Living with a Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback, Part 2: does it work as a daily?

Published Jun 4, 2024


Let’s face it, people don’t buy sports cars for their everyday usability. Nobody ever bought a Ford Mustang, or any sleek two door for that matter, because it just made sense.

And yet “can I also use it as a daily?” is a question that often pops up when potential car buyers seek advice online.

There are plenty of threads asking this exact question of the Ford Mustang on popular forums like Reddit and Quora, but without diving too deep into those rabbit holes, I can tell you, from spending two months with a GT Coupe, that it is most certainly a decent daily car.

For a lot of reasons, actually.

Let’s start with the basics. Because it’s not too low to the ground, but certainly low enough to be sleek looking and agile, the Mustang is not a huge effort to get in and out of. You don’t have to crouch into it like you do in many other sports and supercars.

And if you were expecting a bone-jarring ride then prepare for disappointment because the Mustang GT is actually quite comfortable over bumps. Firm, but far from harsh.

ALSO READ: Living with a Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback: Part 1

No doubt one of the reasons you’ll be buying it is for that addictive, spine-tingling rumble from its 5.0-litre normally aspirated V8. But what about those times when you don’t want to wake the neighbours at 6am or attract attention at your local convenience store?

For that, the Mustang GT has a “good neighbour” mode that allows you to adjust the exhaust flaps to produce a more muted tone. In fact, you can even schedule the times of day when you want it to be quiet.

Conversely, there are exhaust modes that allow you to enjoy the eight-cylinder heavy metal concert in all its glory when mood and circumstance allows. Or after that neighbour’s dog has been barking too loud.

The GT Fastback is always ready to pounce but it’s not difficult to drive in everyday conditions. Picture: Jason Woosey

When it comes to the nitty-gritty of everyday driving, the Mustang is anything but a chore. Its throttle doesn’t feel like a trigger when you’re stuck in traffic, and even though it is something of a caged animal in these circumstances, it doesn’t feel too much like one.

Granted, performance from its 330kW normally aspirated “Coyote” V8 is not exactly ferocious at Gauteng altitudes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fast, and at altitude it should get you to 100km/h in around 5.5 seconds. But if you’re a robot racer there are many other mid-range sports cars, and even hot hatches, that will get you there quicker.

Thankfully, I’m not obsessed with quarter mile times and the Mustang is one of many cars to have taught me that you don’t have to go ridiculously fast to have fun in a car. For me, things like sound, agility and that seat-of-the-pants feel through the steering wheel are far more important.

But each to their own.

Fuel economy might seem like a laughable concept when you’re having a good time in a Mustang GT, and of course, that trip reading can quickly shoot past the 15 l/100km mark when you’re driving it enthusiastically. But on more than one occasion I have been able to nurse it down to around 9.0 l/100km at steady speeds of around 120km/h on the highway. The engine is barely ticking over at that velocity, and unlike all the other blocky bakkies and SUVs you’re sharing the road with, this sports car is actually quite an aerodynamic device.

So far we’ve established that the Mustang works well as a daily driver, but is it practical enough to be a family car? Maybe that’s stretching it a bit.

Truth be told, there isn’t a lot of rear legroom in the Mustang and I wouldn’t want to sit behind myself for too long, but on shorter trips they do work well as emergency seats. A friend’s teenager managed to squeeze in the back without too much strife, but headroom was a bit tight.

And that’s the other thing about the Mustang. A lot of people will be asking you for a ride.

* The Ford Mustang 5.0 GT is currently priced at R1,152,900 (June 2024) but keep in mind that there is a new Mustang on the way later in 2024.

ALSO READ: New Ford Mustang Dark Horse combines old-school muscle with modern finesse

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