Road Test: 2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Ahhh, the Ford Mustang. When it comes to all-time classic fun-to-drive cars, you could do a heck of a lot worse. The looks, the power, the prestige and history, the Silver Screen car chases; it never gets old.

Except, it does and now there’s a new one coming. This isn’t one of those, but with ’22 being close to the end of the line for the Mustang as we know it, we thought it’d be a good time to take one out and see just how much life it has left.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Exterior: When it comes to styling, the Mustang starts at as a great mix of retro and modern, and especially in my tester’s eye-catching (or should that be “eye-grabbing”?) Grabber Blue hue, it’s got a proper muscle car vibe going on. The “eagle eye” headlamps – added for the 2018 model year – are a perfect fit for the Mustang ethos. I do have to say, however, that the 19” wheels do look a little pedestrian here. I think I would have likes something bigger (20s are an option), perhaps finished in something other than the rental-spec nickel-plated aluminum seen here.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Interior: Inside, meanwhile, you’ve got all the telltale Mustang stuff like deeply recessed gauges – which are actually on a singe digital display that can be modified to look like a classic two-gauge set-up, or a modern affair that has the tach wrapping around half of the instrument cluster – gauge roundels atop the centre stack, proper mechanical handbrake and three-spoke steering wheel. There’s also quite a helping of plastic, but that is kind of all part of the muscle car ethos and doesn’t bother me all that much.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

What has my nose a little more out of joint is actually what’s been done to move away from the classic and into the modern; there are far too many buttons attached to the wheel – for your cruise, your Mustang-specific drive settings, your audio controls, your navigation buttons – that takes away from that great classic three-spoke look. Not to mention that the one button you’d think you’d want on the wheel – that for the steering wheel heater – isn’t there, but accessed via the central infotainment display, even though the seat heaters get traditional “hard” buttons.

I do love the seats, though; they look nice and low-profile but are still well-cushioned and supportive in all the right places. They sit more comfortable than they look, that’s for sure although the rear seats remain fairly vestigial, even if they do have child seat anchors.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

I’m also a fan of Ford’s SYNC infotainment system; the Mustang doesn’t get the newest version of the tech – few models in the line-up do for now – but its SYNC3 system remains intuitive, with nicely-positioned buttons and menus. There’s also support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Any audio you play through said systems runs through a 12-speaker B&O sound system on my tester; that’s a $1,000 up-charge but it does provide crisp, clear sound and even though I love the sound of a V8 as much as the next muscle car person, I don’t say no to good audio, even at the $1,000 level seen here.

The way the semi-power folding soft top works is also a nice mix of the old and new; you start the process by cranking on a nice, chunky-feeling release lever and then the electric motors do the rest, with the whole affair taking about 15 seconds to complete. The only thing is that having to reach up to tuck away the release lever as the roof is deploying can be a bit awkward.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

You’ll probably want to spend most of your time with the top down, though – it is a convertible, after all and if you’re not going to be dropping the top, what’s the point, really? Even if the Mustang looks much better with its top in place than the Camaro does, although that’s not saying all that much.

With top-down motoring, you get the great wind in your hair, sun on your scalp (sunscreen. Don’t forget the sunscreen) and better still you really get to hear the yowl of that great Coyote V8 just ahead of you. Even though the auto doesn’t rev as freely as the manual does, there’s still plenty of burble and pop from the powertrain to keep you and your ears happy. Though you can adjust the exhaust note two four levels, if you don’t want to wake the neighbours.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Powertrain: My tester came equipped with a the six-speed manual option, and it is really rather good. As many times as I’ve driven the Mustangs and in as many levels of spec, I’m always surprised just how much this ‘box feels like something from a smaller sports car like a MX-5 or Boxster. It’s snickety-snick good, the throw is right on and clutch take-up, while just a titch on the long side, is easily controlled.

Acceleration is very brisk; that’s 450 horsepower and 410 pound-feet at your disposal and of course there’s no forced induction here so power gets sent to the rear wheels with little hesitation and the meaty Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber gets the power to the road in a confidence-inspiring way. Then, said rubber does well to help keep things copasetic as you wind this ‘Stang through the twisties, even if the steering could be a little more responsive. That’s an issue not really helped by the added weight the convertible has over the fastback coupe, which amounts to just over 80 kilograms. Of course, if you are beheading your Mustang and opting for the auto transmission, chances are you aren’t going to be too too bothered if you aren’t setting the top lap time at Laguna Seca Raceway.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Drive: Indeed, you’ll likely be more concerned that you have a comfortable ride and enough power to perform the everyday tasks every vehicle needs to do well. With the Mustang, the good news is that in addition to those seats, the ride does well to meter out most bumps and the chassis doesn’t feel quite as squishy as convertibles sometimes do. The addition of the $2,500 MagneRide adaptive dampers on my tester is a huge help in this regard, both in terms of reducing the bumps and bangs, but also keeping the ‘Stang tracking true through bends. Add the ultra-responsive and grippy Brembo brakes and what you have here is a proper performance drop-top.

Conclusion: Here’s the thing, though. I say, “performance drop top”, but I do wonder if that’s really what one would be opting for when it comes to the Mustang Convertible. Convertibles as a rule are about the quality of life they provide, the thrill of the wind through your hair and all that. Which you get without having to add all those performance bits – the 3.73 rear axle, the MagneRide, spoiler delete, more – my tester’s Performance Pack provides. There’s a Mustang coupe for that, and it’s less expensive. Drop the top, keep the V8, keep that noisy exhaust and keep the colour but save yourself almost 10 grand by skipping the performance package and dampers. Now we’re talkin’.

2022 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Price as tested: $72,640.00
Freight: $2,095.00
Configuration: Front engine, RWD
Engine: 5.0L V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Power: 450 horsepower/410 lb-ft of torque
Fuel: Regular
Combined fuel economy ratings: 13.4 L/100 km
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 km (basic), 5 years/100,000 km (powertrain)
Competition: BMW 4 Series Cabriolet, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

Link: Ford Canada

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