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Ford Mustang V8 GT coupe 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Paul Gover road tests and reviews the Ford Mustang V8 GT coupe with specs, fuel consumption and verdict. Head-turner, sprinter, cruiser ... and a V8. Ford's pony car is a genuine muscle-car bargain. What would it take to pry my stepfather Ray's Holden Monaro out of the favoured place in his garage? His CV8 has been

Paul Gover road tests and reviews the Ford Mustang V8 GT coupe with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Head-turner, sprinter, cruiser ... and a V8. Ford's pony car is a genuine muscle-car bargain.

What would it take to pry my stepfather Ray's Holden Monaro out of the favoured place in his garage?

His CV8 has been sitting there smugly since 2003, painted in hi-vis Devil Yellow and now lowered and tweaked a bit. He's had everything from Volkswagen Beetles to Citroens but his Monaro suits him fine.

I thought I got close to seriously tempting him when I bowled up in a Ferrari 458. He really liked the Mercedes-Benz C63. There were smiles but no sign of the chequebook. Then came the Ford Mustang.

He laughed when he saw the born-again 'Stang as a yellow convertible with EcoBoost four-cylinder and automatic gearbox. Things turned serious during my latest visit, in a bright red V8 Coupe.

"All right, I think you got me this time," he says, promising to call the bank manager in the morning.

He likes the way it looks, he likes the V8 burble at idle and he loves the way it drives. It's a new-age Monaro for Ray but not as he knows it. And it actually fits into the tight confines of his garage.

It drives tight, the cabin finish is good, the performance is strong, and the styling really, really turns heads.

So the 2016 Mustang is something special. For Ray and for me. It's everything a Mustang should be and needs to be. The styling nods to the past while still looking forward — then there's that old-school V8 under the nose.

Among many other pluses, it drives tight, the cabin finish is good, the performance is strong, and the styling really, really turns heads.

The rear seat is cramped, there is a crazy 18-month waiting list, the tyre noise is too grumbly — and it's desperately in need of a big digital speedo.

There has been a series of 'Stangs that disappointed in the past, not least the left-hand drive junkers that Ford imported in the 1990s and converted to right-hand drive to satisfy the Mustang dreamers from the '60s and '70s. It went well for about three weeks.

But this car is new and different. And the waiting list is still there, despite recent price rises for future orders, which Ford says is down to exchange rate changes but cynics suggest is down to the overwhelming demand.

There are also some changes to the colours and specifications, with three new blues — basic blue is the favourite colour with Mustang buyers.

At the Australian preview, I tested and liked all the variants, V8s and fours, automatics and manuals, coupes and convertibles.

The EcoBoost auto certainly impressed, easily romping along behind a well-driven manual V8 thanks to its planted chassis and the engine that was easy to keep in the action zone of maximum boost. Not that I would buy one or recommend it.

Which is why I'm back for The Tick test in an auto V8 coupe, which reminds me of the Coca-Cola Mustang raced by my hero Allan Moffat.

The car is comfortable with a well laid-out dash, the seats have good support and the multimedia and Bluetooth work fine.

It idles smoothly, though I would like the burble a bit louder, and the automatic gearbox is well matched.

What makes the Mustang so good is everything from the past, and all sorts of up-to-date design and engineering.

The Mustang V8 can be commendably quick, sprinting from rest to 100km/h in less than six seconds, but it's also a capable highway cruiser. It runs at low revs at 110km/h, the fuel economy readout is below 9.0L/100km, and — apart from tyre noise on concrete surfaces — it's commendably quiet.

I'm expecting it to be a bit reluctant on my favourite twisty roads but it responds well to inputs. It just stops, turns and goes where I want it.

No fuss, no bother, and I can adjust the cornering balance with the throttle or a make a late extra downshift with the paddle-shifters.

Many people ask how it feels compared with a hot Falcon and the answer is simple: 20 years newer and $500 million better.

It's the car the Falcon never was and can't be, a fact that's as obvious as its driving position — you sit down into the cabin instead of perching up over the wheel, Falcon-style.

The price is right, currently listed at $57,490 but obviously going up as the Australian dollar goes down. It's a genuine muscle car bargain and that's rare today.

What makes the Mustang so good is everything from the past, and all sorts of up-to-date design and engineering.

Ford has, at last, even dropped the ancient live axle in the rear and that means the independent setup allows a compliant ride while also giving good grip in all conditions.

Verdict

Ray gives the Mustang his tick and that's almost good enough for me. He is about to place his order and is arguing about the price. The Mustang V8 also deserves The Tick from me. And gets it.

Is the Mustang your dream muscle car? Let us know in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2016 Ford Mustang pricing and spec info.

Pricing guides

$52,998
Based on 258 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$36,990
Highest Price
$65,490

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.3 Gtdi 2.3L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $30,500 – 39,930 2016 Ford Mustang 2016 2.3 Gtdi Pricing and Specs
GT 5.0 V8 5.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $38,700 – 49,500 2016 Ford Mustang 2016 GT 5.0 V8 Pricing and Specs
Fastback 2.3 GTDI 2.3L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $26,600 – 35,200 2016 Ford Mustang 2016 Fastback 2.3 GTDI Pricing and Specs
Fastback GT 5.0 V8 5.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $32,800 – 43,010 2016 Ford Mustang 2016 Fastback GT 5.0 V8 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$36,990

Lowest price, based on 249 car listings in the last 6 months

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