Frying Time - 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Frying Time

September 06, 2011

Mustang summer.jpg

Labor Day weekend was good time for a last-days-of-summer drive down Pacific Coast Highway through the beach towns and surf spots of Southern California: Seal Beach, Surfside, Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach and finally, Newport Beach.

Newport is the home of big boats, extravagant cars and a spot called Balboa Island, where 3,000 people live on 0.2 square miles and where the asking price of a 1,700-square-foot home is $2.3 million, according to a local real estate agent. Needless to say, I will not be settling down there.

But it's fun to visit. Balboa Island is so rich that it can afford to look quaint, and its form of "mass"transit is the Balboa Island Ferry, which carries cyclists, pedestrians and three cars at a time between the island and the neighboring Balboa Peninsula. By luck, the Mustang got the first spot on the ferry. It was a little weird to see ocean in the windshield and to float, rather than drive, to our destination. The view was lovely and the Mustang was blessedly cool -- without the benefit of cranked AC and the fan set to "hurricane."

What I mean is that our Mustang looks like a great summer car, but in reality, it's not. It's blacker than a thousand midnights inside and out. The sun really bakes the leather seats. Without a sunroof, it can feel, frankly, a little oppressive inside on a hot day. And unless you're floating on a ferry, you'd better have the AC on full throttle. Without it, you'll fry like a corn dog.

What do you think? Are the good looks of a black-on-black car worth the comfort trade-offs in hot weather?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @13,837 miles

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