2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback Review

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback Road Test, Review

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback front

They have sold up a storm particularly among males of a certain age but Ford’s Mustang still pulls admiring looks wherever it goes.

The orange duco on the test car amplified this effect.

Ford offered up a “new” Mustang a few months back featuring plenty of upgrades over the earlier model, a power increase and desirable louder exhaust.

They added more advanced high tech’ safety kit this time including enhanced autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and keeping and a swag of other kit.

There’s an optional, dealer fitted Ford Performance “Track” Pack with flow-on suspension technology from Focus RS adding magnetic ride control, numerous steering and suspension geometry refinements, a short shift gear change on the manual and a sportier “cat-back’’ exhaust among other things.

The test car was a bog stock, six-speed manual GT Fastback sporting optional forged aluminium five spoke wheels. It’s for the committed muscle car driver who likes to swap cogs manually.

If you pick the auto, it’s a 10-speeder.

Exterior

The new Ford Mustang features a revised bonnet and mesh grille, different front and rear bumpers and LED lighting both ends as well as auto/adaptive headlights. The face is set-off by Mustang’s “tri-bar” LED driving lights that look like gills.

There are sundry new vents about the body and other minor tweaks to the exterior look that actually make it even more imposing on the street.

The test car’s optional bright alloy forged wheels look slick especially seeing those six piston Brembo calipers peeping from behind the front rims.

The rear end has a large, boxy air diffuser under the bumper and dual four inch quad exhaust tips protruding each side.

The overall look is totally in keeping with Mustang… and muscle cars in general.

Bring it on.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback interiorInterior

Inside is premium and functional in a luxury car idiom – supple leather, some metal look fascia and electrically adjustable front seats with generous bolsters. The wheel is chunky and small and the driving area is in cockpit style surrounded by an LCD instrument cluster behind the wheel that can be customised to numerous settings.

There’s the obligatory 8-inch touch screen infotainment pod in the middle of the dash and Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 system and possibly the best voice control going around right now.

Impressive B&O audio too and proper SUNA hard wired sat-nav along with smartphone streaming.

The tones are subdued but look luxurious and there are seats for four plus a decent boot space.

Though late in the year, the cooler weather prevailing made Mustang’s heated seats welcome.

Mustang’s interior is totally in keeping with the car…. sporty, funky, luxurious and tech rich.

Features

Justifying the $63 grand asking price for the manual GT Fastback buyers are treated to;

  • Heated and electrically adjustable front sports seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Premium B&O audio
  • Multi drive mode settings including exhaust tone
  • Track apps to refine driving skill
  • 12-inch customisable digital instrument cluster
  • Padded knee bolsters for hard cornering
  • Climate control
  • State of the art lighting including logo projection under doors

Drive and Engine

Ford addressed the perceived performance issue on 5.0-litre, V8 Mustang this time around adding a twin injection system direct into the combustion chamber and also into the inlet port for a 33kW gain to 339kW. Torque went up too and is now rated at 556Nm.

It really gets going especially in the upper rev range where all the better breathing work makes its presence felt.

The exhaust sound is awesome meaning there’s no real need for a premium audio if you are a mechanical obsessive.

It uses between 10-13 litres of premium/100km depending on driving style.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback rearHandling characteristics are right up with engine performance too despite the car’s hefty weight. It has direct steering and super powerful six piston callipers up front on large 380mm discs.

Make no mistake, the Ford Mustang GT can be punted hard with total control heightened this time around thanks to grippy Michelin rubber.

It sits flat through fast turns and can be piloted with ease especially if you leave all the electronics on. I chose to switch them all off but it reverts to nanna mode when you switch off and start up again.

New Mustang feels more nimble than the figures might suggest. It really is fun to drive….. anywhere on sealed roads.

Safety

Hmm, still only scores a three star rating from ANCAP but that’s partly because ANCAP testing is skewed to favour family sedans and SUVs. Child safety is always going to be an issue in a two door coupe because access is compromised.

Having said that, the new Mustang gains a swag of advanced driver assist technology including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep and departure warning, reverse camera, adaptive cruise, auto headlights and high beam and plenty more.

I’d be happy driving new Mustang knowing it has all these features and wouldn’t take kids in the back seat…. they’re all too old now anyway.

Good Bits

  • Get out of my face styling
  • Sensational exhaust note
  • Stimulating performance
  • Sharp handling dynamics
  • Plenty of luxury kit
  • Generous level of advanced driver assist technology
  • 10-speed auto availability with paddle shift
  • Optional Performance Track Pack
  • Striking colour palette

Not So Good Bits

  • Reverts to nanna mode when you switch it off
  • Track Pack should be standard
  • Seat squab bolster touches you up when alighting
  • Attracts too much HWP attention

2018 Ford Mustang GT Fastback sideSummary

Yep, big tick for the ‘Stang.

I think the low ANCAP rating is a load of horse poo.

The car looks amazing on the road, sounds fantastic and handles like it’s on rails. Engine performance is pretty good too.

The price has crept up but is still a bargain especially when you consider the only direct competitor is Nissan’s ancient 370Z Nismo. Give me one in the orange please, with manual transmission.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Ford Mustang GT manual Fastback

  • Engine: 5.0L V8 petrol producing 339kW/556Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Three stars
  • Origin: USA
  • Price: from $62,990




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