Car Review: Muscle mania still rules with 2013 Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang still offers the same hot bang for the buck in 2013. Photo: Coming at you for 2012, the Ford Mustang Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, December 17, 2012 — The Ford Mustang still offers the same hot bang for the buck in 2013, with an updated exterior. There are new headlights and grille, and a new display in the gauge cluster is a standout addition. Both the V6 and V8 engine mean business, and there are lots of ways to customize this Mustang, making it your own.

Competition for the 2013 Ford Mustang includes the Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro, but the Mustang still has that muscle-look that these other two lack.

The 2013 Ford Mustang comes as either a coupe or convertible in five trims: V6, V6 Premium, GT, GT Premium and Boss 302.

The base trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, keyless entry, integrated blind-spot mirrors, cruise control, power accessories, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the standard sound system.

Another view of the green Mustang Photo: R. Dandridge

Step up to the V6 Premium trim and get 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, the Ford’s Sync electronics, auto-dimming rearview mirror, color-adjustable gauges, upgraded interior trim, and a premium sound system.

The V8-powered GT ups the ante, adding 18-inch alloys, automatic headlights, rear spoiler, and fog lamps to the base V6 package. The premium adds to that the V6 Premium  standard features.

There are other packages that come as add-ons, like the exterior appearance package with graphics and a rear spoiler, or the V6 Performance package for the coupe with 19-inch wheels and a recalibrated stability control system. The V6 Premium can include what is called the Pony package. The Mustang Club of America Special Edition package is another option, with 18-inch wheels and exterior styling additions.

The Mustang GT comes with Brembo brakes and additional performance axles. The Track package on the coupes comes with manual transmissions and Brembo brakes, Torsen limited-slip differential, and a radiator and engine oil cooler from Boss 302.

You can get the GT Premium with the options of a V6 Premium and any of the GT packages. There are also different wheels to choose from, but take note of the California Special package that ups the exterior styling again with a variety of bells and whistles.

2013 Mustang’s interior Photo: R. Dandridge

There are a few other optional packages worth considering: the Comfort Group package with heated mirrors and front seats, or the Electronics package with dual-zone automatic climate control and a voice-activated navigation system. Each offers a bit of added comfort to the ride. On the convertible you can opt for a tonneau cover.

The Boss 302 only comes in a coupe, and you get a stronger engine with a V8, 19-inch wheels, special aerodynamics elements, Brembo brakes, adjustable shock absorbers, and a suede-wrapped steering wheel.

The Limited-edition Boss 302 Laguna Seca has a ready-for-track aerodynamic enhancement and stiffer suspension along with the Recaro seats and Torsen differential with no back seat.

Under the hood is a 3.7-liter V6, revving 305 horsepower with 280 pound-feet of torque. The GT kicks it to a 5.0-liter V8 engine offering 420 horsepower and 390 pound feet of torque. Both are six-speed manual, but you can get a six-speed automatic with a manual shift control if you prefer.

With the Boss 302 you get a 5.0-liter V8 engine and 444 horsepower with 380 pound feet of torque; it only comes in manual.

Safety aspects on the 2013 Mustang include antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, traction control and stability, as well as optional parking sensors. There is hill-start assist for manual transmissions, and the Ford MyKey system is available so owners can determine the maximum speed for less-experienced drivers.

The 2013 Ford Mustang interior has all you need, but do note there is quite a bit of hard plastic used, and the car also is missing a telescoping steering wheel option.

The Mustang waiting for you Photo: R. Dandridge

The coupe or the convertible will hold four, but rear passengers might decide to take another car as there’s not a lot of room in the back seat. On the coupe the trunk space comes in at 12.3 cubic feet, the convertible at 9.7 cubic feet.

A fun feature offered with the Boss 302 is called the TracKey; owners receive a black key as well as a red key - the red key is for use on racetracks only.

Any one of the 2013 Ford Mustang trims you select will be a lot of fun. The V6 has plenty of power for the driver, so the V8 really takes it up a notch. The good news is that you still feel like you own the road no matter the engine size or even the transmission.

This car makes you want to drive the curves and feel the ride, and you definitely will do so.

Should You Need to Know: The Mustang GT offers a V8 this year with an automatic transmission featuring a manual shift control. For acceleration, the V8 Boss 302 takes it from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Ford Mustang I drove got 19 miles to the gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway, with an average combined of 23 miles per gallon. 

Cost: The cost of the “Gotta Have it Green” 2013 Convertible Ford Mustang I had for the week came in at $38,605.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.

She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. Her third book in the Haunted Series was released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.”

Follow Rita Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.


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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.

 

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