2013 Ford Mustang Coupe V6 Premium Coupe (3.7L V6 w/opt 6-speed Automatic)
Driven On 8/14/2012
The days of the V6 Mustang being destined for rental fleets are gone. This one makes over 300 horsepower, and it has a comy ride and a real rear seat. Fuel mileage is so-so and it doesn't excel in the twisties without the optional sport pack, but it's a decent value and a true icon.
ComfortIf you're thinking the Mustang coupe is little more than an uncomfortable old beast, guess again. Ford has massaged this workhorse to the point that it is now capable of either a cruise on main street or a serene tour of the countryside.
These are very nice front seats, a good compromise between comfort and lateral support. Noticed just a hint of numb butt after a two-hour stint behind the wheel.
The ride is surprisingly supple. Only truly big bumps upset the Mustang's outdated live rear axle, and only then if they come in the middle of a corner.
There is a decent amount of road noise, mostly tire slap. There's also moderate wind noise emanating from the A-pillar areas.
InteriorIf there's an area on the Mustang that's showing its age, it's the interior. Not only is its retro styling very bland, but it's incredibly space-inefficient. But the seats are comfortable and even the rear seat is acceptable for adults.
Although the interior looks pretty bland and rather old school, the large knobs and buttons on the center stack are easy to use. The stereo's screen is very small, though.
Neither front seatback will return to their original positions after adjusting to let someone in/out of the rear. Still, it's not that much of a squeeze to hop in the back.
The front seats have good shoulder room but tight elbow space. Surprise, the rear seat has acceptable head room. But cramped elbow room and no center armrest.
Pathetically useless door pockets are so incredibly small that you can't even fit a wallet. Also no front bin. Center armrest bin is deep, but hard to access.
Small door pockets, small trunk opening and less cargo space than its primary competition.
PerformanceIt's possible to make the V6 Mustang into a true sports coupe. You'll need to order the Performance Package for handling and the manual transmission for acceleration. Otherwise, with the automatic tranny, it's just pony car that looks cool.
If you must have the $1,195 6-speed automatic, keep in mind it makes this Mustang about a second slower to 60 mph than the 6-speed manual. V6 is thrashy at high revs.
We expected better stopping distances from this Mustang. Instead, it took 131 feet to whoa down from 60 mph -- pretty poor. It also exhibited spongy pedal feel and a long travel.
The steering is slow and sloppy with little feedback to the driver. Cruisers might prefer this, enthusiasts will not. Because of this, the front end feels ponderous.
This standard Mustang V6 is not an enthusiastic handler, with sub-par skidpad and slalom numbers. If you'd like a sportier feel, order the optional $1,995 Performance Package.
Drivability is hurt by the automatic transmission's resistance to downshift for passing maneuvers. The V6 simply doesn’t have the low-end torque and go power of the V8 GT.
ValueThe Premium coupe comes with a fair amount of features for the $26,200 base price -- Xenon headlamps, leather seats, SYNC voice-activation -- but you have to pay extra for the automatic transmission. And $695 for the Pony Lamp.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Quality leather seats and steering wheel, and the shifter feels substantial. The dash is soft-touch, but there's definitely a lot of cheap, hard-touch surfaces.
Leather seats come standard, along with SYNC voice-activation, HID headlamps and, of course, those cool sequential taillamps. The six-speed automatic is an $1,195 option.
One of the Mustang's trademarks has always been bang-for-the-buck. It remains reasonably priced within its segment, although the V6 Premium with automatic isn't exactly a steal.
The EPA rates the six-speed automatic-equipped V6 Mustang at 19 city/31 highway/23 mpg combined. We averaged 16.5 mpg during varied driving -- a weak result.
The Mustang comes with a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles for drivetrain. The Chevy Camaro's is slightly better, and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe tops them both.
Owners will be happy to know their Mustang has roadside assistance for 5 years/60,000 miles. But the Camaro one-ups the Mustang with a 100,000-mile version.
Fun To DriveHalf the fun of driving a Mustang is that you're driving Mustang, America's longest-lasting pony car. The V6 has ample power but doesn't make the right sounds, the automatic lessens the experience. Soft suspension lends itself to Main St.
We would've had a better experience if the test car were equipped with the Performance Package and manual transmission. The automatic and soft suspension suck the fun out.
The Mustang is an iconic car, and this gives it instant personality -- we'd even say good personality. True Mustang fans won't settle for less than a V8, though.