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2013 Ford Mustang GT Review By John Heilig

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2013 Ford Mustang GT

By John Heilig
The Auto Channel

2013 Ford Mustang Review

Model: GT
Engine: 5.0-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 420 hp @ 6,500 rpm/390 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 107.1 in.
Length x Width x Height: 188.5 x 73.9 x 55.8 in.
Tires: P255/40R19
Cargo: 13.4 cu. ft.
Economy: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 16.0 gal.
Curb Weight: 3,523 lbs.
Sticker: $42,855 (includes $795 destination charge, $7,760 in options)

The Bottom Line: If you’re thinking of something like a Shelby GT500 but don’t want the total raucousness of a 600-plus horsepower V8, you won’t be disappointed with the Mustang GT. It has almost all the performance, yet is a lot more civilized in normal driving.

Ford has so many variants of the Mustang that it’s almost hard to figure out. Side by Side Comparison Of 4 2013 Ford Mustang Trim Levels). At the start of the list is the base Mustang with a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Next in line it today’s subject, the GT, with a 5.0-liter V8. Above this are the Boss 302 and Shelby GT 500 with gobs of power and performance.

While the base 2013 pony isn’t bad, the GT offers the kind of performance the car advertises with its style. The 5.0-liter V8 delivers a healthy 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. or torque, so unless you’re out for absolute straight-line performance, this is enough. That’s more than enough for some. Coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Mustang GT can do just about everything you’d want it to do and still be civilized.

Turn the key and there’s a gentle roar from the exhaust. Accelerate away from standstill and the roar gets downright raucous. Acceleration is great. The best way to appreciate it is when you’re merging onto a highway. Trucks even give way to you when they see you’re there.

The 5.0-liter V8 fills the space under the hood. Just looking at it tells you that there’s performance to come.

As befits a performance car that goes, it also has Brembo brakes that stop you when you want to. Ford didn’t skimp. The Brembo package is a $1,895 package, but they’re definitely worth the price. I certainly wouldn’t want to be exercising the pony without the ability to stop as quickly as possible.

There’s no harshness to the firm suspension. Maybe it’s the seats, but the ride quality is good. Of course you feel every tar strip, but it isn’t painful. This firmness pays off in very good handling. The GT will get you through most corners at most speeds. Drive the car for a while and you’ll learn how fast you can go through which corners are in your normal path.

Economy is decent, even though I tried to keep my right foot buried on the firewall as much as possible.

The GT is a nice driving car, even around town. There’s still the rumble from the exhaust, but the GT is the kind of car that can be docile when it wants to. One feature I liked, but isn’t one you see from the driver’s seat, is the sequential turn signals. As brake lights, the three segments light up together. But flip the turn signal stalk, and they light up from the innermost one to the outermost one. Mercury Cougar did this many years ago with the original Cougars, and it’s a feature that Mustang has added to its arsenal.

The front Recaro seats offer excellent side support that has made Recaro famous. At my advanced age I sometimes found it difficult to get into the seats, but once I was ensconced, I didn’t want to get out.

The rear seats are cozy. They are hard to get into and hard to get out of. But, like the front seats, once you’re there, you are there for the duration.

There’s a very good trunk for the Mustang’s size. However, getting stuff into it can be a challenge with the small opening. There is a pair of grocery bag hooks to help you when you return form the store.

Our tester was deep blue (Ford calls it Deep Impact Blue). The appearance on the road caused a lot of attention, as did its overall demeanor.

The instrument panel is very retro with a large tachometer and speedometer (okay, my 65 Mustang didn’t have a tach until I installed the Rallye Pack). The center console holds a USB connection as well as a 12-volt outlet.

As a pioneer Mustang owner going back to 1964, one thing about this new Mustang did disturb me. While there are prancing horses on the wheel hubs and one behind the mirror and on the steering wheel and grille, the only place you see the word “Mustang” is on the door sills. in fact, the badge on the trunk says “Ford GT.” Hmmm.

I liked the 2013 Ford Mustang GT primarily because of its ability to serve two purposes; it can be a performance car when you want it to be, and it can be a sporty coupe when you want it to be. I preferred the performance side of the equation, but my neighbors and the local constabulary appreciated the “normal” side.

2012 The Auto Page

Editor's Note: Why I Didn't Buy a 1964 Mustang in 1964