Of course, we'd be misleading you if we didn't tell you the objective truth about this revitalized V-6 Mustang. It's fast. As in 5.3 seconds to 60 mph. And that starts to influence our subjective opinion. Like an addicting narcotic, you quickly become blind to the V-6's undesirable qualities and find yourself dipping into blissful gratification without thought or concern. Qualms about coarseness and engine attributes evaporate and it becomes difficult to accelerate at less than 70 percent throttle. Such performance does more move the Mustang quickly down the road. Dipping into the fun pedal quickly kills Ford's excellent EPA rating of 19/29 mpg city/highway. Our Mustang mileage couldn't even match the city number of the Accord's 17/25 mpg rating.
While the Accord's engine is entirely satisfying, the clutch and transmission work to detach the driver from the enjoyment provided by the Mustang. Light effort and long travel for both the clutch and stick make for slower, less direct gear changes. The six-speed stick is also somewhat sloppy compared to the excellent shift action we've come to expect from Honda products like the Civic Si and Acura TSX. Ford hits on the other end of the spectrum with a tight, stiff shifter and shorter, more linear clutch travel. When you're hustling the car, the Mustang's gearbox allows for quicker shifts that add to the visceral thrill of acceleration, and yet it's no less friendly in relaxed driving. Honda's approach may appeal to a few commuters, but we're guessing those people all buy automatic transmissions.