Jeff Vaughn: Driving 2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible

Writer's note: I love the sights, sounds and smell of a car; I'd wear New Car cologne if they made it. So, this review will be thin on statistics. Although the numbers will be provided, I'd rather look at cars -- and drive them.

This is a review based mainly on emotion.

A review of a Ford Mustang convertible during the Woodward Dream Cruise? How could I resist.

Ford Motor Company provided me with a 2014 Grabber Blue Mustang GT 5.0 to drive to and from my WXYZ live shots along Woodward Avenue the days leading up to the Dream Cruise.

I found the classic lines and throaty rumble of the exhaust fit in nicely with the cruising hot rods, and the drop-top made for a nice panoramic view of the entire spectacle that is the Dream Cruise.

I don't think I could ever cruise Woodward in a hardtop again.  And it even looks good with a baby seat in the back!

The cornering, the acceleration and sporty style made for an exciting ride as I stretched the pony car's legs beyond Woodward on a trip along the back roads from Northville to Ann Arbor with the family.

Here are my LOVES, LIKES and DISLIKES:

LOVE:  The Pony Projector. I was taken by surprise on this feature and it quickly drew a crowd of admirers in my neighborhood. At night when you open the passenger or driver's door a projector from the side mirror illuminates your step with the image of Mustang's logo. Why doesn't every brand do this?   

LOVE: The Coyote V-8 Engine. Muscular, throaty and spirited at 420 HP. Enough said.  

LIKE: The styling. In my opinion, the latest design of the Mustang is muuuch better than the Mustang II in the mid to late 70s. In fact the only version of the Mustang II worth looking at was the 1976 model, only because it was the car driven by Charlie's Angels.  This redesign unveiled in 2005 harkens back to the original 1964 1/2 model and takes a lot of cues from that classic era: The grille, the badging, the headlights and rear lamps resemble the first pony car.

LIKE: The mag wheels. I don't like black wheels, but these work with the Grabber Blue color.  With these wheels I wouldn't consider spending money on aftermarket rims.

LIKE: Ease of convertible top. Having owned an old convertible VW Beetle, it's nice to have an automatic top that completely telescopes into the body. Literally takes seconds to go from top up, to top down.  

DISLIKE: The small buttons that make up the center control for radio, heating, AC and navigation.

DISLIKE: The lack of a real back seat. BUT this is a sports car and it wouldn't be one with a lot more rear leg room. I did manage to put my child's baby seat in the back seat, leaving little room for his toys, but he didn't mind with the wind blowing through his curly locks.

DISLIKE:  The six speed SelectShift automatic. A button on the side of the gear shift allows the driver to shift like a clutch-less standard transmission. But it's a little clumsy with the tall console, and for me it's not natural to push a button to shift. I'd rather have paddle shifters, but it's an automatic so no big deal, just put it in drive and go!  

The car tested has an EPA estimated rating of 18 city/25 highway.

The price range for Ford Mustangs range from the least-expensive at $22,995; the GT at $31.095 with V-6 convertibles going for $27.995 and GT drop-top (tested) at $36,095. The most-expensive Mustang of 2013, the Shelby GT500 is base priced at $54,200.

For complete specs on the Ford Mustang, click here .

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