Driven: The 2015 Mustang EcoBoost has no soul
10 Jun 2015

Driven: The 2015 Mustang EcoBoost has no soul

This all new Mustang is stunningly beautiful, more nimble than ever, and the eye catching envy of all you drive past. Here’s why we hate it.

10 Jun 2015

Want a Mustang that sips on gas while still being a fun to drive? Perhaps you shouldn’t be shopping for a Mustang. If we can’t convince you otherwise though, Ford has the engine for you. We spend a week with the all new 2015 four-cylinder EcoBoost that is anything but a muscle car.

As-Tested

Make: Ford
Model: Mustang EcoBoost Premium
Model Year: 2015
Base MSRP: $29,300
MSRP as Tested: $38,585
Engine: 2.3 Liter EcoBoost Inline 4-cylinder
Power: 310 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 320 lb-ft of torque 2,500-4,500 rpm

We Liked

  • Sexy, sharp, stylish, and modern with a touch of heritage- this car is a looker
  • Four driving modes and three steering sensitivities let you tailor your driving experience to the road conditions
  • A lighter engine and new suspension allows for nimble handling

We Didn’t

  • Overly quiet 2.3L four-cylinder feels like it belongs in a Hyundai
  • A skin deep beauty with no lumpy engine, no loud exhaust, and no character to fall in love with
  • Interior trim looks premium but feels cold, hard, and cheap when you inspect closer
2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, let us introduce you to the all new 2015 Ford Mustang. It’s sleeker, heavily revised, and extremely modern.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

From the classic sequential tail-lights to the unmistakable profile, there’s very little doubt, even from a distance, that this is the car enthusiasts have loved since 1964.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Inside, classic Mustang cues abide. Ford has aptly moved to more premium looking materials than in the past. A faux turned metal finish covers the middle console. A soft upper dash has real stitched material.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

This Mustang’s gauge cluster, despite initially looking cool, is a hot mess. The gauges themselves are flat and cheap looking. The LCD driver information display shows a lot but lacks any design or intuitive navigation. We love that we can keep a check on intake air temperature but frustrated that Ford skipped over offering a very basic digital speedometer on a sports car.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

These Recaro sport seats are a $1,595 option that’s worth every penny if you plan on using this car as a weekend warrior. For daily driving however, we’d suggest you’d save the money as they’re not very comfortable for anything longer than a trip to the store.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

While it looks slick, the infotainment and climate controls in the Mustang are frustratingly small, delicate, and hard to use. Only the start/stop button and row of toggle switches function as well as their form. That edge stitching is 100% fake and molded into the dash.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

The EcoBoost performance package for ($1,995) includes bigger brakes from the GT, a limited slip differential, P-Zero performance tires, along with  an oil pressure and turbo-boost gauge combination on the dash. 

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

This was our first time behind the wheel of the new Mustang. It’s lower, wider, and sleeker. It’s also the first car to offer four, six, and eight cylinder engine options. That’s great, but…

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

…here is where it all goes wrong. Meet this Mustang’s four-cylinder engine.  Sure, the numbers look good on paper. 310-horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque from a turbo-charged EcoBoost. In reality, this engine paired with this car equals a lame horse. All the qualities of a muscle car are gone. No loud exhaust, no lumpy engine, no low end torque.

A sports car is only as good as it drives. That’s where we run into a quandry with this new Mustang. Half the car is divine; tight steering, predictable tracking, and at the limit stability. Try to slowly roll into the throttle and prepare to be disappointed. The 2.3L EcoBoost needs high revs in order to get anything done quickly.  

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

The fastback design returns with a deeply sloped windshield and rear glass.  When heavy cooling isn’t needed, the EcoBoost model uses adaptive shutters to close off the front grille, increasing aerodynamics and fuel economy. During our week with the car we averaged 25 miles to the gallon.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Now in it’s sixth generation, the Ford Mustang continues to be as American as apple pie. 

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Despite our personal frustration, people strolling down the sidewalk when this Mustang passed by didn’t care what was under the hood. They just couldn’t stop staring.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

When the road tightened up we found ourselves forgetting all about what was under the hood. An all new fully independent suspension (the last generation still had a live rear axle) finally provides the crisp and nimble handling Mustang owners deserve to keep up with those pesky Camaro drivers.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Mustang. Since 1964. This Ford has a long heritage and a lot of expectations to live up to. Every 2015 leaves the factory with this badge. 

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Review

Despite our love/hate relationship with this new EcoBoost Mustang, future owners should know one thing…. this is the best Mustang ever.  We expect the 435-horsepower GT to satisfy nearly all of our complaints. 

We love the new Ford Mustang.  We also think a turbocharged  2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine producing 310-horsepower is a marvel of engineering.  It’s certain, Ford accomplished the lofty goal of putting a polished small displacement engine into a Mustang while preserving lofty on-paper statistics. We just don’t understand why this was a goal in the first place. Perhaps it has something to do with this being the first globally sold Mustang but it doesn’t mean it will resonate with American enthusiasts.

Unfortunately,  putting the two in the same package created a car we just couldn’t connect with no matter how hard we wanted to.  With 51 years of expectations telling us how a Ford Mustang should drive, sound and feel, this car disappointed us every time we pressed down the accelerator.

Now, about that GT….

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