2015 Ford Mustang GT: Sizing It Up
May 26, 2015
Well, it's been a while since my last long-term post, and before last night, I had only driven a 2015 Ford Mustang GT once, at a manufacturer-sponsored event on the big track at Willow Springs. After a few medium-hot laps, I recall walking away as impressed as Mr. Edmunds by its capabilities.
But even on a wide-open track, I thought the new Mustang seemed awfully large.
The previous-generation Mustang, you'll recall, was by all accounts a nimbler, more manageable alternative to the rival Camaro and Challenger. I distinctly remember driving the refreshed 2013 Mustang on Ford's launch event in Portland, Ore., and thinking that it felt just right from behind the wheel. As we observed in 2014, the Mustang was "the tidiest and lightest on its feet" of the three muscle cars, and that made it a satisfying choice for daily driving and spirited performance runs alike.
But when I drove the 2015 'Stang at Big Willow, the word "tidy" never occurred to me, and I definitely wasn't thinking "light on its feet." Instead, I found myself peering over the enormous hood from the bunker-like driving position and wondering why Ford hadn't just left well enough alone.
On my way home last night, those initial impressions were confirmed. As I did the first-second-neutral shuffle through rush-hour traffic, every lane on Olympic Boulevard seemed about three feet too narrow. To be fair, that bulbous hood makes it relatively easy to locate the nose of the car, which is a rare treat these days. But the thing felt huge, no two ways about it. Hopping into my wife’s 2013 GTI four-door for a late-night errand, I felt like I had shed my fatsuit and could move around normally again.
Enough about my feelings, though; let's get objective. You know what? Turns out the 2015 Mustang coupe is actually 0.2 inches shorter from nose to tail than its predecessor, and only 1.5 inches wider. Oh, and it lost 1.4 inches in the height department, too. So that sense of added bulk is just an illusion. The Mustang has been about the same size since the previous generation debuted back in 2005.
Still, that doesn't change the car's character on the road. I bet most people who've driven the current Mustang have come away thinking, Dang, that thing's pretty big. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and for the record, the car totally won me over on an extended drive this morning. A stupendously smooth 435-horsepower V8 and a stubby manual shifter will do that to a man. I just wish it drove a little smaller.
You know, like it used to.
Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor @ 6,551 miles