Nothing inspires youthful enthusiasm like a fun romp in a high-powered pony car. Revving the engine and listening to its throaty roar might tempt drivers to test the off-the-mark performance from a red light. Owners of the iconic Ford Mustang are familiar with this feeling.
Whether you prefer its fastback-style hardtop or its soft-top convertible, this rear-wheel-drive muscle car offers a variety of models and engines for nearly every buyer. Now in its sixth generation, the sporty 2017 Ford Mustang is loaded with innovative technologies and features a slate of engines that can meet your need for fuel economy or high performance.
Outside, the sleek fastback features steeply sloped windshield and rear glass and carries such heritage-based design cues as hood-vent turn signals and various California, Pony and Black Accent packages.
Inside, an aviation-inspired cockpit offers all the information an active driver needs with large, clear instrumentation. The roomier cabin boasts improved ergonomics, while tactile switches and knobs provide better control; a carbon-fiber-look dashboard completes the presentation. Front-seat room is generous, though the back seat is best left to transporting groceries over full-size adults. A rear-view camera is standard; a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert is available, and an optional adaptive cruise control feature includes a radar-based forward collision warning system that pre-loads the brakes.
Powerplants range from a base 3.7-liter V-6 that makes 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque to a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that produces 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque to a high-performance 5.0-liter V-8 found in GT and GT Premium models that promises 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
Each is mated to your choice of standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. If that’s not enough performance for you, step up to the Shelby GT350, which boasts a 5.2-liter V-8 that kicks out 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
All offer exhilarating acceleration, planted handling and grippy braking. Toggle switches on the console quickly adjust steering effort, engine response and transmission and electronic stability control settings. A number of performance options are available.
The 2017 Mustang offers keyless access with push-button start as well as standard Track Apps, MyColor gauges and Ford’s MyKey system with parental controls for geo-fencing, speed limit, stability control, audio volume, radio content, seat belt reminders and low fuel warnings.
Pricing starts at $25,185 for the base Mustang, $30,685 for the convertible and $56,145 for the Shelby GT350 performance model.
Editor’s note: The 2018 Ford Mustang is coming this fall.