2010 Ford Mustang
Like any winner, the trick to a car staying out-in-front of its rivals is a constant series of careful nips, tucks, and updates. Now, it’s been less than five years since Ford completely redesigned their original pony car, the Mustang. That rework produced a totally modern sport coupe that quickly became an industry benchmark. A benchmark that a lot of others are now taking an aim at. So, it’s time for a nip, tuck, and maybe a whole lot more.
With the 2010 Mustang, Ford has actually gone far beyond the typical mid-cycle freshening. The result is a totally up-to-date interpretation of the original pony car, with a trimmer, sharper, more muscular form.
The effort readies the Mustang - coupe, convertible, and glass hardtop - to face-off against a herd of rivals like the new Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and even the Nissan 370Z.
While the platform is largely unchanged, the new Mustang is wrapped in new and much sharper sheet metal. The result is more revisited ‘69 than ever.
A more swept back front end and narrower grille are adorned by an energized pony logo - charcoal on our GT, chrome on the V6. On the GT, the grille is also home to retro fog lamps, flanked by turn signals, and classic round headlamps at the edges, and the long hood is now landscaped with chiseled lines and a Ford signature power dome.
The new Mustang’s more svelte profile is punctuated by finely drawn wheel flares and a more defined character line that slices rearward.
The fastback greenhouse still leads back to rear quarter windows and chopped corners. But around those corners sit new taillights with sequential turn signals, a novelty not seen on a Ford product since the 1970’s, all finishing with bolder rear badging, and on the Mustang GT, a deck lid spoiler, and rolled chrome exhaust tips.
All wheels are new and up an inch, ranging from 17s to 19s.
This revisionist dream really picks up speed inside where the classic twin-cockpit cabin is far more refined, dare we say less “domestic” than before.
While the new one-piece instrument panel downplays the classic twin-cockpit theme, it plays up softer touch points, and vastly improved fit and finish. Chrome-ringed round gauges and added aluminum trim highlight the upscale appearance, as does the pony-stamped steering wheel with aluminum spokes and cruise plus available audio controls.
The circular center air vents have been replaced by rectangular ones, which are positioned atop an all-new center stack.
Here you’ll find user friendly-technologies such as the latest version of Ford Sync with 9-1-1 Assist and Vehicle Health Report, as well as an available eight-inch navigation screen with back-up camera.
This year MyColor expands beyond the gauge cluster, allowing adjustable ambient lighting from cup holders to sill plates, using a palette of 125 hues.
As before, the rear seat remains 2+2 tight, but retains its split fold to add versatility to the 13.4 cubic foot trunk.
The new Mustang sees far less change in the engine bay, but that’s okay. The base 4.0-liter V6 remains at 210 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. The GT’s standard 4.6-liter V8 gets a slight boost thanks to a cold air induction system similar to the Bullitt, and now rates at 315 horsepower and 325 pound-feet.
But if monster performance is what you seek, Ford has also announced a 2010 Shelby GT500. Its supercharged 5.4-liter V8 is expected to make a whopping 540 horses and 510 pound-feet of torque.
The standard Mustang pushes power rearward through a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic. The manual’s upgraded shifter has a more solid feel - less clunky, if you will.
The same goes for the suspension, which has been retuned for better ride and handling. Springs and shocks have been adjusted, but it’s still defined by the same MacPherson strut design up front, and a three-link geometry live axle with panhard rod in the rear. A stiffer suspension package using GT500 hardware and summer performance tires will be available shortly.
We sorted out a Mustang GT by carving up the canyon roads around Malibu, California. It certainly is tighter and more balanced than ever before. Both body roll and understeer have been minimized, all while enhancing ride quality, which is not just smoother, but also quieter, that is until you test the V8’s wonderful throttle volume.
Electronic stability control joins traction control and ABS as standard. The stability control can be turned on and off, and has a Sport Mode on the GT.
Pricing for the 2010 Mustang is up slightly but still covers a moderate spread, from $21,845 for the base V6, to $28,845 for the V8 GT. Convertible base prices are 2 grand higher.
But this new horse does have to be fed. Government Fuel Economy ratings are 16 city/24 highway for the V6 automatic, and 15 city/22 highway for the GT V8 automatic.
The 2010 Ford Mustang is more of a looker and doer than ever. The original pony car has answered its critics with a leaner and meaner makeover, adding both a vastly improved interior and driving experience. This steed is nicely done, and clearly ready for the pony car wars that are sure to follow.
- Engine: Gt 4.6-Liter V8
- Horsepower: 315
- Torque: 325 Lb Feet
- EPA: 16 MPG City/ 24 MPG Highway
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined