Road Test: cool tweaks on '13 Ford Mustang

Prices for the 2013 Ford Mustang start at

Prices for the 2013 Ford Mustang start at $22,000. (Credit: Handout)

Cars

The iconic pony car returns for 2013 with some cool tweaks and upgrades, soldiering on as one of the most popular Ford models ever.

Last redesigned for 2010, the Mustang doesn't get a complete makeover for the new model year, but there are some interesting changes.

Among them are optional heated outside mirrors that project the famous pony emblem on the ground beside the car. It comes on automatically when the unlock button is pushed on the remote.

At the front of the car, there are new signature lamps in the grille, LED fog lights on the GT models, LED taillights for all models, and -- another cool touch -- a center-mounted rear stop lamp that changes from red to white when the transmission is shifted into "reverse," for use as a backup light.

Rocker panels are now body color, and at the rear is a black panel connecting the taillights. The sequential turn signal feature has been retained, of course, but there is a smoked look to the taillights.

Once again, there are Mustang V-6 models in coupe and convertible styles, and V-8 powered GT models in both body styles. Also returning is the Boss 302 that was introduced for 2012.

The V-6 models get new 17-inch painted wheels. Both V-6 and GT models can be equipped with Recaro bolstered bucket seats in either cloth or leather.

The GT models get a modest bump in power -- they'll now have 420 horsepower, up from 412 for the 2012 GT, thanks to the incorporation of some of the technology from the Boss 302's 444-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8.

Also new for 2013 will be Hill Start Assist, available on all models with a manual transmission. It's designed to hold the car on a hill for up to two seconds when the driver's foot comes off the brake, to allow time to start the car moving forward without having it roll backward. I've seen this feature on SUVs in recent years, but it's not usually found on cars.

The new front end has a more-aggressive look. On the GT models, there are heat extractors on the hood to move hot air out of the engine compartment.

An optional dash message center has a 4.2-inch LCD screen and comes with "Track Apps," showing such data as G-forces, acceleration times both for zero-60 mph and the quarter mile, and braking times. There is a cool "countdown start" feature that looks like the start lights at a dragstrip.

The steering system offers three selectable settings -- standard, comfort and sport -- which can be set through the message center.

 

 

2013 FORD MUSTANG

BASE PRICE: $22,200

PRICE AS TESTED: $28,440

EPA FUEL ECONOMY: 19 mpg city/31 highway

ENGINE: 3.7-liter V-6

POWER: 305 horsepower; 280 foot-pounds of torque

LENGTH: 188.1 inches

HEIGHT: 55.8 inches

WHEELBASE: 107.1 inches

LUGGAGE CAPACITY: 13.4 cubic-feet

BOTTOM LINE: Cool tweaks and upgrades for the new pony car.

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