Not Your Average 2011 Mustang GT Review…

StuckInNY

Member
Mar 23, 2010
32
0
6
NY
First off, I’ll just say that I love the car, love being in it, cruising, etc. It is everything the magazine reviews have said. I am very happy that I purchased this car. Everyone knows all the positives already, so I just want to share some of the more petty things for those who are interested, or serious potential buyers. Please keep in mind my last car was a Hyundai Sonata 4 cylinder, so I am used to lots of functionality, and no performance.

I purchased a 2011 Mustang GT Premium, manual transmission, 3.55 gears, and security package. Here are my thoughts. Again, this review is more for the serious buyer as opposed to the speed freak who will not care about everything listed here.

• The ride is sooo nice, it is actually a better commuter car than my Sonata. Who would have guessed. I have the best of both worlds. Just amazing!
• I have had 3 Toyota Prius’s PASS ME in a 2 day period. Before the Mustang, I wanted to create a law to ban Prius’s from the left lane. This phenomenon is probably because I am so content just cruising and listening to the engine (or stereo), that I don’t care about getting where I am going as quickly as possible. I find myself more often in the right or middle lanes than the left. I love cruising at any speed. This might save me a ticket or 3 in the future.
• Ah, the skip shift! This is not very intrusive. There's a message on the dash computer that tells you when it will activate, if you are actually looking there at the time. When it kicks in, it stinks. I hit the gas after the shift, and there is no acceleration. It’s like I hit something. It actually bogs a little (very little) if under 20mph. I have found 2 ways around it. If I shift before 15mph, it lets me into 2nd. If I accelerate a bit briskly, it again lets me into second. It seems like it will not go into 4th gear unless it is going around 20mph already, and under moderate acceleration. I have also started keeping a little roll going, and starting in second. It is probably a good feature, it just kicks in when I am not expecting it.
• LRA – The car soaks up most bumps. Only on the really bad areas do I feel the rear get a little skittish. It re-grips the road real quick, and does not make me lose any confidence. It is much better than an ’87 Monte Carlo SS that I had years ago. They really did a great job here. I am not worried about the snow or rain too much as it will not be as bad as the Monte I was used to.
• Placement of the USB input in the console is poor. I hate sticking my hand in the console fearing I might break it since it sticks out across half of the opening, right across the middle of the space. I wish they would have made it stand vertically. The car lacks storage space as it is.
• There is an automatic start. I'm not sure why they just didn't use the push button start like others, but it is a nice feature none the less. You just twist the key a bit, and let go. The car takes it from there.
• There is no place for sunglasses on roof by windshield, but I use the ticket clips on the visor to hold them now. Very convenient for both, more so than in my Sonata with proper storage locations for them.
• The mirror in the sun visor does not have a light, But, it is shaped like the hood, so that makes up for it! I really don't care, but I expect a complaint from the wife eventually.
• The sun visor itself is very low quality. It does not feel like it should be part of this car.
• The cup holder (with insert in place) is near useless for (large) drinks due to interfering with shifting (may not be a problem in automatics!), unless you are drinking those 6 ounce water bottles (from Costco). They fit perfectly in the rear cup holder on the console (which is deeper than the front opening). I end up using the cup holders as easy pass storage. For now. You can remove the bottom insert, but that does not give you much more room.
• It is hard to reach the seatbelt, which may be due to me sitting further forward (I have 2 kids in the back often)
• The kids absolutely love the car. I thought they would hate having less room, but they love the engine sound and the stereo, and my rough shifting makes the ride more eventful.
• My rough shifting into first caused my wife's Green tea to go right up her nose. That will teach her to drink in my car!
• I have to reach in to seatbelt my daughter. It is not difficult to stretch in the back seat from the doorway to do so. It is not much different than a 4 door car. I was very impressed with the rear seat access.
• The rear seat may be tight for adults, but the kids sink into it. They do not complain about a lack of room.
• Rear seat belt are sunk into the seat, which looks very nice, but prevents my daughter from being able to buckle herself with the booster seat in place.
• The hood cowl (bulge) is not straight, which causes me to subconsciously drift the car to the right since it curves that way before the end of the hood. It looks great, but trails off a little to the right on the driver's side when ending at the very front of the hood, which gave me the perception of needing to tilt the steering wheel right just a little bit (at the beginning). I corrected that quickly!
• Even though other reviews have said this, I’ll repeat – the car is deceptively fast. When I accelerate quickly to pass someone, I end up having to hit the brakes as I catch up to the next car in a hurry. This never happened in my Sonata.
• You can’t turn on the fog lights unless at least your parking lights are on. Oh well. Someone said it may be a law that restricts the use of fog lights without your normal lights on.
• Microsoft Sync is tough to use with 100’s of songs categorized by folder on a flash drive. It groups them all, and I cannot browse by folder only. I cannot also navigate to see the songs without changing selections. This is probably just me. I have some learning to do here.
• The Bluetooth is very nice. If you are on a call when getting into the car, it continues once car is started. This feature is the main reason I got the Premium package, since I don't care too much about the leather. If it was a separate feature, I would not have gotten the Premium package.
• On that note, I am having a tough time with the Bluetooth also. I have a phonebook of around 1000 contacts (mainly work), so it is hard to speak the name of who I want to call. I will have to modify my popular contacts to make it easier.
• The automatic headlights come on the second I go under an overpass, even if it is a very short underpass. This feature is becoming more popular quick, but I still get the feeling I might be pissing off some people in front of me.
• The brakes are so much better than I am used to, and I haven’t even had to really test them thankfully.
• The windows drop down a half an inch (to break the vacuum seal) when you open the door. It makes it much easier. This happens because there is no frame around the windows on the door itself.
• As most of you know (if not all), the car has sequential tail lights. Since I'm inside, it doesn't do a lot for me, but just knowing that they are there is making me use my signal all the time. This may save me an unnecessary traffic stop eventually!
• Trunk size works for me. Not as big as the Sonata obviously, but no complaints here!
• The seat is very comfortable. Only problem is that my back sweats a lot (maybe because its leather and not cloth?) when driving on hot days with the windows down (so I can hear the engine better). I am having to use AC instead on my commutes.
• On the trunk is the satellite radio antenna. I've heard it referred to as "the wart". I agree. It's a little circular bump right in the middle.
• There is actually a regular mast antenna for the radio, albeit pretty short. I am not really sure why it couldn't be integrated with the rear window, like many other cars.
• The steering is pretty nice. I would like it a little firmer, but I'll take it as is.
• The clutch is so soft. I was hesitant about a manual because I have knee issues, but I got it anyway due to the reviews. The clutch is not affecting my knee at all.
• The shifter is short throw, but not much unlike my old 1984 300ZX Turbo. I was actually expecting shorter throws, but to me it is perfect. My cousin had a G35 with an aftermarket short throw that I hated. This is MUCH better. (Keep in mind that I ordered the car 3 months ago and there were no cars available for test drives)
• The ambient lighting is just a very good feature. It is not cheesy looking at all. It's actually a very nice, elegant touch that makes the car look more upscale.
• Glove compartment has room, but poor layout. It is not deep vertically, but sort of deep horizontally. Not a big deal, just weird. I found out that there actually is a place to keep the user manual, which is not obvious at first.
• Someone once said this. The aluminum dash reflects the sunlight, sometimes in my eyes. I have only experienced this once where it was an issue due to exact angle, but it should not be too bad. I will withhold judgment until I have more seat time.
• Tachometer placement – no gripe here. Only issue is that it accelerates so fast, that psychologically I am afraid to look down at it due to looking where I am going. A lot of racers have the tachometer hood-mounted. Now I know why. I will have to get used to this. Thank the lord for the rev limiter. I am also glad the canned tunes for the X3 come with the rev limiter still in place (albeit increased to 7300).
• I wish the leather seats and dash were darker black (car is black on black). I will probably polish/shine the dash soon.
• I always fear that everyone wants to race as I have my kids in it a lot. Once the newness of the 5.0 wears off, that fear may die down.
• I was driving next to a MazdaSpeed3 today, and I felt very mature (not as in old, but kind of as in confident and proud). I felt like I was the boss, and I'm not sure why, considering the Speed3 is a car that I was seriously considering last year.
• 3.55 gears seem fine, but can use more low end grunt (I wish I went with the 3.73's, even though I have not driven it with them yet!). Engine really opens up above 4,000 rpm like everyone has said. Maybe a tune will wake up the low rpm responsiveness though.
• I was thinking about adding a Turbo kit later on as the warranty disappears, but the acceleration from 4,000 rpm on feels just like a turbo would. I will just go the bolt-on route eventually.
• Acceleration in 6th gear while doing around 60mph is pretty decent. I don't even have to downshift.
• Speed-sensitive volume on the Shaker 500 is great. I keep it on the highest setting. It works very well. It has 7 different settings, which is very thoughtful.
• Signal (inside of car) - I really cannot hear it unless going real slow (when audio volume decreases). This is a great thing since my Sonata signals where real annoying!
• Blind spot mirror is good, but takes some getting used to. Main trick is remembering to use it.
• Handling has been great, but haven't really tested it too much.
• There is a backlight for all the gauges that really does its job. It keeps the gauges very visible in all driving conditions. It seems like it gets brighter automatically when I go under overpasses. Very nice.
• I find myself getting to work early since I cannot wait to get in the car and drive in the morning. I just might have to find a longer route to work!
• Console chrome button is a magnet for fingerprints.
• I received a fuel filler inlet alert, but I reset it and it went away. The cap-less fuel inlet is nice, but jury is out until I see if that issue is longer lasting.
• Fuel tank - the E really means E! When I had a little less than 1/4 tank left on the gauge, I got a message saying I have 50 miles until empty. That message stays on the computer, and counts down until you reset it. Nice feature.
• Rear headrest - I wish I can remove it easily. My daughter's full booster seat with back is just high enough to force me to keep the headrest in the rear upright, which causes a little loss of visibility. Someone on a forum posted instructions on how to remove, but you have to disassemble the seat to do so. No thanks. I'll just deal with it.
• The car gets hot in high heat. I have to tint the windows soon.
• I wouldn't have gotten the premium package, mainly since I'm not a big fan of leather, but it comes with the Shaker 500 and Bluetooth - which is what I really wanted. The ambient lighting is a nice bonus.
• Floor mats stink. Very plain. None in the back. I ordered a set with the 5.0 logo on them that fits the 2011.
• My insurance is only $40/year higher than my wife. Considering I put on more miles than her, I am really shocked. We both have perfect records. I wasn't expecting that!
• The Shaker 500 is great so far. I can't even imagine having the Shaker 1000 option since my head cannot take volume near the half way point.
• The car could use a telescoping steering wheel. I wouldn't mind it being 1 inch closer, but no big deal.
• The trunk lid feels pretty light. I look at it as a weight saving feature. Nothing to be concerned about. The hood, on the other hand, feels very heavy and strong.
• The rear of the car has really, really grown on me. At first, I hated it when it came out for the 2010 model. After looking at 2011 every night for months, it actually looks better than the 2005+ rear end. I didn't think that would happen, but it did. I like the change.
• When I was buying the car, me and my wife agreed that her car would become the family car (2009 Sonata SE). After getting it, the family has never been together in her car. My car became the family car instantly. Let me repeat that: the Mustang became our FAMILY CAR!
• For some reason, I can cruise at a very consistent and steady speed without using cruise control. That wasn't the case in my Sonata.

I left out so many positives because you all know what they are already. I used to trade my cars in every 2 years. Now, I will want to keep this one for a long time (just like my 300ZX Turbo). It is absolutely amazing.

EDIT: based on some great suggestions, as well as new thoughts, I edited my initial review. Thanks to all who gave some very helpful tips!
 
  • Sponsors(?)


mk70ss

New Member
Jul 17, 2010
11
0
0
Mass
Great review. I agree with most of what you say. Although I drive with a medium ice coffee in the cup holder and can shift without issue. My GT is also a five speed.
 

DarkFireGT

Playing with my wife's really makes me want one.
10 Year Member
May 23, 2004
690
7
89
Davenport, IA
I read through most of it. Couple of things..

About the cupholder.. I don't know about the 2010+, but on the 2005-2009, there was a false bottom in the rear cupholder. You could pull that out and fit much larger/taller drinks in the cupholder. Does yours have one that you might not have noticed?

About the seatbelt. Again, I dunno about 2010+, but I have a strap where the seat back meets the seat bottom. It has a snap on it. You pull the belt forward and place it under the strap, then button it. Then your seatbelt is within reach no matter where your seat is set at.

Shifting.. You never want to be in 4th when you're under 20mph. I have 3.31 gears in mine and it'll bog if I'm under 32 in 4th. For optimal performance and gas mileage combined, your cruising RPMs should be between 1200 and 1500. For shifting, you should be over 1500 RPMs. You can go into 2nd and 1st are actually decently close. 2nd and 4th are a very huge difference.

A tune will make a gigantic difference in how the car feels, and give you a nice boost in fuel economy (once the newness wears off and you can keep your foot out of it).
 

StuckInNY

Member
Mar 23, 2010
32
0
6
NY
I read through most of it. Couple of things..

About the cupholder.. I don't know about the 2010+, but on the 2005-2009, there was a false bottom in the rear cupholder. You could pull that out and fit much larger/taller drinks in the cupholder. Does yours have one that you might not have noticed?

About the seatbelt. Again, I dunno about 2010+, but I have a strap where the seat back meets the seat bottom. It has a snap on it. You pull the belt forward and place it under the strap, then button it. Then your seatbelt is within reach no matter where your seat is set at.

Shifting.. You never want to be in 4th when you're under 20mph. I have 3.31 gears in mine and it'll bog if I'm under 32 in 4th. For optimal performance and gas mileage combined, your cruising RPMs should be between 1200 and 1500. For shifting, you should be over 1500 RPMs. You can go into 2nd and 1st are actually decently close. 2nd and 4th are a very huge difference.

A tune will make a gigantic difference in how the car feels, and give you a nice boost in fuel economy (once the newness wears off and you can keep your foot out of it).


There is a seat belt hook that is adjustable, but it is still too far behind me to reach easily.

The shifting at 15 is intentional - it is so I can get into 2nd, thus AVOIDING the skip shift into 4th. It stops bogging in the low 20's in 4th. I don't think the car will let me cruise at 1200 rpms. Remember, it is a 6 speed with 3.55's. Cruising at 60 in 6th has the car around 2,000 rpms. Oh well. Mileage has been good though. I'm getting over 20 in mixed driving so far, with some playing, and it should get better.
 

Sparty92

Member
Jul 30, 2007
430
5
19
Detroit Burbs
Get one of these for your seat.
Ford Oval Seat Armour Protective Cover - Black at AmericanMuscle.com - Free Shipping!

I have one in my car and it does a good job. It can be a pain at times because it just slips over the head rest and there are no other ways to anchor it, especially if you have the side airbags. Ford dealers have them also.

Congrats on the 5.0 though!!

Why order a leather interior....only to cover it with something? Is your living room furniture covered in plastic too? :rlaugh:
 

SP_51-F1

Member
Oct 26, 2004
41
0
6
Austin
Don't reach back for the seatbelt, just reach down between the seat and the b-pillar/door. I just talked my mom into buying a '11 V6. The seatbelt placement was her only compliant until I showed her that little trick, now she has nothing but positives to say.