Sorry, I can't pile on the love like my coworkers have been doing. The 2010 Ford Mustang is a car I really hoped to love, but as soon as I sat behind the wheel I knew it wouldn't work out. Since Ford doesn't offer a telescoping steering column, I wasn't able to find a comfortable seating position. I spent a weekend with my knees crushed by the dashboard, and I still couldn't get a secure grip on the wheel. I'd forgive this if I were abnormally tall or had an uncommonly long set of legs, but I'm not much over six feet and I can easily buy pants off the rack at any store. There's no way I can enjoy my time behind the wheel if I don't have a safe driving position.
The little idiosyncrasies associated with a live rear axle might be more endearing if I fit in the car better, but fighting with the rear end isn't entertaining with a so-so grip on the wheel. Given the condition of the roads around here, I wasn't even hammering the car and I still had to make a lot of corrections to keep it pointing where I wanted to go. Also, that live axle makes launching the Mustang a real pain. I know I'm spoiled by the sophisticated suspensions and launch control systems on cars like the Audi R8 and the Nissan GT-R, but the Mustang should still be able to put down the power more smoothly.
But there is still some good news for the 2010 Mustang. The interior is great now. Everything works like it should, and the layout is very simple and efficient. Sync works very well, and the ability to control everything from the radio to your cell phone with voice commands is a huge help with a car that demands both hands on the wheel most of the time. The materials used inside now feel very upscale, especially compared with the penalty box that was masquerading as an interior before.
There are enough upgrades to the car to keep Mustang fans happy, but there are a lot of other cars for $30,000+ that enthusiasts should consider. Nissan 370Z, anyone?
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor