Not too long ago, the Ford Mustang was first introduced to the UK officially for the first time in its 44 year history, going on-sale in 2016 — but not even a full two years later, and we have a facelifted car.
The iconic V8 muscle car has proven to be a success since arriving in Europe — having sold more than 33,000 units since landing on this side of the pond — and the American firm is hoping more technology and a fresh face can continue to build on that success.
The big focus here has been to hit three stars on the Euro NCAP safety rating, rather than the current two.As a result, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection technology now features along with lane-keep assistance.
That’s not all that's new here. Giving a voice to the eight-cylinder monster is an active exhaust system that brings a whole ton of more volume. In case you don't want to disturb the peace, there's also 'Good Neighbour Mode', which can be set to reduce engine noise at certain times of the day. ‘MagneRide’ adjustable suspension is included too, calibrating itself depending on the driving mode.Save money on a new Ford Mustang today
For 2018, there's not much change when it comes to Ford Mustang engines, with a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost unit starting the range — while of course, there's still the 5.0-litre V8.
We had a go in the V8. It now produces 444bhp, rather than 410 on the original car, but torque remains unchanged at 529Nm. Paired to a six-speed manual gearbox (a 10-speed auto is also available), the 0-60mph sprint is done in 4.6 seconds with a 155mph top speed possible.
It does feel like quite a dinosaur, as torque lazily comes in around 4,000rpm before it really begins to shift, which would seem wrong in any other car. This is a Mustang though, and it serves to aid that old-school muscle feel that buyers will crave.
Ride & Handling
On paper, the 2018 Ford Mustang might sound like an overdose of understeer with large dimensions and a 1,743kg weight — but that's happily not the case
It’s not a bastion of precision through the corners, but it does feel good, in part as a result of the ‘MagneRide’ adaptive suspension. Steering also weighs up nicely in Sport+ mode, although we'd like more feel through the wheel.
Take the it out on the motorway and you’ll be pretty relaxed — although a fair few fuel stops will come as a result of poor economy. It does feel truly at home on big, open roads, with the suspension providing a comfortable ride and the engine settling down to a quiet grumble at cruising speeds.
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Interior & Equipment
To hit a £41k price point while delivering the performance it does, it’s easy to see Ford have cut costs in the cabin. It’s not a bad place to be — as most things feel well-built while there’s few hard plastics to be found — but other cars at the price point undoubtedly offer more.
Controls and switches in the centre console look and feel quite out of date, while the faux leather upholstery is a bit hard to the touch.
Our test car was also fitted with optional Recaro leather seats. While they great support and plenty of comfort, they do create a cramped driving position that can be a struggle to adapt to. Fitting these also removes the option of heated and ventilated seating.
The 2018 Ford Mustang is pretty well-equipped out of the box. Without paying any extra, you'll get the new lane keep and pre-collision technology, while adaptive cruise control, a 12-inch LCD instrument cluster, Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system on a 3.8-inch screen, automatic LED headlights and a heated steering wheel are too included.
Pricing for the V8 Mustang begins at £41,095, although EcoBoost models can be had from £35,995. It’s a low price for the performance and decent levels of equipment.
There’s a healthy amount of options to choose from, too. Recaro seats will set you back an extra £1,700 (although we’d stick with the standard units) and for the trick ‘MagneRide’ suspension, you’ll be paying £1,600.
Running costs are going to be rather high if you opt for the V8. It’s not exactly the last word in efficiency, with a claimed 22mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions come in at a hefty 277g/km — meaning a first year Vehicle Excise Duty of £2,000 and an additional £310 for the five years following first registration.
Don't expect the fresh changes for 2018 to revolutionise the Ford Mustang, but that's no problem. It's still in a league of its own league, offering an old-school, all-American muscle car experience here in the UK.
Sure, the interior may not be up to scratch with rivals at its price point, but that's excusable. It offers an unrivalled experience behind the wheel and tons of fun at that. In a world of electrification and driverless cars on the horizon, we're happy to see a naturally-aspirated, massive V8 engine still on sale. It helps its a pretty great one, too.
Model: Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT
Power (bhp): 444
Torque (Nm): 529
Top speed (mph): 155
0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
MPG (combined): 22
Emissions (g/km): 277