2015 Ford Mustang GT: First Impressions
January 27, 2015
The 2015 Ford Mustang GT redesign and overhaul generated so much scrutiny, attention and expectation that now that it's here, it's a bit of a hangover. It's here, it's rad and they didn't botch it. That may be faint praise, but in large-scale manufacturing of a successful product, I'd call that a win.
Our last 5.0-liter GT was a pretty special car. It nailed a combination of legacy, modern power and affordability that few cars can claim. After a few days in our new long-termer, I'd say it still does, with some evolution on all counts.
We will write much about the Recaro seats, probably until you become nauseated with reading about them. I wish we'd skipped them and saved the $1,600. First time behind the wheel and I'm struggling to get comfortable. I can't find a good position. Short legs require me to slide the seat far forward to reach the pedals. But now I'm on top of the steering column and need to push the wheel into the engine compartment so it doesn't restrict my breathing.
We paid 45 grand for this car and we've got three-way adjustable seats. If we were doing track days three times a month, OK, maybe it's an acceptable compromise. Maybe that's the answer. The three monthly track days, I mean.
I find a position that works, but still too close and upright, and move out on to the freeway. Cabin's quiet. Ride's a little stiff, but we did get the GT Performance package with the 19s and stiffer calibration. Nothing to complain about there. I try not to listen to music or the radio my first time in a car, at least not right away. And I don't listen to it during the rest of the hour-long drive home, nor any other time I'm in the car. This will pass, but the GT is also that kind of car. It really is its own soundtrack.
That said, a little quiet time reveals a palpable buzz coming from the left-most climate vent. It goes away when you hold it or apply pressure to the dash just above it. Let go and it reveals itself a short time later. Reminds me of the vent buzz we had when the Stingray was brand new.
I fit fine between the Recaro bolsters, but they seem excessive. Why do they keep poking my elbow on upshifts? And why is there a hard plastic patch just behind the seat fabric, directly at the back of my skull. Ugh. These seats suck.
In between grumbling about the seats, I look around the cabin and wonder if it's possible that the Mustang has...matured? Fifty years later, is it all grown up? It's clearly not soft and does the business when asked. But it also feels more subdued than I remember. My colleague Kurt Niebuhr assures me I'm not imagining things. Our last GT felt a little more raw and unrestrained in his hands as well.
On the flip side, a little sophistication never hurt anyone. The 2015 is quieter, the power delivery smoother. The instrument panel and switchgear don't appear borrowed from the Fusion and F-150 parts locker. You still want to hear more motor, and a case will be made for aftermarket pipes at some point, but what you do hear is still a pleasant, hushed growl with a breathy little two-part harmony of intake whoosh.
Even the color has grown on me. I tend to favor dark, boring colors that blend in easily and have learned from experience that a loud paint job is not a trifling decision. You're reminded of it often. But this Competition Orange is just right, I think. It's not a vibrating, electric orange, it's more muted. It's still...orange, but I think it looks sharp waiting at the gas pump or idling in a drive-through among the rest of the standard automotive color palette. I think it'll wear well throughout a year in our fleet.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor