2013 Ford

19 city / 31 hwy
3.7L, V6, 305 hp

You LOVE to drive and want something sporty but not too small. Wouldn’t you look hot driving a Ford Mustang?

By Matt Stone

The Big Picture

Is there a voice inside you that reminds you how much you love to drive, and how you’re just not ready for an average sedan, a minivan, or a crossover? Is that voice asking for something sporty and fun? It might just be your inner Mustang Sally talking. Maybe your first car was a Ford Mustang and you miss it. Well, Sally, you can go home again.

The entire 2013 Ford Mustang lineup gets a meaningful makeover for 2013 with freshened looks inside and out, better performance, the latest safety and infotainment gear, and all the pizzazz that made the original 60s Mustangs so fun and popular. Your biggest decision remains “fastback coupe or convertible?”

An Inside Job

The current generation of Ford Mustang interior has always been a pretty sporty and comfy place to hang. Keep in mind that the rear seats are smallish, and best reserved for adults for short drives, or kids any time. But the front seatbacks fold forward easily, so access to the aft cabin isn’t really too bad for a two-door. Audio system offerings have been redone for 2013 (see below) and both sound great.

All new for the 2013 Ford Mustang is a Recaro front seats option, available on either base V-6 models or the V-8-powered GT, in either leather or cloth trim. Recaro is a well known maker of racing car seats, and premium seating for automotive use, and you’ll find Recaro seating in many a Lear Jet cabin too. The Recaros are super supportive and grippy in the curves – somewhat of a cross between a sporty “street” seat and a racing seat, but not cheap. We believe you can do without them unless you actually plan to track race your car, or regularly drive it across the country several thousand miles at a time.

Ford has really upgraded the materials used in the Mustang’s interior in this model; everything looks good and feels nice to the touch, and there’s no tacky fake wood in sight.

Family Friendliness

Depends on the size and make up of your family. If your family is comprised of just you, then the Ford Mustang is super friendly, sexy, and comfy. If it’s you and one sig other, no problem. If your Plus Three or Plus Four are much more than mid-sized teenagers, they might get tired of folding themselves into and out of the rear seat area.

Driving Impressions

Back in the day, a six-cylinder Ford Mustang of modest horsepower was often referred to as the “secretary’s model” and it wasn’t exactly a complimentary term. Fortunately those days are long gone. The base engine, that being a standard 3.7-liter V-6, cranks out 305 horsepower, and snarls through a dual exhaust system with chrome pipes out the back. Choose between 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, and either way, this pony really hustles, and sounds great doing it. The sportiest of drivers will opt for the manual, which also gives the best fuel economy. The auto trans has a new feature called SelectShift that allows you manual control, (if you choose) but without the issue of using a clutch.

The balance of the Mustang V-6 driving experience is best described as responsive; push the gas, it goes. Turn the wheel, and the chassis responds. Hit the brakes and this car stops, a credit to strong, ABS-equipped brakes, and a hefty tire footprint.

Step up to the 5.0-liter V-8-powered GT, and get ready to rumble. This is a real musclecar motor for those who want it, now packing 420 horsepower, and available in stickshift or automatic, coupe or convertible. This engine makes a wonderful throbbing exhaust note – just like 60s muscle cars do, and it really hauls buns, yours and anyone else’s in the car. It’s not quick; it’s genuinely — and nearly supercar — fast. If you enjoy choosing off at the Saturday Night Stoplight Grand Prix, the V-8 GT may be your weapon. With the big engine comes bigger wheels and tires, a more handling oriented suspension (which really makes the car corner, at the expense of only a little ride quality) and a few zoomier exterior touches.


There’s a fare measure of active safety inherent in the Mustang’s driving capabilities, because its strong acceleration, great brakes, sharp handling and responsive steering might help you avoid that accident in the first place. Beyond that, there are dual front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags, plus electronic stability control, standard integrated blind spot mirrors, Tire Pressure Monitoring, and an SOS Post-Crash Alert System flashes signal lights and sounds the horn in the event of an accident. Other meaningful safety hardware include standard High Intensity Discharge headlamps (and grille-mounted foglamps on the GT), plus great looking, bright LED taillamps, which light instantly, and are seriously red.

Gizmos And Tech

Ford has reworked the 2013 Ford Mustang audio offerings. The Shaker system offers a powerful amplifier with eight speakers, and the even stronger Shaker Pro ups that speaker count to nine with more system power for what Ford calls a “stage-like listening experience.” Naturally the sound system includes an AM/FM radio, CD changer, and the ability to pair with a music device of choice. The Ford/Microsoft SYNC connectivity system is also available, and uses voice command to make it hands-free. The ultimate “gizmo” may be the optional Track Apps which allows you to measure acceleration times, track lap times, and fiddle around with things like the car’s steering feel. Cute, but only for the most ardent track rats.

Pricing and Trim Levels

The2013 Ford Mustang V-6 Coupe starts at $23,790. The GT 5.0 V-8 coupe bases for $31,885. Convertible models slightly more. There aren’t many other trim levels offered, per se, but you can opt for the more performance oriented “GT Track package” on the V-8 car. There’s also an Italian Brembo brake package. If the GT’s 420 horsepower isn’t enough for you, step up to the 440+ horsepower Boss 302 model (for serious musclecar fans and trackheads only) or the absolutely insane 650 horsepower Shelby GT500.

Final Thoughts

A raucous good time for the gal who doesn't like things dainty.

The GT’s rumbling muscle-car engine sound is music to the ears, and has the performance to please your inner hooligan

Great ride, handling, and comfort…road trip!

Sorry but not much not to like here – America’s original and best loved pony car, better than it’s ever been


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One Response to “Ford Mustang”

  1. V6 Mustang Performance says:

    Nice writeup. Glad to see the 3.7L Mustang get a nice review. I do believe however the Recaro seat option was available in 2012. Its too bad Ford changed the airbag plug and thus it is incompatible with the 2010 and 2011 models.

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