From the way the looks made me feel to the feel of the supremely comfortable seats, the 2016 Ford Mustang I4 is my kind of Muscle Car. While I enjoy the large engines and the big bore sound staples of muscle cars, I’m a huge fan of small engines with huge turbos – the sound of spool makes me drool.

And, so, I’m rather in love with the 2016 For Mustang I4, which is something I never thought I’d say. I’m a small, Japanese-made, two-seater sports car person, right? Well, maybe not this time.

2016 Ford Mustang_05The absolute best part was that it came with a real manual gearbox. And phenomenal drive select modes, such as Normal and Sport; there’s also Track (we didn’t get a chance to use this) and

A phenomenal-feeling, chunky yet smooth, 6-speed manual transmission was heaven to my hands while driving this Mustang. With 310-horsepower (at 5,500 rpms) coming from the 2.3L EcoBoost Inline 4-Cylinder engine, I was never left wanting at a green light. And the 320 lb.ft. of torque pumping through to the rear wheels is more than enough to push you back in your leather-trimmed seats with gusto.

Which I did at every opportunity. All opportunities.

The gusto didn’t hamper my fuel economy either. This turbo charged 4-cylinder achieves an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 31 highway, for a combined 25 mpg.

2016 Ford Mustang_09Though the 2016 Ford Mustang isn’t only about power. It’s also about refinements, too. The leather trimmed seats offered powerful heating, along with 6-way power seats, for both front seat occupants. I was able to skip away the musical worries by using the steering wheel buttons for audio, though there was also voice commands button and radar-assisted cruise control that would vary your speed depending on those in front of you. The radar-assisted cruise control didn’t stop you, though; remember, it’s a manual transmission!

2016 Ford Mustang_04The infotainment system offers Ford’s SYNC and MyFord Touch systems with Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, AUX and USB ports, and more. The Shaker Pro Audio system beat my Pandora tunes out through 12 speakers.

In the dashboard, Ford included track apps that only work when the car’s GPS system acknowledge you’re on a track, not the road outside, not the pits but on the track. Apps such as 0 mph – 60 mph, 0 mph – 100 mph, 0 mph – top speed, and 60 mph – 0 mph. We didn’t go to a track, though, and that makes me sad.

2016 Ford Mustang_13What also made me sad was the backseat. They’re sort of a joke. I’ve heard people fit back there, but no one I knew was willing to try. My own attempts to fit my 5-foot 5-inch frame into the rear seats worked, but wasn’t what I would call comfortable for the long haul. With the driver’s seat in my usual ‘Short Person’ position, there was paltry knee room for me in the rear seats. They are good for children, but not a long haul with a full-sized adult.

Though, seriously, it’s not about the technology or the rear seats. It’s about the power – and the 2016 Ford Mustang has plenty, plus a EcoBoost Performance package including summer tires, a rear spoiler, a limited slip axle, and premium black wheels.

For safety, the 2016 Ford Mustang comes with a throng of airbags, a post-crash alert system, an anti-theft security system with perimeter alarm, and rearview camera with the optional rear park assist system which was helpful in the dark public garages littering Seattle.

2016 Ford Mustang_31

So, in short – what doesn’t $36,660 (as driven) this car give you (other than a spacious back seat)? Nothing. It’s a perfectly beautiful, turbo charged example of the incredible legacy of Ford’s Mustang muscle car. The 2016 Ford Mustang gave me smiles every moment behind the wheel, offered ample interior comfort for my passenger, and was safe, too.