2024 Ford Mustang GT Review: Straddling the Line |

Simple and modern seem like mutually exclusive terms in the automotive world.

Simple cars are either cheap or old—or both. Modern cars are jam-packed with tech, some of it superfluous to the actual act of driving. Clutch Master Cylinder

2024 Ford Mustang GT Review: Straddling the Line |

Yet the 2024 Mustang GT does both. In GT form, it provides a thoughtful, computer-assisted daily driver experience. And in lightly-optioned GT form, it retains that raw, motor-forward muscle car experience that’s all too rare these days. It ain’t perfect; and that’s a big part of the fun.

[detroit-new-car id="new-car-quote" make="ford" model="mustang"][/detroit-new-car]

Ford might be calling this a new generation of Mustang, but the truth is that it’s more of a hefty revision. It rides on a tweaked version of the same platform as the previous model, the one that introduced an independent rear suspension. The same EcoBoost turbo-four and Coyote V8 engine lineup persists, with a little more power than before. Power still goes to just the rear wheels, either via a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic. There is a change there: the EcoBoost is now auto-only, so if you want three pedals in your Mustang, it’s the rip-roaring V8 for you. And what a V8 it is—but more on that in a bit.

The design is also more of an evolution than a revolution. It’s undoubtedly modern, in the same way the New Edge ‘Stang was in ’99. There’s no mistaking it for anything other than a Mustang, either. Well, except if you’re looking at it from the rear three-quarter—and somebody has covered up those iconic tri-bar taillights. Do that, and there are heavy Camaro vibes.

On the flip side, the models that have leaned heavily into retro-tastic design have all aged poorly and been discontinued. So maybe it’s good that Ford is taking a modern, angular approach here.

This isn’t one of those optioned-to-the-gills GTs that were so plentiful at the ’24 Mustang launch event. No Performance Package here. Bar a few options, this is a simple GT with the big V8 and the six-speed manual.

Like an old muscle car, it’s the engine that dominates the experience. The V8 growls to life, gently rocking the car on its softly-sprung suspension. Quick stabs of throttle see the revs rise and fall with a speed that you just don’t find on modern turbo-fours. This is an engine worth stretching just for the hell of it.

Thankfully the transmission makes that a joy. Ford has improved the clutch feel and engagement to make the Mustang so much friendlier in day-to-day living. There’s good weighting and a clear bite point. Meanwhile, the six-speed manual is a joy to row, slick and slightly notchy in a way that feels more Honda than Hertz. Seriously; I drove the Mustang right after the Integra Type S and was surprised at how similar their shifters are.

The combination of standard suspension and 255-section rubber at all four corners means the Mustang paints with a wide brush on your local backroad. There’s the smallest of delays between turning the wheel and that long, heavy nose keying into the desired line. Once there, the throttle can adjust the line almost as much as the steering; this is a malleable Mustang. Changing directions reveals the sheer heft, as the Mustang hunches over the outside front wheel. Thankfully, the big coupe effectively telegraphs what’s going on, so while it’s a wee bit sloppy, it’s a predictable sloppy. Like your uncle at Thanksgiving.

It’ll also settle down into an effective long-distance tourer. The 19-inch wheels don’t like rough surfaces, but on the highway the Mustang is smooth sailing. This is the only time the Ford proves even slightly fuel-efficient, though: I end the week at just 16.2 mpg (14.5 L/100 km), and that’s trying to take it easy. Mostly.

Ford made lots of noise about updating the Mustang cabin for 2024. The interior design is certainly more modern, at least in terms of thinning down the physical button herd. I’m not sure anybody will find the carbon fiber trim convincing, but it does add a more athletic feel to the cabin. Material quality is a bit better than before, though the sheer amount of crackle-finish black plastic on the center console is hard to ignore. Based on the scratches I saw in this press car, it’s going to be tough keeping this section clean. The sunglasses storage cubby in the roof also got stuck half-open.

The combo vinyl/cloth seats are excellent. Wide yet supportive, they’re breathable and more visually interesting than boring black leather. Power adjustability is available, though the seatbacks are still manual control. Headroom is solid since there’s no sunroof, too. Space in back is still best left to young kids.

It’s the two-fer. While other, more high-falutin’ Mustangs have a big, single display housing both the instrument cluster and central infotainment, this model makes like the Offspring and keeps ‘em separated. It does look a little silly having that small gap. The screens themselves are pretty great to use, though: the infotainment is slick and keeps certain functions on-screen at all times. Yes, even with the (wireless) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also available with a subscription.

Big points for the customizable instrument cluster. Being a child of the ‘90s, I of course spent most of the week with the dials in the Fox Body theme. The Mustang continues to offer all manner of performance-focused assists too, including a configurable launch control.

Safety does get some time in the spotlight, too. The Mustang gets an upgraded suite of standard driver assists, including a safe exit assist. Given the size of those doors and the blind spots, that’s appreciated.

Talk of a 20-grand V8 Mustang is best saved for grandma’s walk back to the ‘home. For 2024 even an EcoBoost crests 30,000 (or $40,000 CAD). Going for the V8 brings the sticker up to $44,090 ($50,695 CAD) including destination. This car has just a few boxes ticked beyond that: the GT High Equipment group ($2,000 / $2,900 CAD) adds a dual-zone climate system, the power-adjustable and heated seats, ambient lighting, and an upgraded sound system with SiriusXM. The pretty 19-inch alloys ($895 / $1,250 CAD) and switchable sport exhaust ($1,225 / $1,495 CAD) are basically required in this writer’s opinion. The final tally is $49,405 ($57,390 CAD).

What else will you find for that stack of cash? Neither the Acura Integra Type S or Nissan Z Performance. A Camaro with the V8 now runs roughly the same.

As I said in my 2024 Mustang first drive back in July, Ford could’ve phoned this in. Just as it did back at the turn of the century, the Blue Oval has won the pony car battle. When the 2024 calendar goes into the bin, so does the Camaro.

Instead, the Mustang carefully treads the line between tradition and modernity. It offers the closest modern interpretation to a muscle car that you can buy, but with the tech (and safety) upgrades demanded in 2023. Is it the sharpest tool at this price? Heavens no. But the Mustang offers accessible rear-drive fun with a killer soundtrack. Exercise restraint with the options list and it’s still something of a deal, too. Besides, you’ll need that extra coin for the gas.

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2024 Ford Mustang GT Review: Straddling the Line |

China Master Slave Cylinder Clutch Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.