2015 Ford Mustang | Road Test
* Nicely weighted steering and brakes.
* Does a great job of holding gears even when at the rev limiter.
* Not as practical as it's hyped to be.
* Tacky plastic switches along the centre console.
* Simply isn't as special as a Mustang is supposed to be.
Introduction & Summary
In 1964, Ford Motor Company took a bold step and introduced the world to an automobile that was affordable, compact, stylish and powerful. It was the first Pony Car to ever exist and fittingly wore the Mustang nameplate. In the thick cloud of smoke that it left in its wake, offerings from Chevrolet, Pontiac and Dodge began to appear over the years, but none seemed to be quite as pleasing.
Today, the muscle car from Dearborn stands as a product of continuous improvement, five decades of uninterrupted production and an ever-increasing fan following. In its sixth generation, the 2015 Ford Mustang challenges the status quo. As I put it through its paces, I question if it has what it takes to fill the boots of the legends that lived before it.
Styling & Design
The low-browed, frowning mien of the 2015 Ford Mustang gives it an aggressive demeanour – one that is accentuated by the trapezoidal grille, taut headlamps and defined contours along the hood. Dimensionally lower and wider than its predecessor, the sixth generation Mustang retains the iconic silhouette but injects a generous amount of flamboyance into its design.
Inside, the cabin comprises of significant amounts of plastic and even greater amounts of leatherette, but makes up for it with the overall refinement and sharpness of the design. Brushed aluminium trim breaks the monotony brought on by dark hues and runs along the dashboard, centre console and door panels.
Leaving the scruffy reputation that is associated with muscle cars behind, the 2015 Mustang features an Adaptive Cruise Control system, a Blind Spot Monitoring system and a brilliant Voice Control system. But while it’s all quite advanced for a vehicle that was once built for outright lunacy, the downside is that it now spews a barrage of technical gibberish across the instrument binnacle more often than not. Messages such as Train Tires, Global Open Window and Full Guard or Reduced Guard are a few that you soon get desensitized to.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Lacking the eardrum-violating exhaust note, the rumbling V8 and the tail happiness of its predecessors, the Ecoboost Mustang is a far cry from what made muscle cars popular in the first place. The latest iteration of the American classic is civilised, dignified and no longer foolish, above all else. Truth be told, it’s rather dull…
Jumping onto the Downsize bandwagon, the 2015 Ford Mustang sports a 2.3 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that pushes out 310 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 434 Nm of torque at 3,000 RPM to the rear wheels. While the figures look phenomenal on paper, they simply don’t translate to plain and simple fun when at the wheel.
Allowing the RPM needle to explore the higher limits of the rev range, the Ecoboost Mustang proves that it isn’t underpowered but simply lacks the oomph factor associated with vehicles in its class. Dampening the overall experience further, is the artificial preset groans that resonate through the speakers and into the cabin, to drown out the music composed by the whizzing turbocharger.
Even when set to Sport+ and Track modes, the excruciating turbo lag – where there’s nothing really happening until the 3,000 RPM mark – is an instant downer. Coupled with the fact that it absolutely refuses to offer any sort of wheel spin and is supremely nimble on the bends, it feels as though the Mustang’s committed a cardinal sin by trading the sheer essence of its predecessors for the sensation of a run-of-the-mill European sports car.
Comfort & Practicality
While the 2015 Mustang doesn’t make any claims of being comfortable (thankfully), it does claim to be practical. After all, you’d only consider the 2.3 litre engine for all the practicality that it brought with it, right?
The Mustang’s 58-litre fuel tank capacity pales in comparison to the Chevrolet Camaro’s 72-litre capacity and continues to disappoint with a realistic average of 15 litres / 100 km. In addition to that being significantly higher than the claimed 9.4 litres / 100 km, it works out to barely 400 km on a full tank of gasoline. So where’s the practicality you put off buying that V8 for? I’m not too sure.
Price & Verdict
The 2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost has challenged what muscle cars have always stood for; it’s revolutionized the segment. Wearing a façade of sportiness, practicality and Americanism, it’s lost everything that made the Mustang so very special.
Having come such a long, long way from its early years, I can only imagine the creators of the first Pony Car rolling in their grave cringing at the very thought of what a sissy struts the Mustang nameplate today. So tell me, what’s next Ford? A Mustang with a CVT transmission and a Front Wheel Drive layout? I wouldn’t be surprised…
|Specifications||2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost||2015 Ford Mustang 3.7L||2015 Ford Mustang 5.0L|
|Engine/ Cylinders||2.3 litre turbocharged / 4 cyl||3.7 litre / V6||5.0 litre / V8|
|Max Power |
|314 hp @ 5,500 RPM||300 hp @ 6,500 RPM||435 hp @ 6,500 RPM|
|434 Nm @ 3,000 RPM||380 Nm @ 4,000 RPM||542 Nm @ 4,250 RPM|
|Tranmission||6 speed manual / 6 speed automatic||6 speed manual / 6 speed automatic||6 speed manual / 6 speed automatic|
|Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|0-100 km/h||5.5 secs||6.5 secs||4.5 secs|
|Top speed||195 km/h||250 km/h||264 km/h|
|Price||AED 175,000 - 185,000||AED 130,000 - 155,000||AED 190,000 - 220,000|