2015 Ford Mustang GT Convertible REVIEW
2015 Ford Mustang GT Convertible REVIEW by Auto Critic Steve Hammes
You know it’s all too easy to get caught up in engine and chassis specs, particularly when reviewing sports cars but here with the all-new Ford Mustang Convertible those facts and figures really play second fiddle to the bonding experience. Sure, it’s nice to know there’s a big ole V8 under the hood but the Mustang’s allure is just as much if not more about its conveyance of Americana and comfortable top down cruising as it is horsepower and handling.
I wasn’t around 50 years ago when the first Mustang rolled off the line but because it’s been in continuous production ever since it’s definitely a car that was a part of my youth; not that I owned one but I certainly always wanted to. Now I’m lucky enough to play the role of owner a couple of times each year and the one I always had my eye on was a GT Convertible just like this one…well, almost. I would have wanted the stickshift but back then the automatic wasn’t this smart and paddle shifters were non-existent. Though this latest generation Mustang is now sold in Europe and Asia, this icon of American motoring stirs nostalgic emotions of summer barbeques, throaty V8s and the smell of burnt rubber. Though this new Mustang has sharpened reflexes with upgrades such as an independent rear suspension this car, and in particular the convertible, is completely cool with tooling around in a relaxed American saunter. The ride is soft, the seats comfortable, the beltline ready to act as an armrest and the cabin plenty quiet for top-down conversation. It’s the kind of car you drive to go get lost and find yourself never wanting to stop. The rear seats are just big enough for women and kids as long as those in the front slide up and the Convertible loses only 2 cubic feet of cargo volume to the Fastback so family outings are not out of bounds. The Shaker Pro Audio System with Sync, Sat and HD Radio keeps the music pumping and when the sun gets too warm there are cooled front seats.
The weather’s been great this week so I barely even had the top up but when I park it. Cruising around with my wife and daughter, listening to the muscle car sounds when desired and cranking the tunes when not is like a staycation on wheels; a cathartic experience that is as Yankee Doodle Dandy as they come. The Mustang GT is the personification of a summer fun car.
And when your mood transitions from chill to charged, the GT’s got your back. The 5.0 is on hand to ratchet things up with driver selectable settings for engine, transmission, steering and stability control that go all the way to race settings. 435 horsepower, rear wheel drive and a new line lock feature means you might want to add TireRack to your speed dial. Track apps let you measure and record your heroics and by simply mashing the throttle I was only getting 0-60mph times in the mid 5’s but other techniques will undoubtedly lop some time Launch control however is reserved for manual transmission models. The GT Convertible is a completely disparate experience from the Fastback EcoBoost model I last tested. That car is a well-balanced, lightweight curve straightener in the European style while this machine is truer to the Mustang’s heritage. Now that’s not to say that you can’t feel the new GT’s more planted handling and reduced oversteer tendencies because you can, but with the V8’s extra 200 pounds up front it’s this persona that speaks to the Mustang-lover in all of us.
If you’re thinking of the Convertible you should know that the this car has its own unique styling subtleties and that the fabric roof now gets a full inner headliner with insulation sandwiched in between for added quietness. A new center-mounted single latch makes putting the top down a cinch plus the new quieter drive mechanism is also twice as fast as before. There is a noticeable amount of convertible jiggle though not troublesome even though the body of this car has been stiffened by 13%.
This GT Premium Convertible with the optional 6-speed automatic starts at $43,895 and is optioned here with the classy Ruby Red paint, the Shaker Audio system with voice activated navigation, memory settings, blind spot warning, cross traffic alert, Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Mitigation and Rain-Sensing Wipers for an as-tested price of $48,075. It’ll run on regular at 16mpg city/25mpg highway.
The Mustang is built from virtues interwoven with the Red, White and Blue and it’s reassuring to see Ford devote so many resources to advancing its legacy.