I wanted to find out for myself: how much has the new Mustang improved over the past 8 years?
I have owned my 2007 Mustang GT for so long now - 8 years actually - that I know this car inside out and I really hate it.
You might be thinking...who owns a Mustang for 8 years??
Honestly, I don't hate the car as much as I'm just sick of driving it. I mean - 8 years is a really long time. Think about it. So much stuff happens in 8 years: you can go through several spouses, jobs, houses, cars, etc. You can even declare bankruptcy and start all over!
So, then, why do I still own it?
The reason I haven't been able to sell the car in all my years of ownership is because I bought the car brand new and could never quite get myself to take the sizable hit in deprecation.
I dug the hole even deeper when I started modifying the car because not only would I not get my money back, I lowered the value of the car as well. No one would appreciate my carefully thought out, strategic modifications to the car designed to make it better!
So, here we are 8 years later. I think I have gotten enough value out of it - I'm tired of it and it is finally time for something different.
After reading all the amazing things about the all new 2015 Mustang, I figured...hmm, could the reborn Mustang sway me to purchase another Mustang after owning one for so long?
I just couldn't make up mind on how I felt about the looks. I thought I liked the styling and overall look initially but somehow the more I looked at it the more awkward the front-end seemed to appear...and the rear-end as well. What do you think?
I kept wandering around the parking lot looking at all the Mustangs lined up next to each other and then after a while they all started to blend together making me think that I was standing in the middle of a rental car lot.
Actually the rental lot is probably already full of these Mustangs already.
And as usual, Ford makes some of the worst-looking factory wheels on high performance cars built today. They are just so ugly. Wheels can make such an enormous difference in the way a car looks and I don't know why Ford hasn't done a better job here.
That being said, I did actually like the wheels on this one.
This one I chose to drove was fully loaded and replete with buttons. There was so much stuff on this thing that it was worth around $45K! That is entirely too much money to pay for a Mustang.
By comparison I paid around $24K (excluding taxes, fees etc.) for my Mustang which was fully loaded with a 6-disc CD changer and leather seats which was was about as much as you could get.
Even after accounting for inflation, $45K pushes the Mustang into Lexus, BMW, Acura territory but I'm not sure that is a good idea. I doubt that the person who just got a job working in the Walmart finance department getting paid 6-figures a year would look at a $43K Mustang and think...hmm, this is the car I want to represent my position in life.
Let's face it - cars are a status symbol. The Mustangs are not status symbols and in that price range people generally buy cars that represent some level of prestige and achievement in life. Perhaps Ford is trying to rebrand itself and turn the Mustang into a status symbol - hey, it might actually work at some point!
Starting the car up
Wait..was I in the V8 version? I could barely hear the engine. Perhaps this was the EcoBoost?
Nope - this was the humongous 5.0L V8 gently idling away under the long hood that was almost inaudible from inside the car. I was so disappointed.
Take a look at this monster.
The growling exhaust is a huge part of the appeal of buying a car like the Mustang in the first place - the fact that you can step on it and immediately become enveloped in the rumbling of the V8.
A simple exhaust modification means that you will be waking up your neighbor every morning when you start your car up but secretly you love it because she annoys the hell out of you because her dog poops on your front yard.
However, my disappointment with the exhaust soon faded as I started driving. I was instantly impressed with how the car handled.
Finally this car can turn!
I'm used to a solid live rear axle so every bump on the road means that I basically bounce around. Handling my car around turns is pitiful: in the rain or icy conditions driving this thing is a nightmare. I don't even want to go into how tricky it was piloting this unruly animal around a track (I spun out a few times).
Thankfully, the independent rear suspension made going over bumps and taking hard turns a much better experience. I imagine driving the new Mustang on the track is a much better experience.
So many electronics
There was a back-up camera, heated seats, dual climate control, phone-syncing, teleportation, invisible force field — the works. Unfortunately the main dash screen had really basic graphics and wasn't very intuitive to use. It seemed like the folks at Ford just didn't put a whole lot effort into making the thing look and feel sophisticated and easy-to-use.
The interior looks much better but the quality of the materials still feel cheap when you start playing with things.
And trust me when I say this: these buttons will mostly definitely break off. Things will start to fall apart in this car, just like it did on mine. When you operate them, you realize that they're nothing more than really flimsy plastic.
And the one thing that I hate on my car is still happening on this one! The hood visibly flutters around at highway speed. They didn't fix it! Did no one at Ford figure this out in a wind tunnel?
Come on people!
So is it a terrible car?
Absolutely not. It's great. The 435 hp 5.0L V8 is immensely quick with 400 lb-ft of torque and the power delivery is incredibly smooth. Unfortunately, I couldn't experience much of it on the wet roads but at least I walked away knowing the capability of this monster.
There are definite improvements but it still felt quite a bit like what I currently drive which is just a much older, tired, worn out and less sophisticated version of the 2015 pony. You could say it's like comparing an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 3 - numerous upgrades and such - but it's essentially the same thing.
I remember what my car felt like when it was brand new and it was quite fantastic. And this one felt very similar. There is not a revolutionary difference in the way the car feels and drives. Sure, the independent rear suspension is great, but it's still a Mustang at the end of the day which is not necessarily a bad thing but it didn't provide me with anything new in terms of a "daily-driving" experience.
You have more buttons and things to play with but that just means there are more things that can break that will cost you money down the road.
There is even a vehicle health report in the car that can be transmitted back to your dealer. After the warranty's over, just ignore that thing. You probably wouldn't want to pay whatever Ford would charge to fix your car that has almost as much technology as a Mercedes.
On the 2015 Mustang you have 4 different suspension options and 3 different steering wheel settings.
All this on a Mustang?? But why?
The kind of fancy stuff that will potentially create a headache for you in a BMW or a Mercedes is now present in a Mustang! The Mustang is now competing in a market where virtually nobody will pay $45K for a Mustang.
I would recommend buying the 2015 Mustang without all the features. One of the benefits of owning a car like the Mustang is that parts are cheap and the car is relatively inexpensive to maintain. The fancy electronics are the first thing to break (I would know, because the most advanced feature on my car which is the power lumbar support broke a couple years ago).
I think the non-loaded GT costs around $32K which is much more reasonable.
The EcoBoost version is still probably about as fast as my V8 Mustang and should be plenty good enough for most folks. Unless you really want a bunch of electronics, avoid them. They are not all that great and will only add to reliability issues if you plan on keeping the car for a while.
The new 2015 Mustang GT is a wonderful car but just don't pay $45K for it! Or better yet, get a much cheaper Mustang that's a few years older and turn it into whatever you want it to be.
Ultimately, that is the biggest benefit of buying Mustang. It is so easily customizable that you can actually be driving one of the fastest cars on the road for not that much money.