity is that the V8s have been pushed up in price and aren’t as popular. You just can’t find them on the market and when you do see one that is hours and hours away from you it costs only $3-4k less than a brand new one even though it already has 15-25k miles on it. The rental companies buy lots of V6 base models so the market is flooded with 1 year old low mileage examples and they are in a race to the bottom on competing pricing.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      The ecoboost drop top is awesome, I rented one for a week and loved it, it did take a little longer to spool up, but when it did, it took off just like the v6 if not a bit faster.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    When I was a teen, my ‘friend with the car’ had a b-day present ’86 V6; a month into his enthusiastic ownership, the un-tended oil leak finally led to an overheat he tried cooling down with a garden hose.

    And it was back to walking for awhile.

  • avatar
    geo

    I counted 44 buttons just in that picture. Inspired by an old Bonneville?

  • avatar

    They’re really nice cars. Almost ordered a V6 coupe with the 3.55 rear. The Accord Coupe I ended up with has a slightly more accommodating interior and was just as quick.

  • avatar
    bd2

    FoMoCo did something right.

    The ‘Stang selling well down under and in Germany.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Another POS Mustang? TTAC sponsored by Ford.

  • avatar
    oleladycarnut

    I just had one of these V-6 Premiums as a rental down in Zion National Park. We picked it up in Vegas. While I get the nostalgia Bark felt, this was a letdown. Yes, the auto transmission is clunky. You could hear the clunk sounds as we accelerated and decelerated through the park’s scenic drive. And, that audio interface is horrid and looks downright Soviet.

    I will say raising and lowering the top was a cinch. Kudos to Ford for that. Three years ago we had a premium with leather rented in Palm Springs and that was in every way a better put together Stang.

    You’d have to pay close to 40k to get a convertible Mustang that was agrarian inside, and that isn’t going to happen.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    Three years ago I traded my 2011 3.7-liter Premium Pkg with an automatic for a 2013 3.7-liter Premium/Performance Package and the 6-speed manual, the unofficial “Mayhem Edition”. Other than the fuel consumption, which is worse due to the shorter rear end, the Perf. Pkg and manual tran. make it a better Mustang in every way. Guess I’ll be keeping it for a while.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I do wish Ford would change their mind about not offering a v6 performance pack option anymore. I’m fairly confident that it could equal the camaro DI v6 performance, as some mags were getting high 13’s in the 1/4 with the previous generation.
    I suppose you could build your own with OEM ecoboost PP suspension parts but it would be cost prohibitive once you try to upgrade the brakes, wider wheels/summer tires etc.
    I’m pretty sure you could squeeze e46 M3 performance w/ just bolt ons/breating mods. I’ve seen high 12 sec. slips from s197s NA.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    I love the review. What some don’t understand is driving a pony car is not so much about the mundane that most associate with a review. You either connect to one or you don’t. I am also in love with my Mustang, 2014 GT premium edition. No it is not the greatest ride or most sophisticated interior, but every time i start that engine, and every time I try to get that rear end loose, I know its what a car is all about. Love the reviews Bark, keep them going

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