The 2022 Ford Mustang may very well be the swan song for the current pony car as the world awaits the arrival of the seventh-generation model. And though not much has changed since the last facelift five years ago, that’s just fine as it remains a great option for enthusiasts. Here’s why.
Out of all the semi-recent iterations, the blue oval brand has arguably done the best job here blending traditional and modern elements. The silhouette is spot on, and during the latest update things like full LED headlights, more textured and 3-D vertical LED taillights, a lower hood, sleeker grille and front bumper, and quad exhaust tips were added keeping the GT convertible variant we tested crisp.
The cockpit is still driver-focused, with some pretty premium appointments including a hand-stitched leather wrap on the centre console and padded knee bolsters, and aluminum door handles and trim. The only cheap-looking part was the plastic paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Believe it or not, the rear seats are actually usable as four (albeit skinny) adults crammed into the cabin for a road-trip. According to the rear passengers, a wind-blocker is sorely needed during highway runs.
One normally doesn’t think practicality when talking about a drop-top, but at approximately 332 litres the trunk can fit one full-size and one carry-on luggage. When the fabric roof is latched, the ride is actually pretty civilized even when the weather turns cold and rainy.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the vehicle is the oh-so-sweet Ford 5.0-litre V8. The most powerful and highest-revving example in a GT thus far, the engine outputs 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission (or six-speed manual). Shifts are quick, except a slight lag going from D to R and vice versa.
The sound is as intoxicating as ever, particularly with the optional active valve exhaust system that absolutely sings in the upper RPM range. And to the delight of the neighbours, enabling quiet mode found in the digital instrument cluster menu turns the roar into a purr.
I drove more highway than twisty side roads during my time in the car however the independent rear suspension kept the drive predictable and fun. A MagneRide Damping System is available as well, which constantly reads the surface conditions and adjusts the stiffness of each damper to provide as comfortable and composed an experience behind the wheel as possible.
The Selectable Electric Power-Assisted Steering is also great for customizing feel for various environments: Comfort is perfect for everyday motoring, Sport delivers a firmer response and Normal is a happy medium between the two. Similarly, there are selectable drive modes (Normal, Slippery, Sport, Track, Drag Strip)— controlled via a cool aluminum toggle switch on the centre stack — each adjusting settings such throttle, braking and gearbox behaviour to suit the chosen function.
If you can wait, the good news is American muscle lives on in the 2024 Mustang. The vehicle will continue to offer a V8 and features additions like the ability to rev the engine using the key fob and Electronic Drift Brake allowing novices to slide around corners. Stay tuned.
MSRP: $56,745 (base)
Motor: 5.0-litre V8
Horsepower: 460 @ 7,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 420 @ 4,600 rpm
Gearbox: 10-speed automatic
Layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 14.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)