Each day in the new Mustang endears me more to the car. Surprisingly, the performance and ride are just one part of the package. Don't worry, they are a BIG part of the package, but Ford somehow threw out all their interior conventions and upped the ante here. I'm wondering how secluded the Mustang team was from the rest of Ford because the interior is a study in pleasing textures and design.

Mustang GT Center Stack

The striking dash is probably the most noticeable with the faux steel bar running across its length, broken up by circular vents and the retro gauges I showed off yesterday. The center stack (click on image for larger shot) is understated and appropriately flat back. Stereo buttons feel nice to the touch but the environmental controls are somewhat flimsy in the hand. They?re certainly not a deal breaker but should be addressed in 2006. The only thing I can tell that carry over to other new Ford models are the circular vents.

Black plastic makes up the majority of the interior but it isn?t overwhelming. Black leather inserts in the doors, metal door handles and that faux steel break it up quite well. In the test vehicle our seats are covered in a high quality leather that also looks like it will hold up to years of use. To answer a reader?s earlier question I don?t think parents will find the new Mustang that friendly. Even without a test baby seat my fianc?e and I both agree that the larger infant baby seats on the market would probably not fit in the back easily. I squeezed back there to test it out and I would advise parents of 5-12 year olds could actually use them to their utmost. Sorry new dads. Any other age/shape will not be comfortable back there. My head (I?m 5?10) was scratching the roof and my feet were wedged underneath the front seat. More than 20 minutes would be my limit before limbs went numb.

Mustang GT InteriorDrivers on the other hand will enjoy the robust and comfortable front seats. Our test vehicle features a power driver?s seat with lumbar support that can be adjusted for the tallest and shortest of us. My problem is I don?t have the longest of legs and sometimes find cars don?t accommodate. But I?ve discovered a very comfortable cruising position. I think the very tall will also find the Mustang to their liking. The seat goes way back and way down.

Mustang GT Steering Wheel The leather wrapped retro steering wheel is a bit on the large side as another reader mentioned, but I don?t find it obtrusively so. Cruise control buttons are worked into the design but it looks like there are plenty of places to have added volume control for the stereo. Another addition for 2006?

Check out Day 1 and our earliest impressions. More driving thoughts to come tomorrow.

Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5 are now up.

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