Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
If you’re hoping for a delicate driving experience, the Mustang Convertible isn't the car for you. In keeping with its brawny image, the steering wheel requires a bit more muscle to turn than the Audi A5 Cabriolet's, and the front wheels are slower to react to your steering inputs.
However, while the Mustang doesn’t dart into bends as eagerly as an A5 Cabriolet or a BMW 2 Series Convertible, it has plenty of grip once settled into a corner. You even get a reasonable amount of steering feedback filtering up to your fingertips. Push too hard and you'll feel the nose of the car gently running wide of your intended line, although if you’re too greedy with the power on the way out of corners, there’s actually more chance of the rear sliding – especially in the wet. Still, it's more fun than frightening when that happens.
With the optional MagneRide adjustable suspension, the Mustang Convertible does a good job of controlling body movements as you brake, turn and accelerate – no mean feat, considering that even the lightest model weighs nearly 1800kg. Ride comfort is also reasonable if you leave the system in Comfort mode. The standard suspension isn’t as impressive, the ride suffering on crumbling urban roads. On such rough surfaces, you'll also notice the body shimmy and shudder, highlighting a reduction in stiffness that's brought about by dispensing with a solid metal roof.
The entry-level, 2.3-litre turbocharged Ecoboost engine is very flexible, pulling hard from around 1500rpm. Acceleration doesn’t tail off until you hit 5500rpm, making it feel effortlessly quick. The 5.0-litre V8 feels even mightier, but you have to be prepared to work it hard before it feels as rapid as 444bhp (435bhp if you go for the optional automatic gearbox) would suggest. How much harder? Let’s just say it does its best work beyond 3500rpm and hits its peak output at a heady 7000rpm.
It's well worth the effort, though. We prefer the V8 for its thunderous noise and the rabid performance it delivers – performance that's entirely appropriate for a car with this kind of road presence. What's more, while the engine is a joy to work hard, the standard six-speed manual gearbox (which is also standard with the 2.3-litre engine) is slick and has a meaty, mechanical feel that’s totally in keeping with the Mustang Convertible’s character.
The optional 10-speed automatic ’box is less impressive. It's a bit jerky when parking and has a habit of switching between ratios indecisively on the move. Happily, steering wheel-mounted paddles allow you to take full control when you want to.
With the roof down, you can just about hold a conversation at 70mph, and there’s not too much buffeting, especially if you buy the optional wind deflector. When the roof's up, it doesn’t block out wind noise out as effectively as those of some rivals, especially the Audi A5 Cabriolet.
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