MUSTANG 5.0 GT
For $11,500 more you get the V8, but not much more. It adds larger Brembo front stoppers and wider rear wheels and rubber. The space-saver spare makes way for a can of goo and a pump. Servicing is more expensive at $1335 over three years.
Given the extra spend, it’s disappointing there is nothing in the cabin to differentiate it from the four-cylinder model. The eight-inch touchscreen is simple to use but can be tardy to respond. There is voice control for many functions, including the satnav, so there’s no need to type in addresses. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are supported.
The 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 produces a handy 306kW/530Nm. Subdued for the most part, it quickly roars to life when you put the boot in. Power delivery is strong and linear but the manual change with its heavy clutch takes some mastery. The V8 likes a drink. The low fuel light in our car flashed on soon after 300km. Rated at 13.1L/100km, it takes 98 RON with no stop-start or cylinder shutdown to ease the pain.
On top of the basics you get MyKey and Emergency Assistance. The former enables parents to set limits for speed and music volume, as well as lock out phone calls and text messages while driving. When paired with your mobile phone, Emergency Assistance dials triple-zero automatically in the event of an accident.
To be honest it felt just like a V8 Falcon to start with. But this idea was quickly forgotten as we nosed into our first corner. The V8 feels more planted than the turbo, goes harder and can be braked later thanks to the Brembos. The tendency to leave it in low gear, just to listen to the V8, won’t do much for fuel economy.