Mustangs are great, but not that great
The Ford Mustang is recognised worldwide as one of the greatest sports cars to have been created. The Mustang has also been the best-selling sports coupe in the world for five consecutive years since 2015, so not only is it a car people dream about buying, but one that people do actually end up buying.
On April 17th 1964, Henry Ford II showed the Ford Mustang to the world for the very first time. Little did he know that 55 years later, the Mustang would still be going strong as one of the most iconic sports/muscle cars in the world.
So, why exactly is the Ford Mustang overrated? Does the ‘Mustang’ name still deserve to be recognised as one of the most important sports car names in the industry?
For the last 55 years, the Mustang has been through six generations, with only one of them retaining their good looks with age. Other than the first-gen Mustang, all of the others have aged about as well as Steven Seagal and this current generation of ‘Stang, although very beautiful, is too young to tell whether it will still look good in ten year’s time.
The Mustang, overall, has failed to age gracefully and make its stake in the world of classics. Even Mustang fans are usually only fanatic about either Mustangs from the 60s or the new Mustang that was released in 2015. Everything in between is just bland, boring and old. Unless you’ve got a special connection to these cars, no one is talking about them.
When compared to other 70s cars such as the BMW 2002 and 3.0 CSL, Jaguar XJS and Toyota Celica, it becomes more clear just how forgettable the gen-2 Mustang was in that period. When compared to other 80s cars such as the Datsun 240Z, Porsche 911, Audi Quattro and BMW M3, the same can be said about the gen-3 Mustang. The list goes on but the point is although the ‘Mustang’ name is legendary, most of the actual Mustang cars are not. As cars, it seems more often than not that they fall short of making it into the book of greats.
The Porsche 911 is, in fact, an excellent example of how to evolve a car correctly. Throughout its entire lifespan from 1963 til now, the 911 has successfully remained a prominent and beautiful sports car with minimal turbulence along its journey. Styling changes were often small, as were changes in performance focus. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If only Ford knew that they had nailed it the first time around.
Now, speaking as a Brit, it’s actually quite easy to pick on the Mustang. I mean, first of all, the Mustang was never officially sold in the UK until very recently in 2015. That’s right, even though it feels like the Mustang has been part of our motoring culture for decades, in actuality, it hasn’t. It may have been on many of the films we watch and in the magazines we read and you would even see the odd Mustang in the wild. However, despite our delusions, the Mustang hasn’t made its way into British showrooms until now.
What’s the reason for this, you may wonder? Perhaps Brits weren’t ready for the immense power under the bonnet, or the breathtakingly bold looks, or the constant screeching of tyres that come with it. No. In reality, it’s because they were too rubbish for us.
Being European, Brits expect a certain level of refinement in their sport coupes and the Mustangs have just never had that. They’re loud, brash and handle like a trolley full of shopping. With German brands usually dominating the sports coupe segment along with a mix of some Japanese and British offerings, we’re just not really accustomed to the brute force approach of American muscle cars. Mustangs are built more for looking cool and for burning rubber than they are for tight and fine-tuned handling, which is why when compared to other sports coupes, they can seem a bit daft.
Don’t get us wrong, the current Mustang is as refined as a Mustang has ever been, but still, they seem to lack in several areas. One of them being the interior. It’s plastic-clad, rough, scratchy and all in all, very Ford-like. Sure, you could argue that it’s a sports car and that it’s built for performance but when you realise that a BMW 235i and Audi TT Quattro are priced similarly, are much more luxurious on the inside and can beat the Mustang around a track, you begin to question the Mustang’s purpose.
The first Mustangs from the 60s are absolute stunners (with the 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 being our all-time favourite) and the current Mustang is a work of art as well. However, we’re just not convinced that the ‘Mustang’ name deserves the reputation it has. And now with Ford smearing the Mustang name with their new Mach-E Mustang SUV, we’re starting to believe Ford don’t respect it all that much either.
The Mustang, past and present, is overrated. They’re good cars, but certainly not the best.
If you enjoyed (or hated) this, you’ll certainly love to see why we think the BMW E46 M3 is overrated as well!
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