IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAR THUS FAR

I can certainly nitpick with the best of them, so I’ll get that out of the way first, then get into the raves.

The sun visors could’ve been designed a little differently such that there isn’t a small gap at the top outermost portion when they’re flipped down. It lets in a sliver of light. They did it so that when flipped over to the side window, it would conform to the curvature of the A pillar, etc. I think it could’ve been done a little better. The slit of light is about 4 inches long and maybe 3/8″ tall.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a car that didn’t have a factory wrapped real leather steering wheel. The plastic on this is meant to have a bit of give and is stitched to look like leather, but it feels like “decent” plastic. Kind of dry to the touch, especially as my hands are dry all the time anyway. I may figure out some kind of conditioner to put on it to give it a bit more grip to be a bit more like real leather. I have stuff around for both leather and plastic.

There are 3 spokes on the steering wheel. The horizontal spokes are fine, but I have a bit of an issue with the spoke aiming downward. The outer portion is metal, the part that attaches from the back is plastic. For some reason where they meet, the plastic is slightly larger than the metal. The end result is that if your fingers move or scrap forward against the plastic, it feels like a hard edge. My hands are around the horizontal spokes a lot and weren’t inclined towards the bottom anyway. But now my hands are always away from it, and it’s not a problem. Just annoying that it shows a lack of quality control or design, or something. It could’ve been better. Maybe the front and back were clamped together too tightly.

My salesman went around the car with a business card checking the fit of the gaps. Overall, not bad at all. No obvious problems that are readily visible. The gaps themselves are fine, don’t really get skinnier to wider as you go from one end to the other. However IF you have a card, the height of panels parallel to each other can be off a little bit. All over the car, maybe 20% is noticeable IF you have a card. So no complaints. I’d have complaints if I paid $120k for the car.

The dealer prep was good, nice polish and wheel prep. However I don’t know if they did a good job cleaning the inside of the windshield or not. It may have been clean initially, but a few days later driving directly into bright sun, there were some obnoxious smears. The car is so new that maybe the volatiles in the plastic contaminated the inside. So I can’t really say the dealer prep was at fault, especially since I didn’t notice anything right away. I did a clean up. A bit of it may be coming back, not sure. We HAVE had hot weather here, or enough to cook the inside of the car to make those volatiles come out fast. Still has that new car smell.

I’m still playing around with the 6 way seat position, am most of the way there now. Initially I was getting some adverse muscle tension in my right leg and foot. This was enhanced by the width of the center console, and the gas pedal being a little further to the left than what I’m used to in the Buick. The Buick also has no center console; all the room in the world for the leg. However I like having the console to brace with when flying through twisties.

I got rid of the muscle tension after playing around with the seat. The lumbar support is where I like it now, at about 80% inflated. The hood is high so if sitting low and going up and down big whoopdy doo’s, you can’t see the road for a moment. I have it a bit higher now. I like to sit with the seat cushion really angled back, the seat back tilted back a bit as well. So the back of the cushion is as low as it goes. But I have it a little bit higher now.

The steering wheel has tilt but no telescope. If I think about it, I always wish it was an inch closer to me. But when I’m driving, I don’t think of it at all.

The trunk space is quite good, especially if you flip down the rear seats. The cloth liner for the trunk area is a little on the cheap side as it’s a bit thin, but lays down okay enough. I don’t see it as a problem unless I was to be putting all kinds of heavy awkward stuff in there all the time. But a rigid, grippy trunk liner tray is available if needed.

The spare tire is an actual small spare that’s always inflated, easy to get at with the jack as well. No fix-a-flat can of spray like on some cars.
As reviewers say, plenty of hard plastic on the sides of the doors. The rest is soft touch plastic. The console/armrest is barely adequate for the elbow, but again, not really noticing it while driving. I already looked on Amazon and there remedies if I think I actually need them.

Overall, Ford gets good marks for saving money in some places and spending money in the places that really count, like the performance of the car. I think getting the armrest a little more plush and redesigning the sun visors could’ve only added $60 or$100 to the cost of the car, maybe only $40. But what do I know? It’s obvious that the Camaro and Mustang are really competing closely for price.

NOW FOR THE GOOD POINTS:

As reviewers have said, the more you drive it the more you like it: true. The 3 way settings for steering feel I think are done just right. I’ve taken on twisty roads that are smooth and not so smooth and the car sticks really well. I’m not sure how much the stability control comes into play, but I’ve yet to have any tire squeal. A few times a tiny bit of singing. But surprisingly good grip. The sticky summer tires must be really amazing. I have yet to care that the rear doesn’t have an independent suspension.

I’m still breaking it in and have about 510 miles on it. I don’t really go over 4000 rpm’s, and when I do, it’s briefly. I have yet to really lay into the pedal. So far I like the throttle response. You can be gentle and get the car to move gently when you need that, which is just as important as being able to jump quick. I’ll feel ready to go to any rpm’s fairly close to the 7000 rpm redline by the time I get to 2000 miles. I’ve done a good job keeping the car from constant rpm’s for any length of time on a highway. My salesman said to vary speed by plus or minus 4 mph.

I’ve been on swoopy, twisty, up and down roads. It doesn’t really care or complain.

I like the auto transmission. Drive position keeps things as economical as possible with its logic, but you can still belt with it when you get on it. Sport position waits longer to upshift and downshift. The shifts themselves may be a tad crisper, but I can’t verify that at this time, need more time to evaluate that. While in Sport, you can tap the up and down toggle to shift manually. As long as you plan for a bit of delay, I don’t really mind using it. I’m thinking there are times where I might want to override the shift logic and put it in manual for extra economy when applicable.

The engine will certainly allow that. The shift logic allows rpm’s as low as about 1100 rpm’s, and the engine doesn’t lug, it doesn’t really care. The car really does pull great in any gear. And the power band really is as even as you could possibly expect. I can’t imagine too many cars at any price doing much better. From what I’ve read, many cars that are much more expensive aren’t as even as this one. Ford did a great job with this engine as reviewers have said.

I can’t wait until it’s broken in!

This car has likely all the performance I could use around here. I can’t possibly imagine getting bored with this car.

Advertisements

THE CAR IS HOME

I picked up the car on August 16, 2013. Looks really great. The Shelby style mufflers sound great, too, just they way I was expecting. The wheels look even better in person than they do in pics or vids. However when they were installed, the pipe ends wound up too close to the inside of the cutouts, only 1/4″ away. They should be 13/16″ on each side.

I talked to the retailer for the mufflers and he said it’s a two man job, one guy to hold the ends while the other tightens the clamps. He also said they’ve got several employees who installed these successfully.

I went to the dealer today and they said they tend to want to pull inward while tightening. I told him what the retailer told me. I have an appointment for the 29th for them to try again at no charge.

Besides looking goofy, I have concerns about sitting in traffic on a hot day with no wind. I don’t need the fascia melting at one side of the cutouts.

In the meantime on Saturday the car goes up on my brother’s lift. I’m spraying the Gibbs protectant on the bottom. It’s thinner than water, and I’m using a hand sprayer with a fan pattern. I don’t want it coming out too fast so I’m using very low pressure, just a few hand pumps at a time. Before spraying I’m blasting the bottom with air from his compressor to clean it. Since picking up the car it’s seen no rain at all, we’ve had a dry spell which is continuing for another week apparently.

Eventually I should have all these details squared away, even if it take until the end of the month.

My first car payment is September 23. Buying the car with no down payment at all would’ve been 4-5%. Out of 50 lenders, my best deal was from Bank of America, which is my bank anyway. They were advertising 2.09%, or for current customers 2.04%. I got 1.79% for 72 months! I was delighted. However I put down so much money that I really should’ve held back a few hundred, I’m really broke now! But I also wanted to keep the monthly payments down and get the best possible interest.

At the time I did a deposit, Ford was offering $1500 for rebates. When the car came in it was $2000, so that was very nice. I paid something over 36k for a 39k car. About 11% off MSRP, and then an additional $2000 off.

I still have the Buick for the winter. I have it on storage insurance now, only about $40 a month, will be the same in the winter for the Mustang.

I have until the 29th to get permanent plates. I should be prorated for just 8 months with my April birthdate. Already confirmed with City Hall.

When in storage, both cars will be run every two weeks for 5 minutes and moved back and forth a minimum of 25 feet. I already filled the Buick tank with high quality fuel and put in the right amount of Sta-Bil to keep the gas fresh. Supposed to be good for up to a year. More important in hot weather, but the Mustang will get it, too, for the winter. Still have a half bottle left.

I have to cover up the Buick windows with white plastic to protect the insides from heat and sun. I have plenty of that material around. When I have enough money again I’m buying a cover similar to the one I got for the Mustang.

As expected, the Mustang tires were set a little too hard for the weather, so I set them to where they belong. These 19″ Pirelli P Zero Nero all season tires are rated to 168 mph. Tire pressure is set for 32 pounds front and rear, though the tire can be inflated to 51! No typo here!

I don’t have the sticky summer tires as I didn’t order the Brembo brake package. I have no need for Brembo brakes, and the car’s suspension would’ve been set up a little harder than it is. I wouldn’t want it any firmer.

PAID FOR CAR TODAY

Went down to the dealer, did the paperwork. Great news as the $1500 factory rebate has now changed to $2000, so that’s $500 more off the price of the car!! Also, I was expecting 2.34% financing as quoted by Bank of America; turns out I’m getting 1.79%!! Also turns out Bank of America is also one of their lenders and they had the best rate for me. Also means I don’t have to mail in payment coupons like I used to do in the past, can pay online or set up automatic payment (the latter not likely for me).

After paperwork I sat in the car with Rob and he ran me through the details plus answered questions I had.

Everything went smoothly today, couldn’t be better unless they told me I was their 1 millionth customer and I was getting it for free…….

As a side note, I found out they are the number two Ford dealer for selling tires in the U.S.  Good to know in case I need some in the future.

When I drove in the lot and saw it parked next to the front door, I was really surprised by my reaction. The car looks better in person, especially the wheels. Light reflections and angles really love this car color. I have to say I was pretty excited, the most since I’ve started this whole process. I’m not used to being excited! Especially since this is a bucket list goal.

I managed to retrieve the window sticker intact, which is nice. At the bottom it says “SPECIAL ORDER”. It was built in Flat Rock, Michigan.

I also got a special sticker. Apparently Ford randomly selects cars for quality control testing and this was one. It certifies that 114 miles on the odometer are by them, not somebody joyriding in it. The car goes through a big checklist. So this ought to be trouble free, and is already part way broken in. I mentioned previously the chip programs the car to limit it to 4000 RPM’s for the first 100 miles, so that’s over with. I was advised that for the first 500-1000 miles not to hit the brakes hard and to avoid puddles to give them a chance to settle properly to avoid squeaking, etc. Also no very high speed runs for 2000-3000 miles until the tires settle. So it’s not likely this car will be fully broken in by the winter, but it could be. Also don’t abuse the engine and transmission for the first 1000 or so miles. I’m fine with all of this, as I want it to break in as well as possible.

We had the car on part of the time during the instruction session today. It sounds so nice.  Me payment day anon Payment day side

Wednesday I drop off the Shelby mufflers after work, they get put on Thursday morning, and I drive it off the lot Thursday afternoon. I really am looking forward to this.

You can click on these pics and you can see them full screen. Click again and you’ll see them actual size.

 

THE CAR IS HERE!

Hey, the car just came in today on 8/9/13! I previously was told to expect it a couple of weeks from now. If I remember right, further back on this blog I think originally I said I expected it on 8/9/13! I’ll have to look later to see if I’m right. The plan is that tomorrow morning I do the paperwork, loan, etc. After that the delivery specialist (who originally was my original salesman) will run me through the details of the car, which will be fun. Next Wednesday I’ll drop off my Shelby mufflers. Thursday morning a tech who’s considered the best for the job will install them. Thursday after work I’ll go home, then have my dad drop me off at the dealer, and I’ll drive the car off the lot!

I sure was surprised to see the email today when I got home! A week from now I’ll be driving it. Fortunately the calendar, paydays, bills, etc. worked out alright so it didn’t really make much difference whether I got it in today or 2 weeks from now. In any case I want to put down the max possible. I had some unexpected expenses recently that were pretty steep, but I still have what I hoped and planned for a long time ago for a minimum down payment.

I’m still kinda going, “Wow!”

GETTING A FEW THINGS OUT OF THE WAY

Last week I picked up the all season NOAH style car cover at the dealer. This was an option for the Mustang as part of my order. All set with that, and it’s sitting on top of the Shelby mufflers in the garage. My salesman said that now on every Monday he can monitor where my car is at. Currently the arrival is still the same, August 17-24.

I ordered my Gibbs protectant some time back and still haven’t seen it. I spoke to the retailer today and he said he had to arrange for a drop ship from the manufacturer, which I expected as normally they only carry the spray cans. I’m getting a gallon bottle. He said the manufacture is small and usually very reliable, but the owner is on dialysis and there are difficulties getting through. I said I understood, he said he’d try calling the guy again today. I’ll be patient, but I hope I have it by the time I’m driving the car out of the dealer’s lot so I can get it to my brother’s and get it on the lift to spray it while the bottom is still really clean.