2013 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Coupe Rental Review, Avis/National

Notable standard features on Avis/National’s 2013 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Coupe

  • 3.7L 6-cyl engine (305-hp, 280 ft-lb), 6-speed automatic transmission; 0-60 mph ~ 5.1 seconds.
  • 19/31 (city/hwy) mpg fuel economy
  • Regular gas
  • 13.4 cubic feet trunk volume
  • Power locks, power windows with driver’s one touch auto-down, power mirrors with integrated spotter mirrors
  • HID headlamps (on all Mustang trim levels)
  • 4-gauge driver’s cluster with MyColor and 4.2” LCD with TrackApps
  • Manual tilt (no telescoping), leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
  • 4-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, manual recline and manual passenger’s seat
  • Leather seats
  • Manual HVAC
  • 6-speaker, 2-subwoofer 370-watt  Shaker audio system, AM/FM/CD/MP3/(6 months free Sirius XM subscription) & Sync voice activated controls
  • Inputs: USB, Aux, Bluetooth, Sync
  • Cruise control

PROS:

- As fun to drive as previous Mustang model years
- Shaker audio finally befitting of its name, great improvement in clarity
- Sequential turn signals look even better with the blacked out rear fascia
- Headrests are more comfortable than I remember

 CONS:

- Brakes could benefit from a more aggressive bite
- Interior still has cheap looking plastics on center stack
- Some road/wind noise
- Automatic headlamps are not standard, seat has manual recline (odd fleet spec?)

CONCLUSION: The 2013 Ford Mustang is even better!  Standard HIDs, 4.2” LCD with TrackApps, upgraded Shaker audio system, what’s not to like?

The Avis & National fleets have taken stock of both the 2013 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Coupes and convertibles.  I’ve also seen a token 5.0 Mustang GT in the Avis fleet, so I’ll try to get that on another date.

See our more recent review of the 2014 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Convertible here: 2014 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Convertible

See our previous review of the 2012 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Coupe here: 2012 Mustang V6 Premium Coupe

This particular V6 Premium Coupe as rented stickers for $28,090 with the automatic transmission, and adds an optional Rear Spoiler (+ $?; the Ford Mustang website configurator was broken when I checked for the spoiler price) putting the final as rented price somewhere in the neighborhood of $29K.

For the 2013 model year the Mustang receives subtle exterior and interior changes, the exterior changes producing significant improvements over even the 2012 version (which was already good looking) in my opinion.  At first glance, the 2013 Mustang has a reworked front end featuring a larger grille and new splitter.  Most notably, the front cowl protrudes past the headlights in a design borrowed from the 2012 Shelby GT500 and reminiscent of the 2011+ Dodge Charger.  All Mustang trim levels gain HIDs as standard equipment and the headlights have a cleaner look debuting two white LED-accent bars located in the headlight housing.  I’m a big fan of the new front end, and the addition of HIDs is an added premium bonus.

New body colored rocker panels have also been added, providing a more consistent appearance.  The rear has also been updated; the sequential turn signal operation has fortunately been retained, but further enhanced with the new rear tail light design.  A high gloss panel now connects the tail lamps which now have an accentuated ringed appearance.  The rear lights are also “smoked”/blacked-out- similar in concept to the 2012 Nissan Maxima but better implemented.  I love the new exterior updates!  They retain the overall Mustang character, but also give it a further aggressive edge.

On the interior, a new 4.2″ LCD screen has been added to the driver’s instrumentation panel, taking the place of four previously present miniature gauges.  Some of the former miniature gauges’ functions have been incorporated into the two primary, remaining gauges.  The LCD screen is navigated via a miniature D-pad controller mounted on the steering wheel and offers Ford’s new TrackApps (calculate braking/acceleration times with automatic and countdown starts, measure g-forces) in addition to operating basic vehicle settings.

Lastly, the Shaker audio system (formerly known as “Shaker 500″) has been updated for 2013.  It comprises 6 speakers and 2 subwoofers totaling 370 watts, and has been optimized for clarity.  Under the hood, the engine remains the same.  The suspension now offers three different driving modes; standard, sport, and comfort.  These can be selected via the steering wheel D-pad in conjunction with the 4.2″ LCD screen.

2013 Mustangs are also supposed to be equipped with Bat-signal like puddle lamps which project a pony image from underneath the sideview mirrors.  Alas, my Mustang rental was not equipped with said lamps.

How does the 2013 Mustang drive?  After a week with the Mustang, I like it even more than the 2012 Mustang.  The “standard” steering setting was too light for my liking, but changing it to “sport” mode made a big difference.  The driving position is even more comfortable than I recall, thanks to the cushy leather seats and extremely supportive headrests.  Ford/Lincoln make some of the best headrests in the car industry.  Surprisingly, the seats came with manual recline- didn’t they used to be power recline on the 2012 model years?

The updated Shaker audio sounds great.  I wasn’t impressed with the Shaker 500 unit in the 2012 Mustang because the bass was muddy and the system overall lacked clarity.  Those two issues are addressed with the new unit.  Having heard the Shaker, I’d love to try the optional Shaker Pro system with three subwoofers.  The new rear tail light design looks perfect, and always brings a smile to my face when I press the unlock button on the keyfob.

Fuel economy is a very reasonable low-20s around town, despite my heavy foot.  The trunk is surprisingly spacious, rivaling some smaller family sedans.  My biggest complaint about the Mustang are the brakes.  While perfectly functional, I wish they had a more aggressive bite and slightly less pedal travel.

I suspect we won’t be seeing many more updates, if at all, to the Mustang before the 2015 redesign (which Ford has suggested may not utilize any retro elements).  Ford has done an impressive job with the 2013′s mild refresh, making it my most favorite Mustang rental to date.  I might go even further and say it’s been my most favorite SSAR (check your SIPP code cheat sheet!) car rental to date.

For more information on the 2013 Ford Mustang, please refer to the manufacturer’s website here:

http://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/

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