2012 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Premium new car reviews

Perhaps the perfect summer cruiser: a white Mustang GT convertible. All the cool kids in high school had one.
And check it out: a little Mustang. It's a Traxxas r/c car belonging to our editor's dad.
A color combo that's no stranger to the Mustang convertible.
We put some highway miles on this one. It's a good cruiser.

Better than: Mustang II
But not as good as: Shelby GT350
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 99.28

Many of us remember a time when a 5.0 badge on the side of a Mustang meant something. Those two digits signified that you had encountered the reigning king of the stoplight grand prix. A horsepower rating of 225 was serious steam some 25 years ago.

Providing more evidence that history is destined to repeat itself, the 5.0 badge is back. Things have changed, however, as the Mustang's base V6 engine now makes an impressive 305 horsepower. The 5.0-liter V8 found in the latest GT produces 412 horsepower along with 390 lb.-ft. of torque when fed premium fuel. File those figures under the heading of "progress." (By the way, knock those numbers back to 402 and 377 when running regular fuel.)

Our test car wasn’t exactly the second coming of the 5.0 notchback, as it was fairly loaded: Brembo brakes, 19-inch aluminum wheels, HID headlights, reverse parking assist and more. Oh, and the top went down. Still, it should get Robert Van Winkle's seal of approval.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Color me nostalgic, but it's nice to see a 5.0 badge on the side of the Mustang. And, just to amp up those feeling a bit more, our test car was white with red--that was a staple color combo back in the '80s, and one of the cool kids in my high school had a white and red '65 Mustang convertible. No, I didn't get to hang with him.

How's it drive? Duh, plenty of power, and it's always a treat to wheel such a high-winding V8. The gearbox is nearly Miata-smooth, and the whole package plays together nicely.

Anything wrong? Yeah. For $40,000+, I'd like less plasticy plastic on the door panels. I know, sounds like a minor thing, but some parts of the car are done so nicely while others looked--and felt--kinda cheap. If the interior was classed-up a bit, I could have given it straight 5's. The car has come that far.

Alan Cesar Alan Cesar
SuperDork

Oh my, this engine is a sweetheart. This engine revs as freely as a 1.6-liter Miata, and it's got three times the displacement and four more cylinders. Gobs of power on tap, easily defeated traction control, and an exhilarating roar from that V8 make it hard to keep your foot light on the throttle even when cruising around town.

This car is a thrill, but there's no way I'd spend this much on it. Forget the extra weight of the convertible and the Premium package add-ons. For all the excellent details the top-spec interior has, some parts still look too cheap and poorly fit to belong in a Fiesta.

But the chassis communicates well, the steering is precise, and it's easy to do exactly what you want with this car. This car is so good, in fact, I'd consider a Mustang GT as a replacement for my '91 Miata.

Keep the interior quality consistent and spec yourself a base interior in a GT, and check off as many performance options as your significant other will allow. Consider an aftermarket cat-back exhaust though, because this car could do with just a little more aural authority from that V8. That noise is intoxicating, but it's just a little too quiet.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade UltraDork
8/22/11 10:59 a.m.

The original "5.0" was a 4.9, you know. Is this one a real 305 or another 302?

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar SuperDork
8/22/11 11:23 a.m.

We know, and Ford does too. They made sure this one measured a proper 4951cc, which rounds up to 5.0 liters.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
9/28/11 12:48 a.m.

Burn the canoe.

Great car. Dont like the "5.0" moniker. 302 sounds better to me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Many of us remember a time when a 5.0 badge on the side of a Mustang meant something. Those two digits signified that you had encountered the reigning king of the stoplight grand prix. A horsepower rating of 225 was serious steam some 25 years ago.

Providing more evidence that history is destined to repeat itself, the 5.0 badge is back. Things have changed, however, as the Mustang's base V6 engine now makes an impressive 305 horsepower. The 5.0-liter V8 found in the latest GT produces 412 horsepower along with 390 lb.-ft. of torque when fed premium fuel. File those figures under the heading of "progress." (By the way, knock those numbers back to 402 and 377 when running regular fuel.)

Our test car wasn’t exactly the second coming of the 5.0 notchback, as it was fairly loaded: Brembo brakes, 19-inch aluminum wheels, HID headlights, reverse parking assist and more. Oh, and the top went down. Still, it should get Robert Van Winkle's seal of approval.

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