$9,155 - $10,657

2011 Ford Mustang Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Ford Mustang was new.


Performance: 9.2

The 2011 Ford Mustang features more horsepower and torque than last year’s model. It’s also been tuned for greater muscle-car performance. In fact, test drivers assert that the 2011 Mustang is more agile than any of its muscle car competitors.

  • "Ford has announced the official fuel economy numbers for the 2011 Mustang V6, and in doing so, stakes a claim to producing the world's first car to produce over 300 horsepower while also achieving over 30 miles per gallon (EPA). The 2011 Mustang 3.7-liter V6 with six-speed automatic is officially rated at 305 hp and 31 highway miles per gallon." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

Critics and enthusiasts are ecstatic. The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 is only ten horsepower shy of last year’s Mustang GT and is the only vehicle in its class equipped with more than 300 horsepower to net over 30 mpg.   

The Mustang V6’s new engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 305 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at 4,250. That’s 95 more horsepower and 40 more pound-feet of torque than last year’s model. While a six-speed manual transmission is standard, a six-speed automatic is available as an option.

Even more impressive, the EPA-estimates that the 2011 Ford Mustang nets a city/highway fuel economy ranging from 19/29 mpg to 19/31 mpg -- depending on transmission and body style.

  • "Yes, 305 ponies in a base Mustang, or just 10 fewer than in last year's GT. Given that our last test of Ford's standard pony car left us about as warm as a dip in a frozen lake, we tempered our enthusiasm when sliding behind the wheel of this new one. Lucky for us-and for all Mustang fanatics-Ford did its homework. The 2011 Mustang V-6 is an astonishingly good car." -- Car and Driver
  • "The V6 models offer surprisingly quick acceleration. The V8-powered GT is notably stronger in all driving situations, with snappy throttle response and ample torque. With either engine, the 6-speed manual transmission has positive shifter and clutch action. Likewise, the 6-speed automatic is smooth and alert with either engine." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Equipped with the wonderfully precise short-throw manual shifter, the V8 will get you from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and the V6 will do it in 5.5. Both will do a quarter mile in the 13-second range." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "Oh, you can still call the V-6 Mustang a chic car, Mustang Lite or anything else you can dream up, but it will knock your Piloti racing shoes into a ditch if you're not paying attention. It can pass you on a mountain road, on the highway and at the gas station." -- The Detroit News

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the 2011 Ford Mustang feels lighter and more agile than any of its muscle car competitors. For 2011, the Mustang’s steering and suspension settings have been tuned for an even better driving experience.

  • "The V-6 may be only 60 pounds lighter than the new GT, but the difference feels greater from the driver's seat; it's more nimble and neutral-handling, with a surprising amount of feedback from the electric power-steering rack. Despite the solid-axle layout, our tester's ride felt compliant and controlled, with little if any uneasiness during hard cornering on rough pavement." -- Car and Driver
  • "On generally smooth roads in southern California, we noticed little difference in ride quality between the various models tested. The suspensions absorb small bumps with little shock, but can't completely smoother larger pavement imperfections." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Slicing up canyon roads around Malibu, I was impressed with how well the Mustang charged into corners and stuck to the road.  … Between the car's grip and precise steering, the Mustang felt more European thoroughbred than American pony." -- The Detroit News
  • "The 2011 Mustang's suspension has been retuned, and the car, particularly in GT guise, is tied-down and controlled. Compared to the Camaro and Challenger, the Mustang feels the most nimble, no doubt helped by its lower curb weight.  … The rear suspension is still a solid rear axle design, but Ford has done a pretty amazing job at minimizing the inherent ride-quality limitations that come along with it." -- Edmunds
  • "It's only natural to compare the Mustang to the Camaro and Challenger, and that comparison is even more apt now that the power outputs are so similar. The Mustang feels small, lighter and slightly more agile than the other two. "-- Kansas City Star
  • "Order the Performance Package on the V6 car, and it mimics the GT's precise moves. The handling is tight, and the ride firm, but it's far from uncomfortable." -- Popular Mechanics

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