The Mustang, one of the symbols of America. Rear-wheel drive, a huge 5.0L V8 up front, and it even has a drag strip mode – it rumbled its way last year at the Manila International Auto Show. The pony car also lets you do hectic burnouts with its line-lock feature, and it has advanced traction control for when things get awry.
This is our review of the 2019 Ford Mustang in Orange Fury. Reminiscent of Cheetos, OJ, and, well, AutoDeal’s colors, this car is a loud and proud example of the thoroughbred in Ford’s stable anywhere in the world, including the Philippines.
Ford hit the nail on the head with this refresh. The headlights just look right. Sleeker and more polished, it really lends itself well to the overall design. You get an LED projector that is supplemented by the iconic three LED bars that make the Mustang a distinct household name even among non-enthusiasts.
The rear is perhaps one of my favorite parts of the car. Again, we have the iconic three bars of light that also double as turn indicators. The clusters are nestled nicely into a piano black panel that contrasts and brings a lot of attention to the tri-bar LED cluster. Your reverse light is located at the bottom, towards the center of the rear diffuser. This cluster is also home to the rear foglight which integrates symmetrically with the entire design.
It’s bold, it's brutish, and it screams power. The design is indeed an evolution from older Mustangs, but this facelift is a nice step up from the model prior. The headlights are slimmer and the front looks more focused than before. It’s a design that I can see myself loving for years to come. To top it all off, there are no Ford badges anywhere on the car. You do get the odd Ford logo here and there, but no Blue Ovals can be found; a nice minimalist touch. All you get is a horse up front, a 5.0 badge on the side, and the ever-important GT logo on the trunk lid. We say “ever-important” because a GT at the back means that you have the Coyote V8, an engine fitting the aggressive and buff exterior of this car. To add, this Orange Fury color, which is new for the refreshed model, is a stunner and stands out in a sea of bland-looking cars. If bright colors weren’t your thing in the past, maybe this one will change your mind.
Just because it has a GT badge, doesn’t mean it is a grand tourer. It does, however, have the elements that bring it closer to the category of cars. Stepping inside makes you feel special. The steering wheel is exclusive to the nameplate, and most if not all of the panels are made specifically for Ford’s stallion.
The seats are clad in leather, as are all the touchpoints that you may encounter. No corners have been cut when it came to the armrests and door cards. All of the leather is padded and thick which makes this cockpit plush. The seats themselves are supportive and comfortable. The power height, tilt, and lumbar adjustment is also a huge plus, except for the manual recline which is understandable given the quick access lever behind the backrest.
On the saddle, you are greeted with a gauge cluster that is a foot long, and all digital which allows several options with regard to layout. The cluster is also incredibly clear and high resolution. The needles also move fluidly with whatever is happening to the car. Some digital displays actually have some lag, but this one’s minimal. You also get to change your interior lighting. In this case, we opted to have the color match the exterior.
Fit and finish is an important part of the interior for me, and the Mustang delivers for the most part. Switches actuate without wobble, and the most impressive part is the shifter. It feels solid and sure-footed like you’re loading a magazine into a well-made handgun, but we wish that the “PRNDS” would have a backlight. Changing drive modes is more special since your gauge cluster also changes depending on your selection between Normal, Wet/Snow, Sport+, Drag, and Track mode.
Back seats? It’s got them. We believe that this area is reserved for items or your least favorite friend as there are no toys to play with at the back. You do get a leg up on other coupes with regards to the trunk space. It may have a smaller than average opening, but it is cavernous, even with the subwoofer at the back.
Ford has entered into some sort of renaissance lately. You now have the ability to pair your smartphone with the eight-inch Sync 3 system and engage Apple CarPlay or Android Auto depending on your OS of choice. Your audio files are coursed through a 12-speaker system from Bang and Olufsen, a marked improvement from the generation prior. Thanks to the subwoofer, you get a deep low end, but the other speakers compensate.
Your headlights and wipers are also automatic, which means you can just set it and forget it. The basics are covered because there are parking sensors coupled with a backup camera. The Mustang still has a keyless entry system, but this is now paired with a much larger fob compared to before. The size of this item is what gets me, the part is shared with other Ford vehicles, but it’s a bit too unwieldy, and noticeable in the pocket, though it’s fine because you’d be able to feel for your key. That’s not a problem, I guess.
When it comes to driving a 460-hp car like the Mustang, one should be concerned with how Ford pins those horses down. Luckily, we have the driver assists to aid in safety, paired with the advanced traction control and stability control systems. These include adaptive cruise control, active braking, lane keep assist, and a pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection. Also of help is the Wet/Snow setting in the drive mode selection. This mode makes the car shift up as soon as possible and makes engine response dulled so as to prevent the wheels from spinning uncontrollably. It keeps the revolutions per minute low in order to keep the car out of its optimal power band.
You can also expect full coverage in the interior with regards to airbags. A total of seven bags cover the front, sides, knees of the occupants in the event of a crash. An anti-lock brake system is in place as well as electronic brakeforce distribution. The car also comes with a tire pressure monitoring system, perimeter alarm, an anti-theft system, as well as ISOFIX tethers for child seats.
Driving and Handling
With a big V8 up front producing 460 hp and 420 Nm of torque, the Mustang definitely is enough to excite. Rewind a few decades and you may discover that 400 horsepower was only available in high-performance exotics and supercars. Now, you can find over 400 horses underneath the hood of a Ford.
At first, the power was exhilarating. The second time around, it still was as exciting as the first. The 10-speed automatic gearbox that Ford had placed is night and day compared to the previous generation’s box. Upshifts and downshifts are lightning quick. The transmission is smart if you’re not a fan of using paddles, just place the gear lever in the “S” position and let the computer sort out the downshifting and upshifting on its own.
The Magneride suspension is stiff when it needs to be. Switching between modes will also change how the shock absorbers behave over bumps. On top of that, you get a six-piston Brembo brake kit upfront paired with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, which make braking a cinch, even if the car is heavy. Handling was better than expected, thanks to Ford’s independent front and rear suspension setup. Because of the weight, I found myself being more cautious, especially on mountain roads. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of this car, as it seems quite tail-happy. Like a horse bucking about, this Mustang likes to do the same, though just a little thanks to the advanced traction and stability control. After getting used to the car all the technologies and improvements started to make sense, and I trusted it more and more as the corners passed. I was still careful driving within my limits, but I wasn’t scared to push the car ever so slightly.
I have no complaints whatsoever and am pleased with the performance of the 5.0L. What threw me over the moon was Ford’s inclusion of an active valve performance exhaust system. There are multiple modes that you can select from. To me, it’s either you leave it in quiet, or “why the hell not,” as stated by Caco in his review of the Convertible GT variant. The sound is something that you have to experience on your own. In a phrase, though, it sounds like freedom.
Well think about it, you have a V8 chugging every drop of fuel it can upfront, a heavy body, and a driver who likes to go fast and likes the sound of the engine – i.e. me. Fuel economy is not like your typical economy car, it definitely is not, but it’s not far off from those figures. On spirited drives, I was able to average 3 to 4 kilometers per liter. Bad, but worth it.
On more sedate drives you can expect that figure to rise and expect 4 - 5 km/L. Here’s a tip, if you are absolutely low on fuel or need to make one tank of gas last in the city, you can put it in Wet/Snow mode to keep your RPMs low and save as much fuel as you can. There is no eco mode here, so this is the best you can do.
On the highway, however, the pony gallops its way to 12 km/L or higher. Not bad, all things considered.
I used to think muscle cars were only good in a straight line. Gone are the days of live axle rear suspensions and archaic driver-assist features. Muscle cars aren’t a dying breed, and this unit is an indication of just how far performance cars have come. All the technologies that Ford has implemented here justify the price increase from the previous model that it replaces.
This is a weekend car, no doubt. I cannot imagine having to pay for the fuel for this car day in and day out. If I were to own one, I’d probably take it from Friday to Sunday. In a garage, the Mustang can either stand out if its the centerpiece or hold its own in a garage filled with other high performance or luxury cars. It makes for a great second car, or even your third, fourth, or fifth.
I’d happily take this car out once again, and I’d be happy to recommend it to people who are looking for such a car. I do understand that there is a stigma revolving around pony cars because it seems a tad brutish and loud. It’s refined but not that classy or elegant. It’s a niche product, but I believe that this iteration has swayed me enough to want one, even if I’m most fond of Japanese and European cars.
CREDIT: We’d like to thank @spicy_ph for letting us review this brand-new Mustang GT.