Before I start talking about the 2015 Mustang, I have an important disclosure.
I’m a Mustang guy. My current daily driver is a 2006 convertible. My previous car was a 1999 convertible. Possibly my all time favorite car is a 1968 Shelby GT500. I just like Mustangs.
So it probably won’t come as a huge shock that I like latest generation as well. But it’s important to point out that the reasons to like the new Mustang go well beyond the looks. For starters, Ford made a monumental change this year. For the first time since the Mustang was introduced back in 1964, the car no longer has a solid rear axle. The Mustang has done just fine without it, but there are those who say that independent rear suspension gives a better ride. And that’s just what the new Mustang has. It’s not something that is going to wow you in a big way. I tried going between my 2006 live axle Mustang and the 2015 IRS version and only noticed a slight difference. Still, it is a nice step forward.
Another impressive aspect of the 2015 Mustang is the power options. You can go for the base 3.7 liter V6 that delivers 300 horsepower. You can go full power with the 435 horsepower 5.0 liter V8. Or you can chose the 2.3 liter four-cylinder Ecoboost turbo with 310 horsepower. While the V8 has the grunt horsepower, the Ecoboost has the fuel mileage. My test car was the Ecoboost with a manual transmission. It’s rated for 22 MPG in the city and 31 on the highway with a combined number of 26 MPG. That’s 5 MPG better than the V6 and 7 MPG better than the V8.
Of course there are trade offs. 310 horsepower is great, but you have to learn how to use it properly. Unlike the V8 it doesn’t just flood your senses when you mash the throttle. The power from the four-cylinder turbo takes a fraction of a second to respond. Once you find the power range you can enjoy it immensely. You simply have to think just a little bit before you start running. Use the gears effectively and you won’t have any problem enjoying all 310 horses, with a bonus of better mileage. About the only real downside is having to face your buddy with the Mustang GT and admit that you have a four-banger under the hood. Just make it clear that it can bang pretty loudly when pushed.
The looks of the car have changed slightly as well. Ford is working to keep the styling it adopted with the fifth generation Mustang back in 2005. You won’t have any problem recognizing it, although it is different. To me the most interesting styling change is that the car is no longer designed in such a way that the belt line slopes upwards as you move from the front to the back. That’s the norm with most cars, as well as the previous generation Mustangs. The new design keeps the belt line nearly level with the ground. It travels back to just beyond the door and then there is a bulge over the rear wheels. While the two lines aren’t directly connected, they work well together. The faux side scoop is gone and the headlights are thinner and slightly meaner looking. Overall, it is a nice update.
The same goes for the interior. In many ways, it’s very similar to my 2006 Mustang. The center console’s display area is slightly wider, and some of the buttons are different, but any Mustang driver will feel right at home. I liked the display between the tachometer and speedometer. Since the Ecoboost is all about power and mileage, I enjoyed the screen that showed how my current mileage compared to my average. Reminds me of the graphic you’ll see during qualifying for a NASCAR race. It does have some performance or track pages you can access in the center display. It has an accelerometer that will tell you the accelerating and braking G forces. A timer page will give you 0-30, 0-60, 0-100, 1/8th mile and ¼ mile timers. The display will also give you your brake performance. Yes, it’s an easy way to get into trouble, but it’s a fun way to understand how to use the power. My test car also had blind spot warning, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and a collision warning. I liked the collision warning. It was a series of red LEDs that reflected onto the base of the windshield and made it very clear that you needed to react (which apparently happened regularly with me…).
My test car had optional Recaro racing seats complete with slots for a racing harness. Yeah, they look cool but if you’re not going racing, they’re not necessary. As with previous Mustangs, the 2015 model has a back seats. And just like previous models you won’t want to put someone back there who is larger than a breadbox or a person you actually like. It’s best for emergency use only.
The Ecoboost Mustang has a base delivered price of $30,125. My test car stickered at $38,585 with a variety of options that included a Shaker sound system and an Ecoboost performance package. The options were nice, but I’m not sure you really need much in the way of extras to enjoy the Mustang.
As I said, I’m a Mustang guy. And perhaps the best part about the 2015 model is that it gives me plenty of reasons to stay a Mustang guy.