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2013 Ford Mustang GT: Powerful, decent fuel economy (pictures)

Ford's latest Mustang GT cranks out 420 horsepower with its V-8, yet gets fuel economy that makes it a reasonable everyday driver.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Ford gives the Mustang a significant update for the 2013 model year, with power and efficiency increases and new cabin tech options. The GT version is the most powerful, short of the Shelby, with a 5-liter naturally aspirated engine.
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2 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The Mustang GT has a high, aggressive-looking hood and nice symmetry between upper and lower air intakes. Although the car keeps the same basic styling as the previous generation, little refinements keep it fresh.
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3 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The centerpiece of the Mustang GT is this 5-liter V-8, which produces 420 horsepower while at the same time achieving an average of 20 mpg in EPA testing. Although not a fuel efficiency star, the number is not bad considering the power.
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4 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The Mustang is a coupe design, which means two doors and limited access to the rear seat.
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5 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Ford retains the solid rear axle on the 2013 Mustang, but manages to give the car a decent ride and good handling characteristics.
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6 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The rear cap, which does not cover a fuel filler, includes the California Special logo and GT designation.
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7 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The trunk opening is on the small side, and difficult to get a typical CNET editor through. However, the trunk has a good amount of space.
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8 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Ford does a very nice job with the Mustang's cabin appointments, using good quality materials throughout that make it feel like a premium vehicle. The interior is much nicer than that of the Camaro ZL1 we tested recently.
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9 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The rear seats are barely usable, in good coupe style, and offer two buckets instead of a bench, so only two people at a time can be tortured.
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10 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
For 2013, Ford makes a hard-drive-based navigation system available in the Mustang, although this car did not come with that option.
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11 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Ford is very liberal with the Mustang badges inside and out, but we could not find a single blue oval.
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12 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The Mustang GT uses an electric power steering system, but the feel is much more like a hydraulic system than with other cars we have tested.
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13 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Along with the traditionally designed speedometer and tachometer gauges, Ford adds an LCD to the instrument cluster, which shows trip and other information.
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14 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Sync, with its excellent voice command system comes standard in the Mustang GT.
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15 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The Mustang GT can be had with a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. The manual is, of course, the better choice for sport driving, and includes a hill start feature to make it more practical.
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16 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The Track Apps feature includes a timer for acceleration times, braking distance, and a g-force meter.
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17 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Sync shows a paired phone's contact list on the radio display, but voice command is an easier way to initiate a call.
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18 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
You can browse a music player's library on the display when the device is connected to the car's USB port, but the interface is tedious. Using voice command works much better.
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19 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Sync gives voice command over Pandora, NPR, Stitcher, and other apps.

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