Ford Mustang 5.0 GT

Convertible

 Ford Mustang, front static 2
 Ford Mustang, front static
 Ford Mustang, rear static 2
 Ford Mustang, rear static
Ford Mustang, full rear static
Ford Mustang, rear seats
Ford Mustang, front seats
Ford Mustang, dashboard
Ford Mustang, boot

IF you're into cars you'll know a Ford Mustang comes with a bootful of myths from its time as the coolest set of wheels on the planet.

That was down to a certain Steve McQueen and the way the Hollywood heartthrob drove one in the 1968 action thriller movie Bullitt - all cool (that word again) glances from our hero as he turned tyre rubber into smoke.

The fact it all happened a long time ago - but burns fiercely still as an enduring symbol of off-the-scale cool (again, sorry) - means even today a little of that coolth rubs off on anyone who drives a modern Mustang.

Or you like to imagine it does. Just a bit. Especially with the roof down and the shades in place and the car's quad exhausts pumping out what sounds more like a god of thunder on the warpath than something produced from a 5.0-litre V8 engine.

It's precisely how you want a Mustang to sound, even if you could save more than five grand and go plenty fast enough with the 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine that's also available.

Doesn't sound the same, though, and if you're living the dream the details need to be right.

Then you find that the surprises start to accumulate - nearly all of them pleasant ones, even with the cost approaching £50,000 for a convertible with the bigger engine and new 10-speed automatic gearbox.

First - and lastingly - the Mustang may be a big car but it feels decently compact from behind the wheel. It will also take a couple of slim-hipped ladies in the rear in deeply sculpted seats they both declared the most comfortable they'd sat in. Ever.

The boot is more spacious than you'd think, too, and isn't reduced in volume with the hood folded away, as happens in some other convertibles.

The very latest Mustangs now also come with the safety kit missing from earlier models that ought to been a no-brainer on the spec sheet from the off.

Goodness, it's beginning to sound as though the Mustang is as practical as it is iconic, even available in its latest incarnation with right-hand drive and the same sort of touch screen cleverness you'll find in a Fiesta in the supermarket car park.

It costs a lot more than a Fiesta, of course, but the quality of the interior won't worry Audi. It's well enough equipped but you won't sit and admire the way everything is screwed together.

Push the right-hand pedal firmly towards the floor and you won't care, as the car instantly becomes rather less of a shopping trolley and more a beast with a mission to impress.

It's a properly quick car when poked with a sharp stick, although chopping off the metal roof means it shakes and shimmies a bit on bad roads. Take the fixed top fastback if that bothers you and you can do without the unlimited sunshine on a summer's day.

Driven the right side of Bullitt inspiration and it will return a half reasonable 25mpg and, better still, make all the right noises without frightening the horses.

FAST FACTS

Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Convertible

Price: £48,310

Mechanical: 444bhp, 4,951cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 10-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 4.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 22.6

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 279g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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