By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.4
An icon of Ford's lineup since the mid-'60s, the rakish Mustang receives the second half of a comprehensive two-year makeover that elevates its horsepower, chassis dynamics and overall bad boy attitude. Feeling the heat from Chevrolet's recently resurrected Camaro, both Coupe and Convertible Mustangs have been substantially beefed up this year, offering the choice of base and premium trims, all-new V6 or V8 (GT) engines and a choice between a new six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A formidable roster of standard and available equipment, and some slick new options should help the original pony car gallop on at an even faster pace as it vies for buyers who might also be considering the likes of the Dodge Challenger, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Chevrolet Camaro. Completing the Mustang range is the 540-horsepower supercharged Shelby GT500, reviewed separately.
While its strongest appeal will be to the Mustang faithful, the latest iteration of this American icon now has the look, feel and features that should make it worthy of consideration by anyone shopping for a sporty, rear-drive two-door. The SYNC audio system and the V6's impressive fuel economy are two huge selling points unmatched by the Mustang's competitors.
Those who demand the biggest horsepower numbers without stepping into far-pricier Shelby GT500 territory will find the Chevrolet Camaro SS packs a bit more punch under its hood than the Mustang GT. As in the past, limited head/leg room relegate Mustang's aft quarters to a de facto kids-only zone.
For 2011, the Mustang receives two new engine choices: an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6, and a 5.0-liter V8. Both engines can be fitted with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, while the V6 models receive as standard a limited-slip differential. The 2011 Mustang receive a new electrically assisted power steering unit and improvements to its suspension, frame stiffness and interior NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels.
Driving Impressions Ford did an impressive job of remaking the Mustang's dynamic character for 2010 with a series of well-measured tweaks to the existing suspension setups and tuning elements culled from the...Bullitt model. For 2011, Ford finishes the job with two-new engines and transmissions. The new 3.7-liter V6 develops an impressive 305 horsepower, yet somehow manages to earn an EPA highway rating of 31 mpg when equipped with the six-speed automatic. The V6 is refined, quiet and more than capable of making the Mustang's performance match its looks. Those requiring the loud growl and neck-snapping punch of a V8, however, will be satisfied with nothing less than the new 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8. And, Ford's new six-speed manual no longer feels like something pulled from an old Ranger pickup truck, providing smooth gear transitions and an easily engaged clutch. Recalibration of the springs, shocks and anti-roll bars interact to create a package that's more comfortable in cruise and more capable in the corners, with better steering feel, quicker overall responses and greater predictability. Complementing this re-mix is a properly restrained and driver-selectable AdvanceTrac stability system that offers a less-restrictive Sport mode on GTs and confidence-inspiring four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.
Unless you absolutely revel in the idea of having a V8, the new 3.7-liter V6 is more than enough engine, producing horsepower and torque figures that surpass the output of many previous generation Mustang GTs!
Comprehensive Interior Upgrades
Better quality and enhanced features make it a much nicer world inside every 2011 Mustang. Highlighting the mix are a new one-piece soft-touch dash and more finger-friendly controls that are further complemented by variable interior ambient lighting and selectable MyColor illumination for the instrument cluster on Premium models.
If the Mustang holds a superior advantage over its arch-rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, it's inside the cockpit. Classic design themes are interwoven with upscale details such as a one-piece soft-touch dash set off by brushed aluminum and bright-chrome accents. A new instrument cluster includes a 160-mph speedometer and the center stack has a more logical and usable layout for the audio, heat/air-conditioning controls and standard displays – or the eight-inch color touch screen that's included with the optional navigation system. New features include the addition of a driver's message center and the availability of Ford's MyKey programmable vehicle key. Additional attention has been paid to sound proofing, including new door seals and thicker glass. The Mustang's front buckets offer better comfort and support than the Camaro, while the rear bench – a 60/40 fold-down in the Coupe but fixed in the Convertible – is scaled for small to mid-size kids.Exterior
Last year's redesign saw a two-year Mustang makeover that began with the car's exterior. A complete re-skin put a finer edge on the Mustang's classically proportioned design while resurrecting several historical elements. The more aggressive bodywork includes a power-bulged hood and cleaner, crisper individualized fascia treatments highlighted by an integrated headlamp/turn-indicator unit that revisits the 1970 Mustang and mid-'60s-era sequential tail lamps updated with LED bulbs; 2011 also sees the return of the fabled 5.0-liter badge boldly attached to the GT's front fenders. A revised grille insert serves as a backdrop for a more stylized galloping pony emblem as well as prominent fog lamps in GT models, which also boast a subtle rear spoiler. New safety features include integrated blind spot mirrors in the side-view mirror housings. The V6s come with 215/60 all-season tires on 17-inch aluminum wheels while the V8 GTs get 235/50 rubber on 18-inch alloys.
All 2011 Ford Mustang variants are impressively packaged. Even the base V6 comes with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX input, and cruise control plus anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), front/front-side airbags, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert system. The Premium versions add leather upholstery, trim enhancements, an upgraded instrument cluster with MyColor variable lighting, Shaker 500 audio system with SYNC and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power driver's seat and a split/folding rear seat on Coupes. The GTs bring a 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine, automatic headlamps, rear spoiler, fog lamps, a black-chrome pony grille badge, and cloth instead of synthetic material on the Convertible's power top.
Key extras for the base V6 are a six-speed automatic transmission, Security Package (Active Anti-theft System and wheel locks) and a convertible soft boot, while the GT Premium offers the California Package that adds a chrome billet grille, side scoops and 19-inch wheels. The V6 Premium offers the base-level upgrades plus the V6 Performance Package, which brings a strut tower brace, larger anti-roll bars, 19-inch black painted wheels, recalibrated electronic stability control, performance brake pads and a 3.31 rear axle ratio. The GT trim offers the Brembo Brake Package that adds Brembo front brakes, recalibrated stability program and 19-inch wheels surrounded by P255/40R19 summer tires. HID bi-xenon headlamps, a glass roof (Coupe), a back-up camera and several packages – including the Electronic (Navigation with SIRIUS, HD Radio and dual-zone auto climate control) and Comfort (leather-trimmed heated front seats and a six-way power passenger seat) – are available on both Premium variants.
Two new engines anchor the non-Shelby portion of Team Mustang. The base trim is powered by an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 engine featuring dual overhead cams (DOHC) and Twin-Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). The result is a V6 that produces 305 horsepower, yet delivers fuel economy comparable to some four-cylinder cars. The new six-speed automatic features a 'Hill Mode" function that extends longer gear operation on uphill climbs and provides additional engine braking upon decent. Ironically, Ford does not offer a manually selectable shift program on this transmission, and odd omission in this category. Stepping up to the new 5.0-liter V8 (also equipped with Ti-VCT technology) brings a big boost in both horsepower and torque, pumping out 412 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. Our time in the Mustang GT produced zero-to-60 runs under five-seconds, which is about a second better than the 2010 model.
3.7-liter DOHC V6
305 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 19/29 (manual), 19/31 (automatic)
5.0-liter DOHC V8
412 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 17/26 (manual), 18/25 (automatic)
By Cool man Rick on Sunday, November 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, loads of fun to drive"
Cons: "could be better quality overall"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Shelby GT500 is the best muscle car ever made, and I personally prefer it over any exotic race car! For over 500 horsepower you get the most for you buck! meaning it is the least expensive race car on the market with over 500 horse! The best years of this car style wise are 2007 thru 2009; reason being is the design is based on the original muscle cars from the 60's, the new classic as it is sometimes referred to. Unfortunately Ford desided to change the body style of the mustang in 2010, which most mustang enthuseists agree is not as appealing. The 2013-14 however does comes with about 640 horsepower! about a 100 horsepower increase from previous years which increased the price by about $10,000. The horsepower on an older Shelby can be increased to about 640 horse though by changing the pulley for less than $1,000! The market however treats all the shelby GT500 years 2007-2014 as if its basically the same car, so even though the classic body style of years 2007-2009 is much cooler, the newer shelby's are worth a bit more just because they aren't as old. 2014 being the last year the GT500 will be made will increase the value of these cars! The increase in value will depend of course on how much desire people will still have for them. Having said that, if you want one it is best to get one ASAP. I already saw a 1,200 increase in the value of my 2008, a seasonal car, since july 2013 and it is now november 2013!"
By Faststang (CA) on Saturday, November 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power,Quality,Value,Mpg for a muscle car!"
Cons: "The urge to SPEED!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I just bought my 2014 Mustang GT base with tech package 3 day's ago. I have to say, all the negativity about the solid rear axil is absolutly hog wash in my opinion.This Pony rides smooth and soakes up the bumps in the road like a Caddy.Its not a Porshe its a drag racer!The axle was designed to put the power down out of the hole, its a muscle car and it makes no excuses for that!Ford did a great job making it handle,it kept up with an M3 around a race track for crying out loud! The power is borderline crazy but you dont have to be throtle shy becouse its very tame around town! Mpg is off the hook for a car with this mutch power and quality is un beatable for this price. If your on the fence about this car, dont be.Get out there and get your Pony and drive it like you stole it! Be carfull though as this car will make you grow chest hair!"
By lesliewerk (MI) on Thursday, November 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, Sporty, Reliable"
Cons: "It's not as fast as I'd like it to be!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I originally bought this car new on lease, never intending on keeping it. When it came time to turn it in, I couldn't do it! I was going to buy a 2007 GT & couldn't part with my car! It's fun, it turns heads...even though it isn't as fast as the other 'beefy' Mustangs, it's still fun! I haven't had one problem with it either! Someday I may part with it for a GT but if I do, it will be an '07 because I love the body style of the older Mustangs - I don't much care for the new ones."
By estivi (GA) on Monday, November 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Retained the '60s look with modern drivetrain."
Cons: "Solid rear axle..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased it 7 months old in 2007. PROS: Looks, reliability, value, quality, did I mention the looks?!? Shaker 1000 stereo: great, factory system...10 speakers, for subs...1000 watts. Convertible...what else needs to be said? CONS: (its only fair to point a couple of flaws) The solid rear axle, although it makes for incredible launches from a stand-still, can cause quite a loss of trust in the car's handling when making a high-speed, bumpy turn..."
By stang 66 (OR) on Sunday, November 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,200overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Very good in most areas. LOUSY transmission, problems and will not shift when driver wants too. Replace clutch at 1100 miles. I've owned several Mustangs, Z-28 Trans Am's and others. Next car (if sporty) will be a Challenger. Would recommend the automatic if getting the Stang Not as fun but more reliable."
By Lucky Guy (CA) on Monday, October 28, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking, very, very fast and fun to drive"
Cons: "Only limited room for kids in back seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Not a day goes by that I don't come up with an excuse to drive this car, even going to the market is fun. Just knowing that there is 412 horsepower under the hood warms my heart. I have the metalic yellow blaze paint which just sparkles and changes shades when in full sun, so people are always stopping me to prase the car. The back seat is preaty limited to kids, no room for adults but the seats do fold down for carring lumber and such. Very handy. Navigation system and hands free controls for radio, climate, and phone are great. The jukebox built into the radio holds 1800 songs."
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