2015 Ford Mustang GT: V8 Makes You Forget Stiff Ride, Touchy Brakes
April 20, 2015
Somehow our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT had 5,000 miles on the odometer before I ever even sat in it. How is that possible? Popular car, apparently. Now I can see why. It's big-time fun.
Although it's a hoot to drive, the Mustang involves a bit of a learning curve, at least if you care about driving it smoothly. Most of it's related to the GT Performance package, but don't think for a second we shouldn't have ordered that option.
The first thing you notice is the Mustang's short 3.73 gearing. Almost as soon as you let the clutch out in first gear, the car seems wound out. It can make for some abrupt moments if you're not paying attention, especially if you give it lots of throttle leaving the line. Unless I'm actually looking for big acceleration, what works best for me is to go easy on the gas in first, then get into second gear quickly. With all of that available torque, second gear works well, even at near-crawling speeds in traffic.
The upgraded Brembo brakes that come with the Performance package can also catch you off guard at first. They're powerful and can be touchy, especially in low-speed driving. I've driven touchier, but once you spend some time in the car your right foot learns how grabby they can be. You definitely appreciate them for back-road charging or track days.
The ride is stiff, but never feels over-the-top harsh. It's nothing that would keep me from buying and living with the car. But that may be largely because the Mustang GT's fantastic 5.0-liter V8 is such a sweet piece. Not only does it have good torque down low, but it eagerly winds up to its 7,000-rpm rev limiter, gaining speed with ease while ratcheting up the soundtrack. I never once tire of getting on the throttle and ripping through the gears.
As others have mentioned, I also wouldn't mind if it had a louder exhaust system. But the noises coming from the engine bay are spot-on, a pretty good definition of a "throbbing V8." Driving this point home, two separate guys at the car wash commented how nice they thought the car sounded.
If the main point of this car is to make every drive fun, to make it so you look for excuses to go out and run errands just to drive it, then mission accomplished. I know I'm looking forward to the next time I can get behind the wheel.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 5,200 miles