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Fordís 2020 Mustang evokes memories of driving greatness
Powerful pony car hasn't lost a step
 
Published Saturday, July 25, 2020 9:34 pm
by Winfred Cross | For The Charlotte Post

FORD MOTOR COMPANY
The 2020 Ford Mustang is a powerful performance machine.

In my youth I loved a Ford Mustang. It was the only pony car that struck my fancy. Hey, I even liked the Mustang II, which was, um, a horrible car.


I still like Mustangs but, alas, my age and body do not as much as my mind.


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a 2020 Mustang. It’s still exhilarating to drive. Unfortunately, it’s not built for short, fat people – at least not this short, fat person.
It’s really more my width than height. My Ecoboost premium coupe came with Recaro leather seats that were made for someone the size of Jeff Gordon. They are sculpted to fit tight for all the aggressive driving this car cries for. If the bolstering could be adjusted, I could not find the lever or switch. It was a tight fit.


Also, the car’s low height did not allow me to exit or enter gracefully. I’m not blaming the car. It was a not so friendly reminder that COVID-19 quarantine didn’t mean eat everything in sight.


The 2.3-liter premium coupe is new this year, at least with a six-speed manual. Again, not at all built for me. The clutch was reasonably stiff for such a car but not for the right leg. It took a while to master gear shifts which were a bit balky. I chirped the back wheels a number of times unintentionally. Once I got my rhythm, everything settled down.
Let’s talk about that engine. The small four-cylinder pushes out 332 horsepower and 350 pounds-feet of torque. Peak is at 3,000 RPMs which is 2.000 RPMs lower than the regular 2.3. The car can hit 60 mph around 5.0 seconds. Once the car reaches speed it just seems to go endlessly with little effort. Some added extras make the engine a little louder than I like, but for a sports car it’s not terribly loud.


The ride quality was OK but could get jumpy on certain surfaces. Overall it’s a surprisingly good road car, even with the summer tires that didn’t like any surfaces that held the slightest bit of moisture.


On dry pavement, the Mustang is a handling champ. The shape of the road doesn’t matter. Find a bunch of curves and at the car eats pavement like it is feasting at a buffet. Straight pavement will find you shifting down to go blasting down the road. It likes to cruise at 80 miles per hour, but I didn’t, at least not a lot.


If you want to get even sportier, find the drive mode selector and go for the meanest setting. The steering tightens as well as the suspension. Ride quality diminishes but the handling payoff is worth harsher ride. There’s also a limited-slip differential and independent suspension in the rear.


The Mustang’s interior is essentially the same with maybe a few tweaks. Controls are easy to reach and there is an abundance of technology. Apple CarPlay and Android audio is available. So is navigation, Sync-3, a digital dash, wi-fi and apps to make the car more track ready.


The rear seat is for children or really small adults. The room is typical of sports car which means you really need to be young.


By the time my loan was up, I really appreciated the Mustang. I could get in and out quicker, could shift OK and could tolerate the seats which didn’t feel as tight. I didn’t lose my love completely, but I do think I’d like to sample an automatic with paddle shifters and regular seats. I absolutely love the car’s handsome exterior and the interior.


Yep, this is a young person’s car, but if us geezers can find one that has the right fit, we can play as well.


The Mustang Premium coupe starts at $31,685 and comes with dual exhaust, dual zone climate control, heated mirrors with turn signal indicators, pushbutton start, cruise control, leather wrapped steering wheel and Sirius/XM radio.


Optional equipment included the handling package, high performance package and an equipment group. With destination, the as-tested price came to $43,165.


Pros:
• Surprisingly powerful engine


• Great looks


• Braking, handling and steering


• Fairly good bargain


Cons:
• Seats too tight


• Stiff clutch


Email Winfred Cross at  cross@alldaytech.com

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