One of the most important parts of driving a sports car is the way it feels, and the way that makes you -- the driver -- feel. At its core, driving a sports car is all about experiencing a special feeling, and on that basis and more, the latest Ford Mustang is a sports car that should be given your immediate attention.
What is a 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost?
The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is the latest version of the popular pony car, powered by its latest and most unique engine: a turbocharged 4-cylinder. This unique version of the new Mustang puts a high-performance, high-efficiency EcoBoost engine to work under the hood of the tightest, stiffest, and most athletic Mustang yet.
2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Pricing and Specs
My tester came with a starting sticker of $27,999, with optional Recaro Seats, a performance package, alarm system and some small accessories making it $33,799.
Ford’s 2.3L 4-cylinder EcoBoost outputs 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, and a 6-speed manual and rear-wheel drive with limited slip diff are standard.
Driving the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
This time around, engineers launched an offensive against softness, slack and slop, and the resulting driving experience makes the Mustang feel like a properly polished driver’s car. Lower, wider, stiffer, stronger, fitted with bigger brakes, and better aerodynamics than ever before, the latest machine makes use of lightweight, high-strength materials to help keep the weight trim, and the new fully independent suspension system is light-years ahead of the old car. The Mustang no longer rides and handles like an undercooked lasagna.
The word “instant” best describes the feeling of the controls. Steering has zero slack and sees the Mustang dart around from even the slightest twitch of the wheel. The body is kept sprung tautly over said wheels, and the tight suspension supports the quickness of the steering, giving drivers an instant read of what’s happening between the tires and the pavement when driving hard.
The ride can get busy, though ride quality isn’t easily disturbed and the suspension never feels or sounds overwhelmed on rough surfaces.
There’s instant brake pedal response too, with the standard, massive four-wheel discs biting hard and fast from the slightest touch of the pedal. Even the shifter and clutch feel dialed-in, with a short throw and solid, thick shift action calibrated carefully against the heavy, solid bite from the clutch. This makes it easy to shift smooth and fast, and there’s no soccer-mom marshmallow clutch here, which is fantastic.
The EcoBoost engine is the best and worst part of this Mustang. Best, because it goes like the wind, delivers a thick slab of torque from just off idle that sets it surging along, makes delightful turbocharger noises, and turns in great fuel mileage (on my watch). It’s absolutely not an eco-minded performance slouch: The Mustang EcoBoost goes like bananas when called upon, and accelerates effortlessly when driven gently.
However, there’s no meaningful performance sound when opened up: only a dull, boring hum. Further, with most of the available power output arriving at very low revs and the relatively flat torque curve, there’s little sense of peaky, rising action to the power delivery. The performance is all there, but it’s not delivered with much excitement. Budget for an exhaust upgrade or the available 5.0L Coyote V8, to solve the sound-effects problem -- if you’re concerned.
Ultimately, here’s a car that feels incredibly dialed-in, honed and sharp in a way that makes a currently available Camaro or Challenger feel like a bus. This might be the first mid-level Mustang anyone sought out to access an excellent driver’s car for their money.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
The Mustang’s new body wears its sheetmetal tightly and packs a smaller, trimmer, and leaner look, while conveying trademark styling elements for that instant recognition factor. Some new, exotic-looking sculpting and flow to the lines and panels are styled in, too.
The interior has been stepped up considerably -- with a broader selection of premium materials, more contrasting color and texture, and more detailed elements for a layer of sophistication. At-hand storage implements are adequate, the cup holders no longer interfere with the shifter, and the dash-mounted boost gauge and digital gauge pod in the instrument cluster are welcome touches.
Typical interior Mustang complaints: rear seats are best used by non-adults, and front-seat occupants may wish for a smidge more room around them. At 5’10 and 220 lbs, I found the 2015 Mustang to be comfy-snug and sporty, not tight or claustrophobic.
Comparing the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost
Consider the Mustang EcoBoost a priority test drive if you’re after something that feels smaller, trimmer, and lighter on its feet than a comparable Challenger or Camaro, something with a more refined cabin and driveline than a Genesis Coupe or something that’s frisky and light, like an FR-S or BR-Z, but with that extra hundred or so horsepower.