2018 Ford Mustang GT Coupe Review

This pony car will live on for good reason


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Powerful and sonorous V8 engine, excellent throttle response and steering, lovely manual transmission, rear-wheel drive delights, one of the best infotainment systems around.
Negatives: Funky and retro interior is an ergonomic and styling mess, some noticeably cheap cabin materials, small trunk and almost useless back seat.
Bottom Line: The Mustang stands out in both the Ford lineup and in the car industry as a hi-powered but disciplined muscle car that melds the old and the new. Though the interior needs improvement, it's the guts of the thing that counts, and the Mustang GT is a pleasure to drive, and it makes you feel like a kid again.
Ford is doing away with most of their passenger cars, leaving just the Mustang behind amid a slew of SUVs, crossovers and trucks. The fact that the 'Stang is beloved by so many (even though it doesn't actually sell that well) is a testament to its legendary status, having been built for over half a century. Its skin looks more modern than ever while keeping true to the Mustang ethos, while the interior is a bit of old school blockiness. We drove the V8 GT with the appropriate 6-speed manual transmission. Read our full review.
 

Driving Experience

9.2

 

This is not your father's Mustang, even though it might look a bit like it. The car feels powerful from startup, and it delivers on the goods. The Mustang is also no longer just a straight-line hot rod but a bona fide handler in the curves. It's a blast from the past without all the danger (but still some).

Ride Quality: Firm but well-cushioned when it counts. It didn't feel jarring, but the sportiness is there, too.

Acceleration: 0-60 in the mid fours is quick, indeed, and the excellent manual transmission is at least half the fun. Our optional exhaust made this thing roar with ferocity. Sounds WAY better than the EcoBoost.

Braking: Brakes are progressive with great bite.

Steering: The steering is on the light side (unlike its Camaro rival), but it's very precise and has good feedback.

Handling: Body roll is scant, and this thing likes to pivot its long hood around corners. It doesn't feel as composed as the Camaro, but it is very good.

Technology

8.8

 

The infotainment system in the Mustang is one of its strong points. Overall, the tech in the Mustang works pretty well, but some of the controls need revision.

Infotainment System: The SYNC3 system is superb with great visibility and responsiveness. Menus are easy, and the whole look is clean and crisp.

Controls: Ergonomics needs a bit of work in the Mustang since they look good but feel clustered rather than linear. Audio knobs are nice and big, which is great. Toggle switches look good but take some deciphering.

Styling

8.4

 

We didn't rate the 2016 Mustang GT as high here, but this one gets notched up because of the beautiful orange paint and the premium wheels that are some of the best in the business. This car looks the part and turns heads wherever it goes.

Front: The dark, lean grille has tons of presence, and the curved hood mates perfectly with those cat eye-like headlights.

Rear: Other than the piano black rear fascia inset, the back end looks great. The black diffuser and the quad pipes look adequately sinister.

Profile: The Mustang's single body crease and aggressively sloping greenhouse make it look ready to pounce.

Cabin: The one big drawback in terms of styling is the interior. Some love it, but we find it busy and disjointed.

Comfort

8

 

Forget about a two-door muscle car ever being accommodating for four adults. Won't happen. The Camaro is just as bad, so don't point the finger. That being said, it's great for two adults, so have fun.

Front Seats: The optional front Recaro seats are trimmed grippy cloth. They feel great with superb support and good cushioning. You just can't be a really large person and sit in these comfortably.

Rear Seats: The rear seats supportive scant on room. The sloping roofline makes headroom pretty tight and legroom is almost non-existent. Only children need apply.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): Aside from the throaty exhaust note, the car is quiet even at highway speeds.

Visibility: Seeing out of the Mustang can be challenging. It’s got tiny side mirrors a long hood and fat rear fenders. Sensors and cameras make driving and parking the car easier, but it's a challenge in tight spaces.

Climate: The dual-zone climate control work well, but the weird scroll temp controls need work.

Safety

6.6

 

The Mustang received top marks from one testing body and decent ones from another. It also happens to lack any real accident avoidance tech, which is a disappointment. This car needs it.

IIHS Rating: Small front overlap tests were incomplete with the Driver's side netting an "acceptable". LATCH ease of use was marginal.

NHTSA Rating: 5 stars from the feds.

Standard Tech: Our tester came with AdvanceTrac with ESC, tire pressure monitoring system, LATCH child safety system, MyKey, and the SOS post-crash alert system.

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

6

 

There's not much storage or cargo room here, but it's decent for a muscle car. Keep your expectations low, and you won't be disappointed.

Storage Space: There’s a decent sized space beneath the armrest, a glovebox and a tiny tray on the center console for smaller items. Overall, there's not much.

Cargo Room: The trunk has a decent amount of space for a couple of bags and some groceries (13.5 cubic feet). The split-folding rear seats do help.

Fuel Economy

6.5

 

Though this thing has a big V8, it's not a total nightmare when it comes to efficiency. We drove it with some aggressiveness (can you blame us?), but it managed the week with decent numbers.

Observed: 17.8 mpg

Distance Driven: 132 miles

Audio

6

 

The stock system is pretty decent, actually. Don't look for anything audiophiles would appreciate, but the clarity and bass are good, and the system was never distorted or tinny.



Final Thoughts

As far as muscle cars go, the V8 GT is wonderful. We would never consider it for a daily driver simply because the rear-wheel drive and power would suck for bad weather conditions. What's fun to throttle and send into the turns would be tough on a daily basis due to the poor visibility and ergonomics. That being said, if you want a fun second summer car, the V8 Mustang is a total hoot to drive. It's a toss up between this and the V8 Camaro SS, which is better to drive but has an even worse cabin.
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