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2010 Ford Mustang Performance

This performance review was written when the 2010 Ford Mustang was new.

The Mustang's performance components are refreshed for the 2010 model year -- resulting in a ride that's both more comfortable and capable than ever before.

  • "We sampled a 2010 GT back to back with the 2009 version and from the very first squeal of the tires, it was apparent the new Mustang GT is significantly more responsive. Steering feels quicker and more precise, though there haven't been any substantial changes to the rack or ratio. The difference is in the suspension; spring rates and shock damping have been increased, which translates to reduced body roll through corners and less seesawing during acceleration and braking." -- Motor Trend
  • "We spent a couple of days driving both current and new Mustang GTs around Southern California and at Willow Springs Raceway, and we predict that most people could tell the two cars apart even if blindfolded. The subtle structural improvements, the recalibrated suspension, and the better integrated interior achieve a marked improvement in the car's perceived solidity. The current car is hardly a rattletrap, but the 2010 feels granite-like and is completely unfazed by hard driving or sharp bumps." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2010 Ford Mustang is at the front of the pack when it comes to performance-per-dollar. The Mustang V-6 handles almost as well as the 2009 Bullitt model, which is saying something." -- New Car Test Drive

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Mustang garners praise for its powerful engine and transmission options -- especially the high-powered GT.

The Mustang V6 and V6 Premium come equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 210 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 240 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. The GT and GT Premium, however, are much stronger and feature the same powerhouse featured in last year's Bullitt trim -- a 4.6-liter V8 engine that generates 315 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. While all models come equipped with a standard five-speed manual transmission, a five-speed automatic is available.

The EPA has yet to rate the 2010 Mustang's fuel economy, but Ford asserts that city/highway mileage varies from 14/22 mpg to 18/26 mpg -- depending on trim and transmission.

  • "The V6 in Base models provides brisk acceleration, and the automatic transmission downshifts quickly for passing. The V8-powered GT is even stronger in all driving situations, with snappy throttle response and ample torque. The manual transmission has smooth, positive shifter and clutch action." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The GT's 24-valve, SOHC 4.6-liter V8 gets just a small boost from 300 horsepower to 315 hp and a bump in torque from 320 pound-feet to 325 lb-ft. This is thanks to a new cold-air intake system. Redline also rises to 6,500 rpm from 6,250 rpm. If these numbers sound familiar, it's because they are the same numbers that the '09 Mustang Bullitt makes." -- Edmunds
  • "With both engines, the manuals have nice short throws and clicks through the gears quickly and cleanly. The automatic feels smoother, especially when hitting the accelerator." -- Detroit News
  • The GT "hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, a tenth quicker than the previous-generation GT. The quarter mile arrives in 13.7 seconds at 103.7 mph, two tenths quicker and 2 mph faster than the 2008 GT we tested in December 2007." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Test drivers are impressed with the new Mustang's revised suspension settings, which make for a better overall ride when combined with its other retuned performance components.

  • "Suspension doesn't get any wholesale changes--if you were expecting Ford to make the leap to an independent rear suspension, forget it--but it does get substantial retuning along the lines of the well-received Bullitt edition. Spring rates increase, and shocks are retuned to make the car better balanced and to reduce body roll and understeer without degrading ride quality." -- AutoWeek
  • "On California's smooth canyon roads, the new Mustang felt perfectly composed and planted. There was plenty of grip for brisk street driving and just enough understeer to encourage charging into corners and hard exits. Though feedback from the front tires is largely nonexistent, the steering itself is perfectly weighted and very accurate." -- Car and Driver
  • "In the canyons north of L.A., the Mustang showed off more new moves than the entire cast of Dancing With The Stars, extremely quick to transition from left to right and back again with a minimum of body roll, dive and pitch in the suspension." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Electronic stability control is standard, and it includes a sensor to detect side-to-side skidding. This system will keep you on the straight and narrow, no matter what your intentions or bad driving." -- Detroit News
  • "I've power-slid every Mustang I've tested, and this one did not escape my immature need to burn rubber. The ability of the 2010 GT to be balanced in a slide says a lot about how well it is set up. It shows the work the engineers went to making sure the car could be driven hard safely. This is easily the most balanced Mustang I've ever driven - more so than even the edgier KR. On the freeway, the GT is stable and predictable; the cabin is quiet and the throttle is pleasant to use." -- Road and Track
  • "The new, firmer suspension not only delivers a more controlled ride, but much more planted, competent cornering. Combined with the summer tires and the new sport mode for the stability control (it turns traction off, then allows for about 7-9 degrees of slide before cutting in), these tight, bumpy corners are no longer the Mustang's Achilles heel, but its strong point." -- Jalopnik
  • "The brakes dissipated speed with a firm, easily modulated pedal and squeezing the throttle blasted the car away from apexes. Body roll was held to a minimum and the 'Stang had excellent mechanical grip." -- Autoblog
Review Last Updated: 3/12/10

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