2011 Ford Mustang V6 Test Drive and Review

The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 didn’t receive many changes from the 2010
model year on the outside or inside but under the hood the new base
model pony car got the power it needed to keep up with the rest of the
market.  The 4.0L engine from the 2005-2010 models has been removed in
place of a more powerful and more fuel efficient 3.7L version of the
Duratech V6.  The 2011 Mustang V6 offers 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of
torque, mated to either an automatic or manually shifted 6-speed
transmission. Thanks to the good people of Dorian Ford in Clinton
Township, Michigan, I had a chance to spend a day behind the wheel of
this new base model Ford Mustang.

The exterior of the 2011 Mustang V6 offers the same changes to the
S197 platform as the 2010 models with a raised center section of the
hood giving the car a menacing look, bolstered by the aggressive front
fascia and low-mounted foglights.  The rear of the car is dressed up
with a low profile spoiler and a blackout panel between the sequential
tail lights.

Inside of the 2011 Ford Mustang V6, many of the same options are
available from the prior model year.  The interior layout itself is
identical to the 2010 Mustang V6 with the sporty bucket seats offering a
firm seat during spirited driving as well as a comfortable ride on a
long road trip.  My 2011 Mustang V6 test vehicle was equipped with the
standard sound system but you audiophiles can upgrade to the impressive
MyFord touch system with navigation and satellite radio.

I have driven a great many cars and in the past the V6-powered Ford
Mustangs were more about the look than the performance aspect but with
305hp the base model 2011 Mustang offers similar power to the outgoing
Mustang GT.  The new Mustang V6 is capable of stock 13-second quarter
mile times and in my test drive session, the added power was hard not to
notice.  The 2011 Mustang V6 accelerates hard through the powerband and
the automatic transmission of my test car kept the Mustang in the
powerband from gear to gear – pulling hard and even occasionally
chirping the tires when it shifts.

One of the features of the newest V6 Mustang is the factory-equipped
dual exhaust and this system is quiet around town, yet offering a little
growl at higher RPMs.  The optional 3.31 rear gear ratio helps the 3.7L
engine build speed in impressive fashion but I could definitely see a
bigger rear gear help the 2011 Mustang V6 to get off the line but that
would hurt the fuel economy.  However, the 2011 V6 Mustang offers “fun
to drive” factor like no other base model Mustang before.

Speaking of fuel economy, the 2011 Mustang V6 was the first car in
the US market to ever receive an EPA fuel economy rating of over 30mpg
(31 to be exact) and also offer over 300 horsepower.  To show just how
fuel efficient the new V6 Mustang really is, Ford went so far as to set
up the Mustang 1000-Lap Challenge.  In this experiment, Ford had a team
of test drivers take a 2011 Mustang V6 and run laps around Bristol Motor
Speedway with the goal of reaching 1000 laps on a single 16-gallon tank
of fuel.  After 17 hours of driving, the 2011 Mustang completed 1457
laps – 776 miles – on just 16 gallons of gas for an average of 48.5
miles per gallon.  To give you an idea of just how impressive that is,
the 2011 Mustang V6 can run in the 13 second quarter mile range and if
you set the cruise at 45mph, the new base model Mustang could get you
from Detroit to Atlanta on a single tank of gas.

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