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    Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Shadow

    Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Shadow six-speed manual in Grabber Blue
    Standard car-on-the-road price of £39,965.00

    Even if you loathe American muscle cars, you cannot deny that this Mustang it a good-looking vehicle. It might not have the finesse of other super-cars, but it also doesn’t have the price tag. The Ford Mustang GT costs the same as, say, a Mondeo, but a Mondeo doesn’t look and sound this divine.

    This car is all about the grin factor, and it provides that by the bucket load. The big V8 grabs attention wherever it is seen or heard. If you are worried about MPG, then read no further – yet, for a sports car, this Mustang makes real sense as a purchase, able to double as a drivable, practical every-day vehicle, as long as you don’t mind frequent visits to a petrol station!

    I clocked up 500 miles in this car and every one was pure fun. I even braved a 140-mile round trip with four adults, and we all got out feeling fine. Granted, the rear seats don’t have a lot of leg or head room, but they still offer plenty more than most sports cars. The engine is peachy and usable in traffic – not fiery and twitchy like you might expect. Open her up, though, and she excels – wow! With a 4.8 second 0-62, the front lifts with an angry howl from the exhaust pipes, feeling stable and secure. This car can be driven fast and safely on normal roads, which is not always the case; many of the sports models I have driven hard had a tendency to bite you when you relax, not so with the big Mustang.

    The Americans historically produce muscle cars that rocket in a straight line but become loose cannons around the twisty bits. However, Ford has developed the Mustang to excel in handling around corners. To achieve this, they have removed the previous suspension set-up and replaced it with independent suspension in each corner, not revolutionary as a concept, but new for the Mustang. The change transforms the car: not only is it fun and punchy to drive, it now stays flat on the corners and the steering is sharp.

    The interior looks fantastic and works well with the design of the car, but inspect it too closely and you can see how Ford have kept the cost down. Tap on the plastic surrounds and they have a brittle sound quality to them; the cup holders are in a stupid position, as any cup gets in the way of the fabulous stubby gearstick; whilst boot volume is passable, it has a oddly shaped opening that makes it difficult to put anything inside. However, these little details are lacking compared to other cars out there – but something had to give. If you can overlook these small elements, this car is brilliant and great value for money. There is also no Sat Nav included with the model as standard, but I didn’t mind this so much, as whenever I got lost it carried the plus side that I got to drive further! Also, whilst Ford have skimped on some details, they have put thought into others: for example, at night, the car projects lights in the shape of mustangs on the ground beside the car – it was an awesome little touch, and I loved it.

    I asked my passengers what they thought one would have to pay for this vehicle, and the guestimates were always about £65k. All told, the value speaks for itself – you get a whole lot of car for your money!

    It is rare for me to not want to give a car back at the end of the test, but the Mustang was a break from the norm. I absolutely loved everything about it – even its few idiosyncrasies that just confirmed it is American and a Mustang!

    If you want better MPG, Ford also produce this model with a 2.3 EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, but don’t do it: it would be sacrilege to not have the sweet V8 throbbing under this car’s bonnet.

    I have a request for Ford: please let me do a long-term test with the Mustang – say a year or two should do it. Oh, and can you also provide me with a fuel card?