£31,745 - £39,040 Price range
20 - 35 MPG
The latest version of Ford’s legendary Mustang has touched down on European soil and it looks to be the best version yet.
There are a number of reasons to be excited: this is the first Mustang that will be available in right-hand drive, the archaic rear suspension of the outgoing model has been ditched for a modern setup and, well, just look at that price!
Buyers gets two petrol engines to choose from – a 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost that provides decent performance, but without horrific runnings costs, or a real-deal 5.0-litre V8 that gives lots more of both.
You’ll also have to decide whether you want the wind-in-the-hair thrills of the convertible model or the proper dynamics offered in coupe form. Given the option, we would choose the V8 coupe for the full muscle-car experience.
Inside, interior quality is a marked improvement on the old car, but don’t for one minute expect Jaguar or Mercedes levels of quality. Space for both passengers and their luggage is also more plentiful.
The relatively cheap price doesn’t mean poor equipment levels – all models come with active cruise control, a centrally mounted touchscreen with voice activation, climate control and a whole lot more.
Settle into the driver’s seat and the Mustang, say testers, makes quite an impression. The sheer size of it is the first thing that hits as you gaze over the long bonnet that forms such as an important part of the classic long-front, short-back muscle car look.
As we’ve already hinted, posh interior materials and a swooping dashboard design are very much off the menu in the big Ford. What you do get, though, is a simple layout and deeply cowled main gauges that can be traced back to the original Mustang that went on sale back in 1965.
Soft-touch plastics are there, but are by no means abundant, and metal-look trim is actually just shiny plastic – a bit disappointing.
Ford Mustang passenger space
The Mustang is big on the outside, but that size doesn’t do a very good job of representing itself on the inside. Sure, there’s plenty of room in the front, but you’ll do well to shoehorn two adults into it – this is a 2+2 coupe/convertible after all, so the rear seats are really only designed for children.
Ford Mustang boot space
While the rear seats have kids in mind, the boot seeks to appeal to another market – golfers. It’s been specifically shaped to accommodate two sets of clubs, and the 408 litres of luggage space (in the coupe) should be perfectly capable of handling the weekly shop.
Passengers also get two big cupholders between the two front seats, but the Ford can’t offer the huge array of storage areas that are common place in hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf. The convertible Mustang makes do with just 332 litres of boot space.
With its new suspension bolted to the back of the car, the new Mustang offers composure and traction that the old model could only dream of. All UK cars come as standard with the GT Performance Pack that includes suspension, which has been tuned for European roads.
It serves up a compliant ride, but also has decent body control, making the Mustang easier to drive than you might think considering size of the thing. The front suspension has also been adjusted to sharpen the car’s responses, although the changes (since the first cars were driven in the US) have also made it feel more nervous at a fast cruise.
Also coming as part of the Performance Pack are more powerful brakes, 19-inch wheels (rather than 18-inchers on US-spec cars) and an uprated cooling system designed to cope with the occasional track day.
If you are going to buy a Mustang then the bassy 415hp V8 really should be the only option. It basks the car’s passengers in a glorious roar as it catapults them from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155mph.
There are two reasons why the V8 might not be to everyone’s tastes (or budgets) – fuel economy and CO2 emissions. The former means the Mustang can only return 20.9mpg, while a 299g/km CO2 figure sets the Ford on a collision course with a £505 annual tax bill. Ouch.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy (and we can understand why it might not) then the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost might be more your cup of tea. It gets more respectable fuel economy of 34.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 184g/km for tax of £225 a year.
Despite the savings offered by the EcoBoost, the car’s still pretty brisk with 312hp getting it from 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds on its way to 145mph flat out. Where the EcoBoost really falls down on though is noise – Ford’s tried to make up for it with the electronic trickier of a sound synthesiser, but the all-encompassing roar of the V8 is notable only by its absence.
With the Mustang now coming in right-hand drive, the compromise that used to come with choosing the Ford over one of its European rivals is gone. What you’re left with is a car that’s remarkably cheap given its performance and gung-ho character.
Is it better than its Euro rivals? No. But given that the Mustang costs the same as a mid-range BMW 3 Series some people are bound to see the appeal. Throw in Ford’s cheap servicing, and the relative simplicity of the V8-engined model, and the Mustang makes a decent – if not class leading – case for its self, when compared to rivals such as the Mercedes AMG GT and Jaguar F-Type.
Ford’s made a genuine attempt to woo UK buyers with this iteration of the Mustang and for that we take our hats of to the company’s bosses.
Critics say it’s more nimble than the old model, while delivering knockout performance in V8 form. It’s far from being without fault, but go for the big-engined model and smiles per miles don’t come much cheaper.