- The 5.0 is back
- Good ride quality
- Retro-modern details
- Steering doesn’t telescope
- No manumatic mode for V-6
- Plastics could be upgraded
The 2011 Ford Mustang lives up to all those juvenile, tire-smoking pony-car expectations; at the same time, it’s an unexpectedly capable, sophisticated coupe.
The 2011 Ford Mustang looks virtually the same as last year’s model, but new engines and other improvements make it a better drive—and better equipped—in just about every way. With either the all-new 412-hp V-8 in the GT or the new 305-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 in the base models, it’s both faster and more fuel-efficient. Highway fuel economy rates as high as 31 mpg with the V-6, or 31 mpg for the GT.
V-8 pony-car aficionados will be thrilled to hear that the "5.0" is back. With lots of torque, good throttle response, and a rev-happy, rorty attitude, the new engine feels just right and enables the sort of performance that only exclusive tuner versions could provide a few years ago.
To match the new powertrains, the 2011 Mustang models get upgraded brakes, as well as body and suspension enhancements; they all get electric power steering. The Mustang received a complete refresh last year, for 2010, with reshaped sheetmetal on the outside, along with an updated center stack and audio controls; those changes carry through to 2011.
Just as before, the Mustang is available either as a Coupe or Convertible, both in GT or V-6 form, and the Convertible comes with a reasonably tight, well-designed soft top. Ford is finally catching on to both the Mustang’s personalization potential and its appeal with tuners; both models can be equipped with special paint schemes, hood scoops, and such, and new to the V-6 is a performance package—aimed at weekend racers—that adds most of the GT’s goodies for an affordable price.