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By Graser, Marc | Variety, October 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

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Graser, Marc, Variety


Ford Mustang

ford.com I starts at $23,600; $42,790 (GT)

Recent restylings helped Ford's muscle car stay competitive with rivals like Chevy's Camaro. But while there wasn't anything wrong with current Mustangs on the road, they weren't that exciting, either. The bumper-to-bumper makeover for its 50th anniversary, however, is a head-turning success that should protect Mustang's role as a pop-culture icon (made famous by "Bullitt," "Goldfinger," "Gone in Sixty Seconds" and "Need for Speed"). More aggressive sheetmetal stretches across a wider, lowered body, making it look as if it's spent time in the gym. Inside, quality materials give it a refined European feel, with new toggle switches providing clever nods to the past. On the road, the Mustang is lighter, less noisy inside, and rattle-free - necessary updates, as this is the first iteration to be sold globally. Multiple versions will be offered, including a convertible, but the GT's the best of the bunch, with its growling 5.0-liter V8, customizable steering and ride. The thrills are drained away, though, by a cheaper 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, with its engine emitting an odd after-sound. A 3.7-liter V6 makes for a nice compromise.

Cadillac

cadillac.com

It may finally have attractive cars to sell, but moving them off lots has been tougher than expected for Cadillac, which has turned to former Audi and Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen to reposition the once-dominant luxury brand. De Nysschen's first steps include moving Caddy's headquarters from Detroit to New York City, where it can be closer to rivals like Mercedes-Benz and tastemakers it needs to elevate its profile. …

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