Saturday Road Test – Mustang four

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2016 Ford Mustang

A Cylinder for Each Passenger

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – This weekend’s Mustang is the only one in the lineup that can make that claim.

You got it! Four cylinders under the hood and seats for four further back. The turbocharged four cranks out a very respectable 310hp @ 5,500 rpm with 320 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm.

Matched to a six speed automatic with paddle shifts a standing start to 60 can be rung up in a touch over 6 seconds, more than enough for the average driver who simply wants a sporty car for the weekday grind to work, that is also fun on Saturdays and Sundays.

On top of all that, you can fill the 15.5 gallon tank at the cheap pump. The EPA says if you behave yourself, the mileage is 32 mpg on the highway, 21 around the city for a combined 25 mpg. I came in at the 25 mark.

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Okay, so it is not as fast as the 5.0-liter V8 where you are looking at a 4.5 second run to the big 60, but then again do you really need another half an engine when you’re trapped in traffic at seven and eight, plus four and five, if not six on the clock? No, of course not.

Then you are looking for comfort, and a good audio system that is easy to use – one that will not tell you after a trying day that a semi full of stuffed chickens has just over turned blocking all lanes of the interstate. Well, that last one might be a stretch, but the Mustang will keep you comfortable.

The leather trimmed heated and cooled seats in the test car were 6-way power adjustable and easy on the bod. But what about the sounds? Excellent I say with the Shaker Pro Audio sound system with a dozen speakers and well worth the extra $1,795.

An interesting feature on the price sticker were “Global Open Windows.” I have no idea what they are.

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The interior was tastefully appointed in the traditional Mustang design. But if you are covering any great distance, you might want to limit the height of those assigned to the rear seats.

Not that you would be shopping the Mustang for its trunk space, but it does offer 13.5 cubic feet of it – on the generous side for this kind of automobile. That compares to 9 cubits in a Camaro for instance.

Should you get a break in traffic, or head out on a weekend getaway, you will find the Mustang four to be an enjoyable companion with wind and road noise fairly well subdued.

While not really a track car, one should leave that to the big eight, the four will provide some driving fun on rural back roads and recently topped the Camaro around Motor Trend’s figure eight course.

Various option packages brought 18 inch wheels with 235/50R18 rubber, limited slip rear axle, anti-theft system, Adaptive Cruise Control, upgraded interior trim, Reverse Park Assist, and Voice Activated Navigation.

With transportation that brought the MSRP to $36,660.

For those who drive to Daytona only for the beach the Mustang is simply a fine set of wheels. Enough performance and handling for the real world, the iconic Mustang styling, some luxury touches inside along with excellent comfort.

Having said all that one must acknowledge that those who love the Mustang are a very loyal group as are those who would drive nothing other than a Camaro.

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But if you are one of those who is undecided, (there must be one or two of you out there), and thinking about buying something “sporty” it is the Mustang that would carry my recommendation.

 

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