“That is my dream car!” and “This is not a race track!” are two of the most common responses to showing someone the 2016 Mustang GT Convertible.
After putting nearly 500 miles on a new Mustang GT convertible in an understated magnetic metallic finish, this is what I learned, and what prospective buyers need to know.
The 2016 Mustang GT comes complete with a 5.0 liter V8 that pushes 435 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque right from the factory. With a six speed manual transmission it is up to the driver to pull every ounce of power out of this car.
Let’s be clear, there is a lot of power packed under the hood and the 2016 Mustang GT includes driver options to help you choose just how much control you want while driving.
The Mustang GT technically seats four, but unless you have the top down and are driving a short distance, you’ll want to keep the occupancy to two. Leather seats with contrasting yellow stitching are comfortable for long and short trips, with heating and cooling options for comfort.
The side edges of the seats hug you, but they are not as unforgiving as racing seats and did not prove to be an issue for us or any of our passengers.
Raising and lowering the convertible top on the Mustang GT is simple. With the car stopped, pull and twist a small handle and then press the open button. Windows roll down and the top retracts into the back of the car. Two small covers sit over the edges if you plan to leave the top down for more than a few minutes. To close the top simply reverse these directions.
The 2016 Mustang GT looks sharp with the top up or with the top down. With the convertible option you can fit taller passengers in the back seat, though leg room is still an issue. With the top down you can hear the throaty engine noise better, rounding out the experience.
Speaking of looks. While many cars look great from the outside, the Mustang GT also looks amazing from the driver’s seat. From the aggressive hood lines and hood vents that hide a turn signal indicator to the Ground Speed label on the speedometer, this is a car that is as beautiful to drive as it is fun.
The front of the Mustang sports an aggressive look that we love, but may make too much of a statement for some buyers. I love the bold look of the 2016 Mustang GT, including the three LED daytime running lights that sit to the edge of the car. When you approach at night and unlock the car, the side mirrors throw a Mustang logo on the ground by each door.
Ford delivers an upgraded infotainment system with SYNC 3 that outshines the older Sync system in almost every way. The Mustang is one of the few 2016 models with this new system, but you need a software upgrade to use CarPlay or Android Auto.
Even without those options there is now support for using apps like Spotify through the touchscreen. The infotainment system is faster, easier to understand and the touch screen is more responsive. With SYNC 3, users can now pinch to zoom and scroll through the map or the menu, much like using a smartphone or tablet.
When it comes time to put the rubber to the road, you can choose the driving experience that suits your mood and the drive ahead. When it’s time for a long drive across the state in a line of traffic you can switch steering to comfortable and stick with the normal driving mode.
Drivers who want to pull more power out of the Mustang and drive with more control can choose Sport mode and tighten the steering up using toggles on the center console. This is also where you can enable a Race mode and where you can turn off traction control and prepare for the race track. We didn’t get to test it, but there is a mode for driving in the snow, which should help you keep the GT under control even in wet and snowy weather.
While cruising along with traffic on the interstate the car handled well in comfort mode, which takes less of a toll on the driver for long distances. Once you hit the country roads or that track, you can change it and can really have fun.
With an open road and 435 horsepower we opened up the Mustang GT, putting it through the paces. When you want power, the six speed transmission allows you to burn some rubber and go fast without feeling like you are losing control or requiring you to be a master of shifting.
For all the fun you have opening up the Mustang GT is, that’s not how you’ll drive it every day. While running around town in the GT Convertible the car performs admirably, though smooth shifting in lower gears takes more effort and concentration thanks to a grabby clutch.
Ford prepares the 2016 Mustang GT for the track with Track Apps. Nestled in the center console are apps that allow you to track your 0-60 and 1.4 mile time as well as show and track other data. There is also Line Lock app, which basically lets anyone do burnouts with knowing what you are doing. The display includes a warning that these are only for use on a track, but there is no restriction to when and where you can use them.
The 2016 Mustang GT mpg varies based on where and how you drive it. While cruising on the interstate on a long trip you can expect to get about 25 mpg. In town or while pushing the car on a country road and you’ll be looking at about 15 miles per gallon.
As tested, the 2016 Mustang GT Convertible is $48,375 with upgraded Shaker Pro Audio pushed through 12 speakers and a GT Performance package, navigation and interior upgrades. If you don’t want to check off as many options and don’t need a convertible the starting price is just over $32,000.
The 2016 Mustang GT Convertible is a pleasure to drive on around town, on a trip or on curvy backroads. Thanks to driver controlled modes you can choose how the car handles and drives based on the trip ahead. A competent infotainment system, sharp looks and a comfortable interior combine to deliver a car you’ll have fun driving for years.