Sunday, September 06, 2015

Automotive Reporter Review: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback

Okay, it's Labor Day Weekend, and frankly, the business news that hit my email in-box this week was just uninspiring. Tune in next week for more biz bits from hither, thither, and yon.
In the meantime, let's have one last fling for summer.
Here's my review of a recently borrowed 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback.
As I am fond of saying, "eau my..."

The first Ford Mustang was the 1964-1/2 model, with a V-8 engine and components borrowed from other models, including the Comet, the Fairlane, and the Falcon. That was Lee Iacocca's idea for keeping the car's initial MSRP at $2,368. Ford thought it might sell 100,000 of the first-gen Mustangs, a number the company blew through in the first 90-days. Ford produced an additional 318,000 units in the first year.

The Mustang was Ford’s prize muscle car, and the name has always been synonymous with earth-shaking power, cat-like handling, and (generally) cutting-edge styling.  

I say generally, because for a while there, in the mid-‘70’s, I don’t know what they were thinking.  My wife had one of those “Mustang-II’s,” with a V-6 engine built by Audi. One morning the car wouldn’t start because the timing chain in that German engine had broken. The quote for repairs was more than the car was worth. 
We sold it shortly thereafter.

For 2015, Ford has once again engineered a Mustang with body lines that leave you weak in the knees, an interior environment that is replete with technology gadgets, and a power plant that will snap your neck.
It’s a 2.3-Liter four-cylinder Eco-boost engine. That’s right—Ford has put an I-4 in a Mustang.

I’ve driven four-bangers for most of my life. I know their strengths (better mileage, quieter operation) and their weaknesses (sucky power, higher revs required). So when I had the opportunity to try out the Mustang EcoBboost Fastback, I jumped at the chance.
To say the least, I was impressed.

The EcoBoost 2.3-L is fitted with a twin-scrolled turbo that gooses the power output to 310-hp. Let that sink in for a moment: An I-4 engine with 310-horses.
In a pony car.
It’s a four-banger’s dream.

I drove this car for a week as I would my daily driver. It was a lot of fun. It didn’t hurt that the screaming Competition Orange paint turned heads wherever I parked the car.

My factory loaner was fitted with a 6-speed select-shift automatic. Ordinarily, I’d turn my nose at a sissified automatic. But the Mustang has four electronic settings on this transmission: Normal, Sport, Track, and Snow/Ice. The Sport and Track settings were fun, but in Houston traffic, they were somewhat annoying, and kept engine revs artificially high when downshifting. This car will snap your neck running through the gears in either of these settings! I am also humble enough to admit that the automatic can more efficiently manage the gears than can I.

Did I punch it?
Is the Pope Catholic?
I did, indeed, stick my foot in the engine, and it was a beautiful thing—gliding through traffic and slipping past slower vehicles with ease. The turbo boost is everything advertised, and more. There’s a reason why the speedometer is labeled, “Groundspeed.”

Ford’s sticker price for this model is $37,990. It teases a 25MPG average of city and highway driving. My computed average never dipped below 26MPG, and touched 29MPG a few times. I burned two tanks of fuel in my week of joyriding, just to be sure.

All of Ford’s techie goodies are packed into its EcoBoost Fastback, including its huge touchscreen display in the center dash, rear camera, and adaptive cruise control. The dual climate control system allowed my wife to cook her lumbar while I enjoyed a cooling breeze to my nether regions. 

The only criticism I have is an inordinately high level of road noise—and that’s without the usual rumble of a V-8’s exhaust.
Factor in the very efficient A/C with a blower creating a sonic wall of white noise, and you find you must nearly scream to carry on a conversation at moderate speeds. But that’s a flaw I’m willing to forgive.

Listen to the Automotive Reporter Radio Show every weekend on, or from our webpage. 

1 comment:

Damion said...

I have really enjoyed your reviews on these cars. The descriptions along with the pictures really gave me a clear picture of what you mean about each car and its features. It is a shame that there was a large amount of sound when driving the last car, but at least it had some great features, including the heating and cooling.