2018 Ford Mustang GT
By Phil Shuyler
Who knew horses could roar? In the case of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT, they can. From startup to full throttle and everything in between, the car just oozes muscle. And behind that muscle is a 5.0L V8 producing 460 horsepower and 420 lb. ft. of torque. That engine along with the optional GT Performance Package ($3,995) and Active Valve Performance Exhaust ($895) create an audible treat for those that love the sound of power.
Sound doesn’t mean as much if you don’t have the performance to match it. The Mustang GT comes through going from 0-60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. It’s hard to beat the speed of the 10-Speed SelectShift Automatic, however for those that want to row their own, a 6-speed manual transmission does come standard. The automatic adds $1,595 to the car’s price tag, so if you don’t need it, do yourself a favor and put that money toward the performance package and exhaust.
On the road, the Mustang feels stable and planted. Putting your foot down – just a little – provides good engine noise without finding yourself all of a sudden going 80. Push a little harder though and you’ll feel every cubic inch of the glorious power plant. I would have preferred the manual shifting mode to be a little more responsive, however having 10 gears to choose from means you can upshift and downshift as much as your heart desires.
There are 6 available drive modes, which include Normal, Sport+, Track, Drag Strip, Snow/Wet and MyMode. MyMode is where you can create your own unique mode. Each mode will adjust the steering, exhaust and suspension. Of those areas, the exhaust is probably the most noticeable when changed as it can transform the car from a sleepy kitten to a roaring lion.
During our week of driving, we experienced fuel economy of 29 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg with mixed driving. That bests Ford’s EPA numbers of 25 mpg highway, 15 city and 19 combined. Of course that’s with “normal” driving…no doubt a lead foot will mean more trips to the pump.
One feature I didn’t like was the Lane Keeping System. Overall I’m a big fan of this technology, however the Mustang provided feedback too early and too aggressively. The steering input was just too abrupt and I felt like it was pushing me around, especially in corners if I got anywhere near the lane markings. There is an option for “Intensity,” however this is only for steering wheel vibration intensity and has nothing to do with the sensitivity of the system. The Lane Keeping System gives you three options for feedback. In the menu you can choose between alert only mode, aid only mode, and alert + aid mode. If you find yourself continually being pushed around, consider trying alert only.
On the outside, the Mustang has muscular shoulders that help give it an aggressive look. To take the style a step further, consider the optional Black Accent Package (includes a black painted roof), Performance Rear Wing, Raised Blade Decklid Spoiler, Unique Rear Spoiler, or Spoiler Delete. When it comes to wheels, Ford is offering 8 different styles including seven 19” options and one 20” option. You also have 11 different paint colors to choose from. Ours was Lightning Blue Metallic and probably received over a dozen compliments from people telling me how much they love the color. If you want racing stripes, you’ll either need to step up to the GT350, or put them on yourself.
The inside of the Mustang GT feels the part of a muscle car. It has clever switches used for toggling through the various modes, traction control, steering sensitivity and hazard lights. The available dual-zone climate controls also use a switch style design which looks fantastic, especially with their use of metal. The optional heated and cooled seats are comfortable and with the rear seats folded down, you can actually fit more cargo than you might think. Like any sports car, the backseat is really only useful for storing your things, not your friends.
Contrast stitching matches seat insert colors that include Ebony, Midnight Blue, and our favorite, Showstopper Red. The available customizable 12” fully digital LCD instrument cluster is spectacular and changes dramatically with each drive mode. There’s a 4.2” SYNC infotainment screen that’s standard, and an 8” screen is available. The SYNC system feels like it needs a big update as competitors like the Dodge Challenger have systems that look better and are more easy to use. If you choose not to use SYNC, you are able to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which is a big plus.
Difference Between Mustang GT and Shelby GT350
So you may be wondering, what are the differences between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350. Well, first is power. The GT350 has a larger 5.2L V8 that has 526 horsepower and 429 lb. ft. of torque, versus the GT’s 460 and 420 respectively. The GT350 also only comes with a manual transmission. Of course you’ll get the Shelby badging and some standard exterior cosmetic treatments and performance enhancements as well.
The price of our GT with the Performance Package and other goodies was $52,265 while a similarly equipped GT350 is a little over $61,000. Both have performance that will not disappoint, so you’ll just have to decide if the extra power and Shelby badges are worth $9,000. I’d say save the money and put it toward some time on the track.