The 2012 Ford Mustang earned one of the highest Total Car Scores in the Sport Coupe and Convertible segment.
Reviewers praised the Mustang for its powerful and sophisticated engines, especially the entry level V6 that produces 305 horsepower while still achieving up to 31 mpg. The most common complaints from various industry reviews focused on the interior. The plastic-heavy cockpit may be a big step up from Mustangs of yore, but it still falls short of competitors in the segment. And despite the car’s improved feature content in recent years it still doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The previous year brought some major changes for Ford's legendary muscle car in the areas of engine power, suspension tuning and overall refinement, so the 2012 Mustang sees very few updates.
The most significant change is the addition of an adjustable power steering system. The new setup allows GT owners to adjust the Mustang's Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) resistance. Sport mode increases resistance for drivers looking to ‘feel’ the road, the comfort setting makes the car's steering lighter for the easiest drive possible, and the Goldilocks-approved normal mode provides a happy medium between the two.
A new color, Lava Red Metallic, and a standard universal garage door opener on the premium models round out the 2012 changes for the Ford Mustang.
The Mustang comes in two trim levels with two drivetrains. Both the V6 and GT V8 cars can be had as a hardtop coupe or convertible.
The base and GT Mustangs are available in either standard or premium trim. The standard car includes cruise control, keyless entry, 17-inch wheels and a CD player with auxiliary input. The premium cars come with Ford’s Sync system, adjustable gauge colors, leather seats, satellite radio with USB and iPod connectivity and, on V8 models, adjustable power steering and larger 18-inch wheels.
With a slew of options available, the Mustang's personalization possibilities are almost limitless. Buyers can pick between different stripes, grilles, appearance packages, brake components, wheel sizes, aerodynamic scoops, audio systems and plenty of other options.
The entry level Mustang comes with a 3.7-liter V6 making 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. GT models come with the big 5.0-liter V8 that offers up 412 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. For those looking for even more muscle, the Mustang can also be had as a Mustang Boss 302 or Mustang Shelby GT500 (Both reviewed separately).The V6 and V8 cars are both available with either a six speed manual or six speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy varies across the different models. The automatic equipped 2012 Mustang with a V6 ranked highest in the EPA's tests with 19 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 23 combined. The manual V6 earned 19/29/22. The V8 GT with an automatic was rated at 18 city, 25 highway and 20 combined mpg, or 17/26/20 for the manual version.
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