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Ford Mustang (2005) vs. 2005 Pontiac GTO

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  • I have nothing against the GTO, but weighing a stock 2005 GTO against a stock 2005 GT just isn’t an evenhanded comparison. Based on Edmund’s own data, the average sale price for a Goat is approximately $5,000 more than a similarly equipped Pony. We might as well be comparing the Mustang V6 to the Mustang GT for that much price differential or maybe the GTO with the 2006 Shelby GT500….

    For the sake of argument though, let’s see what the various reviews and comparisons show. For the GTO, there is little dispute that it is slightly faster to 60 (~.3 sec) and about ½ second quicker in the quarter mile. Significant, but hardly fair when one compares what that extra 5 grand can do for a stock Mustang GT, whether supercharged or naturally aspirated. In fact, a $1000 Ford Racing Suspension upgrade and $500 CAI/Tune will allow the Mustang GT to “win back” the acceleration crown and move head and shoulders above the GTO for the handling trophy.

    As evidenced by the Mustang GT greatly outselling the GTO, people who buy performance cars don’t put backseat room, independent rear suspensions, and interior décor on the top of their “must have” lists. The Goat handily bests the Mustang GT in all those areas. As mentioned earlier, the Goat does have better acceleration, but its other performance characteristics, braking and handling, are pretty much equal to the Mustang GT’s. However, those wins and ties can’t overcome the lackluster styling and significantly higher price. Furthermore, its transmission/clutch is near universally disparaged. Even with its solid rear axle, the stock Mustang GT continues to win accolades, sales numbers, and most reviews over the GTO.

    But if we are going to judge these two modern muscle cars by modern convenience standards, even more factors tip the scale towards the Mustang GT. The GTO has a significantly lower reliability rating, contains much less trunk space, requires a higher grade of fuel (92 vs. 87 for the Mustang), and gets 15% worse gas mileage. The GTO definitely has the sleeper look though. It also may be worth more in the far distant future due to its low production, but this contention is suspect. A car is a horribly, capricious investment. On the other hand, the aftermarket for the new S197 Mustang is insanely diverse as are the numerous club and forum choices. I prefer greater camaraderie to exclusivity. Additionally, for those buying their midlife crisis cars like myself who want to go fast, but need to protect precious little ones in the back, the Mustang GT gets 5 star crash and rollover ratings whereas the GTO doesn’t offer side airbags and isn’t rated.

    All in all, the Mustang has won every review I’ve read save one (MPH if I remember correctly). Car and Driver even named it to their Top 10 List again this year. I am not a Ford or a Mustang fanboy. I, until purchasing my Mustang GT last year, have exclusively driven Honda Civic Si’s or 4x4 trucks. IMHO, most buyers want personality and performance at the lowest price. The Mustang GT delivers those factors in spades. While I drove and researched the Goat, the Mustang just had a lot more going for it. The GTO has marginally better performance and a mundane personality for a much higher price. I think the GTO is a good car, but expensive. I would pick it over the RX-8, WRX Sti, and Lancer Evo, but it loses to the 350Z and Mustang GT. This quote summed it up for me at least, “The Mustang's superior transmission, friendlier ergonomics, and--let's face it--more characterful styling far outweigh its marginally softer acceleration.”

    More review quotes…

    GTO
    “GM insiders say the new GTO's appearance will be more eye-catching than the somewhat anonymous current model. The next-generation GTO will fulfill the promise of the current car."
    “The Charger remains anonymous to everyone on the road but envious Mercury Marauder owners. The GTO is similarly unmemorable. It's possible that someone thinks it looks interesting, but we have yet to meet that person. The hood scoops add some aggressiveness, or at least some nasalpassage-ness, and, as a bonus, funnel air into the engine bay, which means they're functional, albeit in a very nonfunctional way.”
    “Flawed muscle-car fun with an Aussie accent, wrapped in an unassuming exterior. But a Mustang offers similar thrills and superior ergonomics for $5,000 less.”
    “What turned me off to the GTO was its thick-ankled sense of mass, its uninspired interior styling, and its thoroughly detestable manual transmission setup. The inability to heel-and-toe, in particular, would break the deal for me.”
    “Still, I doubt that many buyers will find the GTO a more compelling choice than the redesigned Ford Mustang. GM fans won't be swayed, but those on the fence will likely side with Ford.”

    Mustang
    “Since its appeal is almost entirely emotional it's hard to talk about the Mustang's value in the usual terms. This is a car that people either fall in love with or they just don't get it. Those who don't get it should check their pulse.”
    “As for fun, though, the Mustang's got plenty. Just a touch on the gas pedal and this thing wants to rip. Its solid rear axle is surprisingly supple. Overall, it offers an authentic muscle car experience that turns any trip to the store into an occasion for grins.”
    “Of these three cars, it's the least expensive and has most personality by miles. In driving fun, it gives up nothing to the more powerful GTO. It's also a far easier car to drive and live with on a daily basis.”
  • jpiatchekjpiatchek Posts: 177
    Today I happened to stop by the office of some old acquaintances I haven't seen in a couple of years. They both race Porsche's and BMW's and have won a bunch of trophies. Sometimes she beats him. They are extremely knowledgable about cars and have owned tons of expensive iron. He wasn't in and I talked with his wife for a few minutes. I asked if Kurt still had his 04 Mach 1 Mustang or his 996 Porsche. She said the Mach1 is for sale, they sold the M3 and they hardly ever drive the 996 any more. The reason being is that they bought an 06 Mustang GT a couple of months ago. She said the 06 GT is day and night better than the Mach1 and they didn't drive the Porsche as much now that they had the GT. While the GT was not the same as the 996, they both felt the gap was closing. They felt with the offerings out now, they would probably not purchase any more German cars. They were having an absolute blast driving the GT. I told them my GTO and GT were both modded and we are planning on getting togher in the next few days and wringing out each others cars. Just thought it was an interesting conversation from fairly knowledgable car enthusiasts.
  • sensaisensai Posts: 129
    First, stop with old and rehased "Mustang costs x dollars less so I can spend that and go faster than a GTO" already. I can think of at least a dozen cars I can get cheaper than the Mustang and mod to be quicker. And it still doesn't change the solid rear suspension, manual transmission missing an extra gear, the inability to fit people into the back seats, or the less than adequate interior.

    And where are all these wins the Mustang is getting in magazines against the GTO? Oh, do you mean Car and Driver where they had to invent the "got to have it category" in order for the Mustang to win because it was getting beat so bad in everything else?
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... Oh, do you mean Car and Driver where they had to invent the "got to have it category" in order for the Mustang to win because it was getting beat so bad in everything else?

    Slow down there, cowboy! Look at the stats from that review again. The Mustang beat the GTO in every other category (objective AND subjective) except straight line acceleration. And it lost that by, what, two tenths of a second. You call that getting beat badly? And not one non-GM sponsored article or comparison selected the GTO over the Mustang GT despite the GTO being quicker in a straight line. Not one.
  • sensaisensai Posts: 129
    Slow down there, cowboy! Look at the stats from that review again. The Mustang beat the GTO in every other category (objective AND subjective) except straight line acceleration. And it lost that by, what, two tenths of a second. You call that getting beat badly? And not one non-GM sponsored article or comparison selected the GTO over the Mustang GT despite the GTO being quicker in a straight line. Not one.

    You might want to read that comparison again. There is a reason C&D got flamed by 200 to 1 letters for the GTO after that comparison. And it certainly wasn't because the Mustang "beat" the GTO, which it didn't. Sorry, but skidpad and slalom numbers do not equal a car's total handling. By the way, what are these other non-GM sponsored articles that have the Mustang beating the GTO?
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Car & Driver
    Road & Track
    Motor Trend
    Automobile
    etc.

    And if you want to throw out the skidpad and slalom numbers, then you need to throw out the straight line acceleration numbers, too. Contrary to wildly popular belief, skidpad and slalom numbers do have merit, otherwise they wouldn't be reported. Skidpad gives an idea of how well a car will be able to hold a curve. The slalom shows the cars ability (or inability) to transition from side-to-side. On the streets, it would be an emergency lane change maneuver. On a track, they call it a "corkscrew" turn.
  • sensaisensai Posts: 129
    Hmm, I don't remember direct GTO vs Mustang comparisons in those other magazines. Maybe I missed a few issues. Either way, GTO performance is still > Mustang performance.

    And no, skidpad and slalom numbers do not have merit. Acceleration numbers tell you how powerful the car is, skidpad and slalom do not tell you how the car handles. Unless you always drive your car around cones set at a fixed distance apart, or around a fixed size oval. Hence why the GTO beats the Mustang on the track. And if I remember correctly, the GTO also pulled off a better number than the Mustang in R&T's figure eight test.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "And no, skidpad and slalom numbers do not have merit."

    "And if I remember correctly, the GTO also pulled off a better number than the Mustang in R&T's figure eight test."


    TRANSLATION - Handling tests ONLY have merit when the GTO wins..... :P
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    LOL! :P

    I think you're absolutely right, rorr! :blush:
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    Magazines don't want to directly compare the Mustang to the GTO because it simply gets trounced. So, you have to compare reviews from different issues.
    For example, here's what Motortrend found, mustang numbers are first:
    1/4 mile: 13.6/13.3
    0-60: 5.1/5.0
    brake: 120/121
    skid pad .84/.85
    skid pad 8: 26.61, .67/ 26.1, .68
    It is also important to note that the GTO tested didn't have the optional 18" wheel option.
    Before some horse lover chimes in and says that GTO isn't faster, look at the 0-90mph number: 11/9.6
    That is almost a second and half difference! The GTO not only starts off faster, but it continues to pick up speed. One useful stat that is missing is 50-70mph- that gives a good idea of what car will do when passing (real world). The GTO would trounce the mustang here as well.
    I guess it's good that Ford doesn't puta motor in the Mustang with more hp than an old Chevy Camaro...we wouldn't want the befuddled mustang owner to get in over his head with that truck-like suspension in the rear. Plus, if they ever want to say they have more hp, they can always simply lie, like they did with the Cobra and make up the numbers!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    It's never a good idea to compare test results from different issues due to different test conditions (climactic as well as track conditions). Also, different drivers will yield different results.

    Most of your results seem to indicate very small differences between the two (0.3s in the 1/4, a tenth in 0-60, a hundredth in skidpad g-forces). I know that 'trounce' is not a very scientific term, but I don't see 0.1 sec difference in 0-60, 1 foot shorter braking, and 0.01 difference in g-force as a 'trouncing'.

    0-90 number is interesting. I'm curious as to how the two cars can be only 0.3 seconds apart in the 1/4 mile, yet the GTO is substantially quicker to 90? Yes, I'm aware that one is a time to distance and the other is a time to speed, but still.....something seems odd.
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    "0-90 number is interesting. I'm curious as to how the two cars can be only 0.3 seconds apart in the 1/4 mile, yet the GTO is substantially quicker to 90? Yes, I'm aware that one is a time to distance and the other is a time to speed, but still.....something seems odd."

    Tire quality, launching and gearing come into play here.For this case, look into the gearing of the mustang for your answer. The GTO can pull ahead so much more because of its far great power.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "The GTO can pull ahead so much more because of its far great power."

    I think you missed my point.

    If the GTO is 1-1/2 second quicker to 90mph, why is it ONLY 0.3 second quicker to the 1/4 mile (where the speeds are probably in the 103 to 107mph range)?

    BTW - which issues of Motortrend are you looking at? I can't seem to find their test of the '05 GTO online.
  • 0-100 mph the GTO was 1.3 seconds fastter. 11.7 seconds vs 13.0 seconds
    0-130mph the GTO was 6.0 seconds faster. 19.6 seconds vs 25.6 seconds for Mustang
    1/4 mile the GTO was 5 tenths faster, 13.3 seconds vs 13.8 for Mustang
    1/4 mile the GTO trapped at 107mph vs 103 mph for the Mustang

    This data is from the January 2005 Car and Driver head to head comparo of the 2.

    As the speeds increase the GTO's extra 100hp and better aereodynamics come into factor. Lower Coefficient drag on GTO and less frontal area. Mustang is drag limited to 147mph, can't go any faster. GTO is electronically governed to 158mph. With the governor off, people have maxxed out at 165 to 170 mph stock from LS1GTO.
  • Yes in Motor Trends May 2004 article they compared the then 350hp 2004 GTO to the 2004 Mercedes Benz CLK55 AMG. The Pontiac or I should say Holden held it's own, did very well. "The Pontiac GTO provides perhaps 85 to 90 percent of the goodness of the MBCLKAMG--for less than 50 percent of the cost"
  • The Mustang has won more of the comparos in magazines, but the GTO has won some too! MPH magazine had the GTO being chosen over the Mustang and Charger and beating them in almost all peformance areas. Also JD power gave the GTO it's most appealing sporty car award for 2005.

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosconsumer/0508/31/F01-298066.htm

    "In battle of brawn, Pontiac GTO gets nod over Ford Mustang" From August.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    From C&D, the GTO is 1.3 sec quicker 0-100. Also, the GTO does 1/4 in 13.3@107 vs. the Mustang 13.8@103.

    So, do you see why I have a problem with the MT 0-90 times?

    Car and Driver has the two cars CLOSER together 0-100 (1.3 seconds apart) and FURTHER APART on the 1/4 (0.5 seconds).

    Motor Trend has the two cars FURTHER APART on 0-90 (1.4 seconds), yet CLOSER TOGETHER in the 1/4 (0.3 seconds).

    That's why I have a problem believing the MT numbers.

    Look guys, I think it's fairly evident that the GTO is quicker. Does it 'trounce' the Mustang? Well, that kinda depends on how you define 'trounce' and how much stock you put in pure acceleration. If all you're after is a shove in the back, one can go much quicker for much less (you just won't get a new car waranty.. ;) )

    Let's put it this way:

    The Mustang GT is probably quicker than 95% of the stuff on the road. And LOOKS better than 95% of the stuff on the road.

    The GTO is probably quicker than 98% of the stuff on the road. And LOOKs better than........well, at least it is quicker than 98% of the stuff on the road.... :P
  • dclark2dclark2 Posts: 91
    "From C&D, the GTO is 1.3 sec quicker 0-100. Also, the GTO does 1/4 in 13.3107 vs. the Mustang 13.8103.

    So, do you see why I have a problem with the MT 0-90 times?
    Car and Driver has the two cars CLOSER together 0-100 (1.3 seconds apart) and FURTHER APART on the 1/4 (0.5 seconds).
    Motor Trend has the two cars FURTHER APART on 0-90 (1.4 seconds), yet CLOSER TOGETHER in the 1/4 (0.3 seconds).
    That's why I have a problem believing the MT numbers."

    You are skepticism is unwarranted. You must think that these two cars, in the 1/4 mile, just pop out a steady speed. Nothing could be futher from the truth. Given the power of the GTO, you'd think it should jump way in front of the mustang and stay there.
    However,both vehicles have to be launched properly. The GTO has two things that must be addressed during launching: narrow tires and wheel hop. Once underway, these two are non issues, note the difference in higher speeds. That's another reason why you'll see a large range of number for the GTO. Sure, other cars can have a range of times between testers, but they also don't have 400lbs of tq, 400 hp, irs and 245-45-17 tires. Take 10 people out to test the same automatic equipped Sienna Minivan and I bet the times will be pretty close.Also, as another said, the Mustang is also not very aerodynamic- pushing that air requires hp.
    "The GTO is probably quicker than 98% of the stuff on the road. And LOOKs better than........well, at least it is quicker than 98% of the stuff on the road"
    The GTO has been documented to do a 1/4 in 13 sec flat. That is pretty much up there. The Mustang GT runs upper 13's. That is not even enough to keep up with an eight year old Camaro. Dodge and even Cadillac, make cars that make the Mustang's power look oh so '90's ish. Cars of today are getting faster and faster. At the very least, the Mustang should be made to keep up with them.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    ... Cars of today are getting faster and faster. At the very least, the Mustang should be made to keep up with them.

    Name the cars that are in production today that are faster AND within $10K - $20K of the Mustang GT's price.
  • GM advertises the GTO as 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and the 1/4 mile in 13.0 seconds in their official brochure. Some people have gotten as fast as a 12.9 1/4 stock from a GTO on the LS1GTO website. It comes down to drivers skill, and a lot of practice. The GTO is pretty hard to launch correctly, takes a lot of practice. Way to easy to spin the tires on it.
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