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Ford Mustang V8 Coupe review: 3.0/5

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Rewarding it may be, but the Mustang's V8 engine is profligate and expensive.

Neil Briscoe

Words: - @neilmbriscoe

Published on: July 12, 2015

Words: - @neilmbriscoe

Published on: July 12, 2015

Tech Specs

Model testedFord Mustang 5.0 V8 Fastback
Pricingstarting from €62,000
Engine5.0-litre V8 petrol
Transmissionsix-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Body styletwo-door, 2+2 coupé
CO2 emissions299g/km (Band G, €2,350 per annum)
Combined economy20.9mpg (13.5 litres/100km)
Top speed250km/h
0-100km/h4.8 seconds
Power421hp at 5,500rpm
Torque530Nm at 4,250rpm
Boot space332 litres
Euro NCAPtwo stars; 72 per cent adult, 32 per cent child, 64 per cent pedestrian, 16 per cent safety assist

Sure, you can have your sensible 2.3 EcoBoost powered Mustang. Sure you can. Better not read what follows though...

In the Metal:

There are only a few small details separating the V8 Mustang from the EcoBoost model, visually speaking. The wheels are different, the radiator grille gets some extra bars and there's a mildly un-subtle '5.0' script on the front wing. Beyond that, it looks the same as the four-pot version, but that's OK because the four-pot looks awesome too. Does the hard-top Fastback look better than the convertible? Normally, I'd say yes, but in this instance, I'm not so sure. Too, close to call.

Inside, it suffers from the same problems as the EcoBoost model. So you get nice dials and the really pretty good 'SYNC2' infotainment system, but you also get some horrid buttons larded with fake chrome and some pretty naff plastics and fake leather. Our test car came with some Recaro bucket seats, which apparently won't be available for Ireland, but that's fine as they're a little pinchy across the shoulders and the standard seats are comfortable and barely any less supportive. Rear seat space remains poor for a car this big though.

Driving it:

Anyone who's a regular reader of the CompleteCar.ie will know I can't drift. I've been to drift school, up at Rally School Ireland, but I just have a disability or something that means I find it very, very hard to overcome my self-preservation instincts and start hanging the back end of a car out.

I can drift the V8 Mustang.

The EcoBoost version is actually surprisingly easy to get sideways, so the V8, with an extra 100Nm of torque on hand (albeit delivered at higher engine speed) was never going to be hard to slide. Keep the driving mode selector in Normal and it's actually pretty well behaved, but switch to Sport and you'd better hope the side windows are clean - you're going to need them. The V8 will happily cock its tail out on even a bone-dry tarmac surface, but it does so in a friendly and faithful manner, and it never feels like it's getting away from you.

That kind of sums up how the rest of the dynamic performance goes - not exactly sophisticated but friendly and easy. You can use that mighty V8 to crank the 'Stang up to some pretty ludicrous speeds with ludicrous ease, but to be honest, the chassis is not really up to it when you find a corner. It will go around, but it never feels entirely comfortable when you try to drive it hard on a twisty road. It's great, though, on long, fast, sweeping sections where the tail has a chance to dig in and you just aim between the corners of that massive bonnet. It's a long, long way away from the cream of the European coupé crop, but it's also far more entertaining and playful.

What you get for your Money:

Put it this way - the BMW M4 Coupé, Mercedes-AMG C 63 and Audi RS 5 Coupé are all €100k+ cars. This is €62,000 and even with a top-whack tax figure and the fact that satnav and heated seats are optional, that makes the Mustang V8 simply a colossal bargain.

Summary

It's a V8-engined Ford Mustang coupé, with the wheel on the correct side, for the same price as a specced-up BMW 5 Series. Car nuts of Ireland should rejoice in their droves.

Safety Rating Update

When we first reviewed this car, it had not yet been tested by the Euro NCAP for safety, but in light of its poor two-star rating, published in early 2017, we feel it's important to update the review and we have docked the Mustang a star in our own rating. It's still a fun and fabulous car, but we'd be far less likely to recommend it now than we were - especially to those that might carry kids in it. For what it's worth, this comment on the Euro NCAP website is worth bearing in mind:

"This assessment of the Ford Mustang is based on the vehicle that has been on sale since 2015. Ford has informed Euro NCAP that orders placed after May [2017] will receive an updated vehicle, which will be launched later in 2017, and will be equipped with Pre Collision Assist (with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking) and Lane Keeping Aid."

Safety Rating Update

When we first reviewed this car, it had not yet been tested by the Euro NCAP for safety, but in light of its poor two-star rating, published in early 2017, we feel it's important to update the review and we have docked the Mustang a star in our own rating. It's still a fun and fabulous car, but we'd be far less likely to recommend it now than we were - especially to those that might carry kids in it. For what it's worth, this comment on the Euro NCAP website is worth bearing in mind:

"This assessment of the Ford Mustang is based on the vehicle that has been on sale since 2015. Ford has informed Euro NCAP that orders placed after May [2017] will receive an updated vehicle, which will be launched later in 2017, and will be equipped with Pre Collision Assist (with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking) and Lane Keeping Aid."



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