2019 Ford Mustang Convertible Road Test Review
As buyers continue to desert passenger cars in ever increasing numbers, there are still those whose tastes eschew the massive SUV pick-up truck fetishists. Instead, they prefer something subtle, quiet, and refined. What could be quieter, less subtle, or more refined than Mustang?
Yes, I’m kidding. The Pony is fabulously out, loud, and proud.
Mustang’s story begins in 1966 with varying levels of success. Ever since, Mustang has been an icon.
The latest 2019 Mustang bristles with technology to in an attempt to better the original 2 star ANCAP safety rating. How did it go?
The only word to describe the look, is utterly delicious.
It is deeply sexy in every way. The front end with its LED headlights and galloping pony grille, and the pert rump with 6 vertical lights. It screams “look at me.” Subtle curves are carved into the bonnet.
The (optional) 19” retro wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres look mean while giving an acknowledging nod to its heritage.
To save weight, the shapely bonnet and front guards have been crafted in aluminium. She is still a fairly hefty lassie tipping 1818. Much of that is extra strengthening needed to stop cars with roofs chopped off from collapsing.
All Mustang convertibles have a fabric roof. It folds back gracefully once the car is stopped. Other brands manage to operate the roof while on the move.
There is no cover for the roof once it is open. There are no fancy folding flaps to cover the gubbins which remain exposed inside the body. There are, however, tacky plakky dust covers that can be inserted manually, but these have to be removed manually and stowed back in the boot. They will then fly about at the very first corner, flinging themselves from one side of the boot to the other. They make quite the racket.
The body gets wider towards the rear, with the haunches crouching muscularly over the rear wheels. When viewed in the ¾ front on, the convertible reeks of the early days in a way that won’t frighten those of a more delicate constitution.
The retro body uses every trick in the book to disguise the modern needs behind a handsome retro façade. The proportions are perfect and Mustang looks good with or without the roof up.
American interiors leave much to be desired. You have to keep in mind Mustang is considerably cheaper in the good ol’ U S of A.
Most of the surfaces feel reasonably soft, but the hard bits feel cheap. The steering wheel boss has a Mustang emblem. Unlike the one on the grille, this one is flat and lifeless. Had it been slightly faceted it would have look fabulous
The chunky dash is topped by two padded binnacles set either side of face level vents. Leather seating is heated and cooled which is just as well. Black leather left in the sun could leave 3rd degree burns on your bums after an hour in an Aussie summer sun.
There is just a hint of 60’s metal finishes but much is chromed plastic. Chromed plastic is much like piano black as finishes go. When either of them ate scratched, they instantly drag the tone down. It can’t be fixed.
The audio dials need to be metal. The plastic just feels wrong, but the rest of the switch gear gets a pass mark.
Soft surfaces are subtly stitched in contrasting thread. While some of the material is man-made, the rest is all-natural.
Seating is comfortable in the front, with lots of support, and plenty of space. Things take a dire turn in the back. What is called a 4-seater, isn’t. In order to go 4-up, those in the posh seats will have their knees around their ears, and the paupers in the back will have cramps for days. 2 is best, with 3 at a pinch.
Although parts of the cabin felt cheap, you simply don’t notice them once you start the magnificent engine. Sadly, none of these cars will become classic cars in 50 year’s time. The computers which control everything from windows to spark plugs will eventually fail and be too expensive or impossible to fix or replace. All new cars are in the same boat.
AEB and lane guidance are the main upgrades to assuage fears created by a less than desirable safety ratings. 2 stars has been upgraded to 3 stars, as all of the changes were additions to active safety. No structural modifications were made, and none are planned.
Mustang performed poorly in crash tests in some instances. Rear seat protection for infants
It doesn’t seem to have dented buyer decisions one way or the other. Although sales have slowed somewhat, Mustang remains the biggest seller in the segment by a considerable margin.
Despite being packed with goodies, the cabin keeps that classic muscle car atmosphere, and that is it greatest strength.
- Active cruise control
- Active lane control
- Auto headlights with auto high beam
- Drive mode select
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Push button start
- Easy entry (key stays on your pocket)
- DAB radio
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Navigation with traffic messages
OPTIONS (add cost to standard price):
- Prestige paint (Royal Crimson) $550
- Forged Alloy 19” wheels $2,500
- Magneride suspension $2,750
Drive and Engine
Gone are the cast iron Detroit dinosaurs, replaced by a shiny direct injection 5.0L V8. OK, perhaps there is still a bit of cast iron here and there, but it’s been given a polish. New head design and a bore increased by 0.8mm (now 93mm), puts a stunning 339kw of DOHC power, and 556Nm of torque through to the back wheels, just as nature intended.
The ancient 6 speed boat anchor has been replaced by a 10-speed bruiser. Smooth as silk shifts are transformed into thuggishly jolts at the press of a button
Magneride suspension is a worthwhile options box to be ticked. Mustang happily wafts down the highway in tenth. It lopes from kilometre to kilometre revving just loudly enough to be a lovely bass note to the environmental symphony.
It is all soft and floaty, to the point an agrarian coma. But, select Sport+, and the bucolic bliss is blasted out the back. The sound track turns from dulcet tones of Beethoven’s 6th, to Black Sabbeth stabbing Motörhead with shards of Anthrax.
There is nothing at all subtle about the glorious cacophony celebrating the dying days petrol.
Mustang pulls out all stops, and injects 98ron directly into your heart. The noise is astounding and is accompanied by ride that increases in firmness to the point of riding on a bricks, supported by stones, rolled off a cliff. It is loud, very, very, loud. it gets to 100kph in under 5 seconds while pushing you into your seat.
Track mode and launch control takes all the nannies and sends them to the pub for the night. From then on, you’re on your own, and good luck to you. An experienced driver would be challenged, but the rest of us would very dead. It’s looking for ways to kill you, and all the while you’re thanking the universe for it. The back steps out, tapping you on the shoulder on its way.
Once you start mashing your foot mindlessly to the floor, it guzzles like an ocean liner travelling. For some reason, you have ceased to care about either your wallet, or the environment. As wayward as it feels, you can get it back under control with a quick slap upside the head.
If all that sounds like too much bother, leave it in comfort mode, and the steering in nanna mode, and enjoy the view with the roof down.
Mustang is then a grand tourer. The suspension is all floaty and soft and the steering is uber-light. You sit back and relax. You sip you can of drink and watch the green hills slide by.
You can have the steering in comfort mode while the engine and gears are in sport mode too. In fact, you can programme the mode exactly as you like it.
If you feel like you’re drinking the juice like a madman, you’re right. Although fuel consumption is much better than it used to be, you can only take on 61L of petrol at a time
3 star ANCAP (2017 models onwards)
Active lane control, active cruise control, and AEB (autonomous emergency braking) increased the rating from the previous 2 stars. Crash tests. The worst results were for child protection of a mere 32%. See the results HERE. Adult protection was a slightly more comforting 72%.
There are airbags and stability control which go some way to helping keep things tidy.
- Superb looks
- Exhaust and engine sound
Not So Good Bits
- 3 star safety
- Exposed roof mechanism when folded
- The best handling is an optional extra
Mustang fills your head, and gets under your skin.
It looks good, and makes every man feel like the Solo man, and every woman feel like a princess. No stereotyping here!
If the throb of American muscle puts you off, and I can’t imagine why it would, you can always opt for the sensible 4-cylinder model. There is still plenty of power, but the lack of sound track is just a little bit wrong.
The things that might be considered shortcomings, and also the strengths. The slightly old-fashioned cabin leaves the impression of being in a classic car. The raucous exhaust is 100% muscle car, and is something you never tire of.
Facts and Figures: 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
- Engine: 5.0L V8 petrol producing 339kW/556Nm
- Transmission: Ten-speed automatic
- Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
- Safety: Three stars
- Origin: USA
- Price: from $74,338
Author: Alan Zurvas
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