Ford's new Mustang, introduced in 2005, has been a success for the company. It loses nothing in convertible format, offering an open air ride.
Putting the top down requires you to release two latches above the windshield, then hold a button down. The latches are a little tough to move, and the top is slow.
Our test car came with optional high intensity head lights and the Pony Package, which adds some cosmetic features.
The base level engine, seen here, is a 4-liter V-6 producing 210 horsepower. The GT trim level Mustang gets a V-8.
The convertible top nestles down behind the back seat. You lose the fastback roofline of the hardtop with the convertible, but the car still looks good.
Cabin turbulence isn't bad in the front seats with the top down, as the windshield provides adequate protection.
Handling isn't great with the Mustang, as it uses a solid rear axle. Traction control is an option, a necessary one, we think.
The trunk isn't huge, but it offers a reasonable amount of space for the luggage from two people.
The interior fit and finish of the Mustang's cabin is good. It's not luxurious, but it matches the quality found in equally priced Japanese and German cars.
The steering response is good, with very little play in the wheel, but you can't snap this car around corners without the rear end coming loose.
The retro styling of the Mustang is carried through in the instrument cluster, where six analog gauges face the driver. But there is also a modern trip computer display on the speedometer.
We didn't think much of the five speed automatic transmission. It has no manual gear selection option, although you can limit the top gear pretty extensively with the low ranges.
The DVD-based navigation system is a $1,995 option. Unfortunately, Sync wasn't available in the Mustang at the time of our review.
The navigation system's maps aren't pretty, but the system is very functional, and it makes address entry easy.
As an advanced feature, the navigation system offers text to speech for route guidance, meaning it will read out the names of streets.
The head unit comes with a six disc changer which can read MP3 CDs. But you can't see the folders on a CD in list format.
An auxiliary input jack, mounted in the console, comes standard.
The base audio system in the Mustang is called the Shaker 500, which has a 500 watt amp. There is an upgrade available to the Shaker 1,000, which gets more speakers and a 1,000 watt amp.
The DSP includes a setting for Convertible, which projects audio higher up, so you hear it at ear level. With the All Seats setting, the audio seems to be concentrated at door height.
The Shaker 500 system is very bass heavy, but its highs are unspectacular.