It may be a little puzzling why we would do a review on a car that we know is already on the way out, but we really wanted one last look at the 2009 Ford Mustang. We already know the specs on the 2010 Mustang, so we’re making sure we have the outgoing model fresh on our minds when the new one arrives on our doorstep.
To give this generation of the Mustang a proper sendoff, we made sure we got the specs right. We have a GT model with options including the 4.6-liter 300 hp V8 engine, 45th Anniversary package and glass roof.
The 2010 Mustang already had a dilemma before design even started. If the fifth generation (2005-2009) car was a throwback to the first generation, how could the car be redesigned for the sixth generation? Ford wisely chose to have the sixth generation just an improvement on the fifth generation’s body style.
Our fifth generation Mustang GT is likely a collector’s item. Between the 45th Anniversary package that comes with exterior badging and the all-glass roof, this should be a desirable car in many circles. The optional 18-inch polished aluminum wheels and rear spoiled delete (which made our car look sleeker) may not be rare options, but it does help us appreciate the car today.
The Mustang has always been about being a sports car that could be individualized. When this generation first came out in 2005, there was an optional system called MyColor, which allowed the gauges to be programmed to one of 125 different colors. Now this was upgraded to include a similar system for the cup holder and foot wells.
The interior is where the 2010 Mustang is supposed to get much of its improvement. On the 2010 car there should be more textures, better control integration and room for options such as automatic climate control. But 2010 shouldn’t change many of the things that we already like in the 2009 car. Items like the classic dual-cowl chrome upper dashboard, the grippy large-ball manual shifter, and classic three-spoke chrome steering wheel that are on our car will carry over into 2010.
The Mustang is the reason for the term “pony car”. This is the idea of having a sporty car with everyday livability. Muscle cars like Dodge Challenger SRT8 have an exhaust note that we love, but it could grow tiresome for those who don’t sniff as many fumes as we do. Also the volume may get us in trouble in parking garages. That’s where the pony car comes in. Our Mustang GT was tame and tight in the city, but whenever we wanted to open it up, we just let the revs go a little higher, and the engine came alive with more power and a lower rumble.
The 4.6-liter V8 seems to be an exact fit for this car. The 300 horses are spread evenly throughout the torque curve, and allow for fast, smooth launches of the car. Another big part of this is the five-speed manual transmission. The throws are short and mapping is easy to feel. The car is geared well enough that downshifting one gear is not met with jolting burst of power, but rather a quick, smooth transition.
The ride is exactly how a pure pony car is supposed to behave. There is enough travel in the suspension that potholes aren’t amplified, but the car also feels connected to the road at all times. The three-link coil rear suspension has sometimes taken heat for not being the best in tight turning, but we couldn’t get this pony to break loose, so we didn’t have any real problem.
With a long list of options including the 45th Anniversary package (which included the 18-inch wheels), the glass roof, leather seating, and other ascetics, our car tippet the wallet at about $35K. This is a lot for a Mustang, but we also got a lot. Plus, with the 2010 car on the way, there are probably some good offers on the dealer lots.
It’s time to say goodbye to the fifth generation Mustang. We’re not exactly shedding a tear for our Mustang GT because the new 2010 car will just be an improvement on the 2009 car, and we like this one already.