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Highlights: The 2014 model celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. For the 2013 model year, the 444-horsepower Boss 302 has been discontinued. Gas conscious consumers will appreciate the fact that this mass market sports car does not require premium fuel.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $40,825 (Base GT Model starts at $31,695)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags (front and side); ABS; a tire pressure monitoring system; integrated spotter mirrors; HID projector headlamps; roadside assistance; HID headlights; and a Hill Start Assist keeps a manual transmission from rolling backwards when on an incline

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; 6-speed manual transmission; automatic headlights; cloth seats; a rear deck lid spoiler; power driver’s seat; leather seats; split folding rear seats; electronic power assist steering; a 6-speed manual transmission; a cap less fuel filler door

Standard Audio: AM/FM/CD

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty:  5 years or 60,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0, 8-cylinder/420-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular Unleaded

Standard Fuel Mileage: 15-city/26-hwy (GT Manual Transmission)

Other Trim Levels:

Base Model

What’s New: The rear-wheel drive Mustang is basically a carryover for the 2014 model year, since a refreshed model is coming next year. Ford is offering two new exterior colors – Ruby red and Oxford white. All Mustangs get revised instrument cluster graphics too.

Pros: The retro Ford Mustang is a fan favorite. This mass market sports car is available as either a coupe or a ragtop, with either a 6-cylinder or an 8-cylinder engine. The Mustang has long been a fan favorite of ours, especially when equipped with the fun-to-drive 6-speed manual transmission.

Unlike most of today’s vehicles in Ford’s line up, the Mustang is a low-tech, bare bone driver-oriented vehicle. Not only does the vehicle lack Ford’s signature infotainment, smartphone-like Sync system, you also won’t find such high-tech driver assistance aids as a blind spot detection system or a lane departure warning system on the Mustang. We assume many sports car enthusiasts still want to be connected with their vehicles, as opposed to having all of these driving aids. And for most of those who opt for sports car like the Mustang, we know that in many cases, it’s all about the driving experience and the power underneath the hood.

In fact, those needing a little more excitement, will circumvent the base 305-horsepower Mustang for the high-powered GT model, which pushes out 420-horsepower from the dual exhausts. The Mustang GT we reviewed was outfitted with the GT Track Package, which included leather-trimmed Recaro seats, functional hood heat extractors, an engine cooler, an upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads, and the same differential that is on the 2013 Mustang Boss 302.

Oh yes, and we must comment on how comfortable and supportive the Recaro seats were. Because of the signature seats, this is one sports car that is ready for either short haul or long haul trips. And unlike most sports cars this one handles well, with its selectable effort power assist steering, its smooth-shifting 6-speed system, the optional 19-inch tires and its sports oriented suspension system.

Cons: The current-generation Mustang outdated instrument panel exudes a sense of nostalgia. However, in the next-generation Mustang, just like with the 2014 Corvette Stingray, it’s time for Ford to update the interior, adding the latest high-tech features and interior trim. Ford has been a leader in technology, but one would never know it if the Mustang was used as the barometer. This mass market sports car lacks a rearview camera, an electronic blind spot system or a lane departure warning system.

And, as far as the vehicle we reviewed, it lacked a power sunroof. This feature alone would have enhanced the driving experience, especially since the weather was mildly comfortable.

The Verdict: The Ford Mustang GT is one of the few vehicles that literally earn the right to be on the runway. This is the last model year to get the current generation Mustang. A new one is the works for the 2015 model year. For sports car enthusiasts seeking out an affordable low-tech vehicle that handles well the Mustang GT should be high on the shopping list. Price conscious consumers can snap-up a base model Mustang for $22,995.

Yes, in our eyes this ‘Gotta  Have Green’ factory paint job makes this Ford a ‘Green Giant’ especially when packing the 420-horsepower.

Competition: Camaro SS and Dodge Challenger SRT

Reviewer’s Background:

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to  Follow him twitter/JeffCars.

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