Ford Mus­tang

Tourism Tattler - - VEHICLE REVIEW TRANSPORT - By Steve Con­radie About the au­thor: Tat­tler cor­re­spon­dent Steve Con­radie is a sea­soned ve­hi­cle re­viewer and Di­rec­tor at Drive South Africa

There is noth­ing that sounds quite like the grunt of Mus­tang's 5.0L V8. Although the mod­els have changed over the years that sound has re­mained a hall­mark. It's prob­a­bly not as loud as it's pre­de­ces­sors but Ford has en­sured that the new 2015 Mus­tang re­mains the icon it has been for more than 50 years.

The new fac­tory made right hand drive is a wel­come sight for the South African market and in my opin­ion is priced to do well. The fact that Ford's or­der book is al­ready full for the fore­see­able fu­ture is telling of it's pop­u­lar­ity and path to suc­cess.

At first glance the Mus­tang turns heads. And to my sur­prise a lot of heads! It did not help that the demo model I had the plea­sure of test driv­ing was a bright Triple yel­low.

Ford has done well to mod­ernise the leg­endary de­sign with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the Mus­tang's clas­sic and dis­tinc­tive looks, re­tain­ing that ag­gres­sive grill with the iconic gal­lop­ing horse, nos­tal­gic sport back and fin like tail lights.

The in­te­rior is mod­ern and boasts the lat­est Sync2 touch­screen dis­play yet has a sub­tle un­der­ly­ing retro style that com­pli­ments the Mus­tang brand well. It feels a bit like the cock­pit of a fighter jet with push but­ton start, chrome tog­gle switches and bright elec­tronic in­stru­ment clus­ters. The hand­brake, how­ever is po­si­tioned on the left hand side of the cen­ter con­sole and is awk­ward to op­er­ate. It's as if they for­got to move it to the right when they de­cided to in­tro­duce right hand drive.

There is a host of per­for­mance fea­tures that will wow any en­thu­si­ast. Us­ing the lat­est Se­lec­tive Drive Modes you can choose from var­i­ous steer­ing op­tions, change per­for­mance set­tings (there is a handy en­gine per­for­mance in­di­ca­tor in track mode), set launch con­trol (man­ual only), and many other mind blow­ing set­tings that will thrill any level of driver. These are backed by equally im­pres­sive safety fea­tures such as ABS, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing, strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned airbags, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, body de­sign that im­proves road han­dling and the list goes on.

What sur­prised me the most is how spa­cious the car is in gen­eral. Be­ing all of 184cm I felt very com­fort­able sit­ting in the driver's seat with out­stretched legs and head­room to spare. The rear seats are big­ger than what you would find in sim­i­lar sport­back although it still won't fit the av­er­age adult com­fort­ably but there is plenty of space for kids. I was able to fit a baby seat in the back. It may not quite be the im­age a die hard Mus­tang owner would want to por­tray but the point I was try­ing to make is that the Mus­tang can very well be an ev­ery­day car. The boot is large at 384L and I was able to fit my golf clubs with ease.

The best part is the drive. Mus­tang has the power and per­for­mance to match that awe­some sound. The ac­cel­er­a­tion is just ex­hil­a­rat­ing! The han­dling is un­be­liev­able yet feels ex­tremely safe. The new in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion and di­rect drive to the rear axle hugs the road with ease. The drive is pure plea­sure!

The mighty 5.0L V8 is pure grunt at 303kw and 525Nm. It has no turbo yet achieves an im­pres­sive 4.8sec for 0-100kph. My fuel con­sump­tion for the test was around 14L/100km, a lit­tle higher than the rated av­er­age of 12L/100km. That in­cluded a com­bi­na­tion of ur­ban and ru­ral driv­ing with a lit­tle heavy footed ac­cel­er­a­tions on a few oc­ca­sions - which one does when test­ing a V8 GT!

The 5.0L GT is marked at R839 900 for the au­to­matic fast­back and R899 900 for the con­vert­ible

There is the cheaper 2.3L tur­bocharged Ecoburst ver­sion which pro­duces 233kw and 432Nm priced at R719 211 for the auto fast­back and R779 900 for the con­vert­ible, but I don't know why any­one would buy one. It's that thrilling V8 that makes the GT the model to buy! All mod­els in­clude a 4 year / 120 000km com­pre­hen­sive war­ranty and 5 year / 100 000km ser­vice plan with 20 000km intervals.

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