2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Review
Pros & Cons
- Supreme grip and handling precision around turns
- Strong, high-revving V8 engine infuses the car with plenty of racecar character
- Rides comfortably despite the focus on performance
- Cramped rear seat, assuming there's one to begin with
- Base Sync system seems out of place and cheap in an otherwise high-end machine
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2017 Ford Shelby GT350's crowning jewel is its flat-plane crank V8. It's completely civil around town, even at low rpm. And on the highway, there isn't much noise -- you won't have to shout to have a conversation. But wind out the V8 in each gear up to redline and you will suddenly understand what all the hype is about. The GT350 pulls hard, and it may even take you some time to get used to how long each gear is with that sky-high redline. The exhaust has multiple modes that can be selected independent of driving modes, and we recommend the Sport (Loud) mode as often as you get the chance.
The previously optional adaptive suspension is now standard, and we're extremely happy about that. It makes daily drives relatively shock-free on rough roads. Yet when you venture out on a road course or your favorite curvy road, the GT350 provides seemingly endless grip and remains flat and composed through all sorts of corners -- long sweepers and tight hairpins alike.
The steering is quick and accurate but there isn't much feel between the driver inputs and the car's reactions. But the suspension runs over bumps and grooves (even midcorner) without the slightest hint of upsetting the handling, enhancing driver confidence. Getting in the GT350 and driving it fast is not a daunting task. This is saying a lot considering the GT350's capabilities. It truly is the best of both worlds. If the flat-plane crank weren't such an excellent engine, the suspension would be the GT350's most impressive feature.
The 2017 Shelby GT350's interior is a lot like the regular Mustang's, which means respectable-quality materials and many of the latest conveniences. It is, however, a bit difficult to come to terms with the fact that you're essentially getting a standard Mustang interior on something that costs twice as much. The basic Sync voice command system (with the 4.2-inch touchscreen) continues to hold appeal for its simple operation of audio and phone functions but it, too, feels a bit below the price point for the GT350 and it can be fussy with commands. With the updated Sync 3 system, you get a much easier interface and quicker responses to touchscreen commands. The easier-to-use icon and menu interface plus smartphone-style pinching and swiping gestures are way friendlier and the clear choice in our opinion.
Standard for the GT350 are Recaro front seats. They provide excellent lateral support for aggressive driving and they're generally acceptable for daily driving. They aren't the most luxurious seats out there, but in this car they definitely make sense. If you want to use your GT350 as a daily driver, the "upgrade" sport seats, with their power adjustments and heating/cooling, will likely be a better choice.
The Mustang's rear seat is cramped, though it's big enough to ferry small children around well enough. Alternately, you could just ditch it all together and go for the two-seat-only GT350R. There are 13.5 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, which is decent for the class, and it helps that the rear seats can be folded down. Compared to the Camaro, the Mustang's trunk opens much wider and it's much easier to maneuver large items inside.