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Road Test: 2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Now that’s what a real car is supposed to sound like.”

Yes, son, indeed it is!

It was really hard to disagree with my 7-year-old’s statement when he first heard me fire up the 2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Premium California Special. (Try saying that three times fast!)

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2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

The loud, throaty rumble coming from the quad exhaust pipes is enough to wake the neighbours! Thankfully, Ford offers you a way to silence the mufflers if you like your neighbours – but I did not use than option, so think of me what you will!

As tested, the Mustang has a price tag $63,440, which includes $2,500 for the California Special package, $2,200 for a suite of features like adaptive cruise control and the Ford Safe & Smart package, $1,000 for a 12-speaker sound system and another grand for active valve performance exhaust, which might help explain that aforementioned roar.

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Powertrain: Part of the Mustang’s allure for generations of car enthusiasts has been the sport car’s power.

To that end, the Ford Mustang GT does not disappoint.

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2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Under the hood is a 5.0-litre V8 engine with an output of 460 horsepower and 420 ft-lb of torque. And it is paired to a very smooth six-speed manual gearbox that really lets you get the most out of the engine, and have a lot of fun doing so.

While Ford also offers an EcoBoost engine on the Mustang, to truly appreciate this vehicle, the larger V8 is really what would-be owners should gravitate toward in my view.

Of course, you will pay a higher price up front and a lot more on your gas bill, but can you put a price on happiness?

The Mustang GT has an estimated combined fuel economy of 13.4 litres per 100 kilometres, quite higher than the EcoBoost engine. And my real-world figure was quite a bit higher than the estimate, with a 15.6 L/100 km average.

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2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Exterior: The Mustang is an instantly recognizable design, from the front grille to the three-section taillights.

A simple modification on the GT’s front grille – moving the Mustang logo off centre, seemingly gives the vehicle a more menacing appearance.

As part of the California Special package, the Mustang GT gets some nice additions including special badging, 19-inch machined-faced aluminum wheels with ebony black painted pocket and a pedestal rear spoiler. It also adds a subtle side body stripe in black and side scoops that really pull the look together on our tester, with its bright white exterior and black cloth roof.

Speaking of the roof, the mechanism to close it is smooth and quick, but does require some a manual unlatching from the driver before being dropped.

Whether up or down, the Mustang looks great.

 Interior: The cabin of the Mustang is not overly large, but it is a nice space overall.

The materials are excellent, including supportive leather seats that are heated and cooled on our GT tester.

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2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

The shifter for the manual gearbox is short and slips easily into the palm of your hand for smooth gear changes.

The California Package also includes some unique interior features, such as a “Carbon Hex” aluminum instrument panel, Miko Suede door and seat inserts with red contrast stitching, including the GT/CS logo embossed on the seats.

The centre stack has three banks of controls – for infotainment, climate control and drive settings – which are all neatly organized and easy to operate.

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2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

The Mustang also gives things an air of luxury at night thanks to ambient lighting, the colour of which can be selected by the driver. I also really liked the Mustang logo splashed by lights on the ground as you approach the vehicle.

The two-door Mustang seats up to four, but the back seat is a tight squeeze, even for a kid. Taking the top down makes it much less claustrophobic back there, and eases getting back there, too.

Infotainment: Perhaps where the Mustang leaves you wanting more is in terms of the infotainment system.

It’s not that it is a bad system, it just feels a bit outdated when compared to other systems I have tested recently.

The Sync3 system features everything you could want, such as satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, navigation and more.

But the interface is what feels like it could use some updating.

The GT does deliver some sweet tunes, though, thanks to the upgraded Bang & Olufsen 12-speakers system, which includes a subwoofer in the trunk.

Drive: Is it possible to not have fun driving the Mustang GT?

Perhaps, but I never experience anything but pleasure behind the wheel.

That was likely helped because it had been so long since I had driven a vehicle with a manual gearbox, which is still the best way to truly feel connected to a vehicle in my opinion.

The ride and handling of the Mustang is on point, helped in 2021 by an independent rear suspension, resulting in a comfortable and controlled ride.

Steering response is crisp, further enhancing the positive driving experience.

The one drawback, with any convertible really, is that the cabin can be a noisy place to be. This is only made worse (or better?) by the Mustang’s exhaust note, and dropping the top makes having a conversation with the back seat passengers nearly impossible while driving.

 Conclusion: I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with the Mustang GT Convertible. It’s fun to drive, makes a definite statement and has the muscle to back up the name’s long-standing reputation. Just don’t wake the neighbours.

2021 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Premium
Price as tested: $63,440.00
Freight: $1,800.00
Configuration: Front engine/Rear-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 5.0-litre V8/ 6-speed manual
Power/torque: 460 horsepower/ 420 ft-lb of torque
Fuel (capacity): Premium (60 L)
Combined fuel economy rating (L/100 km): 13.4 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 15.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Kia Stinger

Links: Ford Canada

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