Each convertible I considered had strengths and weaknesses. Chrysler Sebrings have style but reliability issues. Toyota Solaras have style and decent reliability but are fewer and more costly. Miatas and similar have style, handling and reliability but limited room. (All this according to report).
This category would probably include the fact that it is a convertible. That was what I set out to buy.
Reliability & durability
Consumer Reports rated the Mustang V6 as average or above average for reliability.
Rear seat room & comfort
The existence of a rear seat, comfortable or not, was a major factor.
The interior is very dark, very drab, very uninviting. It's a good thing the top can go down to let in a bit of light. Is it some kind of macho thing or something? Or gangsta? Sure beats me, especially when a competitor, the Chrysler Sebring convertible, has been doing so much better a job for years.
Controls and instruments
Just in case this category covers instruments let me point out that the readability of the speedometer is ABOMINABLE! Dark! Dark! Dark! Should I have to have the lights on to know my speed? And I assure you, this would be just as true if I were 21 rather than 71. Don't believe me? Just do a search for after market Mustang replacement gauges and the abundance of advice and issues with their installation. How can Ford go on year after year leaving so many drivers in the dark when they've already got white-faced gauges in other Mustang models?!? Ya think they've never heard of the Japanese automobile industry? Or the German or the French or even the Korean? I'll bet even the Yugo had readable dials.
Front seat support & comfort
Front seats are not particularly comfortable but not so different from most cars I've driven. I've already bought seat cushions. I've put long days on a bicycle I ride regularly which is more comfortable than anything between a vintage VW Beetle and a modern Buick with the exception of a Renault 16. In fact most car makers would do well to go out and find a 1972 Renault 16 and take very, very careful note of the seats.
But seat comfort was secondary to other considerations such as water-tightness of the convertible. Not a deal-breaker.
With the few miles I've put on the Mustang, I'm happy with it. I'd prefer to be able to read the speedometer under normal light and wouldn't mind being a bit more comfortable but fuel efficiency is better than expected and it's relatively quiet and, so far, dry in rain. Over all, not a bad choice.
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