2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible First Test
The Dilemma: Wait for the 2015?
It's hard to argue with 420 hp, but the automatic transmission 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible almost makes us want to take up the fight. The Mustang GT convertible could be lighter on its feet, and in a drop-top cruiser with a six-speed automatic, we really would have appreciated an exhaust system that lets you hear more of that 5.0-liter V-8. With the just-introduced 2015 Ford Mustang on the way, we tested a 2014 Mustang GT convertible and wondered: Should buyers wait for the new model, or get a good deal on the outgoing car?
You can never have too much engine noise in an eight-cylinder Mustang, though some drivers might like the 2014 Mustang GT's somewhat subdued rumble during relaxed acceleration. Impressive acceleration is important on all Mustangs, but the time it takes to fold down the top can be just as significant on a convertible. After you muscle two clasps into place, the roof will fold down. The 2015 Mustang convertible's top not only promises to fold down in less than 10 seconds, it's only got one clasp to put into place. Crucial for a powerful boulevard cruiser like this, the 2015 Mustang will have a top that folds just about level to the trunklid to enhance styling. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. How does the 2014 Mustang GT convertible perform on the track?
In a straight line, the car accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, about the same as a 2011 Camaro SS convertible with a manual transmission. The automatic Camaro SS gets less power. The Mustang GT with a six-speed auto completes the quarter mile in 13.2 seconds at 108.5 mph, not bad for a 3786-pound car. Of course, opting for the lighter coupe would yield better performance, but those numbers are notable improvements over an automatic transmission 2012 Mustang V-6 convertible that hit 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 14.8 seconds at 95.3 mph. The Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V-8 produces 420 hp at 6500 rpm and 390 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm.
On the road, the Mustang GT feels like the substantial car it is -- this is no FR-S -- but isn't unmanageable. Steering is a bit heavy and communicative, and, while there's some body roll, those who want a more performance-oriented car will get the coupe. Our tester had the Brembo brake package, which adds 14-inch Brembo vented rotors with four-piston calipers up front and 11.8-inch vented rotors in back, as well as 19-inch wheels with 255/40R19 summer tires, and revised suspension tuning. Though you lose a spare tire, we'd definitely spend the $1695 for the package for the upgrade in looks and performance. Braking from 60-0 mph takes 115 feet, compared to 124 feet for the Mustang V-6 convertible and 107-108 feet for the two manual transmission 2011 Camaro 2SS drop-tops.
Value is a tough label to justify on a $47,515 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible, but our tester had plenty of equipment. A 2014 Mustang V-6 convertible is about $28,000, while the GT V-8 starts at just under $37,000. Our Premium-trim tester added an eight-speaker Shaker 500 sound system, beautiful and new-for-2014 Ruby Red exterior paint, heated leather seats, a navigation system, HD radio, dual-zone climate control, the Brembo brake package, the $1195 automatic transmission, and the all-important pony projection lamps that shine from the bottom of the side mirrors. Those projection lamps are incredibly cool, as is the ability to customize the two colors of the speedometer and tachometer. The feature might seem silly, but it allows drivers to customize a part of the car they'll see every day, and even adjust it to reflect upcoming holidays.
What that $47,515 price doesn't include are massive local incentives. In our area as this was written, financing incentives total $3500 cash back, and that's before any negotiation. So Mustang GT drop-top buyers are left with a choice: Get the current car at a great price and almost immediately see the much-improved 2015 model roll out of dealerships, or pay more for what is likely to be a better car? Considering the 2015 Mustang's drop-top not only looks better but is quicker to go top-down, the price on a 2014 would have to be truly incredible for us to lean toward the older car. The 2014 Mustang's sub-5.0-second 0-60 mph time is respectable, but for an emotionally driven purchase with a nearly $50,000 MSRP, we might just wait for the 2015 model.
|2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$47,515|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door convertible|
|ENGINE||5.0L/420-hp/390-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3786 lb (54/46%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||188.5 x 73.9 x 55.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.8 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||13.2 sec @ 108.5 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||115 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.90 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.3 sec @ 0.77 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||18/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||187/135 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||0.94 lb/mile|