2010 Ford Mustang
By Jim McCraw
The Ford Mustang is all-new for 2010. Everything but the roof on the
2010 Mustang is new. And it’s all good, all improved over the superb
2004-2009 version of America’s pony car.
We found the 2010 Mustangs quieter and more refined than the previous
models. More important, the 2010 Mustang GT is an absolute blast to
drive, quick off the mark with a brawny sound. The clutch pedal is light
and easy to use in heavy traffic and the manual sifts smoothly. The
handling is crisp, the suspension feels tight, and the brakes work
better in this latest generation.
The Mustang has been in continuous production for 45 straight years, and
more than 9 million Mustangs have been built and sold to date. That
gives the Mustang the longest production run of any single model in Ford
The 2010 Ford Mustang comes in three body styles: coupe, convertible,
and a glass-roof coupe. Each is available in both the traditional V-6
model and the V8-powered Mustang GT. Both engines will be available with
a choice of a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
The V-6 coupe and convertible feature an upgraded 4.0-liter V6 engine
rated at 210 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque. The V-6 model
comes standard with 17-inch wheels and tires, with 18-inch wheels
optional. A rear stabilizer bar now comes standard on the V-6 models,
and the entire suspension system has been retuned for more performance
The Mustang GT gets a more powerful V8 for 2010, producing 315 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque from 4.6 liters.
Ford’s Sync electronics, navigation with Sirius Travel Link and a
rear-facing camera are among the options never before available on the
The Mustang V-6 coupe starts at $20,995, and the V-6 convertible
at $25,995. Pricing for the GT V-8 coupe starts at $27,995, with the GT
V-8 convertible at $32,995. (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices do
not include $850 destination charges.)
Options include the five-speed automatic transmission ($995), the glass roof option ($1995), a navigation package ($2195).
A premium package ($3000) upgrades with leather six-way power driver
seat with power lumbar and two-way adjustable head restraint, bright
shift knob, door trim panel inserts, leather wrapped steering wheel
w/aluminum spokes, six-gauge cluster w/MyColor, gloss paint center stack
and console, satin door speaker surrounds, Ambient lighting, Bright
aluminum accent dash appliques, pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter
knob, special wheels, Shaker 500 AM/FM/6CD MP3 audio system, eight
speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio, Sync communications system, and
split-folding rear seats.
An optional Track Package includes upgraded front brakes, a recalibrated
AdvanceTrac system that allows later intervention, and the 3.73:1 axle
ratio. Track Package II will include Pirelli 19-inch tires and wheels,
upgraded front and rear brakes and heavier springs, shock absorbers and
brakes along with recalibrated traction and yaw control systems designed
for weekend racing. Ford Racing Performance Parts will offer a wide
array of performance and appearance options for the new Mustang, up to
and including a complete bolt-on supercharger kit.
The safety package includes six air bags, tire pressure monitoring, the
Ford Personal Safety System that controls the level of air bag
deployment according to impact speed, and a new SOS post-crash alert
system that unlocks the doors, turns on the four-way flashers and sounds
the horn if an air bag is deployed.
The 2010 Mustang body design is new from end to end, this time with
integrated multi-element headlamps replacing the twin round lamps of
past Mustangs, a power-dome hood that droops over the grille at its
leading edge, completely new side sculpting, and chamfered three-element
taillamps that house sequential turn signals, blinking from the inside
lamp to the outside lamp to help those following understand which way
you’re turning (a technology first used on the 1964 Thunderbird,
reprised 46 years later).
Ford says the new Mustang body yields 23 percent less aerodynamic lift
at the front with a new slotted panel installed under the radiator to
direct air, 50 percent better in front/rear lift balance, and has seven
percent less aerodynamic drag. They tell us it is 12 percent quieter in
wind noise than the outgoing car, 15 percent quieter in the case of the
convertible. Ford also points to a 33 percent reduction in squeak and
rattle performance, and a 10 percent improvement in speech
intelligibility due to interior noise reductions, especially in the
The 3500-pound Mustang uses welded steel unibody construction with front
and rear subframes to mount the steering and suspension systems, with
almost half the body weight in high-strength low-alloy steel.
Inside, we found the front bucket seats significantly more
comfortable and better looking than the slabs used in the 2009 models.
Altogether, the 2010 Mustang is much more refined than any previous
model when it comes to noise, a much more comfortable car to be in,
whether cruising or a full throttle.
The 2010 Mustang has a completely new chiseled approach to interior
design, with throwback instrument design complemented by softer-feeling
surfaces throughout, and the use of real aluminum plates on the fascias,
pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter knob. Interior ambient lighting
in the door pockets, cupholders and footwells is a new interior feature,
and the lighting colors can be changed through a range of 125 colors
with the flip of a switch with the new MyColor system.
New interior and entertainment features for Mustang include a
rear-facing video camera, the Sync voice-activated hands-free system for
the first time in a Mustang, featuring Sirius satellite radio and
satellite navigation with Sirius Travel Link. The new leather-clad
steering wheel is a massive affair with six brushed metal spokes in
three groups of two, with cruise controls switches and controls for the
sound system, a wheel that gives a very big feeling of command. The
leather interiors are of a higher grade than ever, the console can now
be locked to hide valuables. The instrument panel is made in a single
We found the new Mustang is much quieter than the old car, with
improvements in wind noise, road noise, mirror noise and powertrain
noise. The radio antenna is moved to the rear to eliminate noise, the
wiper design is changed to flatter blades that don’t make as much noise,
the washer nozzles are inside the hood, and the mirrors are reshaped.
Inside, there is more mastic, a better grade of carpeting, a
sound-absorbing headliner material, and there is a lot more noise
insulation in the body.
Our 2010 Mustang GT test car was a GT coupe with a starting price
of $27,995 and a bottom line of $34,015 with the $850 delivery charge
and options thrown in, including Track Pack (19-inch summer tires and
alloy wheels, 3.73:1 axle ratio, revised traction control and yaw
control parameters, and upgraded suspension), security package, and
The 2010 Mustang GT carries an upgraded 4.6-liter 3-valve V8 engine
rated at 315 horsepower (up from 300 on the 2009 version) and 325
foot-pounds of torque (up from 2009’s 320 lb-ft). The redline has been
raised 250 rpm to 6500 rpm for 2010. The engine has two built-in
calibrations for regular or premium fuel (the use of premium fuel adds
up to 10 foot-pounds of torque between 1000 and 3000 rpm, they tell us).
The new engine gets its cold intake air from a system built into the
grille, not under the hood, the lowest-restriction air intake system
ever on the Mustang, with an air induction sound pipe that goes right
into the cockpit to make it more pleasing to the driver at full
throttle. Ford says the fresh air system alone is worth three tenths of a
second in 0-60 mph acceleration improvement because the engine makes
much more power with cold air. On the exhaust side, the V-8 version gets
3.5-inch exhaust pipes versus 3.0-inch pipes on the last Mustang, and
the V-6 version gets 3.0-inch exhaust pipes instead of 2.5-inch pipes.
The standard axle ratio is 3.31:1, with two optional ratios, 3.55:1 or
3.73:1, which automatically comes with larger brakes.
The GT chassis has been upgraded and stiffened using parts and pieces
from the 2009 Bullitt Mustang, which means it rides tauter, turns in
quicker and has less pitch, dive and body roll than any previous
Mustang, as much as 20 percent less body roll. The GT rides on 235/50R18
tires, with 245/45R19 tires optional. If the 19-inch tire and wheel
option is selected, the car will automatically be built with a strut
tower brace under the hood to connect the two front struts for more
strength and better, more accurate handling.
The new tires, whether 17-, 18-, or 19-inch, have been chosen for their
much higher levels of both wet and dry grip, and Ford says the 19-inch
tires can produce skidpad performance exceeding 0.9g, which is very,
very good for such a low-priced car.
ABS brakes, traction control and AdvanceTrac yaw control are standard on
all models. For track work, both the traction control and the yaw
control can be turned off (but not the ABS), and there is a Sport mode
which allows higher handling limits before traction and yaw controls are
called in to save the day.
With all of that as prelude, the GT V-8 is an absolute blast to drive.
It’s very quick off the mark, the manual shifter shifts more cleanly,
and the engine sound is always brawny and throaty and beautiful, from
its lumpy idle to redline at 6500 rpm. The clutch pedal is light and
easy to use, even crawling through rush hour L.A. traffic on Sunset
In the canyons north of L.A., the Mustang showed off more new moves than
the entire cast of Dancing With The Stars, extremely quick to
transition from left to right and back again with a minimum of body
roll, dive and pitch in the suspension.
Likewise, the brakes have much less slop in the pedal, work faster and
work harder than the brakes on the outgoing model, very reassuring once
you find out just how quick and how fast this new Mustang really is.
The 2010 Ford Mustang is at the front of the pack when it comes
to performance-per-dollar. The Mustang V-6 handles almost as well as the
2009 Bullitt model, which is saying something. The GT is quicker,
faster, quieter and more refined than any V8 Mustang ever. It may not
have the 425 horsepower of the new Chevy Camaro or the Dodge Challenger
SRT-8, but it’s also not as chunky nor as expensive. The new Mustang has
more features, more comfort, and more sheer performance than any
previous production Mustang, and it’s priced to sell.
Jim McCraw filed this NewCarTestDrive.com report from Los Angeles after driving the Mustang GT.
|Model Line Overview|
|Model lineup:||Ford Mustang, Mustang GT; coupe, convertible|
|Engines:||240-hp 4.0-liter dohc 24-valve V6; 315-hp 4.6-liter 3-valve V8|
|Transmissions:||5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic|
|Safety equipment (standard):||front and side airbags, side air curtain, ABS, traction control, yaw control|
|Safety equipment (optional):||none|
|Basic warranty:||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Assembled in:||Flat Rock, Michigan|
|Specifications As Tested|
|Model tested (MSRP):||Ford Mustang GT coupe ($34,025)|
|Standard equipment:||air conditioning, power windows, six-way power driver seat, power mirrors, power locks, AM/FM/CD player|
|Options as tested (MSRP):||Preferred
package 400 ($3,000) includes leather six-way power driver seat with
power lumbar and two-way adjustable head restraint, bright shift knob,
door trim panel inserts, leather wrapped steering wheel w/aluminum
spokes, six-gauge cluster w/MyColor, gloss paint center stack and
console, satin door speaker surrounds, Ambient lighting, Bright aluminum
accent dash appliques, pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter knob,
special wheels, Shaker 500 AM/FM/6CD MP3 audio system, eight speakers,
Sirius Satellite Radio, Sync communications system, and split-folding
rear seats; Security Package ($395) includes anti-theft system, wheel
locks; Comfort Group ($595) includes six-way power passenger seat,
heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass; 3.73:1
rear axle ratio ($495)
|Gas guzzler tax:||N/A|
|Price as tested (MSRP):||$33,330|
|Engine:||4.6-liter dohc 24-valve V8|
|Horsepower (hp @ rpm):||315 @ 6000|
|Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):||325 @ 4250 rpm|
|EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:||16/24 mpg|
|Track, f/r:||62.3/62.9 in.|
|Head/hip/leg room, f:||38.5/55.3/42.4 in.|
|Head/hip/leg room, m:||N/A|
|Head/hip/leg room, r:||34.7/51.6/29.8 in.|
|Cargo volume:||13.4 cu. ft.|
|Towing capacity:||1000 Lbs.|
|Suspension, f:||independent, MacPherson strut, stabilizer bar|
|Suspension, r:||independent, three-link, coil springs, Panhard rod, stabilizer bar|
|Curb weight:||3545 lbs.|
|Brakes, f/r:||vented disc/vented disc with ABS, EBD|
|Fuel capacity:||21.7 gal.|