For those that care (or don't), yesterday was a bit of a milestone in that I passed through 12,000 miles in my Mustang. To me, 10,000 is an insignificant amount, because racking up 12,000 in the time I've had it (which is 6 months) is one-third of the bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, as well as double the so-called 'average' driver amount of 12,000 per year. In that time, I think I've gotten a good-enough feel of the car to write up some notes, as well as weigh the pros and cons of ownership for those considering picking up a newer GT in the future.
Why did I buy it?
Bit of a tough one here, and something I ask myself quite a bit. Never been a 'Mustang' guy whatsoever. Never even been a domestic guy. But there seems to be a real dearth of exciting, fun-to-drive, new cars these days that don't cost German-sized $tacks. I came back from living abroad missing my Cayman S, which had unfortunately appreciated in value in the time since I'd owned one to a point that ruled out buying one again. With that off the list, I thought about a 335i. Too ubiquitous, not exciting enough. Then my mind wandered to a 135i. I liked this car a lot, and almost pulled the trigger on a two-year-old example, but for one thing: it just felt a little bit 'worn out'. With only 37k miles on the clock, that led me to believe that either this one had been flogged mercilessness by its PO, or the cars weren't built all that stoutly. Either way, I moved on, although I'm forever haunted by the possibility of what could have been. I really did like the 135i.
Few other candidates were a MkVI GTI (didn't do it for me- a little too familiar), 370Z (gunslit windows and agrarian noises), Mini Cooper S (dinky interior) and CR-Z (didn't even test drive one, although I probably should have). No real common pattern here, just cars that interested me at a reasonable price point.
Ultimately, I bought the Mustang because the finance terms were attractive, the car was brand new and I didn't have to worry about what any previous owners did to it, it had the options I wanted and it looked fantastic. And it was FAST. I wasn't even considering getting a 'yellow' car but the way it looked that day, in the sun, just did it for me. So I bought it.
How's it been?
At first, great. Then, as all new purchases do, it started to lose just a little of its luster. I haven't bought a car brand-new before and am thus new to the whole 'massive depreciation' concept. It's a bit of a downer. But other than that, the car itself has been very good. It's not as fun to drive as the Cayman, nor does it handle as well or delight in its build quality. BUT, it does the day-to-day thing very well. It's comfortable, it's big and safe, quiet, has a good stereo and lots of gadgets, even gets decent mileage considering (about 20 mpg mixed and 25 mpg purely highway). And it's very fast in a straight line and turns and stops more than reasonably well. Does it have the intangibles of a Porsche? No. Will it drain your wallet to the tune of $60 grand brand new and then threaten to vomit its internals all over the highway at the drop of a hat? No. So it has that going for it.
It's built well-enough but it's got its issues. I can tell the jarring 'sport' suspension my car has, plus the Shaker stereo (aptly named for shaking loose plastic trim pieces) will cause some rattles eventually. The brakes squeak but I'm sure that's down to the pad compound for the Brembos. Paint runs are evident in a couple places and overall you can tell what you bought and why it delivers the performance of an M3 for half the price...this ain't no M3. But for the 99% like me, it'll be just fine.
Has the MT82 shat the bed yet?
No. Stop asking. Yes, second gear can be balky when cold. So were all of my Hondas, and they are revered for having some of the best manual transmissions in the business. When it's warmed up, it's bliss. And it doesn't 'grind'. Ever.
Will you keep it?
Maybe. Haven't decided yet. Professional situations change, as mine has, so in the near term I may need to seek something more economical and less flash. But we'll see. I took it out for a good romp today on some fast roads and it got my heart racing the way not too many cars can. Maybe I just need to do that a little more often. Florida autocross season is about to get rolling anyway...
IMG_9650 by raregreen91, on Flickr
IMG_9552 by raregreen91, on Flickr
IMG_9554 by raregreen91, on Flickr
IMG_9559 by raregreen91, on Flickr
photo by raregreen91, on Flickr