Current 911 owner (996 C4S) considering a 2015 GT - with premium trim, GT track pack, and the "401 A" equipment pack. Specific interior/exterior color choice too, so I imagine it will be a special order and a significant wait time. So before I went ahead and did it, looking for some informed opinions from folks familiar with Mustangs.
- I have never owned a Mustang. Or any American car for that matter. Long list of M3s, AMGs and 911s. Willing to try the 2015 since I feel like Ford has made the car more refined and less in-your-face looking.
- Speaking of refinement - any reviews of the independent rear suspension and the "track pack" setup? Good? Bad? Mediocre?
- 6 speed manual versus 6 speed auto - I have had many 6 speeds and loved some, hated some. Love the Porsche 6 speed in the 911, HATED the BMW 6 speed in the M3, liked the Acura 6 speed way back. On the box in the Mustang - how's the clutch take-up and drive line shunt? What killed it for me on the M3 was how jerky it felt between shifts, and the take-up was abrupt.
- How's the 6 speed auto? I am comfortable in my manhood to drive a sports car with an auto box. As long as the auto box is refined and modern. Are the upshifts quick? Downshifts seamless? Any reason to absolutely stay away from autos? Particularly as it applies to resale down the line?
- More practical questions - if I ordered a brand new Mustang for $43-44k, what am I looking at as far as resale values in 2 years? I never keep my cars for more than 2 years/20k miles, and have not had any experience with Mustangs so have no frame of reference as far as depreciation goes. Do Mustangs hold their value? Or do they take a dump similar to AMGs and the big $$ German cars?
I know that's a lot of questions, but appreciate your opinions. None of the dealers near me have a demo unit, so this might have to be done completely on a leap of faith.
I think you are going to be hard pressed to get a lot of owner experiences at this point in time since people are just starting to get their cars now. I bet that in 6 months time, you'll get more detailed answers from owners who've had their cars for a little while.
Your best bet at this point in time is to read the journalist reviews and see what you think. If you're interested in a new mustang, I think we'd all advise you to drive one. Most (but not all) reviews have reported that the new mustang is a lot more composed than the previous mustang with a solid rear axle. For whatever it's worth, I own a 2012 Mustang GT with koni yellows (adjustable) and sport springs. What that means to you, is that it's the second year of the coyote V8 that used in the '15 mustang GT (though the engine in the new car has been updated some and has ~25 more hp). It also have the rather crude solid rear axle, but the same 6-speed manual transmission.
I mention this because I just spent 5 days in a C63 AMG (since you mentioned owning an AMG) when I was in Napa last week. As I'm sure you're aware, the C63 has an IRS and a huge (compared with the 5.0) 6.2L engine with 455 or so hp. What struck me the most between the two cars is how hard the C63 rode. The ride was MUCH stiffer/harder than my mustang stock or with Konis. The C63 also had a much more high strung feel to it, especially when puttering around town. The mustang, IMO, is a much more relaxed driver (which doesn't mean it doesn't perform when asked to). Having said that, my car jumps around over bumps much more than the C63 and has less low-mid range grunt.
Based on what I've read, I would suspect that the new Mustang will still not ride as hard as the C63, but it will be far more composed and refined over bumps than the old mustang. The other thing to consider is size. I really liked the size of the C63. Some would call it cramped for a sedan, but I loved the small dimensions. In contrast, the mustang feels its size, whereas the C63 felt smaller the harder I drove it. That the '15 mustang isn't much smaller than the previous car, I wouldn't be surprised if the new car still felt its size. Some like this aspect and others don't. Go drive one and see for yourself.
As far as the transmission is concerned, from everything I've read, both the automatic and the manual are carried over from the previous car. From what I gather, the automatic is very traditional. Solid in function and durability, but certainly not nearly as quick shifting or responsive as a modern dual-clutch automatic like the PDK or even some more advanced torque converter automatics (like that in the C7 corvette). The manual, IMO, remains the best way to go for the mustang if you want a sporty experience.
Resale? Who knows what the new cars will bring. I would say that looking at what the '11-'14 cars are going for will give you a good idea. They are about average, IMO, with regard to resale. They aren't Hondas, but they aren't Saabs or Volvos either.