Thursday 20 October 2016
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Test Drive: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Test Drive: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

This week, I take a look at arguably the most iconic car in automotive history, the Ford Mustang. The 2015 Mustang is the 6th generation and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the car that then-Ford President Lee Iacocca introduced for the 1965 model year.

My Competition Orange review vehicle has the 2.3-liter, 4 cylinder EcoBoost engine that is equipped with twin turbochargers to give you an incredible 310-horses, and a very strong 320 foot-pound of torque, quite a feat for a 4 cylinder engine. This rear-wheel drive sports car has a 6-speed automatic transmission, but you can get it in a 6-speed manual also.

True Mustang enthusiasts initially scoffed at Ford putting a 4-cylinder in this all-new 2015 Mustang. The first 4-cylinder Mustang came out in 1974 and had a whopping 88-horsepower. Ford continued to offer a 4-cylinder until 1993, and then ceased making them until this 2015 came out.

For me, this EcoBoost engine is the way to go with this car. It performs great, has plenty of power, and gets 32-miles per gallon on the highway. It even sounds really good, but for those who can’t stomach a 4-banger in this car, you can also get a 3.7-liter V6, or the tried-and-true 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 435-horses.

Although the exterior looks of the Mustang are exceptional, from the long-sculpted hood, to the rear sequential taillights, the best part of this Mustang is not seen. In my opinion, Ford finally got the suspension system on this car correct, by giving it a sophisticated independent rear suspension.

This Mustang feels very different from previous years, it handles extremely well, corners great, and you don’t get the “skipping” you used to feel under heavy acceleration. The 2015 Mustang is also lower and wider than previous years, and Ford moved the wheels out to the corners of the car for improved driving dynamics. Ford also added a double ball-joint front suspension for an even better driving experience.

Moving to the interior, this is another area that is much improved. My tester is the Premium version and it sports some extremely comfortable leather seats. When you sit down behind the wheel, you see some retro-cues like a large tachometer, and a large speedometer that reminds you that you are seeing the ground speed. I am glad they cleared that up.

Between those, you have a driver information center with six settings to configure the car as you wish, including the new Track Apps option, which is a ton of fun, especially when you hit Launch Control. You will notice the pushbutton start, which has never been offered before. The steering wheel for 2015 is loaded with controls and is smaller than in years past.

Although there is some plastic on the door panels that I would prefer was not there, you also get nice stitching on the dash, and an excellent use of aluminum across the interior.

Under the 8” color touchscreen in the middle of the center stack, you see some cool, retro chrome toggle switches. These allow you to choose from the four selectable drive modes of normal, Sport, Track, and snow/wet.

Everything changes with this car in Track mode, including handling, performance and even the way the car sounds, and the difference is drastic. To the left of that switch, you can change the electronic power steering to suit your mood by choosing comfort, Sport, or Normal.

The 2015 Mustang has an impressive list of standard equipment including HID headlights, heated and cooled power seats, automatic temperature controlled air, rearview camera, keyless entry, and remote start. It also comes standard with blind spot monitoring, which is a must on any two door car due to poor visibility on the right side.

You also get Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch system, which works great. Part of that is MyKey, which for me would be mandatory for teen drivers. Parents can set a seat belt reminder, limit stereo volume and top speed, block incoming cell calls and texts, and it warns of low fuel. I am a huge fan of this system.

This Mustang has options including the 12-speaker Shaker audio system, the enhanced security system, 19” black aluminum wheels, automatic transmission, adaptive cruise control and voice activated navigation system.

A couple of things of note: Like all coupes, the Mustang has a small trunk, but you can fold the back seat down for added room. Speaking of the back seat, it is very small, don’t plan on putting any adults back there. You should be aware too, that driver and passenger headroom is limited due to the sloping roofline-this is not a car for a basketball player. Finally, like many cars today, Mustang does not come with a spare tire and wheel, but it is optional.

2015 brings the first Mustang to be offered outside the United States, in fact it will be sold in 120 countries, and it is easy to see why. Ford took care of every complaint Mustang fans have brought up for 50 years, including fuel economy with this EcoBoost engine. You’ll get 21 in town, 32 on the highway, and 25 overall. It also earned a 5 Star safety rating from the government.

Pricing is good too, this completely loaded pony car comes in at a $37,700 sticker price, and it’s worth every penny, and stacks up nicely to the other retro coupes on the market.

For the first time in Mustang history, it is OK to not buy a V8. This EcoBoost is exceptional.

What I liked most:  The Engine performance and handling.

What I would change: Actually, nothing.

MSRP: Base price $29,300, as equipped $37,790.

Fuel Economy:  EPA rated at 21 City/32 Highway, 25 Combined.

Fuel Tank: 15.5 gallons.

Dimensions: 188.3” long/81.9” wide/54.4 high.

2015 Mustang in a few words: It is finally OK NOT to buy a V8 in the Mustang!

Trailer Towing: N/A

Warranty:  3-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.

Car Pro Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars.

Dealers: We have terrific Car Pro Certified Ford dealers in Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, (4) in Dallas-Fort Worth, Fresno, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Francisco.

Manufacturer’s website: Ford

Photo Credit: Ford