Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang: The Pony Gets A 4-Cylinder



Highlight: The instrument gauges measures both the brake performance and the acceleration of the Mustang.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $35,795 (Base Price $24,625)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; a perimeter alarm; stability control system; HID headlamps; automatic headlights; a rearview camera; LED foglights; LED taillamps; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; dual exhaust tips; a rear spoiler; integrated spotter mirrors; leather trimmed seats; heated/ventilated front seats; power front seats; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a push-button keyless access system; a cruise control system; a push button keyless ignition starter; an electric power steering assist system; automatic dimming rearview mirrors; and a capless fuel door system

Options: a 12-speaker Shaker audio system; a 6-speed automatic transmission; an enhanced security package; a wheel locking kit; a radar activated cruise control system; and a navigation system



Suspension System: Double ball joint MacPherson strut (front); integral link (rear)

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 mile warranty

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 mile warranty

Optional 4-Cylinder Engine/Horsepower: 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder/310-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular


EcoBoost Fuel Mileage: 22-city/32-hwy

What’s New: With its new global platform, the 50th anniversary Mustang becomes the first ‘Pony’ to offer a 4-cylinder engine.

Pros: The new Global design of the Mustang allows the revamped sports car to cross many continents. The wider stance and the lower height give the two-door sports coupe, with its hatchback-like rear, more of a European flair.

And all of these changes and more were infused into the 50th anniversary Mustang without the designers and engineering team losing the Mustang mystique.

The 2015 Mustang offers a number of optional high tech firsts for both the Mustang and the segment. Buyers can outfit with the Mustang with such features as a keyless ignition starter system, a radar-activated cruise control system, an electronic blind spot lane changing system, a backup camera with a cross traffic alert system and an in-car system to let drivers control their smartphone apps. Yes, the Mustang has gone high tech, but it hasn’t compromised the spirit and driving capabilities that enthusuasts expect when behind the wheel of the Mustang (or what some enthusiasts refer to as the ‘Mustang Experience’).

Moreover, most buyers who yearn for a sports car, especially a Mustang, expect power. And Ford doesn’t disappoint in this area. Not only will  Mustang enthusiasts have the option of a 6-cylinder or an 8-cylinder in an automatic or a manual that is easily capable of pushing out over 300 horses from underneath the hood, the powertrain team has managed to keep the fire burning with the brand’s signature 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

Yes, you read it right. Ford has infused its popular and fuel-efficient, turbo charged EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine into the 2015 Mustang. For a $1,500 premium, the Mustang’s first 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine spews out 310 ponies from underneath the hood, while also increasing the mpg to 22-city and 32-hwy from the base 6-cylinder Mustang. The EcoBoost also produces 320-lb ft. of torque. To put this into perspective, the 6-cylinder Mustang only pumps out 300 ponies and offers 17-city and 28-hwy mpg.  

Lastly, the Mustang has a variety of steering and suspension settings that can be beckon depending upon the driver’s mood. Driving can be adjusted for the track, back roads or just cruising around town.

Cons:  Besides the child-like rear seating area and the hard to find optimal seating position for the driver, our only major concern is that the 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine just doesn’t sound like the throaty and powerful 8 cylinders (or 6 cylinders for that matter) we’ve driven over the years. So, as long as that isn’t a deal breaker, the EcoBoost is the way to go.


Verdict:  Currently, the Mustang is the only vehicle in the segment to offer a four cylinder engine. GM will be joining its nemesis in the 2016 model year with a 4-cylinder engine, which is not expected to be quite as powerful. Again, for those who can live without the growling sound that oozes out of the Mustangs outfitted with the 8 cylinders (or 6- cylinders), the EcoBoost is the way to go, especially when seeking style, price, fuel-efficiency and power!

Competition: 2016 Chevy Camaro (4-cylinder)

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