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post #54 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2014
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Jcummons's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Kernersville
Posts: 27
A Serious search for a midlife crisis car (wall of text warning)

Ok, since it seems we are a little light on real reviews i thought i would post my last six months of car shopping.
In June i decided i was finally going to buy a midlife crisis car. I own a 2004 40th anniversary GT but my brother bought a 2012 so i thought i would one up him and get something like a BMW M3 or a corvette. so i started researching.
Needless to say, because of pricing and financing i had to lower my sights a smidge and get either a 2015 camaro, a 2015 Mustang a 2015 challenger or a 2014 BMW 335IS coupe. so i went out to test drive them.
I liked the camaro because due to the pricing i could afford to buy a new 2SS and then get the trans am body kit for it and have something special to tool around in for under 40k, so i went out to three diferent chevy dealers and started test driving. All i am going to say is that the build quality on 2015 camaro's is Shameful and scary. Bits were actually falling off brand new cars i was test driving. since this is not supposed to be a VS thing i will leave it at that.
I sadly crossed the camaro off my list. Then i came to the BMW. the 335IS is a REALLY nice car it rode beautifully it had plenty of power and actually got fairly good gas mileage. ultimately though i decided i had to be a member of the 400HP club, so off it came.
The next was the 2015 challenger RT. it had everything you could want in a muscle car. huge grunt. very nice interior. awesome soundtrack, but ultimately it felt like driving a sedan so off it came.
Lastly we come to the Mustang. I test drove two, a Red Base GT with six speed and Performance pack and a Black GT Premium with 401a equipment group (shaker audio and SYNC) to go with its six speed manual.
Notice no Perf pack on the Premium... The Red one was Very nice. the first thing you notice is that the body panels are very nicely mounted with good lines and no rattles or shakes. i liked the painted rear valance which my brothers 12Gt doesn't have. the paint was Factory perfect, which means as good as factory paint gets... Then i got in the drivers seat.
The first thing you notice is that everything looks well put together There were no plastic flashing edges on the door panel! which we had to remove from my brothers car. (these are the thin sharp plastic ridges where the mold fits together when they make the door panel) That is the main reason why i never considered a mustang. his 2012 GT Premium has an abysmal interior with cheap plastic everywhere, and everything from rattling button covers on the steering wheel to AC vents that wont stay where you put them. There is NONE of that in the new mustang. it is tight and well made. more like a base model honda or toyota than any ford you remember.
The car drove shockingly well. it handled railroad tracks, potholes, and a very bad parking lot entrance with the composure of a camry without ever feeling sedan like. the road noise is a distant murmur easily drowned out by the muted V8 Rumble.
We couldn't really test anything performance wise because of rush hour traffic, but we did get on the highway. This is where i noticed what i do not like about the track pack. At 70mph in sixth gear i am at about 2600 Rpm. it really seems to want another gear for cruising. Power is readily available in any gear, though 1st and 2nd gear are over so fast i cant really be sure they are there at all. The driving history function says that the average mpg for this GT was 14MPG it had 255 miles on it. I am going to hazard a guess and say that with a 2600 RPM cruise at 70 you will never see 24MPG.
Anyway on to the GT Premium. The GT Premium was black and the first thing you notice is that the Interior has FAR more in common with the BMW than any of the other Muscle cars. It was Nothing like any ford i had EVER seen.
The car is all Leather with good visible stitching and nice metal, or at least metallic buttons and knobs. it also has either real carbon fiber dash trim, or a very very good fake. i liked it much better than the brushed aluminum look in the other car.
Ride quality and handling was probably about the same although it felt much better. I did get to horse around with this one much more because the rush hour traffic had died away by this time. It had acceleration at least as good as my Brothers 2012 although it seemed like less because you didn't hear the wind rushing by the exterior. when you get on the throttle it sounds properly nasty but when you back off it immediately resumes its smooth, quiet rumble.
Here is what made me decide to not buy the Performance package though. First it comes with painted black wheels which i am not a fan of, and second, (this is the clincher) at 70mph on the highway in sixth gear it is at 1900RPM instead of 2600. I had no idea that 3:73 rear gears made that much difference and since i am not a drag racer i am going with the cushy options instead of the perf package.
All in all the New Mustang is so far ahead of the Camaro and Challenger in actual useability and build quality it really isn't a comparable car anymore. it has far more in common with a BMW 3 series or an Audi A4 with Far better performance. the little ticking tenths of time the Camaro has over the mustang dont come anywhere near making up for the Astonishingly bad build quality and poor useability of the former.
The C7 corvette has an interior light years ahead of the camaro but if its better than the mustangs in any way i couldn't tell from test driving them. Yes i was trying for a C7 but the price is Juuuust out of my comfortable range..... So i will be getting a 2015 GT Premium with 401a and a manual... either in deep impact blue or magnetic grey But i am sticking with the shiny wheels

2004 Crimson Red 40th anniversary edition GT
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