2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Mud

March 14, 2012


There's not much about our Mustang that sucks. Let me think for a second.


I'm at a loss.

Actually, the audio sucks. It's consistently the Mustang's only real disappointing trait, for me anyway. It's not unlistenable. But there's very little adjustment. You can't boost bass without elevating the more obnoxious bands of midrange, and when you do, the speakers simply reproduce a hollow, low-end buzz with minimal definition. And this is without the boom-boom Shaker box enabled.

Fortunately, the Mustang fix is easy. Skip the Shaker system, run something like a JL Audio CleanSweep OEM interface (taps off the factory head unit, SYNC, etc.), upgrade to decent coaxials and better door subs, and add a 10-inch sub and a small amp to power it in the trunk. Done.

The OEM interface boxes typically include an EQ scheme or presets, but they're stuck in the box and usually not customizable. Get crazy, live a little and spring for a multi-band EQ mounted in the glovebox or trunk.

The Mustang's faults are few. SYNC works OK, Bluetooth pairing is a pain (probably not an issue for a single owner/driver), and not everyone will tolerate the stiff ride. And even with the crap audio system, the 5.0 is one car that doesn't require a stereo to hear great music.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 22,600 miles.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Ford Mustang in VA is:

$152 per month*
* Explanation