15th Sep 2008, 07:17
Sure, a true & traditional "muscle car" has a V8 under the hood, but I wouldn't go dissing those who decide to go with a sporty 6 cylinder car (or even 4 cylinder car) instead.
Remember the Mustang was available with a six since its introduction, as were all of the "Pony Cars" of the 60's & 70's.
Today's six cylinder engines as well as many turbocharged fours, put out more power than many of the old V8's.
For example - I owned a Camaro 350 for 29 years and my Saab 9-3 2.0 liter turbo four is more powerful, quicker and better handling than my Camaro ever was. Plus the Saab gets at least twice the gas mileage that the Camaro did.
Don't get me wrong - I loved my Camaro (why else would I keep it for 29 years), but vehicles have evolved over the last 40 years, and you really can't judge an engine by the number of cylinders it has.
15th Sep 2008, 11:14
My last Mustang was a V-8. It got 10 mpg city, 15 highway and wasn't any faster than a new 4.0 V-6. I fail to see why I need to spend a ton more money on a car I can't legally use the potential of anywhere in the U.S. What's the point??
I love the new Challenger and find it a viable option since Dodge opted to offer the V-6 in it. Otherwise I wouldn't give it a second look. Yes, muscle cars are great for shows and museums, but for people who actually use cars for daily transportation the V-8 is a thing of the past.
15th Sep 2008, 15:20
Having owned 3 V-8 Mustangs and 3 V-6's since 1985, I've found the 6's far more reliable and much cheaper to insure. The newer V-6's actually have a better balance due to the lighter engine and handle as well or better than the 8 without the very harsh, bone-jarring ride. My last V-8 got roughly half the fuel mileage of our new 4.0 V-6. I can't really consider paying way more money just for bragging rights.
16th Sep 2008, 09:29
I agree a Mustang is better with a V8.
However, the Mustang is one of the few non-full-sized vehicles that are still available with rear wheel drive. That makes it in my opinion one of the few real cars left.
I detest front wheel drive. The only reason front wheel drive exists is to make cars easier to build for the manufacturers... just stamp out a body, put a suspension on it, stuff an engine under the hood in any convoluted way you can, and link it to the road with the most fragile and physically nonsensical driveline setup imaginable.
That being said, for someone who wants a non-full-sized vehicle in a proper rear wheel drive configuration but does not want the added expense of purchasing or operating a V8 (not that the new V8's are inefficient), there are very few options. The Mustang is just about the only one.
Frankly, for my daily driver, it would be a lot more functional for me to drive around in a four door mid-sized, but that unfortunately would mean having to buy a front wheel drive vehicle, which is not an option, nor God forbid is buying anything imported (e.g., a BMW 3 series, etc.). So, a Mustang is pretty much the only option, and why not? It is a good car in any trim level.
16th Sep 2008, 16:00
Comment 07:17 makes a great point. Today's smaller, more fuel efficient engines do offer really good performance.
I drive a mint 2001 Pontiac Grand Am with the old "quad 4" engine with some fairly mild modifications. It is very fast, and I have gone head-to-head with 3.8 litre V-6 Grand Prix GT's and taken them by several car lengths in a quarter mile. It has hair-trigger accelerator response and doesn't shift until it redlines.
Today's small cars are not your Granny's old Corolla. My Grand Am is actually faster than any of the V-8's I've owned except for my last 5.0 Mustang.
17th Sep 2008, 22:46
I totally agree with comment 09:29. Front wheel drive offers few (if any) advantages and lots of drawbacks, such as impossibly cramped engine bays that make repairs all but impossible.
Having owned both front drive and rear drive cars, we've found that our best handling vehicles on snow are our rear drive cars and SUV's.
We currently own an SUV with rear drive and it handles better on snow than any vehicle we've ever owned. We also own a front drive, which stays at home if it snows because it flops around like a fish out of water.
In addition, we own a new 4.0 V-6 Mustang because, as the commenter said, it IS the only sporty looking rear drive vehicle available in the U.S. (and I don't buy imports either).
I bought the V-6 because I have no use whatsoever for a car whose potential can't be used anywhere in the U.S. anyway, and which costs twice as much to insure. The V-6 does 0-60 in 6.5-6.9 seconds and is governor limited to 120mph, and that should be quite enough to earn one a ticket.
18th Sep 2008, 19:06
The Quad 4 was one of the most terribly unreliable engines GM ever produced, although it is possible you have one of the few good ones. And you're talking about a maybe 190 HP 180 LB/FT of torque front drive 2900 lb car vs a 240 HP, 270 LB/FT of torque 2500 lb front drive car. The GRAND PRIX GT is no comparison to a new GT, A GXP actually comes close.
Problem is, these all are FRONT WHEEL DRIVE cars. It doesn't matter if you have 150 or 550 HP under the hood of your Grand AM or Grand Prix. When you step on the gas, most of the weight shifts to the rear wheels. What a coincidence, these are the wheels that power the Mustang.
"Today's small cars are not your Granny's old Corolla. My Grand Am is actually faster than any of the V-8's I've owned except for my last 5.0 Mustang"
True. You should also note that today's Mustang GT motor is not the Old 5.0, which hasn't gone under the hood of the GT in over 10 years. Although the 302 was an excellent motor, times have changed since 1992 and definitely since 1972. People need to get this "All V8s are inefficient" mentality out of their heads.
I traded my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE for a 2008 Mustang GT. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to both cars.
The Nissan was hands down quicker than a new V6 Mustang, roomier, handling was more composed when pushed to its limits. Fuel economy was awesome for having so much power.
There was just something lacking in the car for me. In a lot of ways it was a boring car. When it first came out it had somewhat edgy styling, but when you get down to it, it's just another front-wheel drive, family 4-door, with millions of clones just like it on the road.
Like all front drives, torque steer is terrible for performance take offs. Traction control is irrelevant for performance because it lowers engine output. Also, the car was terrible in the snow even with snow tires and traction control, and a bit hairy even in the rain. Not that I plan on driving the Mustang in the winter, but I expected better from a front drive car.
My Mustang GT has unique styling that still hasn't grown old after 4 years, and gets noticed whether people love it or hate it. I love the way it does a little side shake when I start it up, and the rumble from the exhaust is breathtaking. Although the Nissan is far more composed on curvy roads, it's still fun to push the Mustang to its limits.
Fuel economy is maybe 27 MPG highway at very best on the Mustang, the Nissan could often do over 30. The GT eats the Nissan alive in straight line acceleration. Torque steer is not an issue, and as an added plus it has 3.55 limited slip gears. For me the Mustang is just a more fun car to drive.
I don't know why so many people have a chip on their shoulder about the Mustang GT. The ones that are truly overpriced are models like the Saleen and Barret-Jackson, which carry bloated price tags above and beyond $50K. Either way, I'm sure if the Mustang carried an Acura, Mercedes, or Lexus badge everyone would think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.