2013 Ford Mustang Review:
Ford succeeds on looks, speed and ride for 2013 model.
Ford has hit a series of home runs with its Mustang lineup, and the newly freshened 2013 Ford Mustang, powered by a stout V-6, is the latest round-tripper.
Ford succeeds on looks, speed, handling and ride. My test car was a light silver Premium model, a step up from the base Mustang. Both feature the same powerful V-6, a 3.7-liter that cranks an impressive 305 horsepower. The base starts at $22,200 and the Premium at $26,200.
The Premium model includes, among other upgrades, a 370-watt Shaker audio system along with Microsoft’s Sync system to help you select radio or other audio options via voice.
All the Mustangs for 2013 get some styling upgrades. Up front are small LED light bars next to the main, now high-intensity, headlights. The grille is muscled up with new Shelby GT-like upper and lower grille inlets and functional hood vents. In back the taillights remain three bars, but segmented LEDs now with smoked center lenses, a classy look.
If you’re a muscle car purist you’ll want to stick with the notchy 6-speed manual that is standard on the Premium and base models. The test car included Ford’s smooth 6-speed automatic, a $1,195 option.
This is not the beast you might expect, riding on a modest 107.1-inch wheelbase and just 188 inches in length, the Mustang is trim.
The Mustang reaches highway speed in short order. The V-6 offers a pleasant, sporty exhaust tone and will cruise the highway at 70ish without much effort.
The EPA rates the car at 23 mpg city and 31 highway, an improvement from its most immediate predecessor. I got 20.8 mpg in about 70% suburban and city driving.
The test car added a $1,995 performance package that adds a 3.31 ratio limited slip rear axle. That contributes to the car’s performance, as do the Goodyear Eagle F1 19-inch tires in that package.
Handling is firm and sporty, allowing the Mustang to clip off corners with precision. The three-spoke steering wheel delivers a racy feel without being too heavy. Some sport coupes feel too harsh on city streets, but the Mustang’s ride is well cushioned and controlled.
There’s independent front suspension to help with the handling and ride, but a live rear axle, which traditionally has been a little on the bouncy side. Ford’s engineers have tamed that so the back-end feels well planted and well sprung. Mustang also has stabilizer bars front and rear.
Braking is impressive, with the Mustang boasting big discs front and rear, along with ABS and traction and stability control.
I’ve really liked the Mustang’s interior the past few years and this was another good one, with black soft textured dash and brown leather seats with brown leather door inserts. Dash trim is mostly a brushed metal look with pewter-like trim on the console and center stack.
The Premium coupe upgrades to those leather seats and adds stylish and youthful brushed metal trim. I love the look, along with the saddle brown leather seats with its contrasting cream colored stitching. The main parts of the cushions are perforated leather too, providing cooler summer seating.
The seats are well contoured and comfortable, with particularly good back side bolsters. The Premium includes a power driver’s seat with lumbar support. But the seat back angle is manually adjusted. Head and legroom are good up front, but the back seat space is limited.
There is one bugaboo. The big round stereo speakers stick out from the door trim a bit too far and can make it hard to get your feet out of the car when in a tight parking spot where you can’t open the door all the way.
Mustang’s gauges are good looking with two big round ones doing the heavy lifting and the fuel, trip computer and others in the middle. There’s a manual tilt steering wheel, although it does not telescope, but it does include cruise and radio buttons on the hub.
Radio buttons and knobs on the center stack are modestly sized, but easy to see and use. Also, the touch screen for the radio and navigation system is fairly easy to use and a bit larger than in past models.
The test car also added a security package for $695. Seeing as this is a pretty hot car, this might be an excellent investment.
After adding a $795 delivery charge the silver test car hit $33,220. That’s still moderate for the power and fun this car delivers.
Find the 2013 Ford Mustang on CarSoup.com