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2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Review - VIDEO ENHANCED

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SPECIFICATIONS 2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Model: 2010 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Engine: 4.6-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 315 hp @ 6,000 rpm/325 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Wheelbase: 107.1 in.
Length/Width/Height: 188.1 x 73.9 x 56.1 in.
Tires: P45/45WR19
Cargo volume: 9.6 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway
Fuel capacity: 16 gal.
Sticker: $39,710 (includes $850 destination and delivery and $2,865 in options)

The Bottom Line: The Ford Mustang GT convertible showed remarkable resiliency during the course of our test. While I still wouldn't recommend it as a family car, it is a decent sporty car with good power and handling and the requisite V8 roar to the exhaust.

Those who know the Heilig family well know we had a 1965 Mustang fastback back in the day. In fact, it was the first fastback in Central New Jersey and proved to be a fun rally and touring car. My mother-in-law liked it because it was bigger than the MG we traded in and, therefore, safer.

But that Mustang developed severe handling problems in the wet, or even when the humidity went over 85 percent. So it was with some trepidation that I drove the 2010 Mustang to our daughter's to babysit when the forecast was for snow. "Snow" turned out to be the storm of the century with almost two feet of the white stuff covering the roads. And our car.

To make a long story short, once we dug out and were able to get out of our daughter's cul-de-sac, the Mustang was fully capable of handling the hard-packed stuff on bigger roads and the drying road surface on the highways.

The 5-speed manual transmission was perfect for jockeying back and forth to maneuver the Mustang onto a decent surface.

Winter isn't the best time for a convertible, and to be honest, we didn't drive with the top down (although I did in my wasted youth in another MG on the way to mononucleosis). We did drop the top a couple of times to install child seats, put the children into the child seats, and remove them from said seats. We could have tilted the front seats forward, but it was much easier doing the top thing. The top went up and down quickly.

Getting from our house to Virginia and back proved the mettle of the `Stang. The 4.6-liter V8 has a definite roar to it, especially under acceleration In cruise mode it isn't objectionable, but it's still there. There was no doubt in my mind that, if necessary, I could have passed almost anything else on the road. I was also impressed by the number of Mustangs that were on the highway.

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The front seats are comfortable and offer good side support, which is important because the Mustang is hard-sprung and handles quite well. There was almost no lean on hard cornering. We paid for the good handling with a hard ride that wasn't totally objectionable, but it was a lot stiffer than a Buick, for example.

Also, there was significant noise from the road surface. For example, concrete was noisier than asphalt.

The rear seats are an afterthought, but the grandkids liked them. Unfortunately, with the convertible top stowage area behind the seats, it isn't possible to tilt the backs to increase the trunk capacity. At 9.6 cubic feet it's on a par with the competition, but is of course less than we had in our `65.

The Mustang has full instrumentation with a full-size tachometer and speedometer and four smaller accessory gauges. Since there's a blind spot caused by the convertible top, the backup camera was important. We didn't have a navigation screen, so the backup camera screen was in the rear view mirror.

Our tester was bright blue (Ford calls it "Grabber Blue"). The black seats had a blue stripe down the middle that lends a sport tough - as if it's necessary. I liked the lighted cup holders.

The neat thing about the Mustang GT convertible is that you get the feeling you're going fast even when you're behaving. In a sense it's like the old sports cars. Of course, if you want to and can, there's the possibility of going real fast.

There's also a sense of old technology versus new technology. While the Mustang is great fun to drive, you get the feeling you're driving a dinosaur. That's not all bad; some of those dinosaurs were pretty decent.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate