2015 Mustang

29 Apr 2015 | 656 views | No Comment
By John Heilig AUTO PAGE SPECS MODEL: 2015 Ford Mustang/Mustang GT ENGINE: 2.3-liter Ecoboost I-4 (Mustang):5.0-liter V8 (GT) TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic/6-speed manual HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 310 hp @ 5,500 rpm/320 lb.-ft. @ 2,500-4,500 rpm (Mustang): 435 hp @ 6,500 rpm/400 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm (GT) WHEELBASE: 107.1 in. LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.3 x 75.4 x 54.4 in. TIRES: P235/55R17 (Mustang): P255/40R19 Front, P275/40R19 rear (GT) CARGO: 13.5 Mustang/11.4 GT ECONOMY: 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway/18.5 mpg test (Mustang): 15 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22.1 mpg test (GT) FUEL TANK: 15.5 gal (Mustang)/16.0 gal. (GT) CURB WEIGHT: 3,530 lbs. (Mustang): 3,705 lbs. (GT) BASE PRICE: $29,170 (Mustang): $36,100 (GT) 2015 Ford Mustang Begins Production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant BOTTOM LINE: While the Mustang GT is rough and fierce, the Mustang is much more civilized and forgiving. The Mustang is smooth with a firm, but not rock-hard, suspension, but still with adequate power. The GT has enormous power that tends to make the back end twitchy if you aren’t careful.

          Disclaimer: We owned one of the first Ford Mustang fastbacks with a 289 (4.7-liter) V8 way back in 1965, so please understand if this test seems a bit biased.

I had the good fortune to drive the 2015 Ford Mustang recently, not only the base version with the 2.3-liter Ecoboost inline four, but also the GT version with a 5.0-liter V8. While they are both Mustangs, they have completely different characters. We’ll cover the GT first. The day before I received the GT I was warned that it was shod with “performance tires” that shouldn’t be driven in temperatures below 40 Fahrenheit. This was in February in the Northeast, and the temperature never got above 30 in the week that I drove it. Add to that, the driver who delivered it said the rear end was very twitchy whenever you stepped hard on the gas. And, we had a snow/ice storm on one of the days. However, if you drive with your brain and not just with your foot, you can drive the newest pony car in the winter. We had no issues with the tires losing grip, and could even put in a couple of acceleration runs without losing control. The GT’s suspension is very firm, which allows for better handling if not for a comfortable ride. On our local roads we suffered, but once we reached better maintained highways, the ride was still firm but not annoyingly so. The GT was equipped with deep bucket seats that did a good job of holding us in when we cornered. With our bright yellow base Mustang, the ride was more comfortable and civilized. We didn’t have an opportunity to take it on any long highway runs, but even around town we were comfortable. The lack of highway miles versus those in the GT may explain the disparity in test fuel economy ratings. One would expect that the larger V8 would have lower numbers than the inline four normally. T he sixth-generation 2015 redesign of the Mustang retains the classic lines. The hood has sculpting (in the GT there are scoops to add air and extract hot air from the engine compartment). And while there is a hint of side coves, the faux air scoops to the brakes have been eliminated. From the rear, the Mustang has a lower, wider stance that almost makes it look like a NASCAR Xfinity Series car. Surprisingly, we had no trouble entering or exiting, thanks to assist handles on both A pillars. 3D sequential tail lights add a nice touch, as do the pony logo puddle lights that illuminate the entry area. Rear seats are an afterthought, but if memory serves me correctly, they weren’t that great in 1965 either. As then, it is best to fold down the rear seat backs and use the space to improve cargo capacity. Interior design is close to classic Mustang. The instrument panel is clear with white-on-black dials that turn to hard-to-read blue-on-black at night. In the GT there are two additional gauges top center. Both cars had “Mustang – Since 1964” dahs plaques. At the base of the center stack is an array of four chrome toggle switches for four-way flashers, traction control, heated wheel and audio mode. To the left of these is the round start/stop push button that looked out of place. Adaptive cruise control in both cars kept me honest. Truth be told, I was more adventurous in the base car than in the GT, perhaps because of the warnings. We also had blind spot warnings and rear cross traffic alert. While it was fun to look out the exterior rear view mirrors and see the flat fenders, overall exterior visibility isn’t that great. You learn to use all your mirrors and respect the electronic warning beeps. I admitted to some bias, but I liked the 2015 Mustang. It retains its iconic styling, even though it makes a 2014 Mustang look as dated as a 1964. Performance, no matter which engine you choose (a 3.7-liter V6 is also available), is still exhilarating and fun. And while it doesn’t serve well as a family car, as a 2+2 it is very nice. © 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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