It’s 2013, yet a disco-funk song is sitting near the top of our record charts, thick-rimmed glasses are in again, flannel-shirts are making a comeback and people are buying vinyl records.
|1. 5.0L V8 makes 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque and is paired to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
2. GT Convertible models start at $35,095 with our tester coming in at $40,840.
3. Features plenty of gimmicky extras like a horse-shaped puddle light, sequential tail-lights and customizable interior lighting.
4. Tech additions like MyFord Touch, TrackApps and a Shaker audio system bring the old-fashioned muscle-car into the 21st century.
5. A variable steering setup allows for a lighter comfort mode, or a heavier feeling sport mode.
Old-school is new-school, and that’s exactly why the 2014 Mustang Convertible is still at the head of the class when it comes to style, performance, fun and outright desirability.
A nameplate that’s now fifty years old, Ford has a lock on what’s in style and what convertible buyers want in a Mustang. For 2014, the Mustang makes subtle tweaks to ensure that the car stays on top of the competition, without upsetting the formula that works so well.
TWO CUPS OF V8 AT 420 DEGREES
The ingredients to the successful recipe aren’t that hard to get, the Mustang we’re testing has a V8 that puts out 420 hp to the rear-wheels, a six-speed manual transmission and a drop-top. That’s all there is to it.
To be fair, however, our Premium model has extra goodies like a Shaker audio system and leather upholstery, both of which make enjoying this Stang even easier.
Plus there are modern new tech gadgets like the “track-apps” program that allows you to measure performance data like 0-60 mph times and G-forces.
Another modern twist is the electric power steering. Introduced several years ago, it allows for variable steering settings so drivers can customize the feel of their own Mustang. A comfort mode, for example, needs less steering effort while a sport setting makes the wheel feel heavier. In fact, “sport” suits the Mustang’s persona extremely well. It just shouldn’t be called a muscle car if you don’t exert some energy getting it around, and that’s exactly how this convertible feels. Everything requires some effort to use. From the steering, to the clutch, to the shifter, it all feels substantial.
These modern additions might be a touch contrived, but they serve a purpose. The same can’t be said of the Mustang’s many other toys.
Inside there’s an endless list of silly features, and they all seem to stem from the lighting department. As has been the case with Mustangs for many years now, the interior lighting is customizable, including the colors displayed on the speedometer and tachometer. Then there’s the pony-shaped puddle lights and sequential tail lights.
Thankfully our tester is not hindered with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, but we still find that pairing a phone via Bluetooth to be a frustrating affair. The sound system is, however, top notch and tunes are easily heard while galloping about with the top down.
As impressive as the rest of the car is, the interior leaves something to be desired. While the leather seating is comfortable, the cabin is mainly composed of low-rent plastics. Additionally, the lack of useful storage space or at-hand cubbies is regrettable.
Escaping from those plastics and into the fresh air requires flipping two heavy latches and holding down a button. A one-touch button to drop the top would be a fancy addition, but like everything else in the car, some effort is required.
Fast and imposing, the Mustang is exactly as you’d expect on the road.
When it comes to bumps, it’s surprisingly compliant. Where other sports cars and coupes feel like they’re riding right on the asphalt, the Mustang is comfortable and easy to live with for everyday commutes. In some situations, like crossing railroad tracks, it does give a wobble, a result of the ancient live rear-axle suspension setup.
A card-carrying member of the left-lane club, this pony car can make passes on the highway with ease thanks to 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque from its 5.0-liter engine. While down shifting helps to get the aural delight of the big V8 under the hood, it’s not needed to get going in a hurry.
Interesting to note is the fifth and sixth gear ratios, which are clearly designed with fuel economy in mind, putting the engine speed below 2,000 rpm when cruising on the highway.
Regardless, as liveable as it is, the Mustang GT’s fuel economy should scare away anyone from driving this car every day. Level-headed cruising should net you 15 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway but it’s nearly impossible to get such restraint with 420 horsepower and that superb soundtrack on tap. Earning about 17 mpg after a week of thundering around, the Mustang GT Convertible is at least a fun way to spend both your time and money.
And speaking of money, one glance at the sticker shows the Mustang is a pricey form of amusement. Our GT Convertible with the Premium package comes to $40,840 thanks to the additional comfort package which adds heated seats.
That’s a lot of dough to spend on a car. Fortunately the Mustang is not a one-trick pony. It’s powerful, fun to drive without being compromised and it has a look all its own. On the verge of receiving an independent rear suspension, a turbocharged engine and a modern look, it’s amazing Ford has managed to keep this classic steed so it in tune with the modern buyer.