The cabin spaciousness alludes early on to what the Mustang will be like on the road, once you’ve slunk down into its seat and shut its long driver’s door. (Think twice about tight car parks.)

With a high window line and an interior and driving position well spaced out, you soon get an idea that this isn’t going to be one of those drives whose characteristics will major on agility.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Mustang was fitted with winter tyres, which in the wet conditions made it easier and no less fun to involve the rear

Instead, you lift the clutch and woofle away with the 2.6-turn-lock-to-lock steering bringing about secure but moderately paced direction changes.

The rack itself – like the pleasing, round wheel – is well weighted and geared, mind. It’s just that it’s more BMW 5 Series in response than it is, say, TT.

Not that this is a terrible thing in itself. As you cruise away, the Mustang, regardless of what weight you ask its steering to provide (there are a few options), eases down slowish roads with a compliant, nonchalant gait.

A Porsche Cayman would have got the jiggles by now and a 2 Series might have shifted on its springs a little. A Mustang retains that 5 Series-on-base-wheels amble, unaffected by the kinds of surface imperfections we think are big over here but barely register compared with the gaps between concrete slabs they drop into US highways.

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You can put the steering wheel on the right side for us, but you can’t disguise the size – and origination – of the Mustang. At lower speeds, and on a road that’s wide enough, this is no bad thing at all.

As you up the ante, the Mustang question starts to become a little more complex. Let’s face it: this is a big car, considerately sprung to the extent that a TT outdoes it for body control.

But although the ’Stang thinks for too long about how to make its body settle over complicated asphalt, there always retains a pleasing honesty to it. It’s well balanced, it settles more quickly than most American sports cars and it doesn’t always retain complete traction. And with all of that comes a sense of clean fun that means you can forgive it a great many things.

The wet track was unavailable when we visited MIRA’s proving ground, but the dry circuit was fairly damp anyway. This and the fact that Ford supplied the Mustang on winter tyres explain why the ’Stang wasn’t as fast as it would usually have been around our circuit.

But that doesn’t matter, because what matters more than speed is fun. And here the Mustang scores. Because it’s front engined (and quite a sizeable engine it is, too), the weight distribution is just over half (54 percent) to the front, which lends the Mustang an inherently stable balance. It’ll understeer a bit if you let it.

But you don’t have to let it. If you keep the brakes gently applied as you turn in, it keeps the nose planted. And from that point onwards, you can call on the rear wheels to help you turn as much as you’d like them to. On winter rubber, grip is low enough to let you feel that balance out on the road.

The Mustang stops pretty well, too. In the dry, and on grippier rubber, track days would give them a workout, but they performed well in these conditions.

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