If you’re in the market for a modern muscle car, then the 2012 Ford Mustang is an absolute must-drive. The Ford Mustang manages to offer all of the excitement and style expected out of a powerful compact performance vehicle while still delivering a comfortable daily driving experience. It also doesn’t hurt that the Mustang can be had for a very reasonable price, and that its engine options have attracted considerable attention due to their frugal fuel consumption – an unexpected bonus in the muscle car segment.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2012 Ford Mustang.
01. The 2012 Ford Mustang Comes In Both Coupe and Convertible Body Styles
The 2012 Ford Mustang is offered in both traditional coupe and sun-loving convertible editions. The coupe provides protection from the elements year-round, as well as a more slippery aerodynamic shape and a lighter chassis in order to help keep it nimble and less demanding at the fuel pump. The convertible’s fabric roof might make it a little less appealing to anyone who lives in a climate where winters are harsh and unrelenting, but the open-air driving pleasure that it delivers during the summer months more than makes up for any perceived practical shortcomings. The Mustang’s generous rear seat room also helps to make it one of the only true four-passenger drop tops in its segment.
02. The 2012 Ford Mustang Offers a Powerful Yet Efficient V-6 Engine
The base model 2012 Ford Mustang includes a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that develops 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque – figures that are better than those turned in by the older Mustang’s top-level eight-cylinder mill. Not only does the V-6 Mustang provide a 5.6 second zero-to-60-mph time when equipped with its available six-speed manual transmission, but the motor also returns solid fuel economy figures. The Mustang’s 3.7-liter unit receives an EPA rating of 19 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway (when equipped with its optional six-speed automatic transmission). Sticking with the manual tranny lops a mere two miles per gallon off of the highway number.
03. The 2012 Ford Mustang GT Delivers Exceptional Performance
Although the V-6 engine is quick, the 2012 Ford Mustang GT’s eight-cylinder engine is the real eye-opener when it comes to performance. The 5.0-liter power plant grinds out an impressive 414 horses and 390 lb-ft of torque allowing the GT (which shares its transmission options with the V-6 motor) to hit 60 mph from a standing start in just under five seconds. The bump in output does of course lead to a reduction in fuel efficiency, but the 5.0-liter V-8 does not make wallets suffer quite as much as one might imagine delivering 18 mpg city and 25 mpg on the highway.
04. The 2012 Ford Mustang’s Retro Design Updates '60s Styling Cues
The 2012 Ford Mustang’s interior and exterior design are inspired by the original 1960s version of the muscle car. That being said, the Mustang has also had its looks significantly modernized, trading in some of the older vehicle’s squared-off sheet metal for a more flowing and aerodynamically-interesting appearance. The Mustang, even in V-6 trim, is an aggressive standout amongst other compact coupes. Its interior also makes extensive use of cues lifted from the original Mustang, including circular gauges and subtle touches made to the vehicle’s seats and dash that evoke a different era of automotive performance.
05. The 2012 Ford Mustang Is Affordable
The 2012 Ford Mustang, despite offering a 305 horsepower V-6 and arresting exterior styling, still features an MSRP that most new car buyers can afford. The base Mustang V6 coupe starts at $22,310, while the V6 convertible retails for $27,310. The eight-cylinder Mustang GT coupe will leave your wallet $29,310 lighter, while the GT convertible costs $34,310. Considering that the GT provides performance that is on par – or greater – than that offered by several much more expensive luxury coupes of European origin, it’s clear that Ford’s pricing structure for the muscle car makes it more than competitive.
06. The 2012 Ford Mustang Can Be Loaded With Features
All versions of the 2012 Ford Mustang come with standard equipment such as keyless entry, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, cruise control, a CD player and a limited-slip rear differential. Moving up through the different trim levels adds premium items like the Ford SYNC vehicle voice interface, leather seats, satellite radio, a rear spoiler, ambient interior lighting and gauges that can have the color of their backlighting adjusted and blended to the driver’s preference and a full glass roof. GT editions of the Mustang offer the option of larger brakes and a stability control system that is more capable of dealing with the car’s increased power.
07. The 2012 Ford Mustang Offers Extensive Special Options Packages
In addition to its regular options and features list, the 2012 Ford Mustang can also benefit from a fairly extensive range of packages designed to help personalize and improve the vehicle’s appearance and performance. V-6 Mustangs are offered with the Mustang Club of America Special Edition package, the Electronics package and the Comfort Group package, while the Mustang GT adds the California Special package (shown here) to the list. These packages allow Mustang buyers to access unique exterior trim options, a higher grade of entertainment and comfort equipment as well as a number of exclusive high tech features.
08. The 2012 Ford Mustang Puts Safety First
The 2012 Ford Mustang comes with front airbags, seat-mounted side impact airbags, standard stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes. It also offers the MyKey parental control feature free of charge, which allows for the vehicle’s top speed – and stereo volume – to be limited to reasonable levels. Available safety options include HID headlights for more even night time illumination, a backup assist feature that uses sound waves to detect objects that are outside of the driver’s field of view and a rearview camera for additional security when parking or reversing down a twisty driveway.
09. The 2012 Ford Mustang Can Be Had In Boss 302 Trim
The Ford Mustang Boss 302 trim returns from the distant past for 2012, and this track-oriented model dramatically enhances the already very competent Mustang GT’s capabilities when it comes time to turn in a few laps around the local road course. The Boss 302 boosts the 5.0-liter engine’s power to 444 ponies, and it also adds a number of other changes and upgrades to the coupe’s body work, suspension system, interior and brakes. In addition, the Boss 302 can be had with the TracKey option, which is accessed via a special key provided by Ford that alters many different engine and driving parameters, enhancing the already high-strung muscle car’s performance even further and introducing a launch control feature.
10. The 2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Is The King of the Muscle Car Hill
The 2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 takes everything about the standard Mustang and turns it up to 11. The Shelby GT500 drops a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 between the front fenders, and this new mill is good for a heart-stopping 550 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. The specially-tuned Mustang – which also includes numerous suspension improvements and perhaps the most stunning aero package available from Ford – can eat up the quarter mile in only 12.4 seconds, trapping 116-mph. On the street, the Shelby blows past 60 mph in an extremely rapid 4.4 seconds.