2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Review

Ford Mustang Overview

To our eye, the 2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible is easily the most handsome American car currently offered. Sleek, yet muscular, the Mustang GT Convertible has all of its curves in exactly the right places. Further, the look of the car builds strongly upon its ancestry, so the model is instantly recognizable as a Mustang. And yet, it has an aura of refinement the cars before it simply didn’t have. Mildly reminiscent of an Aston Martin, this new Mustang is one strikingly lovely ride. Photos really don't do it justice.

Enhancing its beauty all the more is the new for 2016 California Special trim package option. Among its features is a lovely set of 19-inch wheels rendered in black with polished accents on the spokes and around the perimeter. Other California Special details include distinctive striping, black mirror housings and hood vents, a chin spoiler and an underhood strut tower brace. The unique upper and lower front grille treatment finds the tri-bar galloping pony set off to the left side—as opposed to centered—giving it more room to run. A larger rear spoiler and a California Special badge on the trunk lid complete the exterior package.

Inside, the headrests are embossed with GT/CS logos and a “California Special” nameplate is prominently positioned on the passenger’s side of the dash. The black leather seats feature suede inserts with red contrast stitching. The door panels, shifter boot and console lid also get red stitching. Diamond plate aluminum instrument panel trim caps the look off.

While we’re on the subject of the interior, this is the nicest passenger compartment ever offered for the Mustang. Quality materials abound, while the toggle switches for secondary functions really say “performance car”. The seats are outstanding in their appearance and comfort, as well as the support they provide when the car is used vigorously. Standard comfort and convenience features include keyless entry and push-button start, Sync voice control for infotainment functions, Bluetooth, and Mustang’s Track Apps package for performance oriented information. Our GT Premium equipped Mustang test car also features heated and ventilated front seats.

Power comes from Ford’s creamy-smooth 435-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, good for 400 lb-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission routes power to the rear wheels (a six-speed automatic transmission is offered too). Fuel economy is rated at 19 miles per gallon overall, but with our enthusiasm for the sound and visceral response of the V8 under load it’s closer to 14 miles per gallon. Speaking of the sound of the V8, it’s remarkably sophisticated, with buttery run up and no popping or sputtering on overrun. This is easily the most sophisticated American V8 ever.

Our GT test car also offers variable drive modes permitting the tightening of the steering to improve accuracy at higher speeds, as well as adjustment of throttle response. The car also has launch control and Electronic Line Lock. This latter function keeps the front brakes engaged while you spin up the rear tires to heat them for a launch. Part of the Track Apps suite, other features include g-force readouts, acceleration times, and countdown starts.

With all of these performance-oriented features on board, you expect the Mustang GT California Special to be more than capable of holding its own—and it is.  Capable of some seriously high cornering speeds, it also accelerates well into illegal digits with ease. And yet, when driven moderately, the Mustang GT Convertible also provides a reasonably comfortable ride. Deceptively fast, you have to keep an eye on the speedo, as the Mustang GT routinely travels faster than your senses indicate.

Still, there are a couple of things we’d change.

It’d be nice if the convertible roof would operate while the car is on the move. Most power tops give you at least 30 miles per hour these days—kinda sad the Mustang wants you at a standstill Also, the interior of our 7,000 mile test car is already exhibiting various and sundry rattles, leading us to question how well it will hold up over the long haul. Also, much is made of the addition of turn signal repeaters to the vents on the hood. However, from the driver’s seat, you can only see the one directly in front of you, so what’s the point?

These concerns notwithstanding, Ford has delivered a Mustang absolutely deserving of the “Grand Touring” appellation. Beautiful, fast, sumptuously equipped, and remarkably comfortable on the highway, the 2016 Ford Mustang GT Convertible elevates the pony car genre considerably.

Pricing starts at $42,145. The California Special package adds $1,995.

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