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Motor Trend crowns the 2011 Mustang the V6 ponycar king

By Drew Phillips - December 20, 2010 – 3:12 pmNo Comment | 349 views

In their February 2011 issue Motor Trend has done another iteration of the classic comparison test, pitting the current crop of V6 ponycars against one another. “Our quest was to find the holy grail of the people’s ponycar, the one that best combines sport, functionality, and value in a daily driver,” MT says. This particular test was a little bit different, as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe was thrown into the usual mix of American cars.

So how did the Mustang stack up? You guessed it. Motor Trend crowned the 2011 Mustang the king of ponycars. Here’s what Motor Trend said regarding their decision:

The Mustang is not the fastest car here. Nor is it the most eye-catching. Or the best handler. These traits we’ve already bestowed upon the preceding cars — as well as their inherent downsides. The Mustang instead takes these qualities, lessens their ill effects just so, and blends them into an ideal mix.

With 305 horsepower, the most torque, and a curb weight just 41 pounds heavier than the smaller Genesis, the Mustang delivers ample acceleration, either tying or scoring strong second-place finishes in each performance metric. Plus, its fuel economy earns top honors from the EPA, and second-best on our drive.

The Mustang delivers style in spades, inducing a sense of cool even when parked next to the other more dramatic nostalgia-mobiles. Its shape has undergone 47 years of refinement, allowing it to evoke the spirit of the original car without compromising functionality. And while its character isn’t as immediately gratifying as the Challenger’s blast of Toxic Orange, the Mustang won’t grow tiresome day in and day out.

Only very serious driving enthusiasts will find faults with the Mustang’s handling in this trim. Being the softest sprung of the bunch, the Mustang can become unnerving in excess of 7/10ths (“Wallowing at speed is unnerving,” per editor at large Ron Kiino).

But for the majority of city drivers, the smoother ride is worth some backroad unpleasantry. Ford offers better suspenders in the V-6 Performance Package ($1995), but limits the option to manual-equipped cars. Enthusiasts will buy the car fitted as such anyway, as the six-speed automatic here quickly races to top gear in the hunt for every last bit of fuel economy.

Most buyers won’t notice such omissions. Instead, they’ll enjoy the wonderfully styled and feature-rich interior. The always fantastic Sync comes standard, setting the bar for audio systems in this segment. A backup camera is available without choosing the $2340 navigation package’s screen, adding a display in the rearview mirror. Ford also boasts a plethora of customization options, allowing buyers to tailor their future car from the factory. Don’t like the standard fascia? Change it. Want a hood scoop, or some stripes? Have them.

No, it’s not the quickest, most fun, or loaded with the most character. But the Mustang happily marries each of these attributes into a liveable, realistic daily driver with little compromise. By a thin margin, we elect the Mustang the people’s best ponycar representative.

[Source: Motor Trend]




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