2013 Ford Mustang V6 Coupe
Base price: $26,200
As tested: $30,880
MPG: 19 city mpg/31 highway mpg
- Classic Mustang styling with contemporary touches
- Old-fashioned muscle car power
- New-age gas thriftiness
- Rear seat is like a small, dark cave
- Low price shows up in some materials
By Michael Hagerty
When the first Ford Mustang hit showroom floors 49 years ago, buyers had their choices of six-cylinder (all about fuel economy) or V8 (all about going fast). Mustang, simply by staying in production continuously (yes, we’re counting the 1974-78 Mustang II) for nearly half a century, has built a reputation. Part of that reputation has been the dilemma between economy and muscle. But no more.
Thanks to big advances in the art of engine and transmission building, the base 2013 Mustang comes with a V6 engine that moves the car to 60 miles per hour faster than the legendary “hot” Mustangs (1965 Shelby GT 350, 1967 Shelby GT 500, 1969 Boss 302, and 1970 Boss 429), and delivers an impressive 31 miles per gallon on the highway (19 in the city).
Unlike those early muscle cars, the 2013 Mustang V6 has manners. You don’t have to blow the doors off of every car around. The power is there if you need it. Otherwise, it drives like any other car. The exhaust has been tuned to produce a V8-style rumble just to remind you what awaits should your right foot get heavy, but you never get the sense that you’re wrangling a wild horse.
And it’s safe. Mom would approve. It earned an overall four-star crash rating and five stars for rollover protection.
Then there’s the price. The Premium model runs $26,200 with leather-trimmed front seats, a color LCD message center, and Ford’s SYNC voice controls for radio and other features. Even at the as-tested price of $30,880 (ours had a 6-speed automatic transmission, rear collision sensing and security system, high performance tires, and upgraded wheels), it’s an unbelievable bargain for having the best of both worlds — performance with very little penalty at the pump.
Michael Hagerty is an automotive publisher and editor who has been talking cars on the air, in print, and online for more than 15 years.