2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback review: Long-term report three – the road trip

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Two months down with our 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback long-termer, and it's time for a holiday... Road trip!
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We're two months into our simulated ownership experience with our 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback long-termer, and figured it was time to take 'Old Yeller' on a well-earned holiday. And what better place to go, than Victoria's gorgeous South Coast?

As mentioned in our first Ford Mustang long-term report, we’ve been keen from the very start to see how the big 5.0-litre 'Stang handles a road trip. Not a fast-paced, action-packed, push-it-to-the-limit-type drive, but a relaxed cruise down the coast with the family on board.

So, with ‘Old Yeller’ loaded up with the lady, the pup, and yours truly – and all of our respective gear – we depart Melbourne bound for the Great Ocean Road and our weekend-away accommodation in Bellbrae, located between Torquay and Anglesea.

Leaving HQ late to avoid the usual throng of holiday makers heading off on their own Easter long weekend adventures, we roll out of the city at around 9:30pm.

Apart from giving us plenty of time to pack and organise ourselves (read: find all of Bruno’s favourite toys), the other plus side of leaving later means the lady and the boy can sleep for the majority of the 100km-odd drive, while I effectively get time ‘alone’ with the Ford Mustang.

With cruise control locked on at 100km/h, the 306kW/530Nm 5.0-litre Coyote V8 crammed under the Mustang’s long, long bonnet is about as active as both of my passengers – possibly doing even less work. Most of the highway miles are taken care of at around 1500-1800rpm, with revs barely required to ever go beyond 2500rpm.

At night, the Mustang’s high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights provide excellent vision, but flicking on the high beams is met with average additional lighting. And vision out of the wing mirrors remains a lacklustre element of the car.

As previously called out, yet again, the Mustang’s seats quickly become notably uncomfortable – for both driver and passenger – and despite offering heating and cooling options, become even more of a bugbear the more time you spend in them.

Sync 3, and whole infotainment system, however, is fantastic.

Simple and easy to learn and operate, whether you’re listening to the radio or streaming audio from a phone, Sync 3 is fast, responsive, and hassle-free. It also lets you turn off the display screen altogether – a particular bonus when driving at night or in low-light conditions – and permits addresses to be entered into the sat-nav while on the move. Take note other systems…

With 110km under our belt, we arrive at our destination. I wake my fellow occupants and check the Mustang’s average fuel consumption for the drive from Melbourne to Bellbrae: 8.8 litres per 100km – 4.3L/100km under its 13.1L/100km combined cycle claim.

Calling it a night, we unload the car and hit the hay.

The next morning we kick off with a drive to Torquay for breakfast, followed by some time in the sand at the lovely (and dog-friendly) Point Addis.

With chilly temperatures overnight and mornings full of crisp air, the Mustang’s six-speed manual gearbox can be a bit 'sticky' off cold start, and is often attached to an audible ‘thunk’ the first few times you select first gear – a trait similarly found in manual transmission-equipped Toyota 86s and Subaru BRZs.

Something unique to the 4784mm-long, 1701kg (tare) Ford Mustang GT Fastback though, is its ride.

Far from being a highlight, the flagship 'Stang is somehow gifted with an innate ability to detect any and all undulations in the road, and subsequently translate them directly to its occupants. As finicky and busy as a car with coilovers, but more softly sprung, the Mustang rarely settles, making long or short trips equally tedious.

With our second night in Bellbrae, and numerous runs up and down the Great Ocean Road, ticked off our list, we head back home, ending the weekend with 390 more kilometres under the Mustang’s Pirelli tyres than when we started. Round trip, the 'Stang averaged 9.9L/100km.

All in all, the 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback makes for a mostly fun two-up cruiser. Plus, it still gets more looks and attention than most exotics.

Sure, the seats aren’t great, the door pockets are small, and the positioning of the two cup holders is naff, but the 383-litre boot easily swallowed a weekend's worth of 'stuff', the engine is a delight – if a little too quiet – and Sync 3 is exceptional. Overall, the albeit brief holiday with the Mustang was positive and hassle free… besides two sore lower backs that is.

Click on the Gallery tab above for more 2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback images by David Zalstein.

2017 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

  • Date acquired: March 2017
  • Price: $57,490 (before on-road costs)
  • Engine: 5.0-litre V8 petrol
  • Power: 306kW at 6500rpm
  • Torque: 530Nm at 4250rpm
  • Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
  • Manufacturer claimed fuel consumption: 13.1L/100km
  • Weight: 1701kg (tare mass)
  • Seating: four
  • Boot space: 383 litres
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Odometer reading: 6378km
  • Travel since previous update: 1379km
  • Fuel consumption since previous update: 13.0L/100km
  • Fuel cost since previous update: $292.00

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MORE: Long-term report one – introduction

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