Sunday

2010 Ford Mustang GT review

When Ford brought out their redesigned Mustang in 2005, people around America waited with baited breath. How would Ford carry on the tradition of their top selling pony car? After all, messing with what works can be a risky proposition. Fortunately they did very well. Ford brought some much needed moderness to this new generation. You can see my very positive review here. For 2010, the Mustang receives its first major update.

There have been some subtle, but important, tweaks for 2010. For starters – the suspension. GT’s get the Bullit suspension, and V6 models enjoy an upgrade to previous GT specs. Power in the GT is bumped slightly, thanks to some intake and exhaust tuning, again borrowing from lessons learned from the previous Bullit. Power seems tame in comparison to the numbers that names like Challenger and Camaro are putting down – but don’t let that fool you. More on that in a moment.



Receiving a massive update is the interior. While merely adequate before, Ford has taken the 2010 interior up a generation. Plastics are of a higher quality all around the cabin. There is more noticeable refinement in the assembly process and the way things are screwed together. +1

Ford didn’t ignore the outside either when putting out this update. The front end is changed slightly, providing a more aggressive look and stance, and providing eagle-eyes with something new to find. Move around to the back, and a question mark appears over your head. What happened here? It looks like they tried to modernize the back end by giving it a more angular look, while leaving classic lines all around the rest of the car. This is the only demerit I can see, and it’s a shame really because the rest of the car does look good.

Be sure though that you opt for a darker color – else you’ll have blatantly obvious flat plastic cladding visible all around the bottom of the exterior. So there is a second demerit. I know everyone wants to pinch pennies right now, but save that styling crap for the Focus.

Driving the GT and comparing it to the 2005-2009 model, it becomes obvious that Ford has taken seriously trying to move the Mustang up a notch. The steering has a better heft to it; a better feel that is more connected to the front tires and the road. The suspension is predictable and playful – amazing when you throw the car on a rack and discover a live-axle in back and simple struts in the front. Stiff, yes, but hey – at this price point it’s not going to behave like anything from Bavaria. The shifter and pedals remain as good as they were before. Even with the engine’s seemingly modest power, you’re never left wanting. The power curve is predictable and strong through the rev range. If I have to gripe, it would be about the front seats not offering enough lateral support. Get too spirited and you’ll easily slide around.

Ford has also put a “sound tube” in the Mustang to pipe the music from the engine bay to the cabin. It’s not overdone, and the V8 makes pleasant enough noises. If you’re buying this type of car, this is the kind of thing you bought it for – to look cool, sound cool, and have some fun.

And that’s really what I liked about this car. It’s just a lot of fun. If I wanted to, I could nitpick at it. It’s not a M3 killer, the Euro sleds have nothing to fear, and I won’t try to convince you that even though it can out-accelerate a Ferrari 348 that makes it a better deal because of A-plan pricing. No, but there is just something ‘fun’ about piloting this car that brings a smile to my face everytime I’m behind the wheel. It’s a different flavor of car, and a pleasantly good one at that. It’s playful, makes the right noises, delivers a true modern muscle car experience, and rewards genuine driving skill. Sometimes, just having fun is what driving is all about. Best of all, the Mustang GT allows that without breaking the bank, and offers a strong community and enthusiast backing. No wonder it has been such a successful model for Ford.

In fact it’s a car that I would park in my garage without any hesitation.

2 comments:

Eric Hansen said...

Thought you guys might enjoy this new 2010 Mustang documentary. Student drag races his high school teacher for the rights to a 2010 Mustang GT: http://www.youtube.com/fordmustang

Chris said...

Thanks for the link Eric!

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