The current shape of the Ford Mustang was designed more than 50 years after the very first ’Stang. There’s absolutely no mistaking it for anything other than the original car.
The front end features a low chin spoiler and a wide grille, in the middle of which sits the talismanic Mustang badge (you’ll struggle to find a Ford badge anywhere on the car). It leads to a pair of slightly recessed headlights that scream ‘Mustang’.
Head along the bonnet and you’ll eventually come to a comparatively small windscreen and subsequent glass areas that give the Mustang its traditional profile.
Meanwhile, the sides of the car retain the heavy sculpting and recessed panelling that first appeared on the original model. The sloping rear window and pronounced rear haunches lead to a conventional boot that’s flanked by the traditional ‘3-slash’ Mustang rear lights.
There’s absolutely no mistaking it for anything other than the original car.
What’s it like to drive?
There are a couple of engines available, the first of which is a 2.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder. It might sound good, but choosing that is like going on a distillery tour and asking to taste the mineral water at the end.
The other option is the 5.0-litre V8, which provides all the power you’re likely to need with a soundtrack that’ll make you feel like a NASCAR star.
The steering is quite slow and meaty, providing loads of feedback so you know exactly how hard the front tyres are gripping on a twisty road. Parking requires some arm-twirling though.
Body control is good, and you can change the settings for the steering, accelerator and traction control using a switch on the centre console.
The steering is quite slow and meaty, providing loads of feedback so you know exactly how hard the front tyres are gripping on a twisty road.
The outside of the Ford Mustang undoubtedly harks back to a glorious era when muscle cars ruled the roads. And the interior of the car also brings to mind the insides of those classic Mustangs.
As you get in through the vast doors and pull them shut with the straight door pull, you’ll see that the dashboard is large and vertical, and very traditionally styled.
Off to the right is the cluster of switches for the headlights and fog lights, which actually sit rather higher on the dashboard than is usual. A 12-inch digital display shows the rev counter and speedometer, and allows you to flick through various settings.
The centre of the dashboard contains a large touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment set-up. It responds pretty quickly to your touch and lets you control the audio, sat-nav, Bluetooth and car settings. It also accommodates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are both easier to use.
The climate control switches sit below this, and there’s a row of minor switches in front of the gear lever. Leather upholstery and electrically adjustable front seats allow you to get perfectly comfortable. Be aware the view out over each shoulder isn’t great.
Quality is acceptable, but you’ll notice the difference if you’re jumping out of a German rival into the Ford. Still, it’s fine on the whole.
The Ford Mustang looks like a pony car of old on the outside, and it provides traditional pony car accommodation on the inside.
What this means is there’s a whole load of legroom and headroom for the 2 front-seat occupants to enjoy. You’ll never feel cramped or hemmed in. And the good news is that even if you’re small, the driving position can be adjusted to make you feel comfortable.
Things are a bit tighter in the back, where 2 taller adults will find their knees rubbing the backs of the front seats. Headroom isn’t bad though. The 2 sculpted rear buckets are very supportive and can even accommodate an Isofix child seat.
The boot is a perfectly reasonable size for a few small bags or boxes, and you can fold down the rear seats to extend it, but the lip to lift items over is a bit high.
Running costs and reliability
A high-performance sporting coupe is never going to be the cheapest to run, and the big Ford proves it, although anyone considering a Mustang is doubtless aware of this anyway.
So, it won’t be a shock to see that the 2.3-litre 4-cylinder model does an official 31.7mpg, while the V8 does, ahem, 23.9mpg. Insurance kicks off at group 39 for the 2.3 model, while the V8 starts in group 43.
What cinch loves
What’s not to love? The Ford Mustang is a big, brawny and simple beast that has performance to spare and a hearty rumble that makes everything right with the world. It’s also roomy enough for 4 people, and the boot is just about big enough to carry most of their luggage.
It has the sort of looks that will make you smile as you walk up to it, and glance back when you’re walking away, and the interior has a great blend of modern technology and traditional style. If you can accept the fact you’ll need to fill it up quite often, you’ll have one of the most memorable motoring experiences around.