Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ending 2015 in style, with a milestone Mustang

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review first appeared in the December 2015 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, CaliforniaSometimes, you get to wrap up a year the right way.

For me, it was a week in a 2015 Ford Mustang Premium convertible, decked out in “Competition Orange” paint … an absolute head-turner at every stop. Photo by Charles Glover.

While we’ve moved on to the 2016 model year in earnest, I had been seeking the 2015 Mustang for some time.  Milestones are involved.

For Ford, the extensively reworked-for-2015 Mustang was a celebration of 50 years of the model.  For me, this was a shout-out to the first car I ever drove, a 1965 Mustang.  If you’re doing the math in your head and thinking that I’m 88 years old, let me enlighten you.

I was FAR short of the legal driving age when I drove the ’65 Mustang.  I was taken to a local school parking lot – where the nearest obstacle to collide with was perhaps a half mile away – and allowed to tour the thing around for a blissful half hour or so.

To this day, authorities in my native Ohio have not issued an indictment for this violation.  I assume the statue of limitations has run its course.

The tested 2015 Mustang was a fabulous mix of the old and new.  Happily, it looked like a Mustang at first glance, with the familiar pony car sculpting.  And in the tested droptop, the soft roof put on a great show disappearing into the boot at the push of a button.

The three-spoke steering wheel was a blast from the past, and the interior controls were laid out to make working them a snap.  Ebony, leather-trimmed seats were comfortable and sporty-looking.

My ride was a comparatively humble version with the 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine.  Even so, the max horsepower rating was a robust 310, and the tester responded with enthusiasm when asked.  It was nimble on severe corners taken at high speed, although there was just the slightest give in the steering wheel when making slalom maneuvers.

The Mustang is known for high horsepower at a low price, although the tester started at a somewhat hefty $34,800.  It was dressed up with extras to push the bottom line on the sticker to a primo-level $41,295.

Despite 300-plus horses under the hood, fuel mileage ratings are pretty fair at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Extras on my ride included adaptive cruise control, reverse park assist and a voice-activated navigation system.  That’s all very nice, but in a Mustang, I kind of prefer the basics: horsepower and driving pleasure.

Thankfully, I had the chance to drop the top on some sunny, warm fall days and enjoy the full convertible experience.  This gave me a chance to appreciate spirited runs on the open road in the perfect vehicle for doing that.  I wanted to keep going, maybe to the East Coast and back, but my family would have missed me.

Was I remembering past runs in Mustangs of my youth doing this?  You bet your life.

In the end, I didn’t want to hand over the bright-orange dream machine, but you know how it goes.  Life goes on.  But hey, it’s good to hang on to those motoring memories from years ago.

A nice ending to a good year.

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