In late 2013, a first look at the 2015 Ford Mustang with its design team impressed us, and since then we’ve been anxiously waiting to get behind the wheel. Finally, yesterday was the day—and it was everything we had hoped it would be. The all-new Mustang does American muscle proud, as dealers worldwide will see in the coming weeks.
Design is always a give-and-take process, and when briefs like, “It’s time to make the next generation of a 50-year-old favorite” come along, they are both the easiest and most difficult to execute. Kudos to Ford’s design and engineering teams, as they’ve delivered on all counts. This Mustang—available in both fastback and convertible models—offers three engines (each supplying more than 300 hp) and multiple options successfully achieve the “most things to most people” mandate that typically results in a product that makes nobody proud and few customers happy. However, there’s something here for most drivers to desire and enjoy.
The new Mustang’s exterior won’t surprise anyone; it’s a nicely evolved silhouette much improved by a lower and wider stance. It still looks like a Mustang, though one that better features its historical lines within a much more modern presence. The interior has had a major update and a dramatic improvement in materials, style, fit and finish. Under the skin the car is mostly new as well, from improved engines to a first-ever independent rear suspension. So far, that’s three checks in its favor.
We drove both the new 310hp 2.3l four-cylinder turbo Ecoboost engine with Premium package as well as a manual GT, with its 435hp 5.0l Ti-VCT V8 and Performance package. (The standard V6 wasn’t available and won’t be the car’s biggest seller, but it does allow customers to get into a Mustang starting at $24,425 in the US). All three engines are available in either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission—a rarity in the sports car world these days. The Ecoboost, with its 30mpg rating is clearly positioned as the Mustang’s mainstay. The V6 will appeal to carefree drivers, rental fleets and those on a budget, while the GT will likely draw those who crave performance.
Starting out the day in the manual GT, we found it handled its duties with aplomb, ably steering, accelerating, cornering and braking. The tight gearbox was a pleasure and made shifting through its six gears effortless. It sounds good too—rumbling with pride until it settles in on the highway where it drops its noise level to make the commute a little more pleasant. We threw it around the great roads outside of LA and it seemed to want even more. The Ecoboost was spirited, but not surprisingly equally so, though we overheard other drivers saying the Performance pack helped deliver. It was softer all around and, while adequate, it made us appreciate the GT and the Performance pack all the more.
CH’s friend Jason Cammisa, a Senior Editor at Road & Track, wrote in his review of the 2015 Mustang that he always had to qualify his opinions of previous generations with, “It’s not bad ‘…for a Mustang.'” This new Mustang doesn’t need that qualifier anymore. It delivers, and it’s great fun to drive.
We’ve spec’d out two versions of the new Mustang—an Ecoboost and a GT—in both Guard (a greenish-black color that is new to Ford and the Mustang) though we’re equally fond of the Triple Yellow. Each costs around $37,000 and $44,000 respectively.
Images by Evan Orensten