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First Drive: 2011 V6 Ford Mustang

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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2011 V6 Ford Mustang on the track

2011 V6 Ford Mustang on the track

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas

The Bottom Line

The new V6 Mustang features more power, better fuel economy, and a load of goodies as standard equipment.

Pros

  • Improved performance producing 305 hp and 31 mpg highway
  • Dual exhaust is standard equipment
  • Improved handling and ride thanks to a stiffer suspension
  • Wide variety of options including 3:31 ratio axle, 19-inch wheels, GT suspension, and strut brace

Cons

  • Center console cup holders are still very close to the shifter
  • The back seat is still cramped, but hey, it’s a Mustang after all
  • With this kind of power and performance, some folks might buy this over my beloved GT model

Description

  • Base Mustang V6 Coupe MSRP: $22,145 (+ $850 destination & delivery)
  • Engine: 3.7L DOHC Ti-VCT V6, 305 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 280 ft.-lb. torque @ 4,250 rpm, Redline @ 6,850 rpm, hard limit 7,000 rpm
  • Six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission
  • New standard limited-slip differential and revised suspension for road-carving driving dynamics and handling
  • Standard Tires Manual: P225/60R17 A/S BFGoodrich Radial T/A, Standard Tires Automatic: P215/65R17 A/S Michelin Energy Saver

Guide Review - First Drive: 2011 V6 Ford Mustang

Not too long ago I reviewed the 2010 V6 Mustang. My take? Well, I thought the car was in much need of a powertrain improvement. Sure, visually it looked different than previous models, but under the hood it was the same old 4.0L V6 engine I’d known since 2005. We’re talking about 210 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. When compared to the 2010 V6 Chevy Camaro (304 hp), the Mustang was clearly underpowered. Well, someone at Ford must have been listening because the new 2011 V6 Mustang packs an impressive 305 ponies under the hood, not to mention an improved suspension and larger four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) disc brakes, with 12.4-inch front and 11.8-inch rear rotors.

Out on the road I could immediately tell the difference between this car and the 2010 model. Body roll was significantly reduced. Much credit goes to the Ford engineers who adjusted the vehicle’s front/rear lift balance. Ford says, “This creates a car that tracks more securely and feels more ‘planted’ to the road surface at higher speeds, helping to keep the tires in better contact with the pavement.” Then there’s the new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system which features Drift-Pull Compensation. This technology adjusts the steering to correct for crosswinds and minor road crowning. Its Active Nibble Control feature helps eliminate the “shimmy” felt at high speeds when a wheel is out of balance or a brake rotor is warped. No doubt, it’s the best handling V6 Mustang I’ve ever driven. Heck, this V6 cornered almost as well as a Mustang GT.

Then there are all those extra goodies that come with the new 2011 model. As the owner of both a V6 and V8 Mustang, I know very well which aftermarket mods V6 owners seek out. Enthusiasts, listen up. Keep your wallet in your pocket because the new V6 Mustang already comes equipped with things like a dual exhaust, cold air intake, and spotter mirrors. Best of all, they’re included as standard equipment. You can even opt for optional 19-inch Pirelli PZero Summer tires as well as a 3:31 ratio axle.

Bottom line, the new V6 Mustang won me over. It’s affordable at less than $23,000 MSRP, it’s powerful with more than 300 hp, and it gets great gas mileage with 31 mpg highway. It has decent acceleration out on the road, it handles well, and interior noise has been significantly reduced. The only thing you’ll hear behind the wheel of the new V6 is your radio or the hum of that dual exhaust. If you’re looking for performance on a budget, I recommend the V6 Mustang with manual transmission. If it’s mileage and creature comforts you seek, the V6 with automatic transmission is your best bet.

Photos | First Look: 2011 V6 Ford Mustang

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
V6 Manual or Automatic?, Member Gatorchomp93

I really want the new mustang but don't know if i should get the manual or automatic? I have only driven stick a couple of times, but don't know if it's worth the hassle of constantly shifting. i'm going to college soon and plan on taking plenty of road trips to the beach but don't know if it's worth not being able to eat/ drink while driving and have to stop at a fast food place. I know that the manual is better for a driving enthusiast, but i have to sacrifice certain basic items.

16 out of 33 people found this helpful.

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