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Ford Mustang: Age 58, still an American icon

Like other automotive standard bearers, the Ford Mustang is unmistakable. It’s an American-made muscle car with a long hood, short rear deck and an omnipresent pony badge.

Unlike other pony and muscle cars no longer around, the Mustang has endured good and bad style changes and revolving consumer interest. But the vehicle introduced by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., on April 17, 1964, is still around and faring well despite stagnating sales.

Ford Mustang: American Icon

Once selling more than 150,000 vehicles a year, the Mustang tally will reach about 40,000 this year. It’s a stark reminder of the increasing popularity of sport utility vehicles a pickup trucks.

The 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost continues the iconic car's legacy.
The 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost continues the iconic car’s legacy.

The 2022 Ford Mustang is the continuation of the nearly 60-year vehicle’s sixth generation. Changes for this year’s edition are modest. The most notable are three new appearance packages and a loss of 10 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque for the V8 engine in the GT and Mach 1 models. It’s likely because of stricter emissions requirements.

With its availability in EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT, GT Premium and Mach 1, the 2022 Ford Mustang can satisfy any buyer’s engine preferences. With Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet driving modes added into the mix as well as convertible and hardtop coupe in some trims, the Mustang defines muscle car versatility.

Ford Mustang: Manual Transmission Done Right

The four-passenger Mustang is offered with four-cylinder and V8 engines and with a six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic. Shifting is the way to drive a Mustang.

The interior of the 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is well-designed and comfortable.
The interior of the 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is well-designed and comfortable.

The reviewed EcoBoost Coupe in the premium trim features a 2.3-liter engine with 310 horsepower. Its 0-60 miles per hour acceleration is listed at 5.1 seconds, a satisfying effort while smoothly shifting through its six gears. Reverse involves pulling the lever before moving it to the upper left-hand of the shift box. All trim choices are rear-wheel drive.

The EcoBoost Premium adds an array of comfort, convenience and technology features. A higher grade of interior material, including partially leather upholstery, is standard. A nine-speaker audio system, eight-inch touchscreen, heated mirrors and 18-inch wheels are also included in the trim.

Ford Mustang: Tech Savvy

Comfort additions include heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable driver’s and passenger seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and interior ambient interior lighting are also part of the trim level.

Driving modes provide nuances. Regardless of the selection, the Mustang corners with stability ease and minimal body roll. It’s a driver’s car. Accelerate and a hearty growl fills the air. It’s the muscle car way, but it’s offered in coupe without the rugged, noisy and hard-driving ways of the segment.

Top Mustang competitors include the Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ. All are worthy. The Mustang has a starting MSRP of $28,400. The reviewed trim begins at $32,225. Its optional packages push the price to $40,335.

One added cost in the Oxford White exterior paint matched with similarly colored wheels. The combination is classy and gets plenty of compliments, a common Mustang reaction.

The Mustang’s base starting price is slightly less than the Camaro and slightly more than the GR86 and BRZ. Gas mileage honors go to the Mustang, with ratings of 21 miles per gallon in city driving, 29 mpg on the highway.

The Mustang built its reputation for several reasons. It’s a daily driver that combines the swagger of the chase-scent vehicle showcased in many movies and simultaneously restrained. It’s content to cruise along, sedan-like, after its acceleration growl wanes. If performance is needed, the Mustang’s persona can quickly change. It gets the job done, just like it has since its 1964 debut.

 


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