The “Sophomore Slump” which is used in sports to describe a reduction in production that takes place during an athlete’s second year in their sport certainly does not apply to the Mustang.  Coming in with more vigor and pep than ever this second year run of this generation of the Mustang brings us a pony car that is fully ready to take on all competitors across the field.  If you want a sports car that is great on gas but still gives you some oomph, the Mustang is the right choice with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.  Of course there is still the ever power hungry Shelby GT350 and GT350R that are great race inspired sports cars, ready to knock of the competition one by one.

Engine power is not all that makes the Mustang one of the most sought after and highly touted cars on the market.  This new 2016 model is full of amazing amenities on the interior plus a wide range of performance enhanced versions that are built to take on the Camaro and Challenger.  When you want the pony car that offers the most fun and best ride for all, the Mustang is the right car for you to park in your driveway in between awesome drives on winding roads or on the track.

With the Mustang being a new car for 2015 it’s hard to imagine what might be new for 2016, but there are a few items to sweeten the deal.  The GT California Special Package, EcoBoost Pony Package and the Performance Package for the GT Convertible are all new.  The Shelby GT350 receives a new Ford Sync 3 system, which adds more tech to the power for more overall fun on the road.  Adding these items to the already amazing car allows you to have all the equipment you want in a car that is designed to excite.

As with any sports car, the discussion must turn to the power under the hood.  In the case of the Mustang there are four possible engine setups to choose from all of which are attached to a six-speed transmission that is either manual or automatic.  The base model is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque.  This engine gives a fuel mileage of 17 city/28 hwy mpg for the manual transmission and 19 city/28 hwy mpg for the automatic.

Second on the list is the certain enigma of the group.  Even though the 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine might not sound too impressive, the fact it brings in 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque might have you thinking a bit differently.  The fuel mileage for this “power four” is also the best in the lineup at 22 city/31 hwy mpg for the manual and 21 city/32 hwy mpg for the automatic.  With this setup, the Mustang can be a great choice as a commuter car that will show off its power when called upon.

Third on the list is the engine that has become famous for years, the 5.0-liter V8.  This beast brings in 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque to give a significant increase in power and offer dynamic track speed.  The fuel mileage is actually reasonable with this engine as well at 15 city/25 hwy mpg for the manual and 16 city/25 hwy mpg for the automatic.

Finally, the massive power fir the GT350 comes from a 5.2-liter V8 which shows up with 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque.  The fuel numbers aren’t out on this monster yet, but who cares, this engine and the car it propels are built to unleash speed and performance, not worry about sipping fuel.

One of the main selling points of the Mustang over the years has been the interior space that is offered.  Even though the Challenger currently is larger on the inside, the Mustang still has room for three of your friends to ride along and enjoy the power of the ponies underneath.  The interior is covered in higher quality materials than ever before and give the driver easy access to all controls needed.  Whether it’s a convertible or a coupe, the Mustang offers a generous trunk so all can share and enjoy the ride.

On the outside the Mustang is one of the most highly recognizable vehicles on the road today.  With a long hood and the tri-bar taillights the car has a fast appearance that brings back memories of muscle cars of the decades gone by.  The throwback look was in the last generation though and this one is sleeker, lighter, wider and lower than before to make full use of the angles and design to cut through the wind and make for a very fast and exceptional handling car.

As an affordable sports car, the Mustang now offers a great deal of standard features for you to enjoy.  At the base model the car comes with a push button start, a six-speaker audio system with an auxiliary port, a rearview camera, Ford’s Sync communication and entertainment system, HID headlights, 17-inch wheels , a selectable power steering and Track Apps.  The EcoBoost model adds six-way power front seats and 18-inch wheels.  The 5.0 ups the size to 19-inch wheels and adds the line-lock feature and launch control on the manual transmission models.

Going farther by adding optional features gives you a car that has more equipment for your enjoyment.  This includes power front seats, parking sensors, 18-inch wheels, a 12-speaker Shaker audio system, a navigation system, leather seats, blind spot monitoring, forward collision alerts, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled front seats and performance packages.  All these can make any Mustang into a car that is easy to spend a great deal of time in, especially if you have a long commute or have a sense of adventure that brings you to a variety of locations during a road tour of this great country.

Like I said, the Mustang can be one of the most affordable sports cars on the road today.  The base V6 model starts around $24,500 with the EcoBoost showing up around $26,000 to start with.  Heading up to the GT brings a price around $33,000 which is not bad for the added power of the car.  Going convertible begins the pricing around $30,000 for the V6, with the EcoBoost at $35,500 and the GT at $42,500.  Load them up and the coupe will come in the mid-$40,000 range and the convertible comes very close to $50,000, which is where the Shelby GT350 starts.  The Mustang has long been the sports car most Americans can afford with its low base price that works up into some high performance when the upper models are selected.

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