The Mustang GT convertible isn't perfect, but it's definitely one of the most fun four-passenger new cars you can buy today for $34K (the bottom base price of a GT convertible), thanks in large part to the ultra-American V-8 exhaust note, with its noticeable but conservatively refined burble. The five-speed manual gearbox has longer throws than in some of the superhot Stangs we've driven recently (i.e. Roush, Saleen), but I still really like it because it seems to suit the character of this convertible perfectly. The awesome shift-knob ball is very comfortable, too, and the shift action is slick, quick, and nicely notchy. The ride is quite good (if a bit soft, as Evan noted), and most owners are unlikely to ever drive the car hard enough to worry about the skittish solid rear axle.
The car looks great, too, not that I had a problem with the pre-face-lift version, although it was certainly due for a change. Inside, I liked the attractive seat upholstery, and I was surprised (and a bit perplexed) to find a rearview camera in a Mustang. The bright illumination of the tachometer when you reach redline is helpful and kind of cool, too. Adding to the car's practicality, the trunk is quite big for a convertible, unlike those in most retractable hard tops.
Speaking of the Mustang's top, I had the same problem as Phil, exercising the motors without releasing the hidden dual top latches. That's a mistake owners will make only once, but more annoying is the lack of an audible tone or an instrument-panel notice to let you know the top is fully closed or opened. I can't think of any other convertibles with power tops that don't offer some sort of feedback to let you know when the roof is safely secured and you can stop pushing the button and start driving.
As my colleagues have noted, the Mustang's cowl shake is definitely apparent, but this is a pretty long convertible, so I don't think we should fault Ford too much for that. Another personal quibble I have with this car is that the windshield header is quite far back for my liking; I prefer convertibles that allow a hearty view of open sky above my forehead.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor