I test drove a V8 Mustang with a 6 speed manual transmission and a V6 with a 6 speed automatic. I have to say by the way that I highly recommend the V6 as the low price, 305 hp and 31 mpg can’t be beat. The car took off fast and I couldn’t find anything wrong with the shift points in the automatic, either. I couldn’t think of any way Ford could’ve done it better.

Needless to say, the 412 hp in the V8 (420 in the 2013 I’ll be buying) was outstanding. What a friggin’ engine! This 5.0 has nothing to do with any past 5.0’s by Ford. Four variable in and out cams and sequential injection. Ford didn’t figure direct injection was worth the extra cost and effort at this time. I know I’m not missing that at all!

This model is called the Coyote engine and all reviewers regard this as the car’s greatest feature. The power band is smooth with no dead spots as you rise in RPM’s. 420 HP at about 6100 RPM’s and 390 pounds of torque at about 4600. If that 6100 RPM seems way too high, it’s not, as this V8 revs up to 7000-7300! The Boss 302 version is 7500, and has been verified stable at 8400!!

I’ve never had a car that could rev past 5700 or 6000 tops.

But the great news about this engine is that you DON’T have to rev it high to make it come alive. Reviewers comment a lot how you can pretty much be driving any speed in most any reasonable gear and no matter what, it will pull nice when you step on it. Even though my test drive wasn’t really long, I can verify that. It just feels really nice. My Olds 442 had a police grind cam shaft in it and it could do that, too. Hey, Ken and Mary, do you remember that?

I had a 1965 Ford Fairlane with the (again, another famous) 289 cubic inch engine. Very good engine. These ranged from 200 to 271 hp in old ratings. At today’s ratings, 180 to 244 hp. This new engine is 5.0 liters or 302 cubic inches. Interesting to think that an engine that’s only 4% bigger has 72% more power than the best 289! A lot has happened in the last 47 years.

My test drive with both Mustangs consisted of leaving Grappone’s lot and getting on 89 at the junction of 89 and 93. We headed out to Exit 3, Stickney Hill Rd. On the way there in the V8, I hit 100 mph in no time at all. My salesman Robb chose this route to demonstrate how good the car is on a lot of turns with a lot of bumps. I was expecting worse with the solid rear axle and told him I was surprised how good it was. After Stickney we worked our way over towards Jewett than back onto 89 at Exit 4 and back to the dealer. It was plenty sufficient to check out rattles, handling, shifting, braking, acceleration, etc. for both cars.

I was super careful scrutinizing exactly what was going on with the automatic transmission. I couldn’t find anything to complain about when I was doing all kinds of stuff with the gas pedal.

I have only two complaints with the car.

The seats are not the best or worst I’ve had. If zero is the worst I’ve personally owned and 100 the best, these would be about a 45 to a 60. I’m not spending a lot extra for the Recaro seat option as they have no heat, and I’m not sure if I’d like the comfort of them or not. I’ve never experienced them. I’m sure the support is better but have no idea about the comfort.

The support of the standard seats is fine for me as far as the side bolsters are concerned. But I have a skinny ass that will probably be okay with the seat bottom on a long trip. My Buick is perfect in that regard. IF the Mustang proves not so great on a really long trip, I can keep a memory foam cushion in the trunk, I suppose.

It’s too bad you can move the steering up and down but not in and out. A telescoping wheel would really be useful in this car, but I’m probably more flexible than many people my height of 5’10” when it comes to seat position, so I didn’t think it was a deal breaker for me. I still think that without a telescoping wheel, Ford should’ve had that wheel closer by at least a half an inch if not an inch. Professional drivers like Randy Probst who REALLY know how to evaluate nuances have not complained about it at all.

Overall, I really like this car and feel fine about making the investment. Even though I’ve bought a few new cars off of lots in the past, I’ve never ordered from the factory before. I cannot ever find a car anywhere that has the options I want and I refuse to pay for options I don’t want. I have a tight budget.

The car feels and sounds great. My 442 was 360 hp or 330 by today’s standards. Even though it was surprisingly a little lighter than the Mustang, the aerodynamics of the Mustang are better, the 442 had only 4 speeds, and the Mustang is almost 100 more HP. The 0 to 60 time of the Mustang is about 2 seconds better! So I’m gonna really dig this car.