He said/She said: 2010 Ford Mustang

She ? The Mustang has been one of those feast or famine cars for us.? It had been nearly two years since we have driven one, and now we get two within a month.? First, it was the V-6 coupe and then a GT convertible.

It is hard to believe 45 years have gone by since the originals started flooding the streets.? I still remember my metallic blue1965 Mustang convertible with the white top.? It even had the rare console and Rally-Pac options.? It would be nice to have that car again, as a collector car, but I think I?d be sorely disappointed on how it drives, compared to the 2010 models we drove recently.

He ? There has certainly been a renaissance of muscle cars the last few years, with the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro both being resurected after a several year hiatus. Over the last year, we have driven all three and each is far superior and so much more sophisticated than any model before.

The Ford Mustang holds the distinction of not only being the original ?pony car? but also the only one that has survived in continuous production through the current 2010 model.

She ? Peter Horbury, who was the executive director of Design for Ford at the time the new Mustang was created, said, ?We understand Mustang?s heritage and iconic status it has in the world and as a symbol of Americana.? We wanted to create a face that is more muscular but unquestionably, unequivocally Mustang and carry that spirit through to the entire car.?? Except for the fastback roofline, every piece of exterior sheet metal is brand new, but it?s still very much a Mustang.

Designers have concentrated on using new top quality materials and an extremely clean and uncluttered look.? The new retro-looking instrument panel is a new seamless soft-touch material and is accented by available real aluminum panels.? A large horizontal audio and climate control display panel tops the center stack over an array of large well organized and backlit control buttons and knobs.? The cloth or optional leather sport seats are attractive and comfortable while providing good lateral support.

He ?There is a new Mustang model for anyone that wants to join the unofficial club of more than 9 million owners.?? Both the coupe and convertible are available with a 210-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 engine.? This is an excellent choice for the average driver that wants the ambiance of a Mustang, but with better fuel economy and respectable performance.? The V-6 with five-speed manual transmission is capable of a 6.6-second 0 to 60 mph sprint and is gets and EPA rating of 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.? Our actual average in this car was 22.2 mpg.

For those looking for more performance, the GT with its 315-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 is the classic performance Mustang.? The GT runs 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 5.3 seconds.? The EPA estimates fuel economy at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, our actual average was 20.9 mpg.

We have not yet had a chance to drive the 2010 Shelby 500, but it promises to be a monster producing 540-hp from a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8.? The buff magazines list 0 to 60 mph times of 4.5 seconds and the EPA says to expect 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

She — The Mustang has certainly reached a cult-like status on the American road and for 2010, there is a car for nearly every budget and performance level.? ?Ten trim levels range through V-6, V-6 premium, GT, GT premium and Shelby GT500 in both coupe and convertible configurations. ?Pricing starts at $21,845, including destination charge, for the V-6 coupe with a manual transmission.? The GT starts at $28,845 and the super high performance Shelby jumps to $48,175, reflecting the extra price of the engine and all the enhancements required to control so much horsepower.? The V-6 and GT both come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while the Shelby has a six-speed.? A five-speed automatic adds $995 to the V-6 and GT, but is not available on the Shelby.? A convertible bumps up the price of any model by $5,000.

He ? The rear-wheel drive Mustang employs the same classic suspension on the new model using a MacPherson strut system in the front and a solid axle with three-link suspension and coil springs in the rear.? This may not be the most sophisticated system, but the car has a light agile feel, good traction and is solid in the corners.

The Mustang does everything as advertised from smoking the tires to running down curvy back roads with the beautiful exhaust note echoing through the forest to cruising down Main Street.

She ? There is a lot of nostalgia in every Mustang, that can take you back and make you feel young again, or if you are already young, the Mustang is just cool.

He ? The Ford Mustang is certainly a fun car to drive, if nothing more than to cruise down the street listening to the exhaust sounds.? I was impressed with how much more civilized and drivable it is, while still maintaining the classic muscle car feel.

[Rating:7.5/10]

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