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Old 01-13-2005, 12:12   #1 (permalink)
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Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Automobile Magazine
By Erik B. Johnson
Photography: Mike Dushane



Since time immemorial-well, since being introduced halfway through the 1964 model year-the automatic Mustang has comprised the largest chunk of sales, so the all-new 2005 V-6 would undoubtedly have sold well had Ford done nothing more than alter the styling. But with major improvements in every area, all those red-blooded Americans who sign on the dotted line will be getting a lot more car for the money.

The V-6 Mustang starts just shy of twenty grand, while the example we drove can be had for a value-packed $22,890. Nudging the price upwards were the autobox ($995), an anti-theft system ($255), wheel locks ($50), side air bags ($370), ABS ($775), and the Premium package ($450) consisting of 16-inch wheels with chrome spinners, an MP3 audio system with six-disc CD changer, leather upholstery, and a power driver's seat. Add all of that to the inherent goodness of the all-new platform and you've got yourself one hell of a car.



While the 4.0-liter, 210-hp V-6 can't compare to the delicious 4.6-liter, 300-hp V-8 from the Mustang GT, the pick-up-and-go will be plenty for most folks, and the sound is as purely American as can be had from six cylinders. (We can't help but feel that those with a lust for more thrust would likely look at the GT first, anyway.)

The five-speed automatic is (mostly) fabulous. During upshifts, power delivery is baby-skin smooth and gear-selection unobtrusive and confident. Punch the throttle, however, and the car takes a confused pause before slipping into a lower gear. There's no confusion, though, in the steering; it's direct, linear, and puts the car exactly where you want it with minimal input. The ride is decent, too. One niggle: maneuvering through traffic, the Mustang felt every bit as big as advertised, a perception not helped by the large steering wheel and high hood. Piloting the 187-plus-inch car into tiny openings was adrenalizing, to say the least.

Another pulse-raising experience is finding yourself in a bumpy corner. The solid rear axle makes this car extremely lively, a problem that also afflicts the GT. Hit a bump, and the rear-end can get very light and squirrely, a condition that only gets worse in the wet.



But who cares as long as you look cool, right? We were stopped numerous times to chat about this car, including by a cop, who asked not for our license and registration, but instead wanted to know "how we got to be so lucky." There's been some grumbling that the styling is too derivative and too retro, but we say it's spot on.

So, the car looks great and drives sweetly enough. Inside, you can immediately spot where costs were trimmed-the glovebox cover, chintzy Jeep-boombox-esque speakers, and grained dash and door plastics look and feel every bit as inexpensive as they surely are. The rear seats were comfortable, but only those suffering from a height deficiency (think 5'3" and shorter) will have any headroom. The steering wheel felt a little too big in diameter and the seats lacked thigh support. We would be remiss, however, if we didn't say how cool MyColor is. Even though the novelty wore off fairly quickly, altering the instrument panel lighting color never failed to impress. All buttons and knobs were well-placed and much more solid than most GM products.

All minor complaints (and praises) aside, anyone would be hard-pressed to find a better combination of performance, price, and style than the Mustang. The only competitors in the sub-$20,000 price range are small, import sports cars like the Hyundai Tiburon, Acura RSX, Toyota Celica, and Mitsubishi Eclipse. While some of those rides are mighty fine (RSX), their smallish dimensions and four-cylinder engines put them in a different niche.



In the past, the V-6 Mustang has been the sort of car you would likely find parked in close proximity to a Tupperware party or bake sale. The latest iteration, however, makes a strong case for the enthusiast on a budget, and some may even prefer its better-balanced chassis over the extra grunt of the GT.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 01-13-2005, 15:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Nice ride ! I was pissed off for years at what ford did to the mustang bodies through the late '70's and '80's....even the '90's weren't quite up to nice for style, but they've been getting better.
This new body style kick's a$$ and a it's welcome sight for my eyes!
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Ford Mustang V-6

The single-exhaust Stang seeks to expel the secretary image.

Car&Driver
BY DAVE VANDERWERP
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY G. RUSSELL



Women like Mustangs. Something about this sporty coupe results in nearly 55 percent of V-6 Mustangs being driven by females. For some reason, women don't crave the tire-burning quality of the V-8, so instead they opt for improved fuel economy and a lower price. It's not surprising, then, that the macho brain trust here at C/D has shunned the V-6 model—the last time we wrote about one was more than 10 years ago.

But all that has changed with Ford's redesign of the Mustang for 2005. The lesser model now gets a larger V-6: the 4.0-liter SOHC plucked from truck duty in Explorer, Mountaineer, and Ranger models. It produces 210 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, a gain of 17 horsepower and 15 pound-feet over last year's 3.8-liter unit. The engine upgrade may not seem monumental, but even more important, Ford now adds an extra gear with the optional five-speed automatic.



Shifting this five-speed into "D" involves grasping what looks like a scaled-down lever from a Hummer H2. Surprisingly, the Mustang's unit feels much more substantial than the H2's and settles into gear purposefully.

After shifting and a little brake-torque tango, the additional power and extra ratio add up to more straight-line performance than we expected: 0-to-60 mph arrives in 6.9 seconds, and the quarter-mile is over in 15.3 seconds at 91 mph. That performance would humiliate owners of the last V-6 Mustang we tested (a 145-hp manual back in May 1994), which scored an 8.3-second 0-to-60 time and a 16.5-second quarter-mile. Also, this puts the new V-6 auto just 0.6 second off the old automatic V-8's 0-to-60 time and only 0.2 second slower in the quarter. Besides the impressive numbers, we almost enjoyed not shifting for ourselves, instead marveling at the perfectly executed wide-open-throttle upshifts. But be sure to turn up the radio, because this engine sounds about as refined as a slightly muffled tractor.



Unfortunately, the good stuff stops there. To ensure the V-6 model wasn't too much of a performer, Ford fit it with low-end P215/65R-16 BFGoodrich Traction T/A tires, which provide explanations for an unimpressive 189-foot stop from 70 mph and a 0.79-g skidpad effort. Although the 11.5-inch front brakes on the V-6 model are 0.9 inch smaller than the V-8's, and the suspension is slightly softer, these tires account for most of the V-6's poorer perfomance versus the 10Best-winning GT model's 170-foot 70-to-0-mph braking distance and 0.89 g of lateral grip.

Ford also decided this would be a good time to install a fuel-economy gauge in the information screen that is, quite possibly, the least useful gauge on the market. Most people would expect a miles-per-gallon gauge to display precisely how many miles per gallon the vehicle is achieving, but the Mustang's doesn't have any numbers. There is a down arrow on the left side and an up arrow on the right, which apparently means down is bad fuel economy and up is good. Digital bars that fluctuate between the arrows essentially state the obvious: how far down on the throttle your foot is. When your foot is to the floor, the gauge indicates "bad" fuel economy and vice versa. This strikes us as either not enough information or an insult to the driver.

Such quibbles aside, the V-6 Mustang now starts at an attractive $19,410, just a few grand more than a comparably equipped Chevy Cobalt LS. Ours was a Premium model, which adds $585 to the sticker for a power driver's seat, an in-dash six-CD changer, and chrome spinners on the wheels. We also added the automatic, ABS and traction control, an interior upgrade kit, and a couple extra airbags to bring the checkout total to $22,890.

We find this entry-level Mustang to be a compelling package, with retro good looks, power aplenty, and a reasonable price. We still maintain complaints about steering that is too light and too fast, solid-rear-axle shudder, and difficult-to-read gauges—traits we initially discovered on the GT—but for about $5600 less, they become easier to accept.

Women may not care about the entry-level Mustang's upgraded performance, but-trust us, guys-the V-6 now has enough muscle to be a viable option for you, too.

Ford Mustang V-6
Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
Price as tested: $22,890 (base price: $19,410)
Engine type: SOHC 12-valve V-6, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 245 cu in, 4009cc
Power (SAE net): 210 bhp @ 5250 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 240 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 107.1 in
Length/width/height: 187.6/73.9/55.4 in
Curb weight: 3444 lb

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zero to 60 mph: 6.9 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.0 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 7.2 sec
Standing 1/4-mile: 15.3 sec @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 113 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 189 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.79 g
EPA fuel economy, city driving: 19 mpg
C/D-observed fuel economy: 21 mpg
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Old 02-14-2005, 00:41   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Can't wait till I drive it when I am next Stateside! Hertz will usually only rent sixes, and four litres of it sound pretty good to me.
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Old 02-15-2005, 20:25   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

What's up with the 3.5 liter Duratec? That thing is supposed to have a 215-250 horsepower capacity. I realize that there was mention about the V-6 mustang being too much of a performer, but if they put that engine in that car it could be a Z killer for thousands less. Plus many a magazine is dumping the V-6 because it is "not as smooth as a Japanese six." The 4.0L is great (in my dad's Explorer), but it is a truck engine. Why have a SOHC large displacement 6 that is underpowered (I say that because it is 245 CI and only making 210 horsepower, whereas the 3.0L is 181 CI and makes 201 HP and as much as 230 HP in some apps.), when you can have a 213 CI engine cranking out 230 or so. You may lose some torque, but that's it. 20 extra horsepower out of a refined engine, everyone's happy.

Even cranky mag reporters.
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:44   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by fubbyo
What's up with the 3.5 liter Duratec? That thing is supposed to have a 215-250 horsepower capacity. I realize that there was mention about the V-6 mustang being too much of a performer, but if they put that engine in that car it could be a Z killer for thousands less.
Welcome to FF fubbyo. The last time I read about the 3.5L. It was scheduled to go into production late this year. Here's the article United States:Ford V-6 engine to be built in Ohio
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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Old 02-18-2005, 14:20   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Only one negative from me about the styling (other than the usual complaints that the concept was cooler): now we see non-Ford pics, the car looks undertyred. What do others reckon? I think I'd need 17-inchers on this baby for starters but keep the look as stock as possible otherwise.
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Old 02-18-2005, 18:12   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Welcome to FF Jack. If you haven't already done so, check out the GT reviews. There's two of them.

05 Mustang Reviews

05 Mustang GT Reviews: Part 2
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:20   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Review:2005 Ford Mustang V-6

Cheers, Stacy94PGT—I'll click on the links now.
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