When Ford offered me a V8 Mustang GT to test I thought… WHAT, that's not a family car?! Of course I said yes, for a bit of fun for a week, who would say no to a Mustang, right?! I wasn't expecting to be able to even fit my daughter in the back, let alone like it…
Well, I was right, the Mustang is a lot of fun and we had a FANTASTIC week! My husband and I had our first night out in nearly four years since having our daughter (sad I know!!) And we got to go there and back in the Mustang.
My girl and I cruised the coast road in this bright green machine, went swimming and for coffee dates together. Daycare and kindy pick-ups and drop-offs always took longer with the Mustang, with all the kids shouting “it's Ben 10's car” and wanting to look at it. I don't think we've had so much fun or turned so many heads since having the Subaru BRZ and Tesla Model S!
BUT, I was also sooooo wrong about it being useless as a family car! Yes, the Mustang is a fantastic and enjoyable car to drive but it very much surprised me by its family practicality and ease of use. Legroom is fantastic in the Mustang and with forward-facing child seats, my super-tall toddler had loads of legroom with my rather tall (186cm) husband sitting in front of her. On a really rainy day, I hopped into the rear footwell of the Mustang with the front seat folded forward to do up my daughter's harness and had plenty of room!
Two child seats fit really nicely in the back, with a comfortable amount of space between them.
There are some considerations like the depth of the child seat base and bulkier-based seats sit too high, causing the top of the seat to hit on the roof and rear window, whereas thinner-based child seats allow for more headroom.
You might think the V8 exhaust sound would not be family-friendly but you'd be wrong as Ford has thought of that too! You can change the exhaust mode from quiet, normal, sport and track mode and set a quiet start time too, which is perfect for not waking my daughter and neighbours when leaving the house every morning at 5.30am! Then after 7am I could have the lovely sound of the V8 again!
The Mustang is great to drive and I understand now why so many people love them. Living on the Sunshine Coast I am used to seeing fleets of Mustangs out enjoying the coastal roads and twisty hinterland roads at the weekends and never fully appreciated why, but now I can! It is great that every journey, however routine, is an exciting event rather than humdrum!
I thought it would feel cumbersome and impractical but found I forgot I was driving a Mustang, especially on motorways and the car really just shrank around me. It wasn't until I stopped at lights and people started looking that I'd remember.
The boot is cavernous! Despite the shape of the boot opening, I could fit thirteen shopping bags or twin, double or single prams and strollers fitted in there with shopping too. Oh, and even our toddler who does like to get involved in mummy's BabyDrive reviews!
Storage in the front of the cabin of the Ford Mustang GT surprisingly good, there are sufficient cup holders in the front and the central console box is a good size too. There's even a handy glasses case in the dash as well as a place for your phone. The door bins are too small though; they won't hold a refillable water bottle and let's face it everyone owns at least one if not ten now!
The media system is easy to navigate and use and it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too. I did find the position of the media screen is a litle low and so when looking down at it while driving, the glare makes it quite hard to see the reversing camera image and sat nav.
The reversing camera image does fill the whole screen and you can mute the parking sensors easily with the screen in front of the drver using buttons on the steering wheel.
The elephant in the room with the Mustang is its three-star ANCAP safety rating (According to ANCAP: This applies to right-hand-drive Ford Mustang (FN) models, supplied to Australian & New Zealand markets, built from December 2017 when production upgrades and changes to its safety specification were introduced. This rating applies to 5.0 litre V8 & 2.3 litre EcoBoost Fastback variants.)
Especially poor is the Mustang scoring only 32% for child occupant protection which of course is a major factor when choosing a family car.
Eight airbags come as standard in the Mustang, including dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags are standard, as are knee airbags for the driver and front passenger.