As you guys may have understood from the title, this thread is an ownership report of my new acquisition - a Ruby Red 2014 Ford Mustang V6.
Mustang is an iconic car, period. Owning one has been my childhood dream. The 1960's Mustangs are still my favorites. The 5th gen Mustang which came in 2005 and made my jaws drop.
When I migrated to Dubai in 2014, I wanted something fast and yet comfortable. I was not looking for something sporty like the EVO X or the Nissan 370Z or even the Genesis Coupe. But I needed something muscular and brawny! Since I was new in Dubai, I reckoned it would be best if I buy something economical and I ended up getting the Lancer GT. It is a great car and is still my trusted partner. It has been handed over to my wife now!
When I made up my mind to buy a new car, I knew it has to be an American muscle car. And there were only 3 cars in my mind -
- Dodge Challenger - Too big and boxy for me
- Chevrolet Camaro - Too flashy to suit my preferences
- Ford Mustang - Perfect styling and size
To be honest, I never gave the Challenger or the Camaro a fair chance. I was very sure that I will buy a Mustang. It was my childhood dream and I was not letting anything divert my mind. Just for the sake of being thorough, I did read/watch a lot of reviews comparing the three muscle cars and in 8/10 reviews, the Mustang emerged as a winner.
I had also decided that I needed a 2013-2014 model only. The 2015 Mustangs are nice, but somehow I fancied the S197 over the S550. The latter has a great cabin, but lacks the presence and brute styling of the former.
I started searching the used car market for a clean Mustang, preferably a V8. Saw many cars but none of them would fit in my budget. Those that will were either involved in a major crash or were pretty badly abused or had some major issues. The search continued with no luck as most of the cars just did not feel right.
Then I reluctantly started reading reviews about the V6 and decided that it is not a slouch either. Yes, Mustangs purists do feel that if it is a Mustang, it has got to be the V8. But for me, that was out of reach and I was fine with the performance of the V6. Yes, I will miss the grumble of the V8 motor, but I guess I will have to deal with it.
There were a lot of V6 Mustangs in my budget but finding a clean car was harder than I thought it would be. The search continued for a long time. Many cars were seen and some were test driven but the cars just dint feel right. Finally in the second week of December, I saw an ad for a 2014 Ruby Red Mustang Premium Edition in the local classifieds website. Visited the dealer over the weekend the car looked clean. Did a thorough inspection at the RTA vehicle testing centre over 1.5 hours and the car passed with flying colors!
Finalized on the price and booked the car with a token. Loan process took another 2 weeks and finally took delivery of my very own Musty on 24/12/2016.
Drove it all the way to Abu Dhabi and back on the very first night! The next day I took it to the garage for service to have all the filters and fluids replaced. Engine oil was replaced with Mobil 1 0W40 synthetic oil. Total spent on the service was approx 12,800 INR.
The next day, the car was given for a detailing session. They worked on the car for a full 2 days. Charged me approximately 15k INR, but the car came out all clean and shiny, both the exterior and interior.
A bit of information about the car: Specs:
- Engine - 3.7 litre TI-VCT V6
- Power - 305 bhp
- Torque - 379 Nm
- Transmission - 6 speed torque converter with sports & manual mode
- 0-100 kmph - 5.3 sec (claimed)
What I like:
- ABS with EBD
- Electronic Stability Control
- 4 wheel disc brakes
- Dual stage front airbags
- Front seat side airbags
- Selectable power assisted steering (Standard/Comfort/Sport)
- Cruise Control
- HID headlamps
- LED tail lamps with sequential turn signals
- Tire Monitoring Pressure System
- 6 way powered driver's seat with power lumbar
- Leather seats
- Ambient lighting
- Auto dimming rear view mirror
- Microsoft Sync
- SHAKER Audio
- Steering wheel mounted audio controls
- 18" polished aluminium wheels
- Rear spoiler
Things I miss:
- The way it looks, makes me drool every time!
- The ambient lighting is subtle and classy.
- You can change the color of the dials and the ambient lighting, that's funky!
- The V6 loves to rev hard and has a decent (but muted) growl at the top end.
- The air conditioner will literally chill your bones!
- The way it glides over bumps and ruts.
- The LED turn lights and the sequential turn indicators.
- Decent boot space.
- Lots of vital information available in the instrument cluster (battery voltage, air fuel ratio, engine oil & transmission oil temperature, engine oil life, fuel economy, distance to empty and the likes)
- Track Apps (Accelerometer, Brake Performance, etc.)
- The SHAKER audio is killer and I absolutely love the audio experience. Bass is punch and the vocals are clean.
- Paddles on the steering wheel
- The convenience of keyless go
- Automatic Air condistioner
- The V8 music
- My car does not have automatic headlights. Apparently the hardware is already present and I just need to swap my headlight knob with a new one which has the Auto headlights function. I have ordered one through Amazon.
- Maybe some subtle stripes in future.
- Maybe a louder exhaust kit. I had planned for one on my Lancer too but never did it since I feared the RTA regulations and fines and thought it would be an overkill for an economy family sedan.
Coming to my experience with the car:
I have driven only about 2000 kms or so as of now. Driving Experience -
My first reaction when I drove the car was that everything feels "heavy". Right from the way the doors shut to the way the stalks feel to how much effort the handbrake needs to operate. When you sit in the car, you have a slab like dash in front. But still because of the high and long bonnet, you can easily see the corners of this car. But the high window line gives you a sinked in feeling which can take time to get used to. As of now, I have not driven this beast above 140 kmph (speeding fines are hefty in Dubai!). But given the rights roads and opportunity, I will surely stretch it's legs soon. The car drives with admirable poise at expressway speeds. It is so confidence inspiring that you drive at higher speeds without even realizing it. Even the ride quality is surprisingly plusher than the Lancer. NVH could have been better but that is not what the Mustang is about. A Mustang is not expected to be soft and refined. It is this brute character of the car that has appealed to all Mustang loyalists like me.
It is not a car which you can chuck around corners. It is not as nimble as a Genesis coupe. But it is not just a straight line champion either. It does provide enough confidence to the driver to go had around corners. One thing that I did not like is the steering feel. It lacks enough feedback and feels kind off vague sometimes. I guess I am spoiled by the hydraulic assisted steering in the Lancer which is a joy to use. Also, the rear view mirrors are a tad too small and takes time getting used to. By the way, the ORVMs come with inbuilt blind spot mirrors! Kudos Ford.
The Mustang has always been criticized for using a solid rear axle instead of an independent suspension. It may have it's negative effects on the track but it means absolutely nothing for normal or even spirited driving on the road. Haters can keep harping about this but I think Ford has got the suspension just right. Would it be better with an independent suspension? Sure. Does the solid axle dampen the fun? Hell no! Fuel Efficiency -
Buying a Mustang and talking about fuel efficiency is a crime. Anyways, initial trips suggest that this car will not hurt my wallet much when compared to the Lancer. I think I am getting a fuel efficiency of around 10 kmpl but I will comment on that later when I do a full tankful to tankful test. Equipment levels -
The Mustang Premium variant is very well equipped as mentioned above in the feature list. The most useful features are the Microsoft Sync through which I can connect my phone for calls and audio, the vehicle monitoring system which regularly monitors the vehicle parameters and informs the driver through the LCD screen in the instrument cluster and the Shaker Audio.
Some fancy features like the track apps and colors for the dials and ambient lighting will rarely be used but still is fancy enough! Exterior styling & design -
Brute. Muscle. Brawny. This is what comes to my mind when I think about the styling. The bonnet of the car is l-o-n-g and the boot is stubby. The driver sits almost in the centre of the chassis. I love the way the bonnet has that muscular bulge in between. The car is wide and sits low and hence has an amazing stance on the road. Overall build quality and fit & finish -
Excellent. My first experience with a Ford in UAE was with my cousin's Explorer. I was amazed with the build quality of the vehicle. Everything feels tight and well screwed together.
The Mustang has the same traits. Everything is solid and build quality is leagues ahead of my Lancer. . Interior design & quality -
The dashboard is what Ford likes to call a "twin cockpit design". The dashboard is almost a vertical slab. The centre console is nothing fancy. Infact it is really messy with lots of switches. My car has no touch screen but it is available as an official accessory.
The hazard light is uniquely positioned next to the gear shift lever and not between the middle AC vents. Even the boot release switch is placed there.
The quality of the plastics is ordinary but that does not bother me much. Interior space and comfort -
Nothing great but nothing to complain either. The front seats can easily accommodate large adults like me! The rear seats are not great for any human above 5 feet in height! And even then it is a strict 4 seater. There is no way you can fit 3 adults in the back. I have had 2 short adults and one 4 year old kid in the back seat but that will not be comfortable for long trips. Air conditioner -
The A/C is really good and chills the small cabin in no time. But right now it is winter here in UAE and I can comment about the AC by May when the temperature outside will hit 45+ degrees. Engine performance -
Point and shoot! Bury the throttle and the car takes off like nobody's business. Gently prod the accelerator and it will cruise at a relaxed pace. In gear acceleration is pretty impressive thanks to the available torque. Gearshift -
This is one lazy gearbox. Drive at a relaxed pace and it will up-shift all the way to 6th gear as soon as possible. And sometimes I feel it takes a while to downshift. So, this is not the quickest gearbox around. In Sports Mode, the gearbox holds a gear longer before up-shifting, but even then it takes a few milliseconds more than what I would have preferred.
Manual mode is not at all fun since it uses a small rocket switch on the gear lever instead of paddles.
Enough said! I understand an ownership thread is incomplete without pictures. I did not get the opportunity to click any good pictures, so here are some previews -
Better pictures of the car and the interiors will be posted soon.