Test Drive by Graham Breeze
It’s easy to see why the Ford Mustang GT has quickly become the UK’s most popular high-performance sports coupe.
With stunning looks and a five-litre V8 engine under the bonnet this Ford was always going to take the sports coupe sector by storm despite the best efforts of Jaguar, BMW, Porche, Audi and the small band of other competitors.
Mustang arrived to great acclaim just over a year ago in Europe creating another page in the exciting Ford performance story, which continues with the success of ST, Fiesta ST200, Focus RS and GT.
There was no looking back after 6,500 enthusiasts applied to buy the all-new Ford GT in the first month – with over 500 of them from the UK. And the sales success continues at pace.
The Mustang is just the lift the company needed and despite striking modern looks it is instantly recognisable and as big a head-turner that you will in this price range.
Because the 5.0 V8 GT Fastback on test was priced competitively at £35,745, though extras such as premium paint, a custom pack including premium audio system with navigation, climate controlled seats, reverse parking sensors and19inch multi-spoke alloys took the price up to £38,135. But it’s still the cheapest 5-litre sports car available.
The downsides of running a car like this are running costs of course. Because the five-litre unit produces 299 g/km of emissions and at best you’ll be likely to ever average 20mpg, which with fuel costs at the pump rising at frightening levels is not good.
But the upside is a top speed of 155mph and 0-62 in just 4.8 seconds through a manual box, along with the feeling that you are behind the wheel of a much more expensive supercar. Automatic versions are £1,500 dearer.
And you have to hand it to the engineers at Ford who have come up with a chassis delivering superb handling, a comfortable ride, genuine space for two rear seat passengers and a boot that would easily house the golf clubs.
The Mustang stands out in any crowd with clear branding on boot and front grille and thanks to fully independent suspension, a souped up braking system and selectable driving modes, really does give a safe feeling to driver and passengers.
You get a lot for your money too. Power folding door mirrors, 8” touchscreen controls, a nine speaker surround system, DAB, Bluetooth, Ford emergency assistance, automatic dipping headlights, rain-sensing wipers, reach and rake adjustable steering, power controlled front seats, a rear view camera and automatic temperature control are all standard items.
If anything will disappoint you about the first right hand drive Mustang it’s probably the quality inside the cabin. Ford needed to target the model competitively and it’s noticeable that the savings were made here – though it’s certainly not enough to be a game changer situation, just a bit too much plastic perhaps.
Like every new Ford, the Mustang comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, which is backed up by one-year’s breakdown assistance
This Mustang is likely to keep Ford at the head of the sector sales despite high running and insurance costs – it’s a car you just want to be seen driving.