2015 Ford Mustang Review

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2015 Ford Mustang Overview

For its 50th anniversary, the Ford Mustang 2-door sports coupe gets an all-new sixth-generation makeover, which borrows styling cues from the iconic Mustangs of the mid-to-late 1960s. In fact, in many ways the new fastback 'Stang bears a striking resemblance to the '69 version, although overall the 2015 version blazes its own trail when it comes to design, performance and technology.

For 2015, Ford equips the Mustang with a choice of 3 engines, including a big V8 and a new fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine, giving buyers a distinct choice between performance and practicality. The 2015 Mustang also sits on a new platform with improved ride comfort and steering control. But the Mustang's all-new exterior design stands out as the most noticeable update.

All the essentials are here for Mustang lovers, including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck, but the new-look trapezoidal grille, subtle headlights and front fascia, as well as the design details along the sides and especially around the rear end, make this version of the pony car stand out from the crowd. Although it sits on the same 107.1-inch wheelbase as the previous generation, the new Mustang has a wider rear track by 1.6 inches. In addition, Ford lowered the hood by 1.3 inches, the roofline by 1.5 inches and the rear deck by 2.8 inches, resulting in a lower, more aggressive profile. In addition, the front windshield and rear glass are more steeply sloped, and broader shoulders result in a more powerful appearance.

The cleaned-up front end features a black mesh grille, which borrows its shape from the Fusion, and a lower black mesh air intake framed by foglights. Going against a common trend, the front headlights are no larger than the foglights and feature 3 diagonal light stripes, which serve as daytime running lights. Pronounced wheel wells and sculpted sides add to the sporty look, while the rear end features angular lines and the distinctive 3-dimensional tri-bar taillights with sequential turn signals. Dual exhaust pipes also come standard. Convertible trims of the new Mustang receive a multilayer insulated cloth top, which Ford used in previous years. However, the new cloth top lowers twice as fast as in previous years.

Under the hood, Ford carries over the V6 and V8 engines from the previous generation. In addition, the automaker now equips the Mustang with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, which also powers the 2015 Lincoln MKC luxury crossover vehicle. Performance lovers will want to opt for the top-shelf 5.0-liter V8, which gets a number of upgrades for 2014, including a new cylinder head with high-flow ports, which should help produce higher revs. The V8 emits a characteristic throaty growl while delivering at least the 420 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque of the previous year, although those numbers should increase thanks to the engine upgrades. The V8 continues to feature direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), and links to a 6-speed Getrag manual transmission with a new shift linkage design, which results in shorter throws and improved precision. Ford also repositions the shift lever inside the cabin to make it more accessible to the driver. The V8 posts fuel-economy numbers of 15 mpg city/24 highway. Ford recommends premium fuel for maximum horsepower.

The 3.7-liter Duratec V6 delivers 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Also featuring direct injection and Ti-VCT, it mates to either a 6-speed manual transmission, which comes standard, or a 6-speed SelectShift automatic with a manual-shift mode and redesigned steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The automatic also received upgrades for 2015, including a new case with cast-iron ribs, designed to make it more durable and reduce weight. When paired with the automatic, the V6 manages 19/31, which drops slightly to 19/29 with the manual shifter.

The new 2.3-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which makes its debut for 2015, features a low-internia twin-scroll turbocharger, a first for a Ford engine. The EcoBoost will produce a projected 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and mates to the same transmissions. It slots between the V6 and the V8 in the Mustang's power lineup. Although Ford has not yet released fuel-economy numbers for the EcoBoost engine, they're expected to be an improvement over the numbers for the other two powerplants.

Ford drew on its experience with the Boss 302 when designing the 2015 Mustang's chassis and suspension. The all-new front and rear suspensions feature a double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system and an integral-link independent rear suspension. All springs, dampers, bushings and geometry were modified for the new Mustang, which also receives larger brakes than the previous version, along with three available brake packages. In addition, new aluminum rear knuckles help improve ride and handling. Toggle switches on the console enable the driver to adjust the vehicle's driving dynamics and steering effort, as well as engine response, transmission and electronic stability control settings.

The Mustang's aviation-inspired cockpit features easy-to-read gauges and instruments, as well as the latest versions of Ford's Sync and MyKey tech systems. The wider rear track results in more hip and shoulder room in the rear, and Ford says the trunk can accommodate two golf bags. Standard and available features include a thick sport multifunction steering wheel, push-button start, remote keyless entry, a Shaker Pro audio system and Track Apps, which enable owners to manage some of the car's functions using their smart phones. Ford also offers a number of driver-assist systems, including a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

Updated

Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.

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