2010 Ford Mustang V6 Coupe Road Test Review

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The Shelby GT500 and Bullitt special editions of the Mustang family may get all of the attention, but in truth the bulk of Mustang sales have traditionally been comprised of the humble V6-powered versions.   This has always been the case with the Mustang--the fire-breathing muscle car versions have always shared showroom space with (and overshadowed) the less powerful versions.  But what's life with a non-V8 powered Mustang like?  Is it just as good with two fewer cylinders, or is the V6 Mustang Coupe best left as a "secretary's car?" 

No matter which engine resides under the hood, all Mustangs benefit from a major makeover for 2010.  The updates include a more aggressive, forward-thrust grille featuring the first new Mustang emblem since the 1960s.  A revised front fascia and hood, new taillights and a restyled rear bumper complete the look, and Ford has added more visual distinction between the V6 and Mustang GT models.  Retro cues abound, from the headlights which were inspired by the 1970 Mustang to the sequential turn signals in the taillights.  The updates add aggressiveness without going too far; the Mustang is clearly a fighter, but it's not as insanely angry as the Chevrolet Camaro.  In addition, the Mustang's aerodynamics are improved, and V6 models show a 37-percent reduction in front-end lift at speed. 

Inside, the retro-style instrument panel markings are continued, and the 125-option My Color ambient lighting kit is still available.  The twin-hooded dash is reminiscent of classic Mustangs, and flows down into a broad console that divides the front seats.  The Mustang also benefits from improved interior materials, including real aluminum trim and chrome-ringed gauges.  Subtle upgrades to the dash design give the Mustang's interior a friendlier, more expressive feel.  Ford has also updated the Mustang to the latest version of the SYNC infotainment system, which now includes 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report functions. 

Even with a V6, the Mustang is decently powered and offers plenty of grins.  The 4.0-litre SOHC V6 has a larger dual exhaust for a throatier note.  The V6's 210 horsepower may not be in supercar territory, but thanks to 240 lb-ft of torque it's sufficient to get the Mustang moving with enough urge to feel properly sporty.  If you've just gotta have a V8, the 4.6-litre V8 is available in the convertible as well, and it's modified with a cold-air intake system developed for racing-spec Mustangs.  The result is 315 horsepower and a lot more urge.  Driving the low-calorie Mustang V6 is satisfying as long as you don't get into any drag races.  Both engines are available with a choice of five-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

Because it's the descendant of muscle cars, the Mustang still rides on a solid rear axle.  Ford has tweaked it for 2010 to ensure that the simple suspension meets modern expectations, and although the Mustang's suspension doesn't like rough pavement, it's comfortable enough to drive all day or drive cross country.  The rear axle is located by a three-link suspension with a Panhard bar.  The springs, stabilizer bars and shocks have been tweaked for better balance, and an underhood strut tower brace improves lateral stiffness.  Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on V6 models, with eighteens on the Pony Package and with V8s, plus an available nineteen-inch wheel on the options list.  Standard active safety equipment includes AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and traction control.  AdvanceTrac senses yaw and side-to-side slippage and uses engine torque and brakes to reduce it, keeping the Mustang docile when the going gets uncertain. 

More competition?  The restyled, refined Ford Mustang seems to say, "Bring it on!" Whether you're looking to challenge a Dodge Challenger SE at the dragstrip or just to have a stylish commuter vehicle, the 2010 Ford Mustang V6 Coupe is ready.  Mustang pricing starts at $24,499 for the V6 coupe, and goes up to $30,199 for the convertible.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sports Coupe, Ford, 2010, Mustang, $20,000 - $29,999, $30,000 - $39,999,

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