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2016 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 7/4/2016 MIKE SUTTON

2016 Ford Mustang GT coupe

WHAT WE LIKE: Approaching the midway point of our long-term Ford Mustang’s 40,000-mile review, the 2016 GT continues to largely please drivers with its rev-happy, 435-hp 5.0-liter V-8 and sinister, blacked-out mien. Its Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires are long gone, and the return of 0.94 g of lateral grip from the Pirelli P Zero summer rubber means we’re back to tearing up country roads and highway interchanges. Despite its more civilized, global design, the latest Mustang still feels all-American at heart, including one of our favorite characteristics, the sloping fastback roofline that evokes that of the first-generation Mustang from the mid-1960s. It is an excellent way to get an instant pick-me-up. Additional long-distance travel also has boosted our average fuel economy to 20 mpg, which is 1 mpg better than the EPA’s combined rating and sufficient for 320 miles of range on the open road.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: The arrival of our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS, however, has brought with it an alternative pony-car lens through which to view the Mustang. The Chevy’s wicked dual-mode exhaust makes us wish even more that we could hear the full voice of the Ford’s heavily muffled Coyote V-8. Both cars have comically small back seats, but our Mustang’s front chairs continue to elicit gripes about their confining side bolsters, which can impede smooth shifting of the six-speed manual transmission. Logbook comments have called out the GT’s brakes for being too grabby on initial application, particularly when they’re cold. And while Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system is vastly simpler to use than was the previous MyFord Touch, it’s a little too basic for some after exposure to the Chevy MyLink system in our better-equipped 2LT Camaro. The Mustang’s greatest demerit has centered on its manual shifter, which can often feel notchy in lower gears. It’s not helped by the short 3.73:1 gearing of our GT’s optional Performance package; several drivers have found it difficult to smoothly and quickly work through the lower ratios around town, where clunks from the drivetrain can be heard as each gear is selected. Our local Ford dealer inspected the shifter and the gearbox for problems but deemed it to be working normally.

2016 Ford Mustang GT Coupe© MIKE SUTTON 2016 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

WHAT WENT WRONG: Aside from lingering suspicions regarding the shifter’s well-being and a scheduled dealer visit for its 20,000-mile service ($82.85 for an oil and filter change, inspection, tire rotation, and a new cabin air filter), our Mustang’s largest issue since our last update has been Michigan’s apocalyptic roads. Specifically, a large pothole attempted to swallow the left rear tire on our commute. The damage was severe, with the impact driving the shock-absorber shaft up through the shock and its upper mount and even denting the fuel-filler tube above that. We limped the GT to the dealer to have all those damaged components replaced and the suspension realigned. (Surprisingly, all four wheels and tires survived.) Repairs took less than a week, after which the dealer relieved us of $732.32.

WHERE WE WENT: While our long-termer is still primarily a commuter within southeastern Michigan, in the past 10,000 miles it has made treks to Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. Its latest voyage was to Virginia International Raceway to support our annual Lightning Lap track fest, at the conclusion of which road-test editor Chris Benn contemplated trading with another editor to drive the long-term Camaro SS back to Ann Arbor instead of the Mustang. Despite the shifter and the funky Recaros, he ultimately decided the GT was the more comfortable travel companion for the long trip home, proving that many of us still have lots of love for Ford’s latest pony car.

Months in Fleet: 8 months Current Mileage: 19,092 miles

Average Fuel Economy: 20 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 16.0 gal Fuel Range: 320 miles Service: $125.25 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0 Damage and Destruction: $732.32


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE AS TESTED: $41,290 (base price: $33,295)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

Displacement: 302 cu in, 4951 cc

Power: 435 hp @ 6500 rpm

Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual


Wheelbase: 107.1 in

Length: 188.3 in

Width: 75.4 in Height: 54.4 in

Passenger volume: 87 cu ft

Cargo volume: 14 cu ft

Curb weight: 3782 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 4.3 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 10.3 sec

Zero to 130 mph: 18.0 sec

Zero to 150 mph: 25.4 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.9 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 9.3 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 8.8 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 12.9 sec @ 112 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 156 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.94 g


EPA city/highway driving: 15/25 mpg

C/D observed: 20 mpg

Unscheduled oil additions: 1 qt


3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;

5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;

5 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;

5 years/60,000 miles roadside assistance


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