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 Harliboy1 on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,733overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great CAR, FUN to DRIVE, Low maintenance, looker;)"
Cons: "not enough storage spots. no trunk access button"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I know this is not an import but I have owned this car since it was new and I have not had 1 thing go wrong. I modified the suspension w/strut tower bar which gave it great handling skills. other than that the car still turns heads.GT Pack w/hood scoop/18" prem wheels. The car rides smooth. Remains quite when the top up. I will keep this car forever."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By ARBL on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great driving experience."
Cons: "Bad material and paint quality of the overall car."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I acquire this car a few years ago for its looks, name, driving experience with a previous 1988 Mustang, and it was also my wife dream car. Location said "International" but I live in Puerto Rico. Never had an accident with this car, driving it feels good, the car if automatic and I do not dive it above 80mph, but I will never buy another Ford or Mustang again due to the quality of the material. I have plans of keeping the car one more year and change it for a Toyota. Since the beginning it presented problems in the front suspension. Ford changes the suspension disks 6 times from the 7,000 to the 28,000 miles. In addition at 23,000 miles the hood presented rust, it was covered by the warranty. Now at 30,000 miles new rust appeared on the roof which warranty did not cover. Passenger door panel "leather" got separated from the panel at the 29,000 miles. Receiving warranty services or good paid car services in the Ford PR distributor dealer is almost impossible, but that's another topic. Note: I have a friend with a 2013 model with the performance package and at 6,000 miles the dash loose part of the color in several sections at 4,000 miles the transmission stop using reverse, warranty “fix it” the first time. The second time at 4,600 miles the dealers discovered and said it was a piece of the transmission that was missing since fabrication."
By judas on Monday, July 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable.Sounds great.Nice horsepower..Alot of fun"
Cons: "No ashtry"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my 2008 Mustang GT...Very reliable and pretty fast after i juiced it up a little..Haven't had a problem with the car since i owned it..If you looking for a fun car to drive and enough horse and great sound..Go get a Mustang..You wont be disappointed.."
By Mustang Sally on Friday, July 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "The gas tank issue is a problem for me."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My Mustang is an overall good car. My only problem is that if you do not pump the gas slowly, it will back up and run out. Ford would not fix the problem when it was reported to the dealership and it was not covered under the warranty. I have an '05 Convertible also, and don't have this problem, so I do like the Mustangs overall."
By IceBankMiceElf on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 900overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive/beat people in races, it's a mustang"
Cons: "Backseat is comfy...if you're under 8 years old"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is a beast. I've owned mine (which I've named Roxanne) for about a month now, and my heart still flutters a little every time I get behind the wheel. Even the V6 engine gets up and goes, plus the car is just plain fun to show off! Originally, I planned to buy a Camaro instead, but I test drove both and fell in love with the 'stang. Also, I have added a hood scoop (cervini's ram hood), a spoiler, and louvers, all of which were a reasonable price and were installed within a week. This car is easy to experiment with, so I suggest toying around with it if you can spend a little extra. As far as downsides, the ride can be a bit rough on bumps, and it has about 20% the space my former truck had, but that's to be expected. This car is a great buy, and I highly recommend it."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By ernie on Sunday, July 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fast,reliable,fun to drive,stylish,attractive,"
Cons: "no back seat leg room, cup holders in wrong place"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought my car brand new and I was immediately impressed with the performance , I have a 6 speed manual and it will throw you back into the seat when you floor it. the mpg in this car is good I get about 23 highway and city driving. one of the things that I don't like about the mustang is the cup holders are right behind the shifter and when you have a cup it makes it hard to shift. Also there is no leg room in the back seats which is expected from a 2 door vehicle. But at the end of the day I am glad I got the 2014 ford mustang v6, good mpg nice interior the handling is great on this vehicle and fun to drive. I recommend it."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful