San Francisco to Los Angeles: The American Way!

There are always mixed emotions when a rental car agent tells me that they have a Ford Mustang available.  Let me explain: Ford Mustang is one of the most rented vehicle of all time, but unlike other cars of such status it is also a good and fun car.  When you drive one, you look like a tourist, but you are a tourist who is having a good time.  My story with this Mustang is a bitter sweet one because I had my eyes set on a Corvette, but the agent at Hertz Gold Counter did not want to uphold the upgrade price of $25 per day that was advertised, so I had to set for the 2013 Ford Mustang V6 Premium.

First impression was positive. as it came with 18 inch alloys, beautiful black color, leather seats, and HID lights

Design features also included the updated aggressive looking grille and LED accents on headlights
Things were even more interesting on the inside, as it had fully customizable color instrument panel, high definition center LCD, and was overall very comfortable and a nice place to be in.

Steering wheel was wrapped in soft leather, with aluminum accented spokes giving it very sporty look and feel.  Unfortunately being a typical American car, there were lots of cheap hard plastics around central console and doors, but when seated in those comfortable sport leather seats, that was hardly noticeable. 
So it looked like I was all set for a 400 mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and frankly, even though I wanted a Corvette, not many cars are more suitable for this trip than the Mustang.

For this journey I decided to take the 101 freeway with stops at Monterey, Paso Robles, Solvang, and Santa Barbara.  The Mustang performed brilliantly throughout the whole journey.  It was quick, quiet, and good on gas. Suspension was soft and ride was quiet and comfortable, however the usual wobble of the American barge-mobiles was not present as the car was stable and I had a feeling of composure and control even at higher speeds. 

And those higher speeds were easily reachable as the 305HP 3.7L V6 had plenty of torque and very decent response. 

The car performed very well on all road types and was very easy to drive on a freeway and in the city.  Despite the size, visibility was decent and steering was light, but also predictable.  However there was not as much feedback as I would wish for in a sport coupe.

Some of the layout was a bit questionable.  Parts of the interior looked dated for a 2013 premium model, and I was also caught off-guard to find manual gear selector for the ZF AT gearbox on the gear lever itself!  I thought that by 2013 paddle shifters would be a common standard. 

Ford got many things right with this car, but where they stood out in design, performance and comfort they lagged behind in technology and innovation.  I am a big fan of Ford Mustang, and although I've never driven the V8 model, I've always wanted one.  Owning one in Japan is unrealistic for most people, but they could have improved their sales in the Far East if they had ironed out the issues and sold one with right hand drive! 

Thanks for reading, everyone.  One final update from California to follow, and it will be something special. Until then, please enjoy the rest of the page and don't forget to comment, follow, and share!




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