2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Memorial Day Weekend on GMR

May 31, 2011


GMR. Glendora Mountain Road. It's The Place to go driving if you live anywhere close to Southern California's San Gabriel Valley and own a car with halfway decent handling and a little bit of torque. If you don't, well then skip right over this blog entry and read about one of our crossover SUVs.

On Saturday afternoon, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 and I met up with six readers and their cars here, and we went driving. Joe (mptlptr) came with 2007 Corvette Z06, Daniel (silverstang1) brought his 2011 Mustang GT with the Vortech supercharger kit, Dario (ms3fun) drove a black Mazdaspeed 3 (bless his heart), John (trek96) had a MkII BMW X5 (like our old long-termer, but with optional 20-inch meats), Louis (louiswei) arrived with his Lexus IS 350 and our good pal Loren (subytrojan) showed up in his ageless 2004 WRX. Oh, and Magrath turned up in a 1 Series M.

You'll find videos and commentary on the Mustang (from me) after the jump. Keep in mind that it was a busy afternoon on GMR with cyclists and families in minivans. As such, we left quite a bit on the table with our pace -- if you want to see the heat cranked up a few dozen notches, watch Jacquot and Monticello run it in the LFA, or look back at our GT-R vs. the World test when we had the road closed (temporarily) by the CHP.


So how did I like our five-oh Mustang? Well, it was unquestionably the best Mustang I've ever drive on this road. It offers pretty good balance and grip (well, it would offer good grip if the stock tires were a little newer) through the turns, and the steering effort feels about right and the ratio is sufficiently quick... no need to shuffle really at all. The stock brakes also held up well during a southbound run down the mountain. And torque. There's so much torque. You'll see me shifting gratutiously if you watch the videos, but you could run the whole road in 3rd gear and never come up short.

Dislikes? Well, for some reason, I'm growing tired of the 5.0's intake soundtrack (which is a shame given the effort someone put into the snorkus) but still digging on the exhaust note. Also, I'd like more steering feel and better ride control over bumps. My real issue with the Mustang, though, is that it's just a little too big for this road, and I really would have preferred to be in Dario's MS3 or Loren's WRX. Or, really, I should have taken that Motorsport 1er from Magrath.

And right about now, Daniel's realizing that I don't have a shred of credibility left... No matter, our long-term Mustang is still plenty fun and capable on this road, and I wouldn't hesitate to do this drive again. Of all the cars that came on the drive, which would you choose for a hypothetial run up GMR?

These videos were shot with our GoPro camera, but I'm a newbie at using it and mounted the camera on the inside of the rear glass, which baffled its auto exposure compensation. Next time, it's going on the passenger-side window.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 8,715 miles

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