New Updates - 2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 - Wrap-Up

May 11, 2012

Stang 1.JPG

Check out our mega gallery of 275 photos of our 2011 Ford Mustang GT.

See all of the 2011 Ford Mustang GT blog posts.

What We Got
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT wasn't a full redesign, but a heavy update over the 2010 model. The styling updates were subtle, but under the hood was a reborn 5.0-liter V8 that made it feel like an all-new car. This iteration of the legendary "5.0" now generated 412 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. We needed little motivation beyond this gurgling grin-inducer to convince ourselves we needed a Mustang GT.

Mustang GT shopping, we found, was not easy on a budget if you want to keep the price under $35,000. The market was flooded with uplevel GT Premium trims, which ran $3,200 higher than our target price. It required some legwork, but ultimately we located a black Mustang GT we liked.

It had appealing options, like 3.73 gearing ($895) and a Brembo brake package ($1,295). There was also a list of equipment we could do without: Shaker audio system ($1,295), back-up camera ($385), HID headlights ($525) and the Rapid Spec 401A, a.k.a. cool shift knob package ($395). This was not our perfect Mustang; however, it was the closest we could find.

After negotiation its $34,718 price tag bordered precariously close to our budget cap. It was not until our ears reminded our brain of the glorious engine note the 5.0-liter produced during our test-drive that we woke up. We signed our check, grabbed the keys and laid two molten stripes down the dealership driveway. The next 12 months were going to be fun. Here's what we found.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: One and Done

July 09, 2012

Mustang Final.jpg

Where is the best new home for a thirsty V8 that averages about 16 miles per gallon? How about Saudi Arabia? That's right, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT is going to a place where the gasoline is as cheap now as it was here some 35 years ago.

It took 21 days to sell our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT. We started the sale with the car priced at $27,500 and received zero calls in a week. Then I dropped the price to $26,500 and also received zero calls. I thought that $26,500 was a fair price (this was roughly $500 below TMV at the time), but the crickets chirping as I waited by the phone told me I needed another price drop.

On the third weekend, I dropped the price to $25,700. A day and a half later, I finally received a call. The man on the phone cut to the chase: "What's your best price on this car?" You can typically tell when the potential buyer is someone who wants to flip the car by his lack of probing questions. All a flipper wants to know is whether the car was in an accident and your rock bottom price. Of course, I wasn't going to reveal my hand over the phone. "I'd rather you take a look at the car first and then make me an offer,"I replied.

We agreed to meet at a gas station in my neighborhood. The buyer, Belal and his friend pulled up in a late model Lexus GS.

Belal's friend asked if he could check the paint. I said that would be ok, and he pulled a small plastic device from his pocket and began pressing it against the car's body in multiple places. It turned out to be a paint thickness gauge that gave him a numerical readout after each press. "Anything above seven is not factory paint,"he said. This was the first time I had seen something like that.

I mentioned that the car still had 12,000 miles on its warranty. "We don't care about the warranty,"said Belal. "We will ship this car to Saudi Arabia."

As I suspected, Belal and his colleague were dealers. I typically avoid doing business with dealers because they tend to lowball you, but it was the only call I received on the car and it was worth pursuing on the off chance he made a decent offer.

After the paint checked out, they fired up the car and peeked under the hood. "OK, how much do you want for this car?"Belal said. The two didn't even test drive the car, yet they were prepared to make an offer.

I avoided giving my "best price"by saying I was looking for something close to my asking price, but if they wanted to make me an offer, I would let them know if it was in the ballpark. They made an offer of $24,000.

I countered with $25,000, saying it was a fair price that was well below Edmunds TMV. Belal said he had bought a Mustang similar to ours with navigation and fewer miles for $24,000. "That was a different car and a different owner,"I said, but he held firm to his initial offer.

At this point I had to make a judgment call. There had been zero activity on this car in 15 days. This was a real offer, albeit one on the low end of what I was willing to take, and it was $1,000 more than the Carmax offer. If I passed on this, would it be another three weeks before I'd get another call? We didn’t want the sale of this car to drag on for nearly two months -- which is what we experienced with the Porsche 911. I decided to take his offer, but before I did, I countered with $24,500. Belal didn’t budge.

The final price was $24,000. We shook hands and made it official. A week later, they brought a cashiers check and took delivery of the Mustang. As we hammered out the details, we started talking about other cars, as car guys tend to do. The V6 Mustang came up in conversation. Belal gave me a disapproving look. As far as he was concerned, the V8 was the only way to go. "But you'll get better fuel economy with the V6,"I countered.

In Saudi Arabia, "gas is cheap,"he said. I asked him how cheap it was, but he quoted the price in Saudi riyals per liter, which went right over my head. A quick Google search revealed just how cheap the gas can be there: about 61 cents per gallon for premium gas.

Perhaps our Mustang will end up in one of those Saudi car clubs you see on YouTube (See video below. You can even spot a black 5.0 Mustang at the 21 second mark). American cars seem to have a big following in the desert kingdom. And whoever buys it can drag race it to his heart's content, since the price of fuel isn't really an issue. It just might be where the Mustang belongs.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: For Sale

June 18, 2012

Mustang at Beach.jpg

Our 2011 Ford Mustang GT is now up for sale, listed on and eBay classifieds. The asking price is $27,500, or best offer. This is roughly in between the Edmunds trade-in TMV and private party TMV. I won't say what our "rock-bottom"price is just yet, but suffice to say that we want to improve on the Carmax price as much as possible.

Care to take a guess at what the final selling price will be?

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 23,783 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Lowballed

June 13, 2012

Mustang at Carmax1.JPG

Our 2011 Ford Mustang has enjoyed an extended stay in our fleet (it's almost been a year and a half), but now it's time to go. It's our tradition to take our vehicles to Carmax, so we can establish a baseline price and determine our next course of action. For those of you who say we always get extraordinarily high offers from Carmax, here's the proof that we don't.

Carmax offered us $23,000. This is about a 34 percent depreciation from the $34,718 we paid for the Mustang some time ago. The appraiser personally was pretty high on the car. And aside from a minor dent in the fender (which she said would not impact the offer), it received "good condition"marks in every category. But I don't think Carmax considered all the options we have on our car -- the Brembo brake package being the most notable omission. But there was no sense in my pleading the case at Carmax. These offers are no-haggle and non-negotiable.

I then called Trade-In Solutions, which says it can give a second opinion on a Carmax offer and will make an attempt to beat Carmax's price. The appraiser at Trade-In Solutions said that the market for used Mustangs is slow now. "People looking to buy a 2011 Mustang are more likely to lease a new one, since they can't afford to buy it outright,"he said. He was able to top the Carmax offer by $400, but it was nowhere near where we wanted it to be. According to Edmunds trade-in TMV, the offer from Carmax should have been closer to $26,087.

This means we're going to have to sell this pony on our own. Even if we only manage to get $25,000 for the car, it would be a huge improvement over the Carmax price.

What do you think? Did Carmax offer us a fair price or lowball?

-Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 23,668 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Brawler

June 11, 2012


It's funny, living here in L.A. doing what I do for a living, I use a lot of the same locations as most production companies. Just about every commercial, movie and tv show that uses cars on location I know exactly where it was shot.

I took our Mustang to a location just north of L.A. to do a little hiking. When I got back, I watched the movie "Drive"for the first time. Holy crap! There it was, Templin Highway! I just drive down part of that road. I wasn't driving the way "Driver"did, nor was I being chased. But you do feel you can unleash that beast of a Mustang any time you wish.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Back In Black

June 04, 2012


Mustangs. I love 'em. My first Mustang was a black-on-black 1995 Convertible. After that, it was a 1998 SVT Cobra convertible; also black-on-black. Now, it's time to say goodbye to yet another black-on-black Mustang, and I'm once again left with a pony-shaped hole in my heart.

Like the Mustangs I've owned, I've had a lot of good memories with our long-term 5.0. Sure, the burnouts and powerslides were great, but it's important to note how comfortable and convenient this car is. This last weekend, I even used it to haul around some lumber, which reminded me of this time when I transported a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree home in my Cobra (the interior smelled pine-fresh for days).

All things considered, I'd probably opt for the Boss 302 if I were to get another Mustang. The tighter suspension eliminates a lot of the driveline lash that my girlfriend complains about. She said that this and our old Challenger were the only ones that got her queasy. But of course, I wouldn't consider it just for that reason. Then again, I'd probably wait to see what the next-gen Mustang looks like.

Got any Mustangs in your past?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 23,648 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Emboss Me

May 23, 2012


I know this isn't how it works, but thinking this way is unavoidable for me.

Every time I see the hard plastic Mustang logo on the center of our GT's steering wheel I wonder if I might find it inversely embossed in my forehead should the airbag deploy.

Also, you ever wonder what happens to those people you see riding along with their feet on the dashboard in such scenarios? Can't be good.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Burnout Face

May 23, 2012


You should see her when I do powerslides.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Accidental Center Console Release

May 18, 2012


I've got bony elbows. As a result, I find myself regularly opening the Mustang's center console unintentionally. It usually happens when I rest my elbow on the console lid, but I've also bumped the release when shifting from first to second or third to fourth.

The bony protrusion on the bottom of my elbow in combination with the placement of the release are the cuplrits. Happens nearly every time I drive the car. In fact, I quite often leave the lid open to avoid the hassle.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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Past Long-Term Road Tests