'06 Mustang GT first impressions

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Well, I've had my GT for over two weeks and slightly over 1000 miles, and I've figured I've had enough seat time to make some observations.

Interior - I'll get to the point - this car is no Honda/Lexus/Aston Martin, etc. If you're a dash molester, you'll probably be disappointed. There's quite a bit of hard plastic surrounding the interior of the car. But it's not too bad, and the guys at Flat Rock did a good job putting it together. The cloth seats (IMO) look pretty good (yes, even the pony print) and give good comfort and support, and have a good range of a adjustment. Steering wheel looks/feels good, but IMO it could be a tad smaller, and I wish it could telescope as well as have up/down adjust. The shifter is shaped well, and the aluminum on the knob is a nice touch; the throws are fairly short, but the shift feel itself can feel a bit notchty/clunky at times (and be mindful of where your pinky is when you shift into fifth, unless you want to have it crushed in between the shifter and console :cussing: ). Pedal layout is good. Drive-by-wire throttle feels a bit different than the old-fashioned cable-actuated throttle, but not that much. Brake pedal feel is good, but the clutch pedal effort IMO is way too light, and not really progressive; feels too 'all the way in/out' to me. Other than the view over the hood, overall visibility is excellent; no real blind spots to worry about. Trunk space is big enough for groceries, and will hold a Mossberg 590 and AK-47 in their respective soft cases, along with several pistols and ammunition/targets, etc. without a problem. Not going to address rear seat comfort/room, as I won't be sitting back there.

Dash layout is pretty well laid out; the aluminium trim included with the interior upgrade package makes it look a lot more classy than the standard dash trim. The instrument panel and 60's style gauges take a little bit of getting used to, but get intuitive pretty quick. The message center is pretty nifty and handy, and will display your average speed, MPG, fuel efficiency, trip time/distance, and can be used to perform a quick basic diagnostic. The MyColor feature is a neat gimmick, and the gauges really stand out in blue or red, and they're great for making drivers sitting in the next lane at a stoplight go WTF when you decide to change gauge colors, but in the end, it's still a gimmick. The glovebox is big enough to hold a full-size automatic pistol, but that's about it, and it's unlighted (yet my Z28 had such a feature 10 years ago...). HVAC/Radio controls aren't anything special, but they're laid out well enough. I'm not much of a car audio enthusiast, but the stock 160-watt stereo does a good enough job of keeping my ears happy (especially after two months of driving a car with no radio at all! :cussing: ).

Drivetrain: It's incredible that this engine can trace it's origins back to the early 1990's Town Car. Around town, this engine has pretty good low-end torque, not as much as my '95 Z28's LT1, but not gutless at all. It's at around 3000rpm is where it really shines, and pulls HARD. And the sound it makes while doing so is awesome. My only real complaint about the exhaust that it's a bit too quiet while cruising and decelerating, and IMO way too quiet at idle. Gas mileage has been see-sawing between outstanding and horrible. My lowest MPG average has been as low as 14.3 in all city, but today I got a surprisingly good 18.9 in all city driving. My best mileage was 32.9 at 50 mph in 5th. On highways at 80-85mph my average was about 21-22mpg. Overall, in mixed driving, I'm getting about 17-18 mpg. Another bonus is that it makes its 300hp/320lb/ft of torque on 87 octane gas.

Ride/Handling: As far as ride goes, it feels just about what it should be IMO, as in it doesn't isolate you from the road like an old Buick, but it doesn't beat the crap out of you either, and feels (and is) much more solid over bumps and rough roads than my Z28 ever was or the SN95 Mustangs I've driven. As far as handling goes, it can easily handle most spots like mall parking lots without a problem, and at medium/high speeds feels pretty nimble and sure-footed for the most part, but the steering itself feels a bit on the light side. Brakes seem well up to the task for city/highway driving. The Pirelli P-Zero Neros seem to be good tires, with quite a bit of grip and not much road noise (they look a bit on the skinny side, though, IMO).

Exterior: Truth be told, when the '05s came out, the styling to me was take-it-or-leave it, but I was surprised that Ford released it while remaining true to the '05 concept for the most part. As time went by, and when I got the chance to look at them close up and drive them, I was definitely hooked on the styling. I've even warmed up to the foglamps a bit, though if there were a delete option, I'd have 'em gone. Overall, IMO, Ford executed the exterior very well, though there are some things I felt they could have done better (and which I will remedy myself in due time :)). I thought the spoiler looked completely wrong with the retro theme of the Mustang (fortunately I managed to fix that when I ordered mine :)). Also, IMO, the side mirrors look out of place with the rest of the car, and paraphrasing what a MT subsciber thought of them, they look more at home on a Ranger than a Mustang. Furthermore, while it doesn't have the appearance akin to that of a 4x4 as far as ride height is concerned, IMO it could stand to be about 1/2"-1" lower. Also, as stated before, the tires look a bit too skinny for this car. But again, this is all stuff that's fixable without much problem, so I'm not losing any sleep over it.

Well, that's about it. Hope this helps for those interested in a '05/6 Mustang.

posted by  dontmatr

Thank you. This is one of the cars I will be looking at in a few years. Good to know from someone who spends a great deal of time with one. :)

posted by  hondaman

Wow I'm mean WOW! That's a nice report of Mustang GT. Its good to hear from an owner about all the good and bad of the car. You have a nice car there. :thumbs:

posted by  Sgt. Pepper

Nice, my neighbor just got one of those (in the 06 color - he paid extra to get the 06 color its like blue metallic, but deeper than the 05 - it looks pretty sweet!) - it seems really really nice. . . I wish I could afford one. He drove around a corolla POS for like 2 years before he bought that so hes more experienced now and experience is needed because they are pretty damn fast!

Also, please tell me you drive it at least moderately fast?? Its kind of annoying when you see grannies driving a mustang gt slow. . . defeats the purpose of buying a GT!

posted by  Shift4

Its nice to see a mustang owner that’s honest about the bad sides of the car... most mustang owner (in my experience) are jack asses who think their car is the best in the world, and that because they have it they are better then you...

GOOD post.

Personally I dont like the body styling... but thats just me.

posted by  TheFieroKid

Unlike, say, Fiero owners... :wink2:

This is the first new Mustang that I've wanted to buy since '70...

posted by  ChrisV

I can't agree more, I loved the Mustang I, hated the Mustang II, didnt care for the Foxbody or the SN95. Now this new body style and power, it's back to something that's hard to hate. The one thing I wish they would of went through with, but didnt (i know this upsets a lot of Mustang fans, but idont care), which is going with an IRS setup. To me that would have really completed the whole package.

posted by  thunderbird1100

You can buy an IRS setup from Maximum Motorsports specifically designed for this car.

But paradoxically, for the venues that people want an IRS for, IRS isn't that important: the smooth tracks of autocross and road racing. And as has been proven, the redisigned live axle setup in the '05-06 Mustang is lighter and workes better on real roads than the last IRS setup that the Cobra's had (and in fact, is less nervous at the limt than even teh Corvette's IRS...)

I like the other Mustangs, too, from the Mustang II through the Fox and SN95s. But I never wanted to buy one new. I still wouldn't mind building up a Mustang II as a performance car for cheap...

posted by  ChrisV

You should look into a job at (insert magazine name here) :hi:

Very nice report, and wow those are some good results :thumbs:

posted by  chris_knows

That’s not true... most Fiero owners drive I4s which suck and are slow.

Now us V8 guys... ya we can be cocky but no more then the trans am guys or the mustang guys... but hay that’s just part of the gig.

posted by  TheFieroKid

Interesting report.

posted by  The_Wheelman

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