Mustang wind-in-mane-driving stays true to roots
"Ford stylists have done a good job in allowing this car to stay true to its roots while at the same time modernizing it"
For me, the 2013 Mustang V6 convertible is one of those test cars that comes along only once or twice each year - a car you don’t want to give up.
Alas, the typical road test lasts only one week.
So let’s enjoy our Mustang while we can, lower the power top and go cruisin’ in the summer sunshine.
Ford stylists have done a good job in allowing this car to stay true to its roots while at the same time modernizing it.
I really like what they’ve done to the front end - almost a Jaguar look to the new grille and headlamps. Similarly, the rear has been restyled but keeps Mustang’s trademark three-piece taillights.
Traditionalists may not like the way the galloping steed logo has been moved from the centre of the grille off to one side (only on the convertible), but they may be mollified by the puddle lamp that shines the pony on the pavement when a door is opened at night. Cool.
The 3.7-litre V6 is plenty potent. With the optional 5.0-litre V8, Mustang can get a little rough and raucous, but the V6 is quiet, refined and makes this more of a cruiser than a rubber-laying street racer. And, believe it or not, at 305 hp the V6 has 15 ponies more than the famous Boss 302 V8 of 1968-71.
The six-speed manual transmission is excellent, with short, can’t-miss throws and just the right touch and pedal travel to the clutch. No risk of stalling out here. Handling is great on the standard 18-inch wheels and tires.
Highway fuel economy is good because the big V6 is barely turning 1,500 rpm at 100 km/h.
Front bucket seats are great, but there aren’t a lot of places to securely stow stuff - especially important in a car whose top lowers. The tiny door pockets are next to useless and there’s no handy place to put a cell phone, or whatever, except in one of the cupholders.
The rear seat is tight for two adults, but what do you expect? ’Tis a Mustang and it’s always been thus.
The soft top goes up and down easily but doesn’t stow out of sight. On the plus side, this means it doesn’t take way trunk space, leaving a generous (for the class) 2,566 litres for luggage. The down side, however, is that the lowered top acts like a wind brake, adding about 0.5 L/100km to fuel usage.
I like the sharp instrument display and the driver’s information centre that’s positioned between the big, round tach and speedometer. But the speedo is crammed with numbers for both km/h and mph and gets a little hard to read. Speed can be displayed digitally on the DIC, but then you can’t see the readout that shows not only how far you’ve travelled but how long it’s taken, how much fuel you have used and how many litres you’ve burned per 100 km.
The DIC also has a track app - but readouts are only in mph. It gives acceleration from 0-30, 0-60, 0-100 and times for the eighth and quarter mile.
It’s cool, and for the record, Ford claims 5.5 seconds from 0-60 mph and 14 seconds for the standing quarter mile.
Also cool is an unusual satellite radio feature where a voice announces you’ve tuned in to, for instance, “The ’60s on 6.” So you know where you are without taking your eyes off the road - always a good thing.
I love the two-tone interior and, while grey would not be my choice for exterior colour, I have to say the metallic paint is worthy of a much more expensive car.
If I owned it, I’d deliberately avoid superhighways so the top could be down as much as possible. A sunny day, a Mustang ragtop and ’60s tunes on the radio. Could life get any better than that?
2013 Ford Mustang convertible
Trim level: Premium
As tested before taxes: $29,504
Options on test car: leather seats ($1,500)
Engine/transmission: 3.7L V6/ 6-spd manual
Power/torque: 305 hp/280 lb.-ft.
Fuel (capacity): regular (61L)
Fuel economy ratings: 11.1 L/100km city; 6.9 L/100km highway
Observed fuel economy: 9.4 L/100km over 640 km
Warranties: 3 years/ 60,000 km (basic); 5 years/ 100,000 km (powertrain)
Competitors: Chevrolet Camaro; Dodge Challenger
Strengths: price; performance; top-down style
Weaknesses: some instrumentation; RWD not great in winter