The best-selling pony car in the world is all new for the 2015 model year. The 2015 Ford Mustang is a step forward in every way imaginable for this car that’s seen production for over 50 years non-stop. One of the biggest changes for 2015 is the addition of the 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo. Is that an appropriate engine for a Mustang? How is this new Mustang overall? Read on to find out.
(Full Disclosure: Ford dropped this Competition Orange Mustang coupe at my house for a week all nice and shiny, with a full tank of gas. Speaking of gas, if you want the full horsepower out of this car, you need to run Premium, but it’ll run on Regular.)
Mustang EcoBoost Engine and Power
Let’s start with the engine. The 2.3L EcoBoost makes 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Not too long ago, that was as much power as the 4.6L V8 that powered the Mustang GT. Yes, we live in a world where you can buy a 707 horsepower car from Dodge, but to say 310 hp is inadequate would be a mistake.
In our review unit, power was sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Power is distributed through the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential. Sticky Pirelli tires deliver that power to the tarmac, though it should be noted that with the EcoBoost Performance Package (which this car has), the tires are Summer Only. They aren’t “Summer Recommended,” but “Summer Only.” You will need a set of all-seasons, or preferably winter tires, for the winter. If you skip the EcoBoost Performance Package, you have all-season tires instead.
The automatic EcoBoost is likely going to be the volume seller for the Mustang, which is fine. It’s a perfectly fine car to drive, but I think if I were going to go EcoBoost, I’d want the manual transmission. The automatic just doesn’t seem to take advantage of what the engine is capable of as much as the manual.
The biggest letdown of the EcoBoost is the sound. It’s impossible to make a 4-cylinder car sound as good as a V8. On a car like this, I still think I’d want the V8. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons to go EcoBoost, including a lighter weight and better fuel economy. It’s just I want a car that looks this good to make a nice V8 sound.
Mustang EcoBoost Technology
If you like tech goodies, the Mustang is the modern muscle car for you. Our review unit included a 12-speaker premium Shaker Pro audio system. It had blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. It had satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, and adaptive cruise control. I’m really not sure there wasn’t an option box not checked.
You can, of course, get the car without any of that and save some money. But if you’re like me and like the latest and greatest technology, the Mustang is a really nice place to be.
My only recommendation would be this; it’s late in the 2015 model year as this review is being written, and the 2016s will be hitting dealerships shortly. I’d wait for the 2016 model because it’ll have SYNC 3 instead of MyFord Touch, which is an upgrade worth waiting for. It’s faster and more responsive. You’ll thank me later.
Mustang EcoBoost Exterior
The new Mustang looks fantastic. The fastback appearance throws back to a time when muscle cars roamed the streets, and the rear taillights are straight from the first generation.
The Competition Orange paint is fantastic, and gets a lot of attention. Combined with the black wheels of the EcoBoost Performance Package, the car just looks mean. I had more than one person come up to me and complement me on the car.
Mustang EcoBoost Interior
The new Mustang’s interior is a major upgrade from the previous car. Gone is the cheap plastic, and in its place is leather and better looking plastic. It’s not a luxury car interior, but it’s a nice place to be.
There’s an airplane motif going on in the interior, which is fine. Toggle switches control the selectable drive modes, steering input, traction control, and more. The car’s speedometer even reads “Ground Speed.”
The Recaro leather seats are fantastic to sit in, and I found them to be comfortable. Your mileage may vary, but they do what they’re supposed to, which is to hold your butt in the seat while cornering. There is a downside, you lose the power function and also the heated and cooled seat options.
At night, you can select the color of the instrument cluster gauges, ambient lighting, door sill lighting, and more. If you so desire, you can turn many of the lights off. It’s a neat way to personalize the car, but I don’t get as excited about them as some people do.
Mustang EcoBoost Driving Impressions
This is, by far, the best Mustang I’ve ever driven. Performance enthusiasts will love the independent rear suspension, a first for a mass-produced Mustang, but everyday people will enjoy it to. Why? Because the car rides so much nicer than previous Mustangs, even with the stiffer performance-tuned suspension. You can put a lot of miles on this car and be comfortable.
The new Mustang is several hundred pounds lighter than the outgoing model, which is noticeable in the car as well. It corners better, it corners faster, and the handling is much more predictable than the outgoing model. On my favorite test route, that means I could drive faster without working the car as hard. It’s more of a precise instrument than a blunt object.
Mustang EcoBoost Fuel Economy
Compared to the V8 that I was lamenting this car didn’t have, the EcoBoost is a real fuel economy champion. When driven like a sensible human being, getting 32 miles per gallon on the highway is easily obtainable. Our weekly average fell somewhere in the 20s, which is okay considering the EPA puts the car at 25 mpg combined (21 in the city, 32 on the highway).
It should be noted, that like other EcoBoost cars (and well, engines in general), the more you press the “Go” pedal, the more fuel you burn. If you drive the car like a hooligan, you’ll get a hooligan’s fuel economy.
Mustang EcoBoost Price
Our relatively fully-loaded Mustang EcoBoost stickers for $39,385. That seems like a lot of money for a 4-cylinder Mustang, but that’s because it had all the options. Here’s a breakdown of the options above the $29,300 base price.
- Equipment Group 301A – Shaker Pro 12 speaker audio system: $1,795
- 6-speed Automatic Transmission: $1,195
- Enhanced Security Package – Alarm and wheel locks: $395
- Adaptive Cruise Control: $1,195
- EcoBoost Performance Package – Rear spoiler delete, summer tires, 3.55 rear axle, black wheels: $1,995
- Reverse Park Assist: $295
- Recaro Leather Seats: $1,595
- Voice Activated Navigation: $795
Once you factor in the $825 for destination and delivery, you reach our grand total.
You can obviously pick and choose what options you want, but if you’re just an enthusiast who wants a good driving car with decent fuel economy, you can skip almost all of those options and still be happy.
Mustang EcoBoost Final Verdict
Compared to the previous-generation Mustang, the new Mustang is a significant step forward in performance, handling, and quality. It’s now really a sports car, and the EcoBoost delivers a lot of the performance you’re looking for while not breaking the bank at the pump.
Also, the EcoBoost engine can be easily tuned to make even more power, so if you are worried about the power not being enough, there’s people who can fix that.
At the end of the day, the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is a great car that you can get with tons of features, or completely stripped out. Ford gives you everything you want or don’t want.
The only downside, for me, is the lack of the thrill of the V8. Even though it’s not what you may want, it’s how I’d order it. A car that looks this good and drives this well needs to have V8 power, because America.
- Fantastic looks.
- Good fuel economy with the EcoBoost.
- Modern technology available.
- Best driving Mustang ever.
- Automatic transmission not as good as the competition.
- Fake engine noise piped through the stereo.