2016 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback

The way the modern muscle car should look, sound and move

Wade Thiel, Senior Staff Writer

Positives: Healthy V8 rumble, serious firepower, proper seats, notchy manual transmission and striking good looks.
Negatives: Too much novelty in the interior, visibility isn't great, tight back seats, and a small trunk.
Bottom Line: The 2016 Ford Mustang GT is all the muscle car you'd expect it to be with more creature comforts than you might be ready for. It's a performance GT car packed with tons of features and technology. You can cruise comfortably or rip a righteous burnout whenever you want to. As much as we liked it, it's not perfect, and some maturity inside the cabin could go a long way.
Ford's Mustang has been a hit with the American market for over 50 years. While recent reports have noted a significant dip in sales of the sporty coupe, it's not because it's a bad car. The Mustang is as good as it's ever been. Muscle cars, in general, are some of the most engaging vehicles coming off American automakers' assembly lines, and they continue to get better with each passing year. With all the tough competition in the segment, it has to be extremely good to stand out. We got to spend a week with the Mustang GT Coupe to see if it has the goods to get the job done. Here's what we found.

Driving Experience



Put the Mustang in gear, let out the clutch, roll on the throttle and just listen. The sonorous rumble of the V8 sounds the way a proper muscle car should. We don’t even care if it’s artificially boosted into the cabin, mostly because the car launches off the line like it should. If you subtract the engine noise from the equation, the Mustang GT would be a quiet car and is until you put your foot down. It’s not the smoothest-riding vehicle but we don’t care because the steering and suspension let you feel the road in a way that you just can't in many other cars. The Ford Mustang GT is a driver’s car through and through. It’s more than just a dragstrip monster. This thing is fun in the curves, too.

Ride Quality: Firm and sporty. Large cracks and bumps in the road are felt, but it’s not so jarring as to be unpleasant.

Acceleration: The Mustang GT is very fast in a straight line (a 4.6-second 0-60 time, according to Motor Trend).

Braking: Brakes are strong and progressive and offer good pedal feel.

Steering: Light and precise. Turn-in is immediate, and you get good feedback from the road.

Handling: The Mustang GT handles great in corners with little body roll. Get on it hard, and it’s easy to break the rear wheels loose.




For 2016 Ford ditched the MyFord Touch infotainment system and installed the new SYNC 3 system with an easier to navigate interface and smoother operating system. It’s a good move by the company as the previous system was confusing and annoying. The new system is intuitive and generally easy to use. Aside from that, our tester car came with plenty of additional technology features such as ambient lighting, dual-zone electronic climate control, Sirius XM radio, smart charging USB ports and an upgraded stereo system among other things.

Infotainment System: The SYNC 3 system is superior to the MyFord Touch system. It’s quick, smooth, easy to use and packed with features. The three-way split screen on the home tab is useful to get all the information you need in one spot. Getting at more info or entertainment features is as simple as a quick tap on the screen.

Controls: Almost all of the infotainment system’s controls are touch based. While the 8-inch touchscreen is good, we would like to see Ford put a couple more buttons on the dash.

Bluetooth Pairing: Pairing a phone in the Mustang proved to be simple and reconnecting upon re-entry automatic and seamless.

Voice Call Quality: Calls were crisp and clear. We had no issues.




The 2016 Mustang blends elements of the original Mustang and more recent versions of the car together to create a visually striking vehicle that looks leaner than predecessors but still has that Mustang ethos. Its fastback roofline and overall shape of the car are iconic design elements and the modern lines and headlights make for an aggressive but not overly angry look. The long hood looks great out the windshield of the car despite impeding visibility somewhat.

Front: The long muscular hood, aggressive headlights and low front bumper make the car look as fast as it actually is. The styling reflects the car well.

Rear: The tight simple rear is composed of the iconic Mustang taillights, dual exhaust and that crisp GT emblem. It’s a rear end that’s well known and easy to spot.

Profile: The side view of the car shows its pony car shape. It’s obviously a Mustang from just about any angle but it is especially apparent from the side thanks to the long hood and fastback roofline.

Cabin: The cabin of the car is mostly attractive but some of the novelty of the gauges, switches and other elements on the dash are a little too much. It almost seems like the folks that designed the interior for the car were trying too hard to make it look cool. We’d prefer a more mature, sophisticated look.




Muscle cars haven’t always been known for comfort, but as baby boomers have aged, comfort has risen on their list of priorities. The Mustang followed suit to appease this aging demographic. The cabin of the car is comfortable, despite making you feel a bit enclosed. Everything is easy to reach and materials quality is pretty good. This is a car you can enjoy driving for hours.

Front Seats: The front seats are trimmed in leather and are well-padded and bolstered. They’re heated and ventilated, making them lovely no matter what the temperature is like.

Rear Seats: The rear seats are trimmed in the same leather and supportive but too small to be practical The sloping roofline makes headroom pretty tight and legroom is laughable. These seats are only good for short trips for small people.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): Aside from the exhaust note, the car is quiet even at highway speeds. You get a little road noise from the tires but no rattles. Overall, it feels like a solid car. Our EcoBoost tester was oddly a bit on the rattly side.

Visibility: Seeing out of the Mustang can be challenging. It’s got tiny side mirrors a long hood and bulgy rear fenders. Sensors and cameras make driving and parking the car easier, but it takes a while to get a feel for where the car’s nose and tail end.

Climate: The heated and ventilated seats work wonderfully, the rest of the dual-zone climate control work well, too, although controls could be better.




The NHTSA gave the Mustang a five-star rating and the IIHS found it to be good in most areas. The car would have likely scored higher if more accident prevention technology were installed.

IIHS Rating: The IIHS awarded the car a good rating in every category except ease of use for child seat anchors and the small overlap front crash test. Also, it determined that the Mustang only has basic crash avoidance and mitigation technologies and didn't rate them very high.

Standard Tech: AdvanceTrac with ESC, several airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, LATCH child safety system, MyKey, perimeter alarm, Securilock Pass anti-theft system, SOS post-crash alert system.

Optional Tech: Enhanced security package: active anti-theft system, wheel locking kit.




The Mustang is not a car with much in terms of storage or cargo room. It’s a car you buy to drive and be seen in, not for its cargo capacity. Sure, there’s some places to stow gear but not much. The rear seats do fold down giving you the ability to snake things through the trunk and into the cabin.

Storage Space: There’s a decent sized space beneath the armrest, a glovebox and a tiny tray on the center console. That’s about it.

Cargo Room: The trunk is small but not unreasonably tiny (13.5 cubic feet). If you really need cargo space this isn’t the car for you.

Fuel Economy



You don’t buy a car with a 5.0-liter V8 for the fuel economy. That being said, you don’t want to average 11 miles per gallon either. During our week with the car, we were almost right on the EPA estimates.

Observed: We averaged 18 mpg combined over the course of the week.

Driving Factors: We drove both in the city and on the highway. We tried hard not to mash the gas too much but succumbed the V8’s siren song on several occasions.




The optional Shaker Pro audio system with HD radio that was in our tester is a good but not great system. It features 12 speakers, plenty of control over the sound and is clear and crisp at any volume level, but it lacks really good bass output. Controls for the audio system are easy to use. Overall, a decent system, but we're not sure it's worth the upgrade since we haven't had a chance to test the stock stereo.

Final Thoughts

The Ford Mustang GT is everything you want from a modern muscle car. It’s fun to drive, exceptionally fast, comfortable and pleasing to the eye. Our only gripes are the poor visibility and the silly novelty of the interior. Things like the tight back seat and small trunk come with the vehicle type and are more or less expected. If you want a sharp-looking, fast and fun American muscle car, the Mustang GT Coupe is a perfect choice.

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