2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium

Contrary to what you've heard about the live rear axle setup, this is perhaps one of the best muscle cars money can buy. Good luck selling people on that, though -- it seems that most shoppers in this segment make their decision primarily on styling, brand loyalty, or a fading memory of a car owned decades ago.

If they're not Ford folks, they're missing out on a car that offers an attractive (and comfortable) cabin, decent visibility (compared with the Chevy Camaro's blind spots), and the ability to dance, despite its antiquated rear suspension design. I drove a Mustang GT with the track pack around a road course back-to-back with a Camaro SS last year. The Mustang's posterior did like to jump around a little more than the Chevy's, but it was always happy to let you point its nose in the right direction, while the Camaro wanted to plow.

My only hesitation then was with the powertrain -- the 4.6-liter V-8 was lacking power, and the five-speed transmissions were so five years ago. But the new 5.0 and the six-speeds in both the manual and automatic gearboxes go a long way toward making this pony a veritable thoroughbred.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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