Review and photos by Haney Louka

2014 Ford Mustang
2014 Ford Mustang. Click image to enlarge

Talk about an exercise in contrast.

I was fortunate to get behind the wheel of two exciting Ford vehicles lately, and the differences between them highlight why each one is a leader in its respective class. I was driving a Tangerine Scream Metallic Focus ST for the week before getting into this beautiful Mustang, and it’s difficult to believe that both cars are made by the same company. Oh, and anyone who thinks the Mustang is a competent handler as well as a muscle car really needs to try the ST.

Not that the Mustang’s handling is bad, but it’s certainly different. Clearly finesse and feedback take a back seat to force and intimidation.

The 2014 Mustang is the latest in Ford’s continued domination of this market segment in Canada: While the company has sold 2,559 Mustangs through the end of May, Dodge has found homes for 818 Challengers, while Chevy has peddled 1,124 Camaros. It’s easy to argue that the Mustang has a broader appeal than its competitors, but that just speaks to the success of its design.

2014 Ford Mustang2014 Ford Mustang2014 Ford Mustang2014 Ford Mustang
2014 Ford Mustang. Click image to enlarge

Changes are few as this version of the car marches into its final year of production – look for an all-new Mustang to be introduced for 2015. But for now, enjoy the last of what has become a very successful modernization of the traditional pony car.

Pricing for the Mustang line starts at $23,999 for the V6 coupe. Standard equipment includes a 305-hp V6, six-speed manual gearbox, split-folding rear seat, air conditioning, tilt steering, cruise control, 17-inch alloys, dual exhaust, HID headlights, LED sequential taillights, power windows and locks, keyless entry and a bunch more. In base form the Mustang is quite the performance bargain when you consider that a 274-horse Hyundai Genesis Coupe starts at $26,500.

Convertible models start at $31,999 and include the “Premium” trim, which means upgraded wheels and interior appointments, additional gauges and a more aggressive grille and front splitter.

2014 Ford Mustang
2014 Ford Mustang. Click image to enlarge

But in this sandbox, it’s all about what’s under the hood. Thankfully Ford supplied us with not only a Mustang convertible, but a GT convertible. That means our tester was endowed with Ford’s current 5.0L V8 that pumps out 420 galloping ponies. Price of admission for this model is $44,799. Our tester also included the $500 Premier trim package, which adds accent striping to the leather seats. It also had the $700 parking and security package (parking sensors, wheel locks, and security system), $1,700 brake performance package (19-inch wheels, Brembo calipers, and summer tires), $2,300 electronics package (navigation and dual-zone climate control), and $300 rearview camera.

So this is a $50K Mustang before delivery and taxes, although at the time of this writing there is a wad of cash worth $5,500 sitting on the hood.

Our tester was coated in non-metallic “Grabber Blue” paint, and that was the single most polarizing aspect of the car. All agreed that this is a mean beast with undeniable road presence, and most agreed that it sounds as mean as it looks. Ever since the 2005 Mustang was introduced to critical and consumer acclaim, the car’s stylists have been making it look meaner with each tweak and yet have managed to not mess it up.

As classic as it looks, there are undeniably modern touches like the LEDs in the head- and taillights and the 19-inch wheels that come with the brake performance package. And it all works.

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