Category Archives: Automotive Industry

2011 Ford Mustang GT – The 100,000 Mile Owner Review

1229683Wow. It’s been just short of 5 years since I bought my first Ford Mustang, a car I’d been dreaming about for 15 years. I wrote about that day, and did a 60,000 mile review in 2014. Since then, Lucy has definitely gone through some stuff, but she’s continued to be a reliable, fun daily driver, as well as a backroads weekend driving adventure car all-in-one for me.

As I look back at that 60,000 mile review, the Pros and Cons of it still hold true but here’s some updates/additional thoughts:

  • My overall gas mileage is about the same (22.7) in mixed highway/city driving – likely about 75% highway. The car continues to be very efficient – I’ve had multiple tanks this summer of 25+ MPG and one of 27.3 even, going 75-80 MPH on the highway with the A/C blasting. If I went 65-70 with no A/C, 30 is likely! Definitely no complaints about the mileage – one thing I will say is that the gearing seems to make a huge difference. I have the 3.31 (tallest) gears available on this car, and from what I can see on the forums I’m a member of, the guys with 3.55 gears and 3.73, especially, do much worse, frequently struggling to hit 20 mpg.
  • I’ve had a fair amount of body work done to this car, sadly. I was rear-ended in 2013 and that did $8,000 in damage. A co-worker dinged the passenger side pretty badly early this year, which cost me my $500 deductible. And a hailstorm this summer did $3,500 in damage so, while the car looks perfect still thanks to great repair work, every body panel has been worked on at some point and all but the roof/driver front quarter have been repainted so far.
  • The fantastic 5.0 Coyote V8 motor continues to run perfectly, with seemingly as much power as ever, zero problems and continued strong mileage.
  • Same with the Getrag MT82 transmission – it’s not perfect but it hasn’t developed any problems in the least. I’m still on the original clutch as well.
  • I have continued to drive her year-round and am still on the original Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 winter tires I got when I bought her. The car handles winter weather with no complaint.
  • There’s not a spot of rust on her anywhere either, though there’s not that much road salt down here in Kansas City and I am very good about washing any of it off as soon as it’s practical.
  • The interior has held up extremely well too – there’s little noticeable wear on the leather and everything else still looks and works like new.


As far as maintenance is concerned, here’s what I’ve done, maintenance-wise, beyond normal oil changes/tire rotations:

  • 7/2014: driver’s side power seat track assembly + right side blend door actuator replaced: $700 total cost for parts+labor
  • 5/2015: the stock brakes weren’t squealing and completely toast yet, but I had a track day coming up and wanted to have fresh brakes on, so I put on all new pads/rotors, as well as upgraded brake lines, for a DIY cost of $680.
  • 2/16: 4th set of spring/summer/fall tires bought. The 1st two sets of OEM all-season Pirellis didn’t last more than 25K even with rotations ever 5K, and the 3rd set (Continental ExtremeContact DWS) was awesome, but a nail in the sidewall led me to replacing all four prematurely (around 33K on the tires). For the 4th set, I went to summer only Continentals, rather than the all-seasons I’d had previously – I’m curious to see how well they hold up.
  • 6/15: transmission fluid changed for 2nd time
  • 6/16: the hood of my car was starting to suffer from the infamous Mustang aluminum hood corrosion problem, which is common enough that it’s a trend but not common enough for Ford to do a TSB or recall, sadly, so I purchased a new, pre-painted hood from Cervini’s, which I love, for $1,054.
  • 7/16: the stock struts/shocks were not completely blown yet but given the age of the car and how I drive, I figured it was time and replaced them with new Koni orange (non-adjustable) units. That DIY job cost me about $700.
  • Not fixed yet: faulty SiriusXM antenna that stopped working in the past 3 weeks

Maintenance-wise, that’s it – nothing has gone wrong that wasn’t normal maintenance beyond that power seat. I was annoyed at some of the little problems I was running into back when I wrote the 60k review, but the car has been basically flawless since.

In fact, I just got back from a 2,800 mile road trip adventure with some buddies from Wisconsin; we met in eastern Tennessee to drive Tail of the Dragon and other amazing roads in TN and North Carolina together. The car performed flawlessly throughout the trip and that only made me love it more.


I love this car for all the reasons I always have, but even more now because it’s proven to be a car a normal person can own and drive every day, and not break the bank. The only way I’m ever getting rid of this car is if I get another Mustang to replace her with!

Quick Reaction: 2nd Half Automotive Super Bowl XLIX Ads

Earlier, I posted my quick reactions to the 1st half Super Bowl automotive spots, and here’s my reactions to the 2nd half ones:

Toyota “Bold Dad”

Toyota has got to be so frustrated that Nissan ran such a similar spot before they got to run theirs. Just like with their other spot, I think the “bold” thing is a lame stretch for Toyota and this one doesn’t do it for me either.

Lexus “Let’s Play”

Lexus is doing the same thing as Toyota right now – trying to shed their boring, stodgy image and get some of that BMW excitement image. I think Lexus is doing a better job of it, both from an advertising standpoint and the product that backs it up. Based on the reviews I’ve read, this Lexus delivers the goods, and I think the ad does too – lots of fun.

Dodge “100th Birthday”

I am very, very surprised they decided to run this almost-one-year-old spot again, not because it isn’t good, but because it’s not new. I love it though, as I said back in May. I think it’s far better than the Dodge Brothers spots they’ve been running for months, which try to make it sound like the first Dodges were sports cars or something (they weren’t). Those spots being so prevalent makes me even more surprised they went back to this one. Well done Dodge.

Kia “Getaway”

Does Kia realize it’s been over 15 years since Pierce Brosnan was James Bond? I wonder if they tried to get Daniel Craig to do this one and he turned them down. That new Sorento is beautiful, but this spot just felt forced and a “me too” celebrity spot, which this game has been full of.

Jeep “Beautiful Lands”

A visually beautiful spot taking the Jeep brand all over the world, though I’m not sure Americans really get/appreciate showing China and other markets FCA is trying to market the Jeep brand in. Like so many (mis)uses of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”, the use of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” is not without irony, as pointed out by my friend John:

  More points to FCA for this charitable tie-in too though:

Most shocking to me, now that we’ve seen three FCA spots, and I think they only purchased three, is that none were for the Chrysler brand after they supported it consistently the past few games.

Mercedes-Benz “Fable”
I like that there are accompanying videos featuring Jerry Rice, Mike & Mike and more for this spot, but this felt way too childish to appeal to somebody cross shopping the SLS with the Jag F-Type, Dodge Viper, Corvette Z06, Aston Vantage, etc.

Overall a decent year for ads. Once again, the top automotive spots were done by Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. Kudos to their team and their agencies – hopefully they get $25M+ in value, as they spent at least that on the space + production costs.

Quick Reaction: 1st Half Automotive Super Bowl XLIX Ads

The first half of Super Bowl XLIX featured some great ads (esurance’s Walter White one) and some not-so-great ones (the Nationwide “Boy” (dead kid) ad. A lot of the biggest brands in automotive were here, though Ford wasn’t. They typically don’t invest in obscenely expensive Super Bowl ads, but I’m surprised they didn’t this year with their two most iconic products (Mustang and F-150) both all-new. Anyway, here’s my quick reactions to the auto industry ones:

Chevrolet  Colorado “Blackout”

I’d derided Chevy for overrunning the Colorado’s launch spot that used AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to basically say you’re less of a man if you drive a Civic, which they backed up with the silly focus group of women spot. However, they redeemed themselves with this one that got a ton of attention. I thought it was pretty weak to start but the hugely positive reaction on Twitter changed my mind.

BMW “Newfangled Idea”

Definitely my favorite ad of all so far – using that infamous 1994 Bryant Gumbel/Katie  Couric clip and getting them both to be in the spot was brilliant, and the message was spot-on for the i3 car and the BMW brand. Loved it.

Fiat “Blue Pill”

This one was fun, though I loathe Fiat following the same product strategy as Mini (over-extending their brand with too many versions of the core model). The spot itself was good though, even if parents may end up having to explain away blue pills to their kids.

Nissan “With Dad”

From a production value standpoint, I loved this spot, especially that it utilized Nissan’s racing investment as an integral part, which doesn’t usually happen in mainstream spots. But, for being 90 seconds long, I wasn’t sold on what the point of the whole thing was.
Dan Bedore of Nissan PR was nice enough to give me a summary of it though:

I guess I see that’s what their intent was, but don’t think they showed the payoff well enough, considering they had 90 seconds to get there. A hug in a new Maxima doesn’t fix Dad being gone so much.

Toyota “How Great I Am”
Not a huge fan of brands using handicapped people/kids to try and make a tie to their brands, though Microsoft’s effort was far better than Toyota’s, personally. Toyota seems to have listened far too much to enthusiast automotive journalists forever calling the Camry boring, so they’ve decided that the Camry is now a bold, exciting vehicle, as demonstrated by this spot, the one where a guy takes a bride away from her own wedding in a Camry, etc. But why, Toyota? Own being the ultra-reliable, comfortable, driving appliance that the Camry is. You destroyed every other model in the segment in sales again in ’14, which makes the “look at us, we’re exciting now!” campaign just seem silly to me.

Weather Tech “America at Work”

It was kind of refreshing to see a brand just try and sell stuff with their spot, rather than reach with some far-fetched story or half-assed tie in with a higher morality/purpose type spot. Weather Tech is great product, made in America and they own their segment. Great reminder to built top-of-mind, though I might have gone down the “terrible winter weather means you should protect your car’s interior” road instead, given that it’s February.

Lexus NX “Make Some Noise”

Completely mediocre and unmemorable. The NX looks so much like the RX that I’m not sure it didn’t just confuse anybody watching. I’m a gearhead and close follower of the industry and I don’t even know for sure the difference.


So, what did you think? My thoughts on the 2nd half automotive ads from Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus were posted after the game.