2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium

2015 Mustang EcoBoost Premium Review

The semi-practical Mustang is still full of fun.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: August 25th, 2015

The Ford Mustang, perhaps more than any other semi-new revival of a very old car (see Mini Cooper, Fiat 500, Dodge Challenger, etc.), manages the difficult task of keeping some sense of the classic car alive while simultaneously making it fit in with modern sensibilities.

Although known for its brutish, high-horsepower capabilities (the V-8 variant makes 435 hp), the EcoBoost offers all of the looks and some of the fun in a slightly greener package.

  • Exterior

    The "new" Mustang has finally come into its own in its current (sixth) generation. Its lower stance, wider body, and lowered decklid give it a much more aggressive stance. The hexagonal grille gives the front a more defined, menacing look, and the tri-bar headlights and tail-lights pull it into the modern era.

    The Mustang still has a rough-hewn quality to it, but it now looks less like a new car trying desperately to look like an old car, and more like a new car that looks just as fetching next to museum pieces as it does next to any new mid-priced sports car.

  • Interior

    The Mustang retains much of its muscle-car heritage in the interior. While the sporty/sophisticated look works well on the exterior, it's a tad clumsy in the cabin. It's not that the Mustang is lacking for comfort, at least for front-seat passengers (the rear seats can hold an infant seat or a bag, but nothing much bigger), thanks to its increased width. There's something about the interior styling that seems much more retro than it ought to.

    Don't get me wrong, the Mustang has all the requisite mod cons - touchscreen display, USB ports, blind-spot monitoring - it just has that essence of '70s burnout about it, probably due to all the black everywhere. There's nothing particularly wrong with the interior styling, in fact, it probably accomplishes exactly what it's meant to, and most Mustang owners probably love it; I just find it uninspiring, which, considering what an inspirational car the Mustang is to drive, is disappointing.

    The Shaker Pro sound system is suitably crunchy. If you want to get a bit of period rush, crank up Tyranny and Mutation by Blue Oyster Cult while you red-line down the road, windows open, left arm out the window, devil sign waving.

  • On the Road

    Of course, the EcoBoost isn't nearly as all-out nutso as the V-8, but that doesn't mean it isn't capable of some serious road-shredding. If this were any other car, 310 horsepower would be considered ridiculous. In the Mustang, however, it's relatively tame, but only relatively so.

    Squeezing 300-plus horses out of a four-banger is an impressive technical achievement, and one that pays off behind the wheel. While the EcoBoost may come up short in terms of 0-60 times or pure lap-time speed, it is lacking exactly nothing when it comes to steering, handling, and sheer whip-it-around-every-corner-ability.

    One of the advantages of the EcoBoost is that you can actually drive it around town without feeling like you've got a choke-chain-restrained attack dog on a leash, urging you to leap recklessly forward. If it weren't for the pointless and unusable back seat, the EcoBoost could double as a family sedan.

    But when it's speed you need, it's only ever a downshift, an accelerator stab, and a slight bit of turbo lag away. You can drive this car any way you want to, in other words, but you'd be a fool to not put it through its paces once in a while.

  • Conclusion

    The Mustang EcoBoost presents a vexing problem. On the one hand, it's kind of the Mustang to buy, since it actually won't break your bank gassing it up, but it's still tons of fun. On the other hand, fully optioned, the EcoBoost pushes $40,000, which is a fortune to pay for a car this big that only seats two people and possesses almost no luxury features. But then you drive one, and price just doesn't seem to matter as much anymore.

  • Specs & Prices

    Engine: Turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four

    Transmission: 6-speed manual

    Drivetrain Layout:Front-engine, rear-wheel drive

    Power Output: 310 hp / 300 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 22 city / 31 highway

    Base Price: $29,300

    As Tested: $38,585 (incl. $825 destination)

    Available Features:

    Equipment Group 201A: Shaker Pro audio system with hard drive, 12-speaker system

    Enhanced Security Package: Active anti-theft system, wheel-locking kit

    EcoBoost Performance Package: Summer tires, rear spoiler, 3.56 ratio limited slip axle, 19" ebony painted aluminum wheels

    Available Features: Adaptive cruise control, premier trim, reverse park assist, recaro leather seats, voice-activated navigation system

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