In 2011, I broke away from my usual love of European hatchbacks and wagons and bought something so far out of my modus operandi that even my own family questioned what was happening. Before the Mustang, I was never impressed with any of the available Ford (or any American brands really, save Dodge) during the 1990’s and 2000’s. I suppose the Focus RS was pretty interesting but that was still a European only model. By the time I was looking at having to make significant repairs to my 99 Audi A4 (which I miss) Ford was beginning to make cars that I thought were actually interesting. Most of the interesting Ford stuff was still European only but it was becoming obvious that Ford America was getting their stuff together. I had been interested in the Challenger for a while but when I saw the 2011 Boss 302, I took a real liking to the platform. Enough that I actually scheduled a test drive with a Ford dealer for a GT. When I found out that the literal wheels on my Audi were so corroded that they couldn’t seal and hold air I knew I needed to make some changes.
One morning I headed over to the Ford dealer to look into the GT. At the time I had the mentality of V8 or bust; accept no substitutes when going Pony car. I really liked the GT. It was quick, it seemed reasonably refined and looked and sounded great. It was blue and beautiful but after talking to financing there was just no way I could afford it. So they suggested I looked at the V6. Now, I had scoffed at the idea of a V6 in a pony car so they suggested that I take a look at an older model. They had a white 2008 and I immediately didn’t like it. So much so that I turned right around during the test drive at the next available U-turn and headed back. The salesman suggested that I look at the V6 so I obliged. It was a used 2011 base model (I really wanted the upgraded radio and steering wheel package) but the power plant was the new 3.7L Cyclone/Duratec instead of the 4.0L from the initial release of the fifth generation. They also had a 6 speed manual which I desperately wanted in my next car.
When I turned over the key, I was surprised by a half-way, decently sounding power plant and exhaust note. I didn’t hate it immediately. We took it for a quick spin and I was decently impressed. After talking with the salesman, I found out they had a red 2012 with everything I was looking for. We ran over and took a peek; I was sold. Ford had managed to make a car that not only I didn’t hate on, but actually managed to impress me. I traded my beloved Audi in, plus a small amount down and I was out the door.
That was October 2011. I still have it. Last month marks the 6-year anniversary of my first (and probably last) new car purchase and I’ve enjoyed the car every day that I drive it. There are days that I wished I had the V8 but there are more days that I don’t care. I’ve driven the car nearly 65,000 miles (pretty low for a daily). I’ve been on drives as long as 12 hours in it and it’s been comfortable. I've run numerous backroads as hard as could, blasted down highways and crawled up gravel roads. The 2012 Ford Mustang V6 is my long distance cruiser; a budget GT car. It's the car that's seen me up and down the East Coast for the last 6 years and done a great job with minimal, basic maintenance. I'm usually more pragmatic than a Mustang but it's turned out to be fairly practical. I've gone camping with it, fishing with it, I've moved several times with it and made numerous long distance trips with it. Gone on dates in it, rescued animals with it and driven it more times to the shooting range than I can remember. It's been a great daily driver and I hope it keeps right on going. The Shaker radio doesn't suck and Sirius XM works 99% of the time.
On a side note, I have seen and interacted with the newest generation Mustang and I can assure you that I am once again just as impressed if not more impressed with the Ford Mustang. Chassis and suspension updates to the newest version really bring the Mustang into a great place. They new GT's feel SOOOOO planted!