Spanning nearly 50 years of consistent production, the 2012 Ford Mustang
continues its reign as the U.S.'s longest-selling pony car, with more performance and convenience options than ever, giving the Mustang shopper enough options to make his or her Mustang a truly one-of-a-kind car.
Whether opting for a top-down cruiser, a coupe with some added zip, or an all-out performance machine, the Mustang allows shoppers that choice all with a check of a box. From the base V-6 model that delivers 31 mpg to the street-legal racecar known as the Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition, the Mustang comes in varying degrees of fast.
But the 2012 Ford Mustang is also a very livable car, with seating for four and a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. The optional Sync hands-free calling makes communication a safer exercise, and with Ford's MyKey programmable key, parents can program a speed limiter and audio volume settings so they won't be afraid to give the key to a 412-hp V-8 Mustang GT to their teenage sons or daughters.
Body style: Two-door coupe or convertible
Engines: 3.7-liter, V-6; 5.0-liter, V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual; six-speed automatic
Models: Mustang, Mustang GT, Mustang Boss 302, Mustang Boss 302 Leguna Seca
In a first for Ford, the 2012 Ford Mustang offers adjustable steering that allows drivers to select one of three separate settings for how quickly the car responds to the steering wheel, including a tighter sport mode. Also new for 2012 are illuminated dual visor vanity mirrors, a universal garage door opener, and multipurpose sun visor storage. Backup sensors, a security package, and HID headlights are also newly available options. Lastly, the Mustang will offer a limited-quantity color, Lava Red Metallic. The color option will come with Lava Red with black interior and color-keyed door and seat inserts.
With a modern take on a retro design, the 2012 Ford Mustang comes as a fastback standard with an aggressive look that could be nothing other than a Mustang. The sequential rear turn signal indicators pick up a cue from the '70s, and with classic long-cowl, short-deck proportions, the Mustang looks fast even when stationary. Boss 302 models look much louder, with bright orange paint and aerodynamic tweaks, but most add-ons are fully functional for go-fast, hardcore enthusiasts.
The Ford Mustang's compact interior looks decidedly retro thanks to its classic styling and a three-spoke steering wheel modeled from Mustangs of yore. But with the addition of the Electronics Package that places a large built-in navigation system in the middle of the dash, that all changes quickly. With the addition of the Laguna Seca package to the Boss 302, the Mustang forgoes a rear seat for chassis braces and a roll cage.
Performance & Handling
When it comes to performance, not even the base V-6 Ford Mustang is all that basic. In V-6 models, power comes from a 3.7-liter engine capable of 305 horsepower -- almost as much as a V-8 powered 2010 Mustang GT. With all of that power, acceleration from a standstill to 60 mph occurs in 5.1 seconds, and with the Performance Package, the car pulls 0.96g of lateral acceleration -- and that's just for the $25,000 model! From there, the speeds only get faster and the handling only gets better as customers step up to the 412-horsepower 2012 Ford Mustang GT V-8 that can give a BMW M3 a run for the money at half the cost, or buyers can step up to the positively insane Boss 302 and Seguna Seca that packs 444 horsepower, 380 lb-ft of torque, and can hang with supercars for well under $50,000.
Optional on the 2012 Ford Mustang's SYNC system are 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report in addition to standard AdvanceTrac electronic stability control, traction control, and standard ABS. Other safety features include dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags and MyKey that allows owners to program a secondary key to limit stereo volume and speeds.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mustang: 19 mpg city/31 mpg highway (automatic); 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway (manual)
Mustang GT: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway (automatic); 17 mph city/26 mpg highway (manual)
Mustang Boss 302: 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway (manual)
- Fuel economy (V-6)
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A hoot to drive at every price point.
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