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The 2018 Ford Mustang’s Digital IP Is Almost Too Customizable: Video

While conventional wisdom maintains that there’s no such thing as “too much choice,” contemporary work on the matter has demonstrated otherwise. Many psychologists now believe that being “paralyzed by choice” is a very real phenomenon, and that having too many options can cause anxiety. Give a person too much choice, and he or she will hesitate to select an option because the fear of choosing unwisely is that much greater.

What does this have to do with the 2018 Ford Mustang‘s new available 12-inch digital instrument panel? As this video demonstrates, there is a multitude of options for customization – perhaps too many. Users can select between Normal, Sport, or Track modes; they can pull up fuel economy and trip readouts, or choose between a multitude of optional gauge displays including air/fuel ratio, cylinder head temp, oil pressure, inlet air temp, vacuum/boost, etc.; and they can customize the colors of the gauge needle trails and gauge rings.

For that last item, there are numerous colors available to choose from, but if none of them are up to snuff, there’s also an option to mix your own custom colors within the menu system. Those custom colors can also be applied to the ambient lighting in the Ford Mustang‘s interior.

All of this is, of course, completely superfluous. We’d love to see the evidence that shows that bombarding consumers with so many options, contained within menus within menus within menus, accessed through a disorderly horde of buttons on the steering wheel, improves the user experience appreciably.

In the past, we’ve spoken rather highly of the 2018 Ford Mustang’s available digital gauge cluster, and we still think it’s a very pleasing, easy-to-read, well-thought-out device. But let’s all agree to stop with the maddening abundance of customization options. Give us four options, tops, and let us choose from those.

We may be nearing the point where “customizing my Mustang’s instrument panel” becomes a valid excuse for passing up on an outing.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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