How to Stall the Minivan Conversation - 2011 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang GT: How to Stall the Minivan Conversation

March 07, 2011

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A sunny and mild Saturday afternoon seemed like reason enough to test the Mustang's family values and I persuaded the Kid and the Missus to take a ride down to Laguna Beach. Had a minor wrestle finessing the child seat in back, but no problems finding and anchoring to the LATCH hooks. There wasn't a ton of room for the Kid's knees, but fortunately the Missus is short and could slide the passenger seat forward.

Setting out south on Pacific Coast Highway, the Mustang lets loose the sounds that draw men to machines.

Crystalline intake whistle. Perfect midbass rumble. Clearly some acoustic engineers spent time ensuring that the thick fullness of 5.0 exhaust pulses make it into the cabin. There's something primal, and not gender-specific, about the synthesis of these sounds. The Kid was an immediate fan of the noise, her mother not so much.

Laguna Beach is full of hills, a small coastal village nearly pushed into the sea by plate tectonics. It's also full of tourists, which makes for a fun crawl through town, dodging jaywalkers and killing time at signals on sharp inclines. The 5.0's clutch uptake is terrific. Apply the throttle, ease out the clutch pedal, and almost immediately the transmission engages and surges the car forward. No unease about rolling back.


Laguna Beach is also full of the wealthy folks who live there. And yet despite regular sightings of new Ferraris, Bentleys, the occasional Aston Martin and all manner of Porsches, one does not feel poor or class-conscious in a black Mustang 5.0. Among automotive royalty, the 5.0 holds its own. It's like the guy who's always broke, yet always makes it to the good parties, tells great stories, and never lacks attention from the fairer sex. Sometimes it's all just attitude.

After a nice afternoon, I figured I'd throw it out there. Just to see. I started by stacking my deck.

"What did ya think, sweetie?"I asked my daughter. "Did you like the fast, loud Horse car?"

Yes, she did. Emphatically.

"Whaddya think, babe?"I asked the Missus. "Beats an Odyssey, right?"

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Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 4,100 miles

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