Nearly new buying guide: Ford Mustang

Michigan can be taken out of the car, but Michigan can’t be taken out of the car. Since 1964, the sixth-generation Mustang has been the most UK-ready pony Ford has produced. This American legend has been around for a while now. It is a much better buy than a European coupe like the Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

It is unmistakably large and its design echoes past Mustang generations that were haphazardly adapted from howlin’ Wolf to flaccid puppy. It can be a fastback coupe, or a convertible soft-top. You can also choose from a 313bhp turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a 410bhp V8 (444bhp in 2018). The standard model has a 6-speed manual gearbox. However, there are two automatic models: the six-speed version is available for early models, and the 10-speed option for post-2018 models.

Standard Mustangs include keyless entry and stop, selectable driving modes and LED headlights. Bang & Olufsen’s stereo upgrade, climate-controlled seating and sat-nav are available as options.

Mustang feels big and strong for its weight. Although the steering is more difficult than many performance cars these days, it turns in corners faster than its competitors. However, it handles well and can be provoked to take on entertaining angles.

After an initial lethargy the V8 car is quick, while the four-pot lighter model has a decent turn without feeling threatening.

Although the 10-speed automatic gearbox can quickly change between multiple gears at once, it is very responsive and can switch between them in a matter of seconds. However, its indecisive switching habits are annoying.

The steering wheel and the seat can be adjusted in a wide range of settings. Even tall drivers can feel comfortable. Some may prefer the seat to be lower. The pillars and the sloped roofline make it difficult to see clearly.

Although the 12.0in digital instrument cluster looks impressive, the graphics on the standard touchscreen are a bit outdated. The system responds reasonably quickly.

The car is spacious in the front with plenty of space, but the rear seats are small for two passengers. Even though the boot’s narrow opening and high loading lip make it difficult to use, its size is good.

Safety-wise, the Mustang scored two stars in the Euro NCAP test, which was disappointing. However, this rating has been raised to three stars after some improvements were made to 2017 models.

An early Mustang with a 2.3-litre engine is priced at around PS23,000 and gets an average mileage of 20,000 miles. You can expect to spend between PS25,000 to PS28,000 for an early V8 GT car or a 2017 Mustang, and from late 2018 to 2019 around PS30,000 to PS35,000 to get a refreshed example purchased from a franchised dealer.

BUYER BEWARE

Engine The V8 may have a rattle from the cold, but it could be the timing chain or piston slap. It could be harmless sounding from the bottom. Check that the oil cooler isn’t leaking on the same engine.

Transmission If the box is fitted, make sure to check that the autobox shifts quickly or not at all. If not, the valve bodies could be to blame. The front transmission flange may need to be replaced if the clunk in neutral, drive or reverse is not being resolved. Broken selector forks can be found in manual gearboxes. A failing clutch should be obvious with all that V8 torque

Tires All four are premium brands and offer a lot of life.

Body Check that you are happy with the gaps between the body and hood. The coupe and it both have sloppy panel gaps everywhere else. It’s possible that the Mustang was not crashed. In the US, Mustangs are a budget muscle car. For car park dings, check the edges of long doors. Clonking them would be an act of God. Check the paint finish for any imperfections. For evidence of damage caused by crashes, inspect the entire car, including the rear. Check that the puddle lights and wing mirrors are lit. Check that corrosion isn’t a problem with early cars.

Interior In older cars, fit and finishing is not very good. However, it is a lot better for facelift models. The condenser may fail and the air conditioner should be checked.

You need to be familiar with

The Ecoboost gets 31.3mpg when combined according to the older NEDC economic figures. Unsurprisingly, the V8 is more thirsty, achieving only 22.8mpg.

Two recalls have been issued for battery cables that could catch fire if they were too close to hot exhaust manifolds. Check with your Ford dealer to confirm that any repairs have been made.

It might be a better idea to buy a V8 that was registered after the 1st April 2017 modification to the VED system. It will cost you less than PS40,000 to buy a new V8. This is in contrast to the PS580 that was charged for cars registered prior to that date.

Our choice

5.0 GT: We should have gone for the more economical four-cylinder Ecoboost engine of 2.3-litres. But we can’t help but to choose it. The V8-less Mustang is reminiscent of the 1973 oil crisis and its wheezy 89bhp Ecoboost engine, which was fitted to the Mustang II. You will scream.

V8 Bullitt Enjoy your favorite Steve McQueen moments with this movie-inspired model, which is powered up to 453bhp. Driver will supply their Herringbone jackets and shades.