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2005 Ford Mustang Convertible

2005 Ford Mustang Convertible Review

The new Ford Mustang has been on the road now for several months, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you shouldn’t be driving. Or voting. Or doing anything that requires one to know what’s going on around them. Seriously, with its unabashedly evocative exterior design and myriad interior improvements, the muscular new Mustang has made more news this year than anything else on four wheels.

Something you may not have seen yet, however, is the new Mustang convertible, which made its debut last January at the L.A. Auto Show and will be just hitting dealerships about the time you read this. In some ways, it is a topless clone of the coupe. But in others, it’s a whole different bird. Or more appropriately, a whole different horse.

Looking forward and backward at the same time

Ford Mustang Convertible - Exterior

The magic of the Mustang’s allure starts with its shamelessly retro styling, which is generally shared by both the coupe and the convertible. Blatantly, lovingly and successfully retrospective of Ford’s sexy ‘Stangs of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, the ’05 design features a forward-canted nose, deep set headlamps and a chunky rump that has just the right amount of macho without going overboard on testosterone. Among our favorite details are the huge, optional fog lights in the grille, the three-element taillights and the big round badge that recalls the gas caps of the originals. Subtle surface development along the lower extremities looks back without resporting to outright copying. Nice.

With the top down, the convertible’s low windshield and high waistline retain the overall impression of formidable mass and purposefulness also displayed by the comparatively private Mustang coupe. In convertible form, however, the wide grins of the frolicking, wind-blown passengers are there for the world to see.

Our first experience with the new convertible was in Los Angeles this past winter, right in the middle of the infamously awful weather that spawned landslides, a few tornadoes (!) and of course, rain, rain, and more rain. The top stayed up the whole time, in which condition the convertible very closely mimicked the cosseting feeling of the coupe, albeit with just a slightly less rigid overall feel (inherent in many four-seat convertibles). Outward vision was surprisingly good, thanks to a generously sized rear window and pillarless quarter windows. As one of my friends pointed out, the top and window shapes look much like those of the Sixties’-era convertibles, just as the coupe’s roof looks like the original fastbacks. Again, nice.

Fortunately, a couple of months later, we were granted a full week with this beautiful ragtop when Los Angeles was much more amenable—mixed weather bracketed by stunningly beautiful days on either end. With the top down, the Mustang’s personality changes from brooding and introverted to friendly and engaging. Suddenly, the road is no longer your personal drag strip, but rather your personal playground. As with the coupe, the convertible is a blast to drive, but instead of just catching the eye of passersby as they stare enviously—which happens in the coupe just before the pillars block all subsequent communication—the convertible lets its driver bask in admiration, the witting recipient of countless thumbs-ups, bright, teethy smiles and the occasional phone number.

Inside story

Ford Mustang Convertible - Interior

The convertible also gives outsiders a much better view of the interior than does the coupe. And that is a very good thing, since the cabin is just as strikingly retro as the exterior. And we’re not just talking about token styling elements to hearken back to the glory days at the expense of ergonomic efficiency. No, the Mustang’s son-of-‘65 styling incorporates delightfully user-friendly switchgear. You face an instrument cluster that houses huge, old-school dials with that cool, stretched font that you forgot you loved so much. With the interior upgrade kit—a must with the high-profile convertible—those same instruments can be set to one of more than 125 colors, with the rest of the dash covered by a swath of aluminum that does wonders to brighten up the dark interior theme. Our only desires are for a slightly smaller steering wheel and for some of the dashboard plastics to be rendered in a soft-touch material.

One of the best attributes of all 2005 Mustangs are the comfortable seats, so much more comfortable than last year’s that you’ll swear you’re riding a different horse altogether. As for the rear seats, they’re not quite as roomy as those in the Chrysler Sebring Convertible, but are credible next to the Mitsubishi Eclipse Convertible and the VW New Beetle Cabriolet. An available black-and-red color scheme is either too cool or too loud, depending on your own school of thought.

Speaking of loud, let’s talk for a minute about sound systems. There is a base, four-speaker sound system, but just forget about it—it’s not that great. The next one up is the Shaker 500, which adds some serious oomph and some fidelity to the audio scene, thanks to a six-disc in-dash CD changer, a subwoofer and 8 performance speakers. And while that one is quite good, the one to get is the awesome (but pricey) Shaker 1000, which is no less than 1100 watts strong, enough to blow the roof off the car, if it had one. Now, as audiophiles know, wattage and fidelity are two different things, and the tuning of the monster system is truly surprising given the strength of the system, delivering excellent sound even with the top down at 70 mph on a California freeway. The only drawback, besides its four-figure price, is the amount of precious cargo space in the trunk it gobbles up—space that was at a premium already.

The Horse’s Power

Ford Mustang Convertible - Stick Shift

In spite of being ridiculously andsome, the ’05 Mustang has gobs of power to lend it real street credibility. The base model has a 210-hp V-6, while the GT packs a 300-hp punch from a throaty V-8 that’ll have you gunning it just for the sound alone—a burbley, delicious sound that, like the rest of the car, will strike a familiar chord (literally) with anyone who’s ever experience a Mustang V-8 from the Sixties. Transmissions include either a precise, five-speed manual with a rounded, stubby shift knob and low-effort clutch, or an optional five-speed automatic.

Although the safety qualities of the new Mustang are nowhere near those of Ford’s own super-safe 500 Sedan, engineers haven’t forgotten entirely about that, either. Much of the coupe’s safety-cage construction has been translated into the open-top design. Front seat passengers benefit from dual-stage front air bags, occupant sensors, seat belt pretensioners and load limiters and available side seat-mounted air bags. Brakes are discs all around, with ABS and traction control standard on the GT and optional on the V-6 models. We found our stops to be quick but not sudden, predictable and fade free. Stability control is not offered yet.

Pony Up

As for the price? Well, you’ll have to shell out about $24K for the base convertible, $30K or so for the GT. Add some options, like the automatic, the interior and stereo upgrades and chrome wheels and it’s not hard to get deep into the Thirties. Still, with such performance and visual punch, the Mustang represents a certifiable bargain. And it seems that everyone knows it, so get in line now so you can get yours by summer’s end.


For More Information Click: Ford Mustang
For the Ford 2005 Model Guide : Click Here