2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible – review

2015 Ford Mustang convertible - the original Pony car with EcoBoost engine offers fun-in-the-sun without V8's pricing

2015 Ford Mustang convertible – the original Pony car with EcoBoost engine offers fun-in-the-sun without V8’s pricing

There’s hardly an automotive brand that evokes more instant recognition than ‘Mustang.’

For car lovers, especially those whose fascination with cars was triggered by classic car chase films like ‘Bullit’, the Mustang holds a special place.

For many of us, cars are objects d’art.  Automobiles are unquestionably rolling pieces of industrial art, and the Ford’s stylists have done an admirable job of preserving that tradition.

Our test convertible has the same, muscular, aggressive good looks as the coupe, but comes at a price.

The base MSRP for the 2015 Mustang convertible is $39,399, but the soft-top has a long list of standard features, such as leather interior, HID headlights, LED tail lights, fog lamps, dual exhaust, satellite radio, dual zone climate control, reverse camera, and much more.

Of course, this convertible was loaded with extras ($11,000 dollars’ worth), such as a premium audio system (needed because the EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine provides no aural pleasure), 6-speed automatic transmission, EcoBoost Performance Package (which includes a high performance limited slip rear axle and hi-po 19-in. tires/wheels), heated/cooled front seats, reverse park assist, adaptive speed control, Nav and 50th Anniversary package.  Total price for this 2015 ‘race red’ Ford Mustang Convertible Premium, $52,099.

Top down, ‘2-Plus-2’ seating

Ingrid and I went on a ‘frozen yogurt run’ with Chris and Paola to put the Mustang to the test.  On a warm, sunny, evening, we put the top down, and it goes down fast.  It requires only turning a ‘D’ handle 90-degrees to release the roof lock, press a button to lower the windows and press another button to put down the electric motor-powered soft-top.  As soon as you count ‘ten steamboats’, the roof is stowed.

Our two rear seat passengers were scrunched for space; their knees pressed up against the front seatbacks.  This is classic ‘2-plus-2’ seating; the rear seats are there if you need them in a pinch and will fit adults, but only under duress; they’re best suited for hauling kids.

In town, the front seat passengers are well protected from the breeze, and that’s the joy of top-down driving.  The sun feels warm and the ‘open-ness’ of not having a roof is liberating.  You feel more connected to the surrounding world.

That same breezy feeling is annoying Ingrid, who’s sitting in the back.  She hates wind and we put up the side windows to help calm the air.  It helps, but not much.  It goes without saying, convertibles are for those who love the feeling of wind through their hair.

On the road

Within a few short metres, the Mustang impresses me.  The electric steering has nice weight and offers very nice feedback.  There’s a toggle switch on the centrestack that alters the feeling of the steering.  The optional EcoBoost Performance Package adds 19-in. wheels and a re-tuned suspension, along with a higher performance 3.55:1 limited slip rear axle, but it’s the suspension calibration that’s remarkable.

Chris (who drives a CTS-V Cadillac) and I both observe how wonderfully compliant the sports suspension is.  While firm, it absorbs bumps and dips without rattling your teeth.  Steering turn-in is responsive and the Mustang feels appropriately agile.

And this Mustang is quiet.  If I have one major complaint, it’s too quiet. Above, I noted the optional premium audio system is ‘needed’, because the EcoBoost turbo 2.3-litre 4-cylinder engine provides no audible satisfaction to the ears.  While that may be desirable and a blessing to some, for car enthusiasts, it’s a major deficiency.

2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Premium

2015 Ford Mustang Convertible Premium

Make no mistake, the 2.3-litre turbo four-banger has impressive credentials, rated at 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.  This is Ford’s mid-level engine; the base powerplant is a 300 horsepower 3.7-litre V6 and the engine you really want is the 435 horsepower 5.0-litre V8.  The latter has a delicious engine and exhaust note that’ll make you forget the car comes with a sound system.

While the EcoBoost engine does make entertaining sounds, it’s a competent engine.  It easily produces power and acceleration, whether from a stop or from highway cruising speed.  The 6-speed automatic downshifts quickly when demanded, and is smooth and becomes virtually ‘invisible’ in daily driving.

Who’s the Mustang convertible for?

The Mustang convertible ‘premium’ looks fabulous, is comfortable and has (as equipped) plenty of luxury and convenience features.  Handling is impressive and it’s an easy car to live with.  As equipped with it’s mid-level 300 horsepower EcoBoost engine and automatic transmission, this Mustang is perfect for the driver who wants a stylish car for cruising with the top down on warm, sunny days, and who appreciates a sporty car with refined, upper level handling.

Drivers seeking a high performance car will skip the EcoBoost 2.3-litre and walk straight for the 5.0-litre V8 Mustang GT.

 

MSRP/Price as-tested  $39,399/$50,499 (+ $1,650 destination & delivery)
Engine  2.3-litre EcoBoost 4-cylinder
Power  310 horespower @ 5500 rpm; 320 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Transmission  6-speed automatic
Tires/Wheels  255/40R19 summer
Fuel Economy Rating (L/100km)  11.6/7.9 (city/hwy), premium unleaded

 

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