Danny Chang's review of car designs

Monday, November 9, 2015

First Impressions: 2015 Ford Mustang GT as a family hauler

First Impressions:  2015 Ford Mustang GT as a family hauler
  • Sweet, sweet note of a good old American V8
  • Ample torque and power on tap
  • A nice advancement of the classic design
  • Driving it in the snow
  • Tight backseat space
  • Uninspired MPG

I don’t know who was more excited to get the Mustang GT to evaluate, me or my five year-old son. Ever since I mentioned that I might be getting a new 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback to review, he began each day with the question, “is the Mustang here?” Of course, like every red-blooded guy in my generation, I’ve been reading about the new Mustang for over a year now, ever since Ford released teaser shots of the 2015 model. C’mon, this one has the 5.0 V8! Rollin’, in my five-point-o…remember Vanilla Ice? So my anticipation only intensified each time my son asked about the Mustang. And since about a bazillion reviews of the new Mustang already float around out on the web, and my son was so excited about it, I shall benchmark the 2015 Mustang GT against other family haulers. So strap in the child seat and off we go.

Driving Impressions: A+
The 5.0L V8’s 400 lb-ft. of torque and 435 horsepower definitely make for a more dynamic drive than the power plant in the average suburban kid hauling minivan, cross-over and SUV. The rumble of the big V8 is so unmistakably American and simply brings a smile to your face (and your kid’s face). The six-speed manual was a joy and shifted smoothly. In my un-instrumented testing, the Mustang GT accelerated faster than 99.9% of the minivans on the road (there was the occasional tire spin that cost the Mustang GT time). This being the first Mustang ever without a solid rear axle, the ride quality was significantly more civilized when compared to that of previous generation Mustangs. Word of caution if you live in an area that encounters snow (which is every state outside of California it seems these days), tread softly in the Mustang GT. It snowed a few inches while I drove the Mustang, and it was an exciting drive even when the snow drive mode was engaged. Conclusion: the Mustang GT simply kicks rear-ends when it comes to driving enjoyment for a family hauler.

Exterior Impressions: A
In my highly scientific assessment, the 2015 Mustang GT Premium Fastback is roughly 1,000 times more pleasing to the eye than the leading family hauling cross-overs and SUVs, foreign and domestic. The new design manages to advance the distinctive Mustang design language in a more fluidly dynamic direction, keeping the stout stance of the muscle car while modernizing the style cues. The tester came in Magnetic Metallic with 19” dark gray-painted aluminum wheels, with the spoiler removed. It says 5.0 on the side like back in the 80s. The Mustang GT looked like such a badass in the school parking lot next to the Honda Odysseys and Subaru Outbacks. My son was so proud. 

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics: C
Ergonomics for the driver are fantastic, with Recaro seats that hug the occupants like a baby. The steering wheel controls are a bit overwhelming but seem part of the course these days. The Sync with My Ford Touch interface is horrendous as usual, since it seems to have been designed for use with a mouse in mind, or a person with tiny fingers but long arms. I can’t wait for Ford to completely revamp the user interface. Interior space in general seems a bit on the small side when compared with the likes of Chevy Suburban and Toyota Sienna. This is especially evident in the back seat, where the space appears somewhat limited. Adding the child seat only made things worse. Yet despite the smaller interior space, my son seemed thoroughly thrilled to ride in the Mustang. Perhaps interior space is not a top criterion for children when it comes to family haulers. Trunk space was decent, fitting in a bag of avocados, bananas, and frozen hash browns from Trader Joe’s without serious challenges. Although I suspect trunk space might be an issue if a stroller is also present.

Conclusion: B+ as a suburban family hauler
In conclusion, while the 2015 Mustang GT Premium Fastback underperforms minivans and cross-overs on certain attributes such as interior space and storage utility, it more than makes up for those with its dynamic driving abilities, exterior and interior styling, safety features (collision warning, backup camera and sensors, adaptive cruise control are some highlights), and with the single most important attribute for a family hauler…street cred for your child. If you’re optimizing for that dimension, the 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback is your perfect family hauler.

Originally posted on eBayMotorsBlog.com

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