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2012 Ford Mustang Photo
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE
INVOICE
$21,245
BASE
MSRP
$22,310
Quick Take
The 2012 Ford Mustang doles out all the tire-smoking pony-car thrills, but it's also grown to become quite a sophisticated car. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

Every line has purpose and every detail seems to fit.

The Detroit News »

It's going to take a well trained eye to spot any visual differences between the 2010 and 2011 models, but there are differences.

Autoblog »

…the few subtle changes for 2011 (a brighter pony emblem on the GT, for example) are trivial and difficult to spot.

Automobile Magazine »

…the 2011 model gets by on its looks and on its personality.

Popular Mechanics »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$22,310 $53,810
MSRP $22,310
INVOICE $21,245 Browse used listings in your area
2-Door Coupe V6
Gas Mileage 19 mpg City/29 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas V6, 3.7L
EPA Class Compact
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Doors 2
Body Style 2dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
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The Basics:

If you haven't driven a pony car in decades, you're in for a pleasant shock. Cars like today's Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger aren't brutal-handling shipping containers for hoary V-8 engines. They're no longer cavemen. Yes, they're brutally fast, and now, great handling isn't just on the menu--it's a main course.

It's especially true with the 2012 Ford Mustang. No longer a rehashed icon, or a throwback, the Mustang's dragged itself down the quarter-mile into modern times in some amazing ways. There's still a live axle in back, but no mainstream Mustang has ever handled better or accelerated faster than today's V-8 'Stangs--and it's almost true of the V-6s as well.

To the heritage recipe, Ford's trimmed out the Mustang's proportions over the past six years. It's leaner, and more aggressive, and can be customized with all the hood scoops, paint schemes and decal packages you need to fondly remember that night in high school, or college, or detention. The cockpit has the upright dash and big, beautiful gauges with color-shifting lighting and metallic trim, a good blend of Sixties style and today's touchscreen sensibilities.

Entry-level buyers will get a 305-horsepower V-6 that can turn in 0-60 mph times of about 6.0 seconds--and fuel economy of up to 31 mpg on the highway when teamed with a reluctant-shifting automatic six-speed. It can carry its own weight against the likes of the Nissan 370Z, at long last, and against the Camaro V-6.

The V-8 catapults into a whole other performance category. The 5.0-liter V-8 thumps out 412 horsepower, with six-speed manual or automatic transmissions pushing power to the rear wheels. The live-axle suspension has never been in better tune: the Mustang rides quite well for a sporty car, and much less of the rumbly, jumbled handling of the pre-2005 versions. Electric power steering isn't of the darty variety; it's quick and suits the rorty, rev-happy V-8 quite well. Opt into the supercar-strength Shelby GT500 or the race-ready Boss 302, and you're going even faster, spending more than $40,000 to get there.

As before, Coupe and Convertible editions can be had with either powertrain. The Convertible has a reasonably tight, power-operated soft top, but the body structure isn't stiff enough to make the most of the suspension improvements. We prefer the glass panoramic roof if you want to let the sunshine in--but recognize there's nothing quite like the full top-down driving experience in something like the Mustang GT, where your attitude is sure to be sunny even if the weather outside isn't.

 

Likes:

  • Raw 5.0-liter power
  • A much improved V-6 version
  • Retro-modern details
  • Good ride quality
  • Stunning Shelby, Boss versions

Dislikes:

  • No telescoping steering wheel
  • V-6 automatic lacks manual shift control
  • Some interior finishes are just average
  • Back-seat room: it's still a 2+2
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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