Ford Mustang GT Review

I’d heard a lot about the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, and thought that I needed to take one out for a drive. Back in high school, it was one of the hot muscle cars. A friend had one, and we were all envious. It looked good, sounded great, and went fast. Today, over 30 years since I was first in a Mustang, it still looks good, sounds great, and goes faster. After driving the 2011 Mustang GT, I discovered that it has some nice improvements over the one in my younger years. Not only does it have a lot more horsepower, but it rides much smoother and handles much better. A nice balance of old school look, and new technology. If you want to learn more about the 2011 Mustang GT, read on.

Mustang GT Highlights

Probably the biggest new feature on the 2011 Ford Mustang GT is the all-new 5.0-liter V8 engine. It produces 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque, almost 100 hp more than the 2010 model. Even better than feeling the power was hearing the power. This V8 has a really sweet sound. Tie this in with the comfortable interior, and it is a pleasure to all of your senses. If 412 hp is more than you need, the non-GT model comes with a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 305 hp. And, if 412 hp isn’t enough, there is also the Shelby GT version with a 5.4-liter V8 producing 540 hp.

The first thing I noticed while pulling out of the lot was the Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS). I’m obsessed with how a car steers. To me, handling is more important than power. I don’t notice a few horsepower, but I do notice if a car steers poorly. I don’t know how to explain it, but I like steering to match the handling of the car. Not too hard to turn into corners, not too easy that you lose feeling for the road. The Mustang GT steering uses electronic yaw sensors, roll sensors and steering-wheel angle sensors to give you a strong sense that the car is tracking the road on straight-a ways and in corners.

The suspension handles well in on city streets and highways. I didn’t have the opportunity to do any winding mountain roads, but the car handled well, and there was no excessive lean around corners. And just in case you tend to push the edges a little, traction control and electronic stability control are available to keep you out of trouble.

The 2011 has a new 6-speed transmission. Available in automatic or manual, I test drove the manual transmission. It has a nice feeling, with secure, short-throw shifts. The sixth gear provides an overdrive for better fuel economy. Despite the significant increase in horsepower, the 2011 gets reasonably good gas mileage: 18 mpg city/25 highway with the six-speed automatic, and 17 mpg city/26 highway with the six-speed manual.

Also new is a Brembo brake package option. I’m familiar with Brembo brakes from my motorcycles. This is the first car I’ve driven with Brembo brakes. They provide very solid braking, which is good given how easy it is to get this car moving at a fast pace.

Performance Highlights

For as long as I’ve been driving, the Mustang has been taking on other performance cars at the traffic light. Not that I’d encourage such as thing. But it is clearly a measure important to many Mustang owners.

Here are some stats for those who measure this car by its numbers. It does 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.3 seconds. It can do the 1/4-mile in 12.8 seconds with a top speed of 110 mph.

Regardless of your driving style, the 2011 Mustang definitely won’t disappoint you.

Interior Styling

I drove the Mustang GT with the premium package. My first impression was the design looks good. It looks and feels like quality. It feels sporty, without feeling like you are sacrificing comfort.

The leather seats with detailed stitching, and the leather steering wheeling with brushed aluminum spokes, are the first to stand out as you get into the car. The navigation and entertainment system includes the latest technology such as Sync to operate MP3 players and Bluetooth phones through voice commands.

The interior is quite roomy, at least from the front seat. But, you probably won’t want to stuff anyone tall in the back seat for an extended ride.

Is the Ford Mustang GT right for you?

This car probably has two distinct customer demographics: college students looking for a cool car, and old guys wanting to relive their college days driving a cool car. I fall into the latter category. If you love to drive, and if your idea of a fun Sunday afternoon is a drive to the beach, this car will put a smile on your face. Yes, it provides for good transportation, with reasonable gas mileage, so you could try to convince your wife it is a good commuter car. However, you are not fooling anyone. You drive this car for how it makes you feel.

Interested in more details, see the Ford Mustang Web Site.


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