Last year, Ford’s iconic sports car got a full makeover for the first time in a decade. In addition to acquiring a sleeker profile, the popular rear-drive ponycar gained two new engines, along with a host of engineering and cosmetic alterations. As usual, Ford offers the Mustang in a broad selection of configurations at a variety of prices, cementing its reputation as an affordable four-seater.
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2016 Ford Mustang Overview
What's New for 2016
Only minor updates are evident. In a nod to Mustang heritage, GT models add secondary turn signals integrated into the hood vents. New color choices include racing stripes and a black roof panel. All-new SYNC 3 has conversational voice recognition, a smartphone-like touchscreen, and intuitive graphical interface. New option groups include Black Accent, California Special, and Pony packages.
Choosing Your Ford Mustang
Selecting the most suitable Mustang has never been an easy task, and begins with a choice between a hardtop coupe and a fabric-roof convertible. Next comes a selection from three engine possibilities:
- The base 3.7-liter V6 produces 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, with estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (17/28 mpg with manual shift).
- The mid-level engine is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, which makes 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. Gas mileage is estimated at 22/31 mpg with manual and 21/32 mpg with automatic.
- Engine number three, for GT editions, is the 5-liter V8, redesigned last year and generating 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. As expected, the V8 is less thrifty at 15/26 mpg (city/highway) with manual, or 16/25 mpg with automatic.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard with any engine, while a six-speed automatic is optional.
The six-cylinder comes with a single trim level, but the four-cylinder and eight-cylinder also offer Premium variants:
With prices starting above $24,000, it’s not quite true that “everyone” can afford a Mustang. Unless you’re wedded to the “classic” configuration of a V8 Mustang, either the V6 or the more modern EcoBoost four might be a more prudent choice. The four-cylinder has become quite a popular item lately, in performance-oriented cars as well as family sedans. Gas mileage is better, while acceleration is nearly comparable to recent V8s.
2016 Ford Mustang Review
The Ford Mustang has long been an icon in the pony car car segment to which it lends its name. Unlike the Camaro and Challenger, the 'Stang never took a break from production. And when Ford unveiled a redesigned coupe and convertible last year, its sales took off.
Pricing and Equipment
The Ford Mustang retails at a relatively low price, considering the performance it packs. Its base V6 trim starts from $23,895 and comes with a decent supply of standard features, including:
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Six-speaker audio system
- Intelligent Access with keyless start
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and parking brake handle
- HID headlights
- 17-inch aluminum wheels
Lots of other trim levels pack more features and even more power with a variety of four- and eight-cylinder engines. These include: EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, GT Premium, Shelby GT350, and Shelby GT350R. Every Mustang, except for the Shelby GT350 and GT350R, is available as a convertible.
We find it hard not to fall in love with the Mustang’s entire lineup of powertrains. Its base V6 is plenty powerful, the optional turbocharged four-pot delivers spot-on performance and outstanding fuel economy, the GT's 5.2-liter V8 is potent and throaty, and the GT350’s 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V8 is simply scary.
- Base V6 is plenty capable at 300 horsepower
- The four-cylinder delivers a sub-six-second 0-to-60 sprint and 31 mpg highway
- Shelby GT350's 5.2-liter V8 will take your face off
We can’t find much to complain about when it comes to the performance of the Mustang. However, we do think the V6 is a little out of place in this lineup, and don't love the uninspired engine note of the EcoBoost four.
The design of the cabin makes significant improvements on the last Mustang's interior. We particularly like its aviation-themed elements, nice-feeling knobs and switches, and active noise cancellation that allows only the rumble of the exhaust to enter the cabin.
Again, we have difficulty finding anything wrong with the Mustang’s interior, but it is not without a few flaws here and there. Some shoppers, for instance, may think the interior's design is too modern.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
We’d have to say the Mustang's comfort was its biggest surprise. Most performance cars have a rough and unforgiving ride, but the Mustang’s suspension is firm when you need it and forgiving when you don’t. It’s really a great combination.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The only thing that surprised us in a negative way was just how out of place the 3.7-liter V6 felt in the lineup.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Ford Mustang is one of the best sport coupes/muscle cars you can buy today. It has the performance to satisfy any gearhead, seating for four, and it’s comfortable enough for long drives. What’s more, it is relatively inexpensive.
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