After I finally realized my Sonic was boring me and the autocross season was approaching, I decided to make a change. That change was moving to something more sporty to experience that style of car. I needed something that looked good, had rear wheel drive, and to trade my Sonic in for at least what I owed.

My budget was anywhere between $25k and $30k. I didn’t want another FWD hatchback, and once you factor in all the bullshit extra dealership fees and financing a V8 sports car probably wasn’t going to happen

Basically to get what I needed out of my Sonic I had to buy new, or close too it. I threw out my brand bias and checked out the Mustang Ecoboost. I didn’t really want a Ford, but the first one I test drove made a good impression on me so I made an impulsive decision.

So, I bought a 2015 Mustang Ecoboost Premium with a 6 speed manual. A car that blew me away on a first drive and sold me on a second with a manual.

What makes it an Ecoboost Premium though? Well, it’s simple. 2.3L turbo engine, heated and cooled leather seats, and a touchscreen. I’m only listing a handful of things here, there’s actually a ton more equipment. Underneath it’s still a brand new Mustang on the S550 chassis with IRS.

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Power 8/10

The 2.3T sounds like something special-ish, and it is. 60 mph is achieved in...5.5 seconds. All the ambitions of being “sporty” are there. The gearing is pretty solid and the 320 foot pounds of torque don’t really leave much to be desired. You don’t have to downshift to avoid lugging around while doing anything you could do in a normal car. It never feels bogged down and it doesn’t need the extra 100 hp of the GT to feel like any more of a sports car.

Transmission: 10/10

It has 6 gears. The shifter is notchy and feels great, gears slot in perfectly. The gearing is nice and tall, you really don’t have to downshift to get useable power. I will admit that 6th is definitely a highway gear, if you aren’t doing 60 you need to downshift to get the car to move. Lower gears have plenty of power under 3K. The throws are nice and night, it’s one of the best shifters I’ve ever used.

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Handling 8/10

Standard suspension, no performance pack. It’s still a Mustang, low to the ground, not too stiff and not too bouncy. That’s pretty much it. It handles good, wooo Ford.

Steering 8/10

Not numb, feels connected. It steers great. There are 3 different steering modes to chose from. Comfort is like your run of the mill Ford Focus, while sport is nicely weighted and responsive.

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Exterior 10/10

It looks like an embodiment of American freedom and ingenuity with a dash of the coolest fucking tail lights on the planet. The wheels look okay and the body lines are great. I’ve had 3 people compliment the car in like a week. I’m going to keep a tally

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Interior 10/10

Lots of leather, no blank buttons. The seats are black leather with white stitching, and are very comfortable. The steering wheel, shift knob, e-brake, center console, door cards are all leather wrapped. No sunroof, but power seats with power lumbar and memory. I don’t really care for sunroofs.

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Toys 10/10

Reverse camera with parking sensors, Nav System, fantastic 12 speaker Shaker Pro sound system, selectable driving and steering modes, blind spot monitoring, MyColor selectable LED lighting, sound symposer, large touchscreen with Sync 2, voice commands, automatic climate control, heated and cooled power memory seats, HD radio with Sirius satellite radio, push button start with wireless entry, automatic headlights, pony projection puddle lights, probably some other shit I’m forgetting. No automatic wipers.

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Value 10/10

If you’re a car person, or a car enthusiast who’s nit picky. I got it for essentially $26k, and it’s absolutely worth it. If you’re really hung up on a V8 shell out an extra $10,000 and buy a GT premium for fucks sake.

What did I make? A great decision. I call this a victory. I’ve driven less than 1,000 miles and I’m already in love with this car. I don’t regret buying it. For 2/3rds the price, I had my Sonic. The Sonic was MUCH slower (0-60 in 8.5 seconds), was FWD, had only a single scroll turbo, felt not quite as special as the Mustang and I had gotten bored of driving it.

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Would I recommend it? Absolutely. The Ecoboost Mustang may just be the best S550, but in a chassis that comes in a V8 a lot of people think it isn’t anything special. On the other hand it’s a fantastic car with an under-appreciated engine that looks fantastic and returns great fuel economy.

Total: 74/80

Disclaimer: Don’t try to bitch at me, yes I test drove the V8. I liked it, but this was more affordable and I actually prefer it as a package.

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Here’s my picture contribution. Getting a used sports car is probably nice, but don’t ignore the thrill of buying new. I’m not kicking myself for not buying an older, fatter, less featured 5th Gen Camaro or S197 Mustang. If anything this experience has made me realize that brand biases are dumb and at heart I just like good cars. I’ve never owned a Ford until now, I just thought the new Mustang was cool.