2016 Ford Mustang Convertible

2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

The heater and heated seats create a tantalizing contrast with the crisp, fall air buffeting your brow and a panorama of gold, red and amber fills your peripheral vision…

Is there a better time than autumn to drive a convertible?

By rights, the 2016 Ford Mustang GT turned up too late for such hedonism. The first opening straddled Halloween, which usually means weather that’s far too spooky for top-down driving.

Yet the winds of fate, and fall, blow in mysterious ways around these parts, giving way to an abnormal stretch of Indian summer and filling the end of my week with topless wonder.

There’s no better way to experience the Mustang GT than without a roof muffling that glorious exhaust note. Few carmakers whose names don’t end in a vowel make an exhaust note quite as satisfying.

Mustang remains one of the longest-lasting nameplates to remain in continuous production on the market, and with all due respect to those who love their Fox-body versions or the original rebodied Fairlane, Ford’s finally got it right. (I’m guessing nobody loved the Pinto-esque version…)

The move to an independent rear suspension transforms the car from a straight-line bruiser to one that can also rock the twisties, and for a sports car, why would you not want an independent rear suspension? It’s not as though it’s a pickup, where you need that solid axle and leaf spring suspension to maximize payload and towing.

The interior of this generation of Mustang is excellent: visually interesting, with a functionality that’s not lost in touchscreen purgatory. The right number of controls are brought out to actual, physical controls, and those that are within the touchscreen are, generally, ones you use at a stop anyway.

The bowl-shaped steering wheel is a blend of modern and retro. It has all the steering-wheel controls you’d expect, but the way the hub of the wheel is recessed from the rim gives it a hint of 1964.

Cargo space is an issue. My bow case had to ride in the rear seat as it just wouldn’t fit in the trunk. A bit more sculpting of the trunk’s interior space would buy a bit more room. It was too late in the season to try golf clubs, and while one set might fit, your playing partner’s might have to ride in the back seat.

That being said, if you need trunk space to fit that overnight trip for you and your spouse, there’s more than enough room for that.

Power from the 5.0-litre V-8 is intoxicating. You’ll rarely be able to resist putting your foot into it, and when you do, you’ll find the Mustang also has its best manual transmission yet, with crisp, short throws that almost find their own way into the next gear. Pedals are placed perfectly for heel-and-toe downshifts, as well. Your mileage may vary, but to me, for able-bodied drivers, anything but a manual for this car is heresy.

For most drivers, if the 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque of the V-8 aren’t enough, you’re just not trying. Sure, there are some drivers with the skill and desire to step up to the Shelby GT350, but that’s primarily a dedicated track vehicle. The GT is more than enough for daily driving.

There are toys to play with, too, including an acceleration timer, a track mode that turns off stability control and launch control, which will hold a set engine speed and let you dump the clutch knowing the car will figure it all out. Launch control requires some stability control to operate, but will allow some wheelspin.

After my week driving it, I found myself thinking, “Yeah, I want one.” That’s more so than any previous-generation Mustang I ever drove, which says a lot.

2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
Price (before taxes): $51,198.00
Configuration: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine/Transmission: 5.0-litre 8 cyl turbo/6-speed manual
Power/Torque: 435 hp/400 lb-ft
Fuel capacity: Premium (61)
Fuel economy city/highway/combined: 13.0
Competition: BMW 2 Series Cabriolet, Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible

Related links:
Ford Canada

Translate »