2013 Ford Mustang V-6 Premium
Ford's updated V-6 pony has us seeing green.
Much farther down the hierarchy than the Shelby is this V-6 Premium model—ours was slathered in new-for-2013 Gotta Have It Green metallic. The V-6 car has a more modern look this year yet still embraces the bold, retro-themed goodness that we’ve come to expect from the current car—we’ve already driven a 2013 GT convertible
, and you can read our test of a mechanically similar 2011 V-6 coupe here
While the 2013 car retains the classic long-hood/short-tail silhouette, a new snout with a gaping, Shelby-esque grille lends a more sinister air. Restyled HID headlights with LED accents are standard, and revised, sequential taillights with LED elements also are new.
Our test car’s arresting green paint, a $495 option, was divisive; several passersby thought it was pretty sweet, but others weren’t as seduced by its retina-searing glow. Like it or not, it makes the car impossible to miss. (Deep Impact Blue also is new for 2013, but nowhere near as controversial or spotlight-grabbing.)
This V-6 coupe was further kitted up with the $995 Mustang Club of America package, which adds dark stainless-steel inserts for the upper and lower front grilles, fog lights, black rocker-panel stripes, gray 18-inch wheels, MCA-embroidered floor mats, and a trunk spoiler. Unlike the paintwork, this option was universally chided as gaudy, and we felt it cheapened the car’s look. Club members surely will love the unique touches, but we can think of better ways to spend a grand.
New Chairs and Video Games
Very little changes in the Mustang’s cabin for 2013, with the most notable feature being optional Recaro leather sport seats ($1595). They’re worth every penny and make it easier to get cozy behind the non-telescoping steering wheel. Initially developed for the GT500 and Boss 302, the stylish and super-supportive thrones can now be fitted across the range, although the Boss is the only model that offers them wrapped in cloth instead of animal hide.
Other 2013 updates include the addition of Ford’s Track Apps, which reside in a new 4.2-inch cluster display and measure real-time acceleration, braking, and handling performance. The same info screen—operated by a four-way steering-wheel-mounted switch—now includes a menu to adjust the firmness of the electric power steering between Comfort, Standard, and Sport settings, which were added for 2012. Actual steering feedback is still rather vague, but the heavier Sport setting addresses the overly light feel we’ve noted on previous Mustangs. An updated Shaker audio system actually has the volume to match our tester’s exterior.
A Solid Performer
While V-8–powered models received noteworthy mechanical updates for 2013, V-6 cars didn’t, and so drive much the same as they have since the 2011 refresh, which is to say with zeal. The car is even better with the $1495 V-6 Performance package—a strut-tower brace, thicker anti-roll bars, stiffer front springs, unique front and rear brake calipers with performance pads, new 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer tires, more-aggressive stability-control programming, shorter (3.31:1) gearing with a limited-slip differential, gloss black exterior mirrors, and a deleted spare tire. Our car had the pack, and it felt light on its feet yet still rode pretty well. It feels slightly better balanced than the heavier GT, too.Continued...