Every summer, whether it’s been updated or not, Ford makes sure to have a Mustang GT available on its fleet. Every summer, whether there’s anything new to write about it or not, I inevitably treat myself to a healthy dose of pony car. Wouldn’t you?
The car received a few subtle updates last year, including a slightly modified fascia that built on the successful design Ford introduced for the model’s 50th anniversary in 2015. So this year, the Mustang is carried over without anything new. According to several old-schoolers I’ve spoken with, this is undeniably the best iteration of the model yet, so there’s no rush to change a good thing. Its legend is what people are appealed to, even the non-initiated can appreciate the Mustang, whichever generation, version, and colour it comes in.
Though I’m usually a preacher of the church of the “small but zippy cars,” I’m a complete sucker for a good muscle car. The legend, the history, the badassery, the sound. Oh. The sound. Not many cars left on the market have the power to stir up emotions the way the Mustang GT does; sometimes not even the Mustang itself. At least not since the V6 has been replaced with the four-cylinder EcoBoost. A necessary evil to reduce emissions, but a stark departure from the model’s legacy nonetheless. While it might be small, I’m glad fort V8 is still standing both in more refined iterations — looking at you Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar — and in rawer, more American versions.
About that raw V8, the Mustang GT’s sips on a “modest” 5.0L and produces 460 ponies and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. All that juice is sent to the back wheels via your choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a ten-speed automatic box.
That automatic transmission. The Mustang deserves so much better. I have a V8 ready to sprint into action from the pressure of a toe, yet that 10-gear electronic system gets in the way of my fun. I know, I know, I’m partial to the manual transmission, and I openly admit it. Yet, I don’t disagree with the fact that most cars on the market nowadays are fine with an automatic transmission. Most of these cars have been designed with comfort and ease of drive in mind. It’s OK, I don’t agree with it, but I get it.
But when you have a car as emotional as the Mustang, it needs, nay, demands a manual transmission to be enjoyed to the fullest. If you don’t know how to drive manual, getting in the Mustang GT with a six-gear stick is worth the time investment.
Now, remember that this car is meant to inject you with a dose of Freedom right into the veins. It’s not meant to be subtle or discreet. The Mustang is loud, it’s heavy, and the steering radius is big enough to turn a freight truck around (I’m barely exaggerating). While the model certainly has evolved since its inception in the mid-60s, it doesn’t seek the refinement of a European. It’s American and proud to be.
Though it weighs in at a hefty 2,096 kg for the GT Convertible with the automatic gearbox, all the yeehaw sent to the back wheels is plenty to get you going with ease. It’s not a light or a small car to manoeuvrer, but it’s not a heavy car to get moving if that makes any sense. The version I had didn’t have the adjustable steering modes like other trims have, but there’s just enough weight in the wheel to get feedback and keep you involved in the drive. Plus, there are selectable drive modes that change the car’s behaviour from tamer to wilder, depending on how you feel that day.
Since I drove the car mainly in the city and very little on the highway, I didn’t give that fuel consumption a fair shot. By the time my week with the Mustang ended, the car was drinking an outrageous 18.3L/100km. I didn’t even see that high a number in a 5.0L, V8 Supercharged. That being said, if I’m going to be honest, the Mustang isn’t a car that you want to drive carefully. If you worry about fuel economy, you need to get in a Fusion hybrid or something. The sound of the engine is enough to make you want to rev it as often and for as long as you possibly can. Of course, you can slow the pace down and hit that accelerator with more consideration, but what’s the fun in that?
The most surprising thing about the Mustang is that it’s a decent car to live with. Except if you need to carry more than one passenger regularly. It’s a proper sports coupe, so that means there’s plenty of space for the driver and the front passenger — not so much for anyone else. The rear seat is an excellent purse and coat carrier. I’m not a giant by any stretch of the imagination, yet my seat left little to no legroom behind me.
On the other hand, the trunk is respectably spacious — not two-full-size-suitcases spacious, but enough for groceries or a weekend away. Plus , keep in mind you have all that extra storage space on the back seat.
It also comes with all the comforts and luxuries you want in (and expect from) a $68,000 car — oh yeah, the Mustang might open the door to the world of muscle cars at below the $30k mark, but you could pay as much as $95,000+ for a fully-loaded model, depending on your choice of engine, transmission, equipment, and trim level.
But back to my $68k horsey. This GT Convertible Premium comes equipped with dual-zone climate controls, ambient MyColour lighting, chrome accents and trimmings, wheel-mounted controls, adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, SYNC infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, heated and ventilated seats, B&O sound system, heated steering wheel — the whole shebang.
A little part of me hopes that someday I’ll get my hands on a Ford Mustang dated from the year I was born — in Mustang years, that gets me a model from the Fox platform era. It might not have the sex appeal of a ’66 Fastback, but it’s still a Mustang and the ’80s were formative years — and definitely not the worst generation of the car.
But I can understand if you’re looking for something that offers more modern comforts. You’ll be glad to know that the modern-day Ford Mustang remains true to its legacy, so you can be as proud to own a 2019 model-year than you would be owning at 1964 ½.
Model: 2019 Ford Mustang GT Premium Convertible
Engine: 5.0L, V8, 460 horsepower
Transmission: 10-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
NRCan rating (Le/100km city/highway): 15.4/9.7
Length: 4,789 mm
Width: 2,080 mm
Wheelbase: 2,720 mm
Price: $27,481 base, $68,255 as tested, including freight
Competition: Dodge Challenger R/T, Chevrolet Camaro SS
Standard equipment: Active Noise Cancellation, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, Intelligent Access with push-button start, Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel with Cruise and Audio Controls and Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column, Power Windows, Rear view camera, 6-speaker sound system, AM/FM Stereo with Single CD, SYNC, Two smart-charging USB ports, Remote keyless entry, SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System