2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

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A four cylinder muscle car, anyone?'15 Mustang Ecoboost lead

Ford has done it before – back in the ’80s. Remember the Mustang SVO? It rivaled the V-8 Mustang GT’s straight-line performance, but did so with greater sophistication as well as better handling in the curves due in part to its lower curb weight (the result of having several hundred pounds less cast iron under its hood).

Take two – thirty-something years down the road.

Ford is once again selling a turbo four cylinder-powered, high-performance Mustang. And its performance is so good it’s enough to make even a muscle car maniac like myself think twice about buying the V-8.

WHAT IT IS

The Mustang is, of course, Ford’s entrant in the latter-day Muscle Car Wars. It goes up against the other two other mid-large RWD bruisers in this class, Chevy’s Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.'15 Mustang details

It’s similar to those two in terms of resurrecting the appearance – and experience – of late 1960s/early 1970s-era American muscle cars. But unlike the Chevy and the Dodge – which only come with big V-6s and even bigger V-8s – the Mustang now offers a small (and light) turbo four that also has the virtue of being almost economy-car efficient while also being credibly muscle car powerful.

How’s 310 hp, 5.4 to 60  – and 32 on the highway – grab you?

Base price for this version of the Mustang is $25,170 (a small jump up from the base price of the V-6 powered Mustang, which starts at $23,600).

But – trust me – it’s worth every penny.

WHAT’S NEW

In addition to the new engine option (turbo four, in addition to V-6 and V-8) the 2015 Mustang gets a sleek new (long-nose) body, an updated interior and – for the first time – a standard four-wheel independent suspension.

V-8 GTs are available in 50th Anniversary Limited Edition trims, too.

WHAT’S GOOD'15 Mustang toggles s

Turbo four Mustang’s straight-line performance is superior to that of its heavier, six-cylinder-powered  (and automatic-only, in the case of Challenger) rivals.

Mustang’s gas mileage is better, too.

Less weight over the front wheels translates into a lighter-steering/quicker-reacting muscle car. Doesn’t feel as ponderous as its rivals.

Part-throttle roll on surge of 2.3 EcoBoosted four is Boss 351 worthy.

Costs much less than Challenger ($26,995 to start).

Roomier inside than Camaro.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD'15 Mustang IRS

Turbo four costs about $1,500 more up front than more powerful (although heavier and slower) Camaro V-6.

Turbo four might cost you more down the road. Historically, turbocharged engines – which are pressurized engines – have tended to wear out sooner; when that happens, they can be very expensive to fix.

Gas mileage advantage is slight: 3-4 MPG better on the highway than the V-6 Camaro; about 2 MPG better on the highway than the (much heavier, significantly larger) V-6 Challenger – and mostly negated by the little four’s premium fuel-only appetite and the Mustang’s smallest-in-class gas tank (16 gallons vs. 19 for the Camaro and 18.5 for the Challenger).

Center console storage cubby is set back too far.

“My Ford” LCD infotainment screen’s buttons are too small; system can be hard to operate without thinking about it.

UNDER THE HOOD'15 Mustang engine 1

The ’15 Mustang still comes standard with a V-6, like its two rivals. But the upgrade engine is not a V-8 … unlike its rivals.

For the first time since ’80s, you can buy a new Mustang with a four cylinder engine.

But this time, it’s not an economy engine.

Well, it is economical.

But it’s also a performance engine. That 5.4 second to 60 run mentioned up above? If you could be like Cher and turn back time to 1985 and go heads up against a 5.0 liter “high output” Mustang GT, the new turbo four Mustang would waste it.

While the GT wasted lots of gas.'15 Mustang Ecoboost detail

How much have things changed? The old five-oh made 225 hp. The new 2.3 liter turbo four makes 85 more hp with four fewer cylinders and half the displacement. To really drive the point home, compare the Ecoboost ’15 Mustang’s output – and performance – to that of my (up to now) favorite modern Mustang:  the 1995 Cobra R Ford let me have for a week back when Seinfeld was America’s favorite TV show. It had the last of the 351 V-8s (5.8 liters) and that mill made… 300 hp. Ten hp less than the 2.3 equipped 2015. And the EcoBoosted Mustang runs about as hard, too. With AC, a great stereo and interior insulation … none of which the race-intended ’95 Cobra R came with. The new EcoBoosted Mustang is also is capable of something my fondly remembered Cobra could never do … well, with its engine running:

Go 30-plus miles on a gallon of fuel.   '15 Mustang shift lever

The turbo’d 2105 rates 21 city, 32 on the highway (with the optional automatic; manuals do slightly better in city driving – 22 MPG – and slightly worse on the highway – 31 MPG).

Yeah. Color me impressed.

To be fair to the six-cylinder-powered competition, their efficiency is also pretty impressive. As is their power. The Camaro comes standard with a 323 hp 3.6 liter V-6; the Challenger a 305 hp 3.6 liter V-6. They don’t suck much gas, either – for cars of this type: 19 city, 30 highway for the both of them.

But their performance isn’t as good as the four-cylinder Mustang’s – because they each weigh much more than the four-cylinder Mustang: 3,702 lbs. for the V-6 Camaro (and a beefy 3,834 lbs. for the Challenger) vs. 3,450 lbs. for the turbo-EcoBoosted, six-speed Mustang.'15 Mustang gauges 1

Which explains the Camaro’s much less impressive six seconds to 60 time – and the V-6 (and automatic-only) Challenger’s even less impressive 6.5-ish to 60 time.

Neither car is slow. But  the take-home point is the Mustang’s a lot quicker.

The mileage advantage is nice, too.

Well, there’s one nit: The turbo-Ecoboost engine requires premium unleaded to deliver the goods. It won’t hurt it to burn regular, but probably you’ll pay another way – in the form of reduced mileage and power/performance.  The extra cost of the premium fuel probably neutralizes the Ford’s mileage advantage, since both the Camaro’s V-6 and the Challenger’s V-6 are designed to run best on regular. 

And – as mentioned earlier – the Mustang’s gas tank is about 3 gallons shy of the tanks in its rivals. That reduces its range and means more frequent pit stops.  

ON THE ROAD'15 Mustang road lead

This is the little engine that could.

And then some.

A mid-high five second run to 60 is a hotter run than 90 percent of big-block bruisers from the “good old days” could muster. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the road tests.

And 5.4 seconds to 60 will smoke 90 percent of new cars, too.

I won’t mention unmentionable top speed numbers, but … trust me when I tell you the four-cylinder Mustang is faster on top than every classic muscle car I’ve owned and driven – and that includes some serious (for the era) firepower such as a ’71 Plymouth GTX 440 and also my 455 (7.4 liter) powered Trans-Am.

Like both those cars, this car has hand-of-god part-throttle thrust; push the gas pedal down even a little bit and feel the hood rise as the car surges eagerly forward. The high horsepower certainly helps, but it’s the 2.3 engine’s 320 ft.-lbs. of torque that makes this marvel. It’s got more torque than the old 5.0 V-8 (300 ft.-lbs.) and the small engine makes it earlier in the power curve, so you feel it hit you in the small of your back sooner.

The turbo Ecoboosted Mustang will also do an excellent burnout – essential in a car with muscle car pretensions.'15 Mustang burn tires

Ford provides a toggle on the center console to turn the traction control off (this happens automatically, if you select “track” mode, two toggles over from that). The Mustang’s “track” setting is serious bidness. The TCS electronic old biddy is told to sit down and shut up.

You control the car.

Hold the brake with your left foot and (if it’s an automatic) use your right to bring the engine up to about 3,000 RPM and then – gradually – ease up a bit on the brake and let the tires begin to spin.

Now, hammer it – and hold on to yer helmet!

You’ll leave the line with the Mustang’s rear end fishtailing left, then right – just like back in ’69 – twin patches of rubber permanently etching your deed into the asphalt. If the car (like my test car) has the optional six-speed automatic, you’ll enjoy another retro muscle car experience: A very firm 1-2 upshift under WOT – not unlike what Saturn V astronauts felt when the first stage engines cut off and the stage 2 engines lit. If the tires were retro – ’70s era Goodyear GR70s on 15-inch rims – they’d definitely chirp as the gears shifted. The only reason they don’t is because the Mustang comes standard with vastly grippier 17s (18s being optional). But it’s a close-run thing… a little more power would probably do the trick. And remember: This is a turbo engine. That means, more boost could probably be dialed in, once the car is in you sweaty hands. Well, that’s what would happen if my sweaty hands got hold of this car.'15 low quarter view

The long hood is also most excellently retro.

Under-30s will need some time to get used to the expanse of cowled steel, but people over 40 who have personal recollections of the first-generation muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s will feel immediately at home. You are once again the commander of something serious.

Further menace is provided by the twin raised pleats, which are not at all hard to envision as twin .50 caliber gun emplacements molded into the hood.

The car feels big, but not too big – as (to me) both Camaro and Challenger do. This is not entirely subjective, either. The Mustang is objectively less wide, not nearly as long, rides on a much shorter wheelbase  – and is several hundred pounds lighter than its rivals. In Camaro and Challenger – both of which I’ve driven several times – you sometimes feel there’s not enough road for the car. There’s less margin to your double yellow left and your drop-off-the-shoulder right. On the highway – and the wide roads of built-up suburbia – this is less an issue. But hustle down a windy back road in the country and you will see what I mean.

2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost

All three cars are capable cornerers  – but do it with sheer force of adhesion rather than innate athleticism. Remember: These are not sports cars. They are muscle cars. You work ’em in the curves – and turn them loose on the straights. That’s where they do their best work.

The new Mustang’s also got  a fully-independent suspension, a major point of departure relative to old-school solid rear axles – which (like a big V-8 under the hood) used to define American muscle. A solid axle rear is tough, but the back wheels cannot articulate up and down independently to compensate for road irregularities but move together as a pair. So, if say the left rear dips into a pothole, it upsets the geometry of the entire rear suspension.

IRS gives a better ride on uneven surfaces – and that’s the main reason for its adoption. Not handling. A solid axle car can be made to corner like it’s on rails.

But the Mustang deals much better with potholes and such like now. Drive the one and the old one back to back and you will notice this immediately.

AT THE CURB'15 Mustang curb 1

Wow.

I realize looks are in the eye of the beholder – but this Mustang looks really good to me. It’s long and lean – every young man’s dream.

I felt lust in my heart, gawping at the fly yellow Mustang parked in the garage next to my ’70s-era pumpkin orange Trans-Am. A match made in heaven. Well, Detroit. I’ve never felt such stirrings over the current Camaro – despite having owned (and loved) four previous-gen. examples. The current gen. Camaro doesn’t speak to me; it strikes me as bulbous and cartoonish; a ham-handed paean to the ’69.

The Challenger is better. So faithful to the ’70 E-body you’d swear panels interchange

But this Mustang is – to my eye – the best of the three. It reminds one, of course, of classic-era Mustangs. But it’s a different Mustang. An interpretation rather than a cribbing.'15 Mustang side 2

Lithe, but masculine. The lethal elegance of a fighter aircraft.

Indeed, this long-nosed Mustang reminds me of a very specific fighter: The WW II-era Focke Wulf FW-190D. The D models had an extended nose nacelle, to accommodate the massive Daimler-Benz V-12 that powered the thing in lieu of the normal 190’s radial engine.

All that’s missing here is the Revi gunsight.

I’ve mentioned already that the Mustang is physically smaller than its rivals – much smaller than the Challenger, which is huge. This hugeness has advantages, including a people-viable back seat with 33.1 inches of legroom vs. the Mustang’s 30.6 inches (and the Camaro’s absolutely desperate 29.9 inches) as well as a Soprano’s-style 16.2 cubic foot trunk vs. the Ford’s 13.5 cubic footer and the Camaro’s absurd (given the size of the car) 11.3 cubic foot trunk.

'15 Mustang interior

But despite being several inches shorter overall than Camaro (188.3 inches vs. 190.6 inches) and having a much shorter wheelbase (107.1 inches vs. 112.3 for Camaro) the Mustang has vastly more legroom up front (44.5 inches vs. 42.4) as well as more headroom (37.6 inches vs. 37.4).

The Challenger has good visibility and a big car’s interior. But despite its gigantic proportions (197.6 inches long, nearly a foot longer than the Mustang; 116.2 inches of wheelbase – also almost a foot more) it actually – and kind of shockingly – has 2.5 inches less front-row legroom (42 inches). At least it has a lot of headroom (39.3 inches – about two more inches than either the Mustang or the Camaro) making it the best choice for the really tall.    

THE REST'15 Mustang trunk

An Ecoboost-equipped Mustang will cost you about $6k less up front than a V-8 GT… and may cost you many thousands less to own, too.

If you’re under 30, especially.

One reason why latter-day muscle cars seem to be bought mostly by guys like me in their 40s – instead of guys in their 20s – is because the cost to insure a V-8 muscle car is out-of-hand. But this car? Hey, it’s only got a four cylinder engine, Mr. Insurance Mafia Man… . They’ll catch on eventually, of course. But for now? Seize the day!

So, what’s not to like?The All-New Ford Mustang GT

Two small things.

First, the center console’s main storage cubby is set back too far to the rear. Accessing it – while driving – is awkward. Attempting to plug in your iPod (the slot is in the cubby) almost impossible. The good news is Ford put the 12V power point at the front of the console, just ahead of the shifter. So it’s no problem plugging in your radar detector.

Second gripe: Ford’s MyTouch interface – the LCD touchscreen flat screen – has too-tiny buttons that can be hard to operate when the car is moving, which makes it more difficult than it should be to do simple, basic things such as change the radio station or scroll from one screen to another (e.g., from “climate” to “GPS”) and so on.

These are, however, mere trivia.'15 Mustang final

Drive this car and you’ll love this car.

Look at it – and fall in love.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Of the “big three,” only the Mustang has survived 50 years without interruption.

Because for 50 years, Ford has continued to get it right.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Almost two-thirds of the 1.2 million people killed annually in road traffic crashes worldwide are pedestrians. Most bureaucratic attempts at reducing pedestrian deaths focus on education and traffic mandates.

    Crash engineers are directed by central planners to use design principles that protect car occupants and develop vehicle design concepts intended to reduce the likelihood of injuries to pedestrians in the event car-pedestrian crashes.

    Protecting the head fatwa
    The hood of most vehicles is usually fabricated from sheet metal, which is a energy absorbing structure which poses a comparatively small threat.

    Most serious head injuries occur when there is insufficient clearance between the hood and the stiff underlying engine components. A gap of approximately 10 cm is usually enough to allow the pedestrian’s head to have a controlled deceleration and a significantly reduced risk of death.

    Creating room under the hood is not always easy because usually there are other design constraints, such as aerodynamics and styling. In some regions of the hood it can be impossible.

    These include along the edges on which the hood is mounted and the cowl, where the hood meets the windshield. Engineers have attempted to overcome this problem by using deformable mounts, and by developing more ambitious solutions such as airbags that are activated during the crash and cover the stiff regions of the hood. The 2006 year model of Citroën C6 and Jaguar XK featured a novel pop-up bonnet design, which added 6.5 cm extra clearance over the engine block if the bumper senses a hit.

    a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrian_safety_through_vehicle_design”> Pedestrian Fatality & Vehicle Design Mullah’s Fatwas

  2. The Mustang’s a sharp-looking car, and I’m not a Mustang fan. But I’ll take the Mopar any day. Super-juiced little engines remind me of the new incomprehensible automatic transmissions: efficient and work well, until they don’t. There’s no way either devices can last as long as an equally well-built bigger engine, or manual trans.

    The turbocharged Mitsubishi four-bangers of the 1980s had great pep for their size, but we found out that when really burdened their lack of cubic inches gave them away.

    I was intrigued to read that the Mustang’s manual trans led to better city mileage than the auto, just the opposite of what you might expect. It does get better highway mileage than the ancient V-8 Rambler with a three-speed stick and electric overdrive I drove back when, but not as much as you might think. No comparison in speed, though.

    • I’m in total agreement, Ross.

      But, the V-8 versions of these cars have become so expensive – both to buy and to insure – that they are effectively rich men’s toys now. Entry price point in the low-mid $30k range. Now add taxes – which in my area includes a vicious (and annual) “personal property tax” that (for a $32k-ish car) would mean paying at least $800 or so a year for the next 5-7 years… plus insurance (figure around $2k a year, probably)… and… well… forget about it!

      Who has $40k to spend on one of thee things?

      And for that sum, one could buy a restored classic-era muscle car, which will appreciate in value.

      Also, the V-8s versions are riddled with eventually-kill-you-with-repair-costs electronics, too.

      Chrysler is using the eight-speed automatic in the base car and it’s only a matter of time before it is paired with the V-8.

      Same with GM.

      It’s lights out for affordable muscle cars, I’m afraid.

  3. giddy up lil sixth gen pony car!

    This darling’s cotillion was December 5, 2013 and all in attendance agreed this débutante was ripe and ready for some serious deflowering.

    Due to overwhelming demand, they’ve been cranking her out assembly style at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant ever since starting on July 14, 2014.

    She’s the very first Ford Mustang to be marketed and sold globally in total NWO style, with factory right hand drive in addition to the left hand drive models.

    Sure to be the most popular gal in Ford’s One-Ford-Brothel lineup, give her a spin as well as Ford’s other willing fillies: Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mondeo, Escape, Kuga, Edge, and Transit.

    All these models will love you long time. But you’ll find her love lasts the longest.

      • I never take calls from a debt collector unless I’m ready to pay.
        I’d never visit a showroom unless I was ready to buy.

        But just looking at it, I already know I want it.

        I did put a note in the wife’s calendar to buy me a used one in 2020 when it’ll probably be more reasonably priced. And also not such a verboten item that spoils the narrative that I’m financially unable to meet my obligations to everybody’s favorite uncle.

        IF big brother were to emulate Henry Ford, in that he helped enable the whole world to have a fair chance at being middle class through honest production, I might show him some love.

        “Every car company has a vehicle that strikes to the heart and soul of the company, and for us that is the Mustang,” – Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer.

        Ford plans to take advantage of its international fame — there’s a Mustang club even in remote Iceland — to launch sales in Europe and Asia.

        Anyone seeing it will instantly recognize it, the styling is most evocative of the 1969 model.

        “When you see it, you know it has the bloodlines of a Mustang but is designed for the 21st century,” – Fields continued.

        Ford hopes the car can regain Mustang’s past luster. Sales have fallen from hundreds of thousands annually to below a projected 80,000 this year. It currently trails pony-car rival Chevrolet Camaro in sales.

        “The pony car market isn’t what it used to be, but you can bet Ford would still like bragging rights in a segment they invented and have owned for the better part of 50 years,” – Jack Nerad, analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

        “Ford understands that Mustang is a treasure, a true icon. A piece of Americana with global appeal.” – John Krafcik, former Ford executive who now heads Hyundai Motor America.

  4. And everyone is thinking “How many times?”. It’s less of an issue now than ever before. It’s been the trend to downsize diesels consistently.

  5. Dear Eric,

    “Turbo four might cost you more down the road. Historically, turbocharged engines – which are pressurized engines – have tended to wear out sooner; when that happens, they can be very expensive to fix.”

    The Turbo Four is mighty tempting. But… this makes me think that if I were buying, I’d opt for the six.

    • Bevin, I was the very pleased owner of a 1987 T-Bird Turbo Coupe. That car also had a 2.3L turbo motor that performed like a V8. I’d done a few mods here and there, but nothing radical, and it was nothing for me to smoke a V8 ‘Stang and then embarrass the owner by showing them the Pinto motor under the hood. That car, like the Mustang SVO, was too far ahead of its time for Boobus Americanus. But the really cool thing about the car was that it was very reliable (other than the distributor mounted electronic ignition module). Even pushed to the limit in terms of boost those motors held up. I’d worry more about the electronic crap they’ve tacked on like the “My Ford” Human Machine Interface. That’s the type of crap that will break, essentially rendering it a too expensive to repair IMO.

      • Dear Boothe,

        I remember that car quite well. A coworker at an architectural firm I worked at in LA had one.

        I must confess the concept of such as small engine in a full sized car struck me as crazy at the time. Sort of like bolting a trolling motor on a ski boat, in my mind.

        But I guess your real world experience trumps my abstract impression.

      • Dear Boothe,

        I’m not actually in the market for any car at the moment. I live in Taipei, a city with MRT service to almost every point I might need to reach.

        Also get this, a parking space costs as much to rent as an apartment! Insane.

        But since everyone is on the topic of automobile simplicity and durability, Cuba, which has been in the news, is a fascinating real life laboratory. They still have Detroit iron from the 50’s in operation over there. The embargo saw to that. Nothing newer could get in.

        Google: “old cars in cuba”
        https://www.google.com.tw/search?q=old+cars+in+cuba&client=ubuntu&hs=bUX&channel=fs&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=nUWiVMCrGuXAmwXe24LoDw&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=865&bih=468

        An interesting demonstration of how cruder, more primitive technology tends to be more reliable even though it might be less efficient. Having been burned with one or two lemons in my life, if I were to get a new car, I would opt for mature rather than bleeding edge technology.

    • I agree Swamp. I bought a 2008 Lexus es350 for a screamin deal this spring. When I saw it didn’t have an ignition key, it kind of freaked me out…….but I have to admit, I love driving that car. Nicest car I’ve ever owned, by far. Smooth and fast. But I’ll always wish it had an ignition key along with a little more head room.

      I’ve never owned a luxury car. People think I’m wealthy because I have a Lexus. Never mind the fact that I paid less for it than anyone pays for the cheapest new car on the U.S. market.

      • I agree on the Lexus. I paid less than the price of a Civic for my 2004 GX470. Nothing depreciates as fast as luxury, and I’m ok with taking advantage of that.

    • Physical keys are history, Swamp!

      Of all the 2015s I’ve driven during 2014, maybe 5 percent did not have push-button ignition.

      I don’t like it, either… but we’re in the minority, apparently.

  6. eric, not sure why you’re sure you could add a significant amount of power to this engine “without stressing it”. I’d bet it’s plenty stressed right now. I notice you couldn’t keep from bringing up the Corvette via song lyrics.

    • Hi Eight,

      My bet is that Ford (if only for warranty reasons) built the engine to safely make 310 hp for 100,000-plus miles. Which probably means there’s a good margin for more.

      In the same way that GM’s LS V-8s are not stressed even at the 556 hp (CTS-V) level and have been taken to the 650-plus level and not spit parts all over the road.

      It’s fairly rare (in my experience, anyhow) to find a production performance engine that’s “close to the edge” in factory-built trim. They are (typically) heavier duty designs to begin with.. and upping the output usually doesn’t cause problems. Just uses more fuel (and may increase emissions) both of which may not matter to the owner, much as they matter to the car company!

      • eric, I’d sure enough hope so. Metallurgy and machining techniques have come a long way in the last decade even. I may have to go drive one…..if they have a demonstrator. “Cause she was hotter than a two dollar pistol. She was the fastest thing around. Long and lean, every young man’s dream. She turned every head in town”.

        Now if they’d just let me redesign those headlamps……reminds me of “Jaws”.

      • Manufacturers have problems keeping heads tight to the block with normally aspirated engines in stock configuration. TTY bolts, dissimilar metals, excessive pressure/heat, fatigue, defective/inferior parts, marginal design. Modern turbos are finicky devices, I wouldn’t trust one just yet to survive the long haul. I’m sure tuners will quickly find it’s limitations.

        • It’s not a problem on hundreds of millions or billions of engines worldwide. Turbo’s have been nothing but regular, reliable components for decades. When you decide to build a turbo engine you do so with the entire engine in mind. Turbo durability is no longer an issue these days. I can recall when keeping it cool enough or keeping the bearings lubricated might be an issue but everyone should be well past that…..even Ford. I did a search for Turbo Minder, a product from 20-30 years ago and couldn’t find one. That tells me bearings and lubrication problems are gone. I don’t recall Ford truck engines having a significant problem.

          • Dear 8sm,

            “Turbos have been nothing but regular, reliable components for decades. When you decide to build a turbo engine you do so with the entire engine in mind. Turbo durability is no longer an issue these days.”

            If that is the case, then I would opt for the turbo four Mustang. I do like the better front to rear weight distribution for handling.

            That of course is IF I was looking at Mustang. Let’s not forget the Subaru BRZ and Mazda Miata.

            • bevin, I used to trend away from smaller, higher revving as having the same reliability as other engines but that’s changed a lot and is still in process. While Big 3 diesel pickup and light truck engines have gained considerable reliability, they also now are a bit smaller across the board. That’s because they’re pushing an engineering/production envelope. I’ve seen pickups that have had to do gooseneck duty, mostly way overloaded for their entire lives and live through 350+K miles, no problems except worn out injectors. OTOH, without nanny govt. they’d be larger, just as efficient and more reliable with those extra cubes.

              • Dear 8sm,

                Thanks for sharing that!

                I really didn’t know that.

                Eric, you, and others know waaay more about car tech than I do.

                I’m merely a slightly more knowledgeable than average car tech end user.

                • Hi Bevin!

                  I trust the engines. My concern would be the electronics. The nut of the problem – as I see it – is a nexus of the complexity of the various systems and the exposure of these systems to extremes of heat and cold, vibration and so on (in addition to ordinary deterioration of materials over time) that will inevitably result in various intermittent problems, then failures.

                  Now, granted, these cars will likely run for a long time without such problems. But when the problems do crop up, they may be (often, are) both very expensive to fix and very difficult to fix because the source is hard to determine.

                  One of the reasons I prefer older vehicles – their flaws notwithstanding – is because they’re simpler and when problems do crop up, much easier to identify and fix. They may require more occasional fiddling with, but this is preferable (to me) because I am able to fix stuff and would rather do that than buy a $400/month appliance I cannot fix… or cannot afford to fix!

                  • Dear Eric,

                    It sounds like you’re saying a non-turbo six would still be more foolproof than a more complex turbo four — even assuming the major components of the engine block and turbo unit in the turbo four hold up.

                    If that’s the case, wouldn’t the balance tip back in favor of the six?

                    I’m not actually in the market for a car right now. I’m merely asking as a matter of intellectual curiosity.

                    In more recent years, having coped with complex tech devices that fail too frequently, I’ve become once bitten, twice shy.

                    I now opt for more reliable technology even if it is cruder, more primitive, and less efficient. As long as it works, I will take it over the more refined, more advanced, more efficient technology.

  7. Of course it’s the best of the three. It’s a Mustang. But what I meant to say was, Dammit, Eric, I’ve been window-shopping used ’11-’14 GTs, and now you’ve gone and turned my head with a four-cylinder. The hell?

    (Have to disagree on the styling, though, and I’m well over 30. I wish they’d stuck with the design of the last few years. The headlamps on the ’15 remind me of that mid-90’s style, and not in a good way.)

    • A coworker has one of the few Shelby GT500KRs that were made. So, huge Mustang fan. When he saw the new design, he immediately hated it because it complied with the European pedestrian safety laws (needs a sloping hood to minimize injuries). The phrase he used was “It’s an American car, screw them.”

      But once he saw one in person, he changed his mind, and now he really likes the new look. So hold your judgement until you see one out in the wild.

      • Ditto, Chip.

        The proportions don’t come through nearly as well in photos as in person, actually standing next to the car.

        It is gorgeous.

        PS: The Ecoboost four is probably quicker than the 428 GT500KR… and of course, would destroy it on a road course.

        • Oh, I’ll get one. I’ve already shifted from coveting the ’11-’14 GT to eagerly awaiting the arrival of the EcoBoost on the used car market. No doubt the styling is better in person and will grow on me. Now if they’d just take that ‘eco’ out of the name…

      • Mustangs always had a long hood. Long hood, short deck is traditional mustang styling. Some mustangs have more slope to the hood than others and the ’15 really seems more on the less side.

        speaking of the KR, the local ford dealer marked theirs up over a $100K and then let sit for a very very long time.

  8. 1) I need more garage space. So far I find myself wanting the GT350 and the ecoboost 4. I also don’t want to give up the two mustangs I already have.

    2) I thought all the new camaros and challengers had IRS, or is that something only the V8 cars get?

    • Hi Brent,

      I really like this car. The looks, the vibe, the feel of it.

      It’s got that intangible something that transcends 0-60 times and hp levels.

      It makes me smile.

  9. Agree with your review, even the raves for it’s design. Looks like Ford got this one right.

    The Turbo Four’s performance/economy ratio is very impressive.
    5.4 seconds to 60mph is certainly quick, even by contemporary standards. But it’s not all That Fast.

    If I’m going to buy a car that will be so conspicuous to cops…..not matter which engine it has…..make mine a V-8.

    • Hi Mike,

      This car is much quicker than the current cop car “standard” – the Ford Crown Vic. And even a cop car Charger would have a time catching it, especially in the curves.

      I’d love to have the means and opportunity to dial up the boost a little and see what she’d be capable of. I’d bet this engine can be easily kicked up to 350 hp without stressing it much. And at that level, given the car’s weight advantage, I bet it’d run with the V-8 GT.

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