It’s been a few months and I’ve driven it 7500 miles. What do I think about it now that I’ve had it for a while?
In short: I love it, but it isn’t perfect.
Quick recap: I like Chevrolet, I previously owned a Sonic RS, and back in February I drove home from a Ford dealer in this Ingot Silver 2015 Ecoboost Premium Mustang.
What’s the Ecoboost? It’s a 2.3L four cylinder turbo engine with 310 horsepower mated to a 6 speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. It weighs around 3600 pounds and has IRS and an LSD.
Got it? Good
What do I like?
There is a lot to like about this car. At a high level it’s great to drive, well featured, and good looking.
Great To Drive
What do I mean by great to drive? It feels quite quick when driven in sport or track mode. As long as the RPM is above 2500 or so a stab at the throttle gives a healthy shove toward the seat. Flooring it on an on ramp in second or third gear gets you to surprisingly fast speeds in surprisingly little time.
How does it handle? Great. Not perfect: it’s a pretty heavy car and you can tell, but the steering is plenty responsive and the car gets a shockingly good amount of grip when exiting corners. Ford tuned it a little bit too much towards understeer I think, it could use a stiffer rear. As an aside, I’ve ridden in a GT with a rear swaybar and great tires at autox and it felt like that understeer was tuned out well. I’ll get a swaybar at some point.
I’m not trying to hide anything: this car wasn’t exactly cheap. MSRP on my window sticker is about $33,500. The premium package adds a touchscreen, heated and cooled leather seats, selectable driving and steering modes, and dual zone automatic climate control. In addition my car has navigation, rear park sensors with cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a good sounding premium stereo system
That’s what the spec sheet says, but what does it mean? This car is nice! When I leave work on a hot day the cooled seats make me comfortable very quickly. When backing up the car will sense a car passing behind and beep, helping get out of tight spots despite the cars generous proportions and less than generous visibility.
Recently another oppo and I drove to and from Kansas City, totaling around 600 miles, and got there and back well rested and comfortable. On the freeway the car only turns about 2000 rpm and it’s very well insulated, so it stays calm and quiet. It also averaged 30 mpg on the way there, which involved driving on back roads through small towns and around Kansas City which certainly isn’t bad for a 3600 pound car carrying two full grown adults.
Generally this car has been praised for its style. It looks fantastic
Why does style matter, though? I’m a car guy. I like cars. This car has a great presence in a parking lot. When I leave work and see it parked out in the lot It makes me smile knowing that it’s mine
It feels special. Or, at least it tries to, but certain factors hurt it there that we’ll get to.
What don’t I like?
There isn’t much. I didn’t have any problems with the sounds it makes until I rode in a Focus RS. I wish it sounded that good.
From a driving perspective, it could use a diet. I don’t think it’s bad, but it wouldn’t hurt to be a little bit lighter. At least it’s well balanced in Ecoboost form. I wish I could get it to go into ‘sport’ mode by default. Normal mode is fine, but a bit lacking in regards to throttle response. The cooled seats could do a better job.
Oh, and there’s that whole high pitched noise issue I’ve mentioned here before but I’m learning to ignore it.
But really, what don’t I like?
I wish it wasn’t a Mustang.
When I first bought the car, I thought this was a great feature. Saying “I own a Mustang” felt kinda cool. The car does a good job of reminding you it’s special: there’s no Ford branding, only Mustang. Details like the pony projection lights and sequential tri-bar taillights remind everyone that you drive a Mustang.
I’m starting to hate driving a Mustang though. First, there were the ‘Nice Accord Coupe’ jokes. Those weren’t so bad. Then there’s the constant questioning of ‘why didn’t you buy the V8?’. That’s getting a little old, but still not that bad. “Hope you didn’t hit any crowds” is downright grinding now.
I try to put all that aside, but sometimes it gets tough. I subscribe to an S550 Mustang page on Facebook, and not only do ecoboost owners get questioned, we get shit on. For some reason it almost hurts more when it comes from other Mustang owners. Sure, an ‘outsider’ might not “get” buying a pony car with a 4 cylinder engine, but for another Mustang owner to shame you for it is just sad.
Beyond being shamed, I’m ashamed to be associated with these people. Look at this post, from just this week:
Is this what people assume Mustang owners are like? If I tell someone I own a Mustang, will they associate me with these monsters?
I know what you’re going to say: don’t let it get to you. It’s your car, as long as you enjoy it that’s all that matters.
We’re lying to ourselves when we say that. No, I didn’t buy this car to impress anyone, but as a car enthusiast I want to be proud of it. I want to go to a car show and park it with the other Mustangs and feel like I’m a part of something. I like getting compliments on my car, it’s fun and makes me proud and happy to own it. When I get shamed for having a Mustang without a V8, or prodded with those stupid cars and coffee jokes I just feel regret. Regret that I bought this name plate. I think to myself that I should have bought the V8, not because I want it but because I’m tired of explaining myself. I think to myself I should have bought a Camaro because surely Camaro owners can’t be this bad. Or maybe I should have bought something European so no one would give it a second glance.
I can eventually put that aside. I’ll get back in my car after seeing this shit and remember why I bought it and I’m happy, but sometimes it’s tough
So if it got totaled today, would I buy another one tomorrow?
This is a tough question, and that’s a bit disappointing. I do love this car. It’s great to drive. I’ll always recommend it to someone looking for a nice sporty DD. But if I suddenly found myself without it I don’t know that I would go back. Not because of the car, no, but because of what it is. I’d buy it as a Fusion Coupe. I’d buy it if it had a twin turbo V6. But I don’t think I’d buy it as a 4 cylinder Mustang.
Would I buy the GT instead? I don’t think so. I don’t want to be one of “those” guys. That’s not to say GT owners are bad in general, I know quite a few that are great people, but the rotten eggs have left a bad taste in my mouth.
Sadly I don’t think the negativity can be escaped, and it’s a god damn shame, a sickness that we car enthusiasts need to clean up. Buy a hot hatch? “Shame it’s FWD. RWD or GTFO”. Buy a small sports car, like a Miata? “That’s a hairdressers car”. Buy a BMW, Audi, or Porsche? “That guy’s definitely a douchebag”.
The Ecoboost Mustang might just be one of the best new sports cars money can buy, and it’s a shame that no one else will tell you that.