The Ford Mustang. One of the most iconic nameplates in the automotive world.
One of those rare vehicles that transcends the industry. Most people who know nothing about cars (my wife…) would be able to spot a Mustang in a parking lot.
But a turbocharged, 4-cylinder Mustang? Blasphemous? Perhaps to some of the hard-core fans, but the Eco-Boost deserves a chance.
Over the years, the mustang has really been a one trick pony. Throw gobs of power to the rear wheels, point the steering wheel straight, and hang on (although a quick YouTube search for Mustangs will pull up a few videos of them doing some naughty things with a crowd of people watching...).
Not so with the new version of the car. 2015 saw the introduction of independent rear suspension and a 28% stiffer chassis, making a world of difference in the cars handling characteristics.
The Eco-Boost puts out a decent 310hp and 320 lbs of torque, giving it a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds. Down 100+ hp on the GT, but making up for it slightly with 163 less pounds for it to lug around.
And the less weight is noticeable. The Mustang feels surprising light on its feet, changing direction well, and with the steering mode set to “RACE”, providing decent feedback through the wheel.
Driving the mustang at 6/10ths is right in its wheel house. Driving at the limit, however, brings out some of its weaknesses. The transmission is a bit notchy, causing some issues when rowing through the gears with authority. Also having a tendency to understeer when cornering aggressively.
Our test unit wasn’t equipped with the (amazing) Recaro seats. As a result, I couldn’t get the seating position quite to my liking. Sitting too high, and offering little lateral support on the standard buckets.
With that said, cruising in the Mustang is very easy. The seats, albeit too high, are very comfortable, and when cruising through town, or at highway speeds, having to deal with minimal noise entering the cabin is always a plus.
With creature comforts like heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and Sync 3, the Mustang (Eco-Boost and V8) makes for a very viable daily driver too.
At the end of the day, the Eco-Boost Mustang isn’t going to satisfy the long standing, diehard enthusiasts, but people looking for a competent, quick, easy to drive sports car should certainly give one a look.
Special thanks to Cam Clark Ford.