Wild horses…

The awesome Ford Mustang 5.0 GT – a lot of horses

Model on test: £39,930

The cars I test are almost without fail well-received by my son, that’s a given. But when one is remembered by my (then) three-year-old daughter, you know it’s made an impression.

A while back, I drove the new Ford Mustang – and not the 2.3 litre eco-boost… the full-blooded five litre V8. And it was simply great. My daughter still compares every car I drive with (and I quote) the ‘loud blue one’.

For her to recall it that vividly must mean it’s something special. And, quite honestly, it was. What still astounds me even now is the versatility of it. We’re talking about an all-American muscle car, with a massive engine in the front and all the power going straight to the rear wheels. It has more than 400bhp under the very long and bulbous bonnet (nicely sculpted too – lovely to look at) but you can fit four adults inside – the back two passengers won’t be the most comfortable, but it’s possible.

I took it to a meeting with a couple of colleagues that involved a round trip of 150 miles or so, and although the rear seat passenger wasn’t that relaxed by the end of it, it was far from cramped. Oh, one more thing while I recall that particular trip… this isn’t a car for subtly blending into the background. A couple of bikers who passed in the other direction actually turned round for another look – pulling alongside and giving an approving thumbs-up!

So, we have a massively powerful, four seat growling beast, and two small children. Did I mention it’s actually family friendly? Both rear seats have ISOFIX fittings, and even the access wasn’t that much of an issue. So what did we do? We went to IKEA again!

It was actually quite amusing sitting in the restaurant overlooking the car park and seeing people stop with their kids and look at the car… some even took photos! But back to IKEA… we thought initially that taking such a car to the Swedish retailer would limit our impulse purchases… we’ve all been there; you go in for a rug and come out with two wardrobes, a coffee table and several kitchen gadgets that you don’t know how to use… but we thought a car with limited boot space would remove that risk.

It didn’t.

The Mustang has a massive boot – not just for such a powerful car, but full stop. We did indeed buy considerably more than we intended, but still the kids weren’t buried in boxes. The Mustang just swallowed it all up and kept on going, just like it swallowed the road and spat it out behind it when you put your foot down.

Oh, and the other thing it swallows… petrol… lots of petrol.

This car took more of my money in a week than even the Audi R8 and the McLaren 570S – combined! But it was arguably more frugal in another way though, the price tag. Neither of those cars would take four people, and they put out roughly the same power – in real life terms they are all equally fast. I’m not saying they’d compare on a track, but that’s not what this car is about.

And one other thing while I’m (not) comparing… is what could you buy instead that offered equivalent space and performance for less than £40k? The closest thing I think that Europe would offer space and performance wise would be the BMW M4, but that comes with an extra £17k on the price tag at least.

A friend of mine has actually just bought one of these, and although he says he is now on first name terms with all the staff at his local petrol station, I’ve never seen him smile so much.

Would I buy one?

As the Americans would say: Hell yeah!

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