Test Drive: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 car test drives reviews ford
2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302. Click image to enlarge
Test Drive: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Manufacturer’s website
Ford Motor Company of Canada

Owner Reviews on autoTRADER.ca
Mustang Owner Reviews

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Photo Gallery:
2013 Ford Mustang

After spending a week in the Ford Mustang Boss 302, the question I find myself asking is: “Is it a hero car or a villain car?” There is no question in my mind that it looks like a car designed for a movie, perhaps some futuristic steampunk-like interpretation of early 21st century transportation. It is both futuristic and current, yet overwhelmingly retro. It is its own temporal loop, the LED-accented headlights and nifty progressive turn signals in the taillights a modern touch on a design that borrows heavily on the Mustangs of the 60s (and the legacy of the 1970 Mustang Boss 302), while essentially perfecting the timelessly sinister gaping-maw grille with a nice chin spoiler to make sure there are no leftovers (and to provide aerodynamic downforce, too, no doubt).

Test Drive: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 car test drives reviews ford
2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302. Click image to enlarge

If you haven’t yet guessed, I’m a fan of Mustang styling, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Call me any number of emasculating names, but I would drive the Boss over the Shelby GT500 in a heartbeat. As a collector’s item I won’t deny the 662-hp Shelby it’s rightful place in a trophy-case garage, it being Carroll Shelby’s swan song and a monumentally powerful menace to public roads, but it’s damn near impossible (for me) to drive the thing fast and to keep the nose pointing forward.

The Boss, while a handful when so desired, was an entirely controllable and manageable species. Those 444 horsepower are nothing to take lightly, and 380 lb-ft will light up the rear wheels on command, and that’s just it—the Boss 302 has everything ready and at your command. Short-shift your gears or start in second, and you can mosey along at a socially responsible pace while still sounding like you are unleashing holy hell in echo-chamber handbasket.

Test Drive: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 car test drives reviews ford
Test Drive: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 car test drives reviews ford
2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302. Click image to enlarge

This exhaust comes in three modes: loud, loud, and loud. Yes, the Boss is loud at almost any speed in any gear, but it never gets old. While the Corvette 427 saves its snarl for high rpms, the Boss is howling right from the get-go, and simply develops more and more aggression as the revs soar. Beauty.

The Boss derives its power and from a specially tuned version of the Mustang GT’s 5.0L V8 (305 cu. in., in case you were wondering), and the Boss package also includes a race-inspired six-speed manual transmission (read that as a stiff clutch and heavy, manly throws for the shifter), staggered 19-inch alloys (9.0 inches wide in front and 9.5-inch rears), interior package, and stripes—hood stripes and hockey-stick side stripes. Apparently, Sync is also included, but I didn’t once use my phone or the stereo in the car during my week with the Boss. Yeah, it sounds that good.

There were only three controls I cared about in this car: the steering wheel, shifter, and pedals (okay, that’s five if you count each pedal individually). As mentioned, the clutch pedal is stiff, and I luckily avoided any serious stop-and-go traffic, and the shifter requires deliberate effort to lock into any gear, but it is with a rewarding heavy duty mechanical embrace that it slots home. The steering wheel is also on the heavy side, but feels just right for the car, and offers sufficient feedback and precise turn-in. This is not a car that needs a Sport button (it is always on), and the low-end torque is plenty, so with the throttle delivery always on full alert, you have to drive this car rather than simply coast along on autopilot. Lack of attention will result in (inadvertent) burnouts or stalls—I was guilty moreso of the former and perhaps a couple of the latter.




About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.