2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible 2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Vital Stats

Engine:
5.0L V8
Power:
420 HP / 390 HP
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,792 LBS
Seating:
2+2
Cargo:
9.6 CU-FT
MPG:
18 City / 25 HWY
Putting The Finishing Touches On The Poster Child For The Midlife Crisis



Shortly after I turned 16, my father set out to acquire a new car for himself. Dad knew a guy who knew a guy who ran one of those quasi-legal used car lots that specialized in deals-too-good-to-be-true, so, armed with the protection of the referral, he drove off to the wrong side of town to see what might replace the 1980 Ford Fiesta that was about to become my hand-me-down.

When dad came home in a barely used 1987 Mustang GT, my mind was blown. I pestered him to let me drive it the moment he set foot through the door of the house, but was told that I was not allowed, as he had not actually purchased the vehicle, but merely borrowed it for the night. Dad wasn't sure that it was the right car for him, he said, explaining that what drew him to it was that, like the Fiesta, it was a hatchback.

The absurdity of this statement was not lost on me. The Mustang met 110 percent of my automotive fantasies at the time, and even at my young age, I could sense that giving a newly ordained driver access to such a car would be eclipsed in the Pantheon Of Bad Parenting only by introducing your child to hookers and blow. This just made me more furtive and desperate.
2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible side view2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible front view2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible rear view

I had no idea how to convince my dad to keep the Mustang, but knew I must. So when mom said we needed milk for dinner, I volunteered to accompany my father on a run to the store. I had no plan, but if I was in the car with him, I reasoned, he might be distracted from finding something wrong with it. The errand also provided an opportunity to actually go for a ride in the Mustang, an experience that an hour earlier had existed only in the realm of my wildest fantasies. But I had already discounted merely riding in the car, so quickly does the adolescent mind move from one desire to another. Even getting behind the wheel had been subverted by my quest to possess the Mustang, like some teenaged Gollum. But dad improbably tossed me the keys, breaking his own rule and unknowingly providing me with a lifetime of animus against Ford's venerable pony car.

Although I managed to keep my cool for the two minutes it took us to exit our subdivision, when I pulled out onto the road that led to the grocery store, my foot crammed the accelerator to the floor and I got to hear that 5.0 sing all the way up to redline. Alas, it was a sad song of goodbye, as by 60 mph, the loudest sound in the Mustang was not the exhaust, but my father screaming at me to slow down.

The next day, dad returned from work late, behind the wheel of a 1986 Ford Tempo.

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible front detail2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible hood vents2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible wheel2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible taillight

At least until the all-new Mustang on the horizon for 2015 bows, this one is the ne plus ultra.

I have spent the last two-and-a-half decades trying to work through my feelings about the Mustang. But as each successive generation has improved, the awe and delight that initially accompanied those cars has given way to the bitterness of my first encounter. It has been just too easy to find fault with subsequent Mustangs, which have always been too ugly, too cheap, too underpowered, or too impractical. But now, just months shy of my 40th birthday, a week spent driving a 2013 Mustang GT Convertible seems to have erased the psychological trauma of my childhood. That my tester was a lavishly outfitted Premium model with a sticker price of $47,305 – which included over $7,000 worth of options like Brembo brakes ($1,695) and a navigation package ($2,340) – certainly helped, but beneath all the extras I found a pretty amazing car.

The 2013 Mustang is the final step in the multi-year redesign of the then-revolutionary 2005 'Stang. The first Mustang in the model's long history to be given its own platform, the S197 was a good car saddled with a crummy interior and a dated powertrain lineup, complaints that have now been addressed. Ford began the process in the 2010 model, fixing the interior along with an exterior restyling that effectively pulled the Mustang's lines just a little more taut. Two stellar new engines debuted for 2011, including the GT's 5.0-liter V8 and a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. Adjustable settings were introduced to the electric power steering system in the 2012 model, and the 2013 model features new front and rear fascia designs that further separate the current Mustang from those 2005-2009 models. At least until the all-new Mustang on the horizon for 2015 bows, this one is the ne plus ultra.

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible engine

It's the first modern Mustang I've driven that looks and feels like a complete package, a car that's exciting enough to make me once again covet a Mustang like I did at age 16. Explaining how I've come to this way of thinking might best be left to the therapy chair, but it starts with a simple question: What else is left for Ford to do?

What matters are three things: Looks, fun and value – and the new Mustang delivers on all three.

Now before the collected enthusiast community – minus the Mustang fans – all shouts "independent rear suspension" in unison, I'll preempt that by saying that I just don't care. If my test car had a rear axle made out of Legos and a suspension designed around the viscous properties of marshmallow fluff, it would not matter in the least to me if it still did the things it does as well as it does them. (And to the greenies who point to the GT's EPA fuel economy rating of 18 miles per gallon city and 25 highway, might I direct you to the V6 Mustang.) What matters are three things: Looks, fun and value – and the new Mustang delivers on all three.

The redesigned front fascia and vented hood that's exclusive to the GT give the '13 models an aggression that just wasn't there last year. The upgrade also includes HID headlights and body-colored rocker panels. While I really liked the way the old grille sat hidden underneath the horizontal overhang of the hood, the new front end emphasizes the vertical, giving the Mustang more of a fuselage look. Out back, the new LED taillights are less of a big deal, but they do give the rear end a cleaner look. The 2013 is the first of the post-2005 Mustangs that seems to have tilted the scales far enough away from retro to look fresh, without evolving into a 21st Century Ford Probe like some expect to see in the next-generation design.

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible interior2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible front seats2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible rear seats

The interior in the Mustang is nothing special, but neither is it deficient. It hasn't been reworked aside from the addition of a new, optional 4.2-inch LCD display in the center between the speedometer and tachometer, necessary to accommodate the Track Apps feature, which we'll get to shortly. The seats in my test car looked like a million bucks done up in red leather with white stripes, but they felt flat and uncomfortable after a few hours behind the wheel, with no lumbar support and Ford's odd half-power, half-manual adjustment. Having a steering wheel that didn't telescope didn't help, but the optional Recaros seem like they might. While some of the switches and finishes inside the 2013 Mustang aren't quite as nice as in some other Ford vehicles (the Taurus SHO comes to mind), the utility of the interior controls is undeniable. The Mustang has never been a form-over-function kind of car, and though the 2013 may flirt with self-indulgence a bit – the side mirrors do display the Mustang logo in a puddle of light at night – this is a car that delivers everything it promises.

This is mostly thanks to the GT's 420-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, which has received an additional eight horsepower for 2013. No, the two-percent improvement isn't something you're going to notice, but the addition of SelectShift to the six-speed automatic transmission is significant. It allows for manual control of the transmission by means of a shifter-mounted button, and while it doesn't make the Mustang's automatic sporting in the way of a real manual, it certainly doesn't hurt, allowing you to choose your own gear and, more importantly, keep the tranny from upshifting. SelectShift's usefulness is somewhat limited, however, as the manual shifting action is not all that quick, and compared to a better solution like paddles, the rocker button is unsatisfying.

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Track Apps2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible shifter

This is the first car I've ever driven that will let you display cylinder head temperature.

While I'm not one to shy away from a good manual transmission, mashing that gas pedal and feeling the rocket launch of the V8 uncomplicated by a third pedal, is as enjoyable as it ever was. Maybe this seems adolescent and unsophisticated, but once you convince the throttle to open up, the 2013 Mustang will make you say "Ahh!" While my GT's six-speed automatic did seem to poison the performance of the big V8 a bit, particularly when I left the transmission alone to choose an inevitably higher gear than ideal, the car is still extremely quick. Nimble too: When you adjust the electric power steering to the sport position, the steering feels really good, weighty, but quick and direct. On the comfort setting it's noticeably softer and more appropriate for a long freeway slog. The optional Brembo brakes on my test car produced phenomenal stopping power and were easily modulated, with excellent pedal feel. For a convertible, the Mustang feels stiff and solid, and with the top up it's surprisingly quiet.

One new feature for 2013 is the aforementioned Track Apps, which will measure a number of performance stats while you drive. It's similar to systems found in other performance cars, like the Dodge Challenger SRT8, with an acceleration timer, a g meter, and a braking timer. It's thanks to this nifty piece of tech that I know the Mustang GT Convertible can pull over 0.9 g's on its street tires. All the Track Apps information is displayed on that nice looking little LCD in the center of the instrument panel, but amongst all the menus and options (this is the first car I've ever driven that will let you display cylinder head temperature) there's no digital speed display, which would certainly help mitigate the barely legible speedometer.

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible rear 3/4 view

With a starting MSRP of $37,290, I just don't think you can find a car that can do more for less.

The 2013 Mustang GT Convertible is fun to drive and be seen in, and it is such an all-around performance car that it's hard to resist its allure. It may not be the best at everything, as there are certainly other competitors that are flashier, more powerful and more exotic, but there are few other performance cars easier to justify owning. The backseat of the convertible is large enough to be useful, and so is the trunk. I can imagine a Mustang GT Convertible working out quite capably as an everyday driver and family conveyance while serving equally as well as a hobbyist project and weekend toy. With a starting MSRP of $37,290, I just don't think you can find an enthusiast's car that can do more for less.

You certainly aren't going to find many other performance cars with the unique history of the Mustang, and that certainly counts for something. That GT I drove in back in 1988 was the second coming of Ford's pony car, a performance bargain to reignite the enthusiasm of those Baby Boomers who had come of age during the Mustang's original heyday in the late '60s. That today's Mustang GT is once again wearing the 5.0 badge is significant, as it's now my generation that's looking back at the Mustang of their youth and seeing it reincarnated, for the better.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 165 Comments
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll take a regular ole $30k GT please.
      MTU 5.0
      • 2 Years Ago
      I prefer hardtops to verts, but that is one nice looking car. I too remember salivating over the Foxbody Mustang GT's when I was in middle school. I ended up getting my first, a 91 GT, my senior year of HS in 98. On my third one now, a 93 GT. I would love to add an S197 variant someday when funds are available.
      Rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      I bought a '13 V6 premium vert and love it. To each his own.
      jemteku
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am in LOVE! Just put a manual transmission in this Monster, and give me the keys. The Mustang is the only car for me. I learned how to drive in a 1965 289 V8, and been a Mustang lover ever since. RIP Carroll Shelby, you made the best ones!
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      The retro exterior has significantly grown on me. (plus they have improved and refined it over the years) The engines have improved and are great now! (The 1st generation of retro was terrible - 210hp v6 and 300ish hp v8 in the 4.6). The solid rear axle - when tuned properly who cares. Don't be a badge ***** - don't be an irs/solid rear axle snob either. IRS is better when properly tuned - but solid rear axle when done properly are sometimes better than poorly tested/tuned IRS. The interior - I still can't get over. I understand this is a loaded model - but whoever spends nearly $50,000 on a mustang with that interior is just completely insane. Ford think it might be time to bring the next generation of interior to your mustang. The materials may be ok, but the design is terrible.
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        What is so bad about the interior? It looks gorgeous, a lot better than most of the mundane, modern looking interiors found in most cars. It's classy interior matches the car's exterior quite nicely. It would not make sense if they put some modern space age looking thing in there, now would it? And since when is 300 hp "terrible"? Obviously you weren't alive in the 80s, or have conveniently forgotten the days when people got all excited at the prospect of a 190 hp 5.0. Like the 2005s, it was pretty good power for its day.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Again, what did you want them to do? Slap a modern looking interior in a car retro design. It was designed to look like the Mustangs of the 60s, to match the exterior. I am not a fan of the shiny plastic either, but the interior is still a vast improvement from those found in the SN-95s and Fox Bodies, and it's really not intolerable for an affordable performance car.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great performance.
      middle8farm
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thoroughly enjoyed and loved the '01 Bullitt I got just after my 50th birthday!
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I absolutely want one. Hopefully I can get one new before Ford turns the 15 model into a Fusion coupe.
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jesus!
        Idk, I've seen some awesome looking renderings for the 2015 model. I'd buy one if it looked like this one http://www.topgearrules.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2015-Ford-Mustang-Next-Gen-Concept.jpg
      That Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a V6.......They really need to differentiate these better. Also, the rear end is vomit inducing. What were they thinking? It's amazing how boring Ford has made the Mustang. Aside from a somewhat decent powertrain lineup (I can't believe Ford still has 2 evil V8's in this car....you'd think they would want shove their gas guzzling V6 in there), the interior is very bland and unappealing, the exterior is a slightly modern take on the terrible 2005 design. Maybe Ford will get it together for the next one...but if the styling of the Fusion/Escape/Focus is any indication...there's no hope.
        Luke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        You mean the first production V6 that was the first to break the 300HP/30MPG barrier?
          That Guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Luke
          That's like winning the gold at the special olympics. A V6 Mustang is still a lowly V6 Mustang. But hey, the secretaries will be impressed.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        not with you there Matt ( That Guy ), the V6 Camaro and V6 Challenger pretty much look like thier V8 bretheren as well, barring wheels of course. As for the rest, just wait a year or so, this years cars are stopgaps, theres IRS, styling, interior, exterior weight savings and drivetrain changes coming....along with a 4 cylinder turbo.....my bet is its going to cause quite a stir, but that is speculation of course. Fact is though, even with what could be construed as a dated chassis, they are STILL competitive and consistantly rated tops in their class....
          That Guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          I love you Ford slappies who say that Ford's complete ineptness is A-OK because "everyone else is doing it". What a great attitude to have. And, yes, the V6 Camaro and Challenger, to some, may appear to be similar to their higher powered brothers, but the big difference is that those cars actually look good. The Mustang is the Camryu of the pony cars. It's got absolutely no substance what-so-ever. Aside from a faw changes here and there (kinda like the Crown Vic or Ranger saw), Ford has completely let it rot on the vine. People don't want it...and it's pitiful sales numbers show that. The Mustang is boring. Ford is coming out with some weak attempts to make the Mustang relevent (ricer tail lights and the Boss which is nothing more than a special sticker and a mind-numblingly stupid "track key"). Ford is just inept. And every throw away appliance they have come out with since the 2009 Lincoln Taurus and the Ford xB proves that. All they are doing is riding a wave of undeserved consume praise. Their products are the same as 10 years ago, their toxic corporate culture is the same as ten years ago, and their CEO is just as incompetant as the one 10 years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        And a V6 Camaro (especially an RS trim) looks the same as the V8 Camaro SS, which IMO is still less good looking than the Mustang. Plus, unlike any Camaro lower than a ZL1, it wont make corners feel miserable.
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        No I think he was talking about the EcoBoost V6. The one that has gotten as much as 25% better fuel economy than its V8 competition in real-world tests.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          Matt, yet the flex eco bost will be faster, handle better and get better mileage...so whats the point?
          That Guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          No...once again...you are completely wrong. Seems to be a trend with you. Here are the facts: -"Eco"boost is a complete fallacy. There is nothing "ECO" about a V6 that gets the mileage of a V8 (sometimes worse) all while being less capable. That's just complete ineptness (which, by definitioon, is Ford). The Flex gets far less than 20% better than the freaking Suburban...and the Burb has FAR more capability in terms of 4WD and towing. -You take two identical vehicles, one with the Egoboost V6 and one with the 5.0 V8 (think F-150), give them the SAME rear axle ratio, and the "ECO" boost actually does WORSE than the V8. How is WORSE mileage 20% better in your world? You are just ignorant to the facts./..which ius fine...your just a simple minded Ford slappy.
          That Guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @merlot066
          Faster Dean...really? It's funny that when a Ford POS is slower than the competition, you Ford slappies piss and moan that speed isn't important and focusing on it is juvenile. Funny...I didn't realize the Taurus Wagon One or the Burb was meant for speed or handling. How come Ford doesn't advertise the Failed Flex at autocross events? And a mile or two per gallon more is completely erased when you consider the fact that it's FAR less capable than the Burb. By that argument, the CRV is better than the Flex becaus it gets better mileage.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ok, I'll be the first to say it and get downvoted- I don't like this car. First off, I don't like it's new looks. The front is too tacky, the painted side skirts are horrendous, and the blacked out rearend looks like some cheap 'murder out' attempt. The '12-back cars look much better, imo. But even more so than the looks, the price. I know this car is loaded up. And I know it's the sportier of the pair when compared to Camaro. And I know in base form, it's a killer bang-to-buck candidate. But when it starts getting closer to $50K than $40K, I think the value quotient fades quickly. That money can get you into cars that are dynamically superior and/or better performing. And if the more practical, cruiser aspects of the car appeal to you, I can't see how $47K isn't better spent on a 392 Challenger. A car that has loads more character, is more comfy, and you won't see on every street corner. At ten grand less, this car is a great value. But at these numbers, there are some inherent traits of that car and platform that don't justify it, if you ask me.
        Serge
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        While it is expensive... please let me know what car is "dynamically superior" for that amount of money? Surely you don't mean a base 335i or something of that nature, because the GT is proven to hold it's own against an M3. I still think it's cheap for that price. Want luxury along with your speed? You'll have to spend over $60,000 to get it... even when the Camaro ZL1 convertible is released.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Serge
          Frisky, look at your list and start re-calculating.....why is it that people turn 47k into 50 and gloss over the fact thats with over $7000 in options over and above being what would be considered "loaded"...the CONVERTIBLE mustang due to having no top loses ( as do basically all convertibles ) structural rigiditty ( spelling? ) thus its more of a sharp knife than a scalpel. So com[pare apples to apples...370z CONVERTIBLE, Corvette CONVERTIBLE, TT CONVERTIBLE, Cayman CONVERTIBLE, compare MSRPS, now which has a 420hp V 8 up front? The EVO and STIs arent even in the same equation, however, as good as they can be veiwed, they are true niche tin boxes, noisy, tiresome and fragile as hell in comparison, you are comparing two vehicles from different ends of the bookcase...rather strange if you ask me....
          Frisky_Dingo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Serge
          Dynamically superior?? Sure, how about a 370Z?? The 335i you mentioned?? Corvette Grandsport?? Audi TTS?? The Evo and STi are both better drivers. A Cayman starts over $50K. Ford's own Boss is some five grand cheaper. A left over '12 GT500?? And that's not even touching the myriad of used cars that this won't hold a candle to. But I'll save that argument, as it is unfair to the Mustang. But as is, my point still stands.
        bronze1010
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        You guys are right about the price. When my husband built our fully loaded 2013 GT Premium convertible it totaled $48 and some change. We got some discounts that knocked the price down to $45K. This will decrease more once it is delivered and any current discounts are subtracted. It's the price you pay for MUSCLE!!!!
      Jonathan
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car is still ugly and the ride is terrible .
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        A Camry is ugly. This is nowhere near ugly. And I have test driven a 12 model stick shift and it drove and rode great.
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        @jonathan You've not driven this car and anyone with a half a brain even other pony car drivers as well as BMW M3 drivers know that the Mustang GT is a very respected automobile from A to Z You clearly wanted to be down voted by everyone including God! So let the down voting continue!!!
        ebn.hahn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        Jonatahn, You NEVER rode in one and you cannot afford it either. Just stick to your chevy Cobalt and dont be late to your job at Tim Horton...
      Quen47
      • 2 Years Ago
      For $20,000 less you could get a BRZ or FRS. I bet Subaru or Toyota will even throw in the independent rear suspension for free!
        KyleR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Quen47
        And for $10,000 less than that, you could get a Fiesta! Apples and oranges. There isn't much cross-shopping for a BRZ/FRS and an American pony car. The decision is handling over power. Some people like to take a corner really well, others want to hit the dragstrip and cruise down the boulevard with the wind in their hair.
        protovici
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Quen47
        You sure can and have half the car as well.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Quen47
        [blocked]
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          Do you realize every minivan next to you at the stop light is NOT racing you? I understand you feel the need to race everything whether sporty or not.... Kinda like those Hondas that used to fly past my Cobra at the stop light. I wasn't racing.
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