From some distance, the 2014 Ford Mustang gives off some strong hints that it lives in the past; yet up close, it's entirely in the present. Ford has managed to translate a classic design for the modern world, and along models like the MINI Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle, it's remarkably cohesive, with plenty of modern details that don't hold its appeal back.
The Mustang is instantly recognizable from any angle on the outside, with its unmistakable silhouette and classic coupe stance. The fundamental design goes back to the 2005 model year; then in 2010 Ford gave it an extensive revamp, recasting it as a little leaner, a little more tidy, and yet more aggressive in its details.
There are retro cues aplenty; and the ones you don't see from Mustangs past you can almost all add on at extra cost--all except a fastback body style, of course. Through various personalization options, you'll find you can pretty easily recreate the look for the Mustang you might have driven in high school, or college—with side louvers, side scoops, hood scoops, and spoilers, among many other possibilities.
Last year, the Mustang got a more 'tilted-forward' look to the grille, while the lower airdam is a bit thinner and not so gaping. GT models are also distinguished by their big, round foglamps in the grille, and they have functional heat extractors on the hood.
Headlamps are a smaller, more closely detailed HID design (across the entire lineup), and two strips of LED lighting flank the headlights and are an especially distinctive note. Taillamps get a dark-tinted look, with LEDs surrounding the entire affair; there’s also a blacked-out (instead of body-color) panel between the taillamps. And from the side, rocker panels now are body-color. And a clever new night-lighting option, called the pony projection light, beams a pony emblem on the ground next to the doors.
The couple of really intense exterior colors introduced last year—Deep Impact Blue, and Gotta Have It Green—have been joined by a couple more conservative colors this year: Oxford White and Ruby Red Metallic.
Inside, the Mustang's cockpit has an upright dash and big, deep-dish gauges with color-shifting lighting and metallic trim. The Mustang's interior follows a design that clearly nods to the past—although it has a surprisingly modern set of materials, a wide center console, and plenty of soft-touch materials on the dash. As a whole, the cabin can be a little stark, and it looks at its best in one of the two-tone themes.