From £33,7057
Will a healthy shot of extra muscle make the Mustang Convertible more appealing? We try the V8 version in the UK

What is it?

We’ve previously sampled a Mustang Convertible and we were not totally convinced. Partly to blame was the car’s engine: the 2.3-litre Ecoboost may be a strong performer, but it lacked the aural fireworks you might expect from an all-American automotive institution.

So surely ticking the box for the 5.0-litre V8 should be the answer to all our woes? There’s certainly plenty of power: 410bhp guarantees serious performance even with the additional weight of a folding top and chassis bracing.

There is the worry that it could all be a little too much for the soft-top Mustang, though - after all, even the Ecoboost-powered convertible could be lairy at times. We’ve tried the manual and automatic in the UK to find out.

What's it like?

Thumbing the red starter button, you can’t help but smile as the V8 woofles into life. There’s no doubt that it completes the Mustang experience, and it’s no surprise at all to hear that 68% of buyers - and there are plenty of those - have opted for the 5.0-litre engine option.

Although it’ll tickle along at a little over 1000rpm, it needs a few revs on the clock to feel properly quick. Keep the revs high, however, and the Mustang will push you back into the seat with a satisfying amount of force while emitting a brutish roar.

In a straight line it’s hard to feel short-changed even if it’s not quite as rapid as the coupé, but the V8 Convertible is still not as accomplished as the hard-top when it comes to cornering.

The open-topped version feels softer, both in suspension stiffness and structural integrity. Hit a few bumps and you see the rear view mirror jiggle in your peripheral vision and feel the car shudder slightly. Turn-in isn’t as sharp as that of the coupé either.

While the Mustang will understeer, it seems to spend far more time twitching its rear end. In the dry, you can deploy a lot of the V8’s power without too much drama, apart from some slight movement of the back axle.

Try the same when it’s wet or even slightly damp, and the rear of the car is prone to stepping out even with the traction control switched on. Thankfully it’s easy to catch, but it's still a surprise that isn't always welcome.

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The manual gearbox is a pleasingly mechanical thing to use, although it does require a firm hand. The automatic slurs through ratios smoothly when pootling but isn't the quickest to shift when you start playing with the paddles. Arguably, though, the auto is better suited to the Convertible's laid-back demeanour.

This is especially true considering the size of the Mustang. Not only is it wide, but it’s a long old thing, too. It’s therefore disappointing to see parking sensors as an option and not bundled into the not inconsiderable purchase price.

It might be big on the outside, but there’s not much room for those in the back. You’ll need a short driver to fit anyone with legs behind them and the seats are mounted high too. Front seat passengers have plenty of space but may not be so impressed by the interior quality. It looks stylish enough but there’s an awful lot of hard, scratchy plastic.

Should I buy one?

It’s no surprise to find that the V8 engine does make the Mustang Convertible a much more appealing car. Even at a cruise, you can appreciate the burble of the V8 over the hum of the Ecoboost, while many will appreciate the additional performance.

The trouble is that the extra grunt exacerbates the handling issues we experienced in the lower-powered open-top. It really doesn’t take a lot to overwhelm the rear tyres if it’s damp underfoot. 

It’s also thirsty - you don’t have to being trying that hard to get the fuel consumption to tumble into the teens. Still, we can’t see many people using a Mustang to commute, and if the Convertible's cruise-before-cornering set-up tempts you, we’d definitely go for this V8.

Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Convertible

Location Oxfordshire; On sale Now; Price £38,495; Engine V8, 4951cc, petrol; Power 410bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 391lb ft at 4250rpm; Gearbox six-speed manual; Kerb weight 1786kg; Top speed 155mph; 0-62mph 4.9; Economy 20.8mpg; CO2/tax band 306g/km, 37%

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winniethewoo 2 April 2016

Porsche 718 Boxster is around

Porsche 718 Boxster is around £42k. This Mustang or a basic Boxster for a few k more? Honestly who is buying these things?
BRUCECH 2 April 2016

Boxster

Have you ever seen a basic Boxster - they usually have £10k on needed options to approach Mustang spec.
Marc 2 April 2016

winniethewoo wrote: Porsche

winniethewoo wrote:

Porsche 718 Boxster is around £42k. This Mustang or a basic Boxster for a few k more? Honestly who is buying these things?

FFS, here we go again..

Citytiger 3 April 2016

winniethewoo wrote: Porsche

winniethewoo wrote:

Porsche 718 Boxster is around £42k. This Mustang or a basic Boxster for a few k more? Honestly who is buying these things?

Exactly, no one buys a basic Boxster.....

Peter Cavellini 1 April 2016

Have you?,how many?......

For a Car that had loads of pre-orders for it,i haven't seen one yet?
NeufNeuf 1 April 2016

So Autocar thinks this car is HUGE?!

What utter rubbish. As noted in other comments it is shorter than the Mondeo class!!! I've seen a fair few in traffic now and yes they clearly bigger than a Fiesta but I was surprised by how short they actually are. Would I ever buy one in Europe? Never. But still such blatantly ignorant reporting is not on.

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