2016 FORD MUSTANG GT VIDEO REVIEW by Auto Critic Steve Hammes

With the Mustang’s rebirth already a year in the rearview mirror, I hope you’ve had a chance to check out my first 2 test drives; initially in the new EcoBoost model and then in a GT Convertible. Now in its 2nd model year, Ford has introduced a trio of new appearance packages, updated infotainment, and a nod to Mustangs of the past.

With showoff attributes such as the trick Line Lock feature and the ghost-like pony projection riding through the night, Ford has brilliantly positioned the Mustang for another 50 years of success. Four, six or eight cylinder power, fastback or convertible, stick or automatic and even a pair of overachieving Shelby models – the Mustang’s current portfolio is rich with choices for a wide array of tastes.

For 2016, the California Special Package returns highlighted by its distinct badging, unique 19” Ebony wheels and leather seats with ecologically-produced, Italian made suede inserts with red accent stitching. Other bits of this $1,995 grouping include black painted mirror caps and hood vents, hood and side stripes, a performance front splitter, a black, raised decklid spoiler, unique black grille and a California Special Strut Tower Brace. It doesn’t boost output from the already impressive 435 horsepower V8 nor does it contribute to any tangible handling benefits in typical driving, but it certainly looks cool and adds some dressing to an already magnificent design.

2016 Ford Mustang GTAccording to Ford, for some inexplicable reason fans have been clamoring for the return of hood vent-integrated turn signals for years. Well, the wait is finally over for 2016 GT buyers.

And lastly, the rollout of Ford’s new SYNC 3 infotainment system continues sending MyFord Touch closer to obsolescence. I’ve experienced it already in a couple of other Ford products and I have to say it’s pretty darn good if not a bit rudimentary in its appearance. Most will find it considerably easier to use than the outgoing setup. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto until 2017, but as a baseball fan I appreciate the integration of the MLB app.

The first thing that’ll surprise most people about the GT is how comfortable and at ease it is with mundane duties. It doesn’t always need to be driven hard. It excels at any kind of driving you’ve got in mind. The smaller dimensions and big windshield give the driver a feeling of command that can’t be matched and the 5.0 is full of American muscle power and sounds that give this Mustang retro respect. It’s fun, easy, comfortable and more handling worthy than ever.

Again, my car arrived with the optional 6-speed automatic and though I’d prefer a stick shift myself, this gearbox is super smart and does as good of a job as possible mimicking a manual, with paddle shifters, downshift rev matching and driver adjustable settings including Sport + and Track. This GT is very, very quick with a wheel spin controlled 0-to-60mph time in the mid 4s. Having also recently tested the new mighty Camaro SS, the Mustang is more akin to your favorite pair of shoes – slip into the driver’s seat, grab the wheel and everything just feels right. There’s an instant connection with this car that Ford has patented. It’s very quiet inside and extremely composed over all road surfaces though its interior quality isn’t in step with its price tag.

Speaking of which, the least expensive GT starts at $33,295 while this highly optioned GT Premium California Special comes in at $42,965 and nets 19mpg in combined driving on 87 octane. If you’re in the market for a new toy, the American born choices have never been better.

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