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2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Ford Mustang GT Reviews By John Heilig +VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Ford Mustang in Triple Yellow

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Md-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


REVIEWED MODELS: 2015 Ford Mustang And 2015 Ford 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)
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: I owned one of the first Ford Mustang fastbacks with a 287 (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.          

The 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.

What Ford Says About The 2015 Mustang

All-New Ford Mustang Offers High Performance with Sleek New Design and Innovative Tech

Loaded with innovative technologies and delivering high levels of performance and style, the all-new Mustang is the next chapter in the life of one of the world’s most iconic cars.

“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.

The Mustang experience
The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in the driver’s seat and hit the road. The Mustang is the first car to offer four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines that each produce at least 300 horsepower. With more powertrain options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The 3.7-liter V6 and upgraded 5.0-liter V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

The Mustang’s EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance across a broad RPM range. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with 310 horsepower* and 320 lb.-ft. of torque.*

“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.

Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that help boost output to 435 horsepower* and 400 lb.-ft. of torque*. A new intake manifold features charge motion control valves to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. This increases the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing resulting in improved efficiency and idle stability.

With 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect. Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.

All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang
The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.

Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:

  • A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
  • The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
  • Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
  • Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille

The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for rear-seat passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.

Slipping through the air
Design and performance are two of the essential attributes that have made Mustang appeal to millions of fans for five decades. Performance can be improved by increasing the output of the powerplant or reducing the amount of work it has to do. The sleeker shape helps it slip through the air with less effort.

Each of Mustang’s three available engines gets a unique grille that allows in only as much air as that specific powerplant needs. Active grille shutters will help make the Mustang powered by the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine even more fuel efficient by further reducing drag at higher speeds when extra cooling capacity is not needed. The shutters can completely close off the grille, sending air over and around the car instead of through the engine compartment.

Carving up the curves

When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. The 2015 Mustang has the most capable brake lineup ever offered on a Mustang.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Smarter than your average pony
The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus standard Track Apps, MyColor® gauges and a new Shaker Pro Audio System, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.

The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.

The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control on manual-transmission models that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.

When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.

Debuting on the 2015 Mustang are enhancements to the SYNC® 911 Assist® feature. The enhancements will provide the ability to deliver information such as the maximum change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed.

More airbags, more high-strength steel

An all-new inflatable airbag restraint design provides the front seat passenger with knee airbag protection while significantly reducing system size and weight, enabling a roomier interior for more comfort. This new airbag is part of a standard comprehensive safety system that includes a more robust package of sensors, safety belt anchor pretensioners, improved exterior lighting and double the total number of airbags on the fastback Mustang.

50 years of Mustang
April 17, 2014, marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”

*Using 93-octane fuel

© 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate