By on March 2, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang V6 white snowThis is easy. We can skip the introduction. You know what this is, right?

Just in case, let’s be clear. This is a V6-engined, sixth-generation Ford Mustang. Newly released for the 2015 model year, all Mustangs have fled their truck-like ways in favour of an independent rear suspension. That’s just one of a number of factors that cause the new Mustang to feel more like a sports car than a traditional American muscle car, even in this basic form.


• USD Price As-Tested: $27,505

• Horsepower: 300 @ 6500 rpm

• Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

• Observed Fuel Economy: 19 mpg


Much of the discussion surrounding the arrival of a new Mustang related to the availability of a mid-level four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged 2.3L with 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque which, when attached to a 6-speed automatic and drinking premium fuel, travels 21 miles per gallon in the city; 32 on the highway. This is not that car.

This 3.7L V6-powered car makes 10 fewer horsepower and generates 40 fewer lb-ft of torque. On regular fuel, it travels 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway. In the U.S., upgrading from this engine to the EcoBoost costs $1500. The automatic transmission is an $1195 option.

2015 Ford Mustang V6 side viewBesides the 6-speed auto shifter, this car, loaned to us for a week by Ford Canada, was fitted with a couple grand in options: 18-inch wheels, a power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, a block heater, a security package, and backup sensors. At USD $27,505  as tested, it’s $5620 less than the least costly V8-engined Mustang GT.

In other words, a big monetary leap is required to earn the coveted 5.0 badge, enough of an increase in the initial outlay alone to think that the two ends of the Mustang spectrum – at least until special editions and Shelby models arrive – are scarcely geared toward the same buyer.

2015 Ford Mustang front viewTherefore, resign yourself, as I did, to the fact that the car which showed up to replace a $50,000 minivan and $65,000 Audi in my driveway wasn’t a $40,000 Mustang but rather a $30,000 Mustang.

Was I better off as a result? I won’t go nearly that far, but the basic Mustang has a certain charm, a real-world affability, that rarely left me wanting more. Aside from, you know, a 5.0 badge, the accompanying 135 extra horsepower, and a 6-speed manual transmission.

But only on occasion. When did 300 horsepower become inadequate? A decade ago, one of my first reviews for my local paper’s Wheels section concerned a 4.6L, V8-powered Mustang with, you guessed it, 300 horsepower. Both this V6 and the decade-old V8 accelerate to 60 mph in slightly more than 5 seconds. The new V6 Mustang is less than 50 pounds heavier than that early fifth-gen car, puts its power down more effectively, and makes a fairly decent noise of its own.

2015 Ford Mustang V6 rear viewEverything else about the latest Mustang? Also better. And there’s a part of me that wonders whether much of what makes the new Mustang so outstanding to drive is enhanced in this V6 car. It weighs nearly 200 pounds less than the V8, with much of that weight loss occurring at the front end. Would steering this delicious be so sweet when saddled with extra heft up front? I doubt it.

Keep in mind, the Mustang permits three different steering modes. The lightest Comfort setting is not in keeping with the car’s twisty road capability and the weightiest Sport setting seemed slightly unnatural to me.

Normal mode, on the other hand, is anything but normal: most other modern cars simply don’t offer up this level of connectivity, and while often precise and quick, they rarely allow your hands to comprehend just how precise and how quick their racks really are.

2015 Ford Mustang V6 interiorSo the V6 is likely sufficient and the steering sets the Mustang apart, but does the car live up to its sporty billing? Undeniably. The Mustang V6 may even be aided by its dearth of performance add-ons – the performance packages available for the EcoBoost and GT aren’t even on the options sheet here. The potential degradation of ride quality caused by track-oriented equipment never crops up. Oh, it’s firm, but it’s not busy or crashy or beholden to its unsprung weight. Moreover, the soft 235/50R18 Michelin X-Ice tires are of an aspect ratio too pillowy to cause any harm to the Mustang V6’s ride.

Tied to a stiff structure, this is a suspension that copes with all that a road throws its way while also being tuned to accept inconsistent and even ham-fisted inputs from the driver. This basic Mustang isn’t a track bruiser, but driven in a semi-aggressive style on a great road, it’s engaging and capable enough to encourage further advancement toward its limits.

Dynamically, it’s a positively European-feeling car; not unlike Ford’s Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta in that respect. But there are undertones of American muscle that link this car to its predecessors and its most direct rival from Chevrolet. I give it credit on both accounts.

The 2015 Mustang isn’t perfect. Although the rear seat is decent for a car of this type (we threw in a front-facing Diono Radian RXT child seat with little difficulty) and the driver’s seat sits pleasantly low and is well-bolstered, front seat passengers couldn’t get comfortable because of the bolstering (their arms aren’t extended to a steering wheel but rather squeezed in the wrong places) and the small footwell. This basic Mustang’s SYNC system, while relatively straightforward, doesn’t use a touchscreen and isn’t a paragon of modernity. The screen for the backup camera is tiny. The overall interior design that earned so much initial applause is less whelming in this lesser guise.

2015 Ford Mustang V6 shift paddleWorst of all, the downshift paddle was literally coming apart at the seams. I was the first auto writer this Mustang visited on its press tour and I hardly used the paddles. After all, they only serve to control a 6-speed automatic transmission that doesn’t shift with the swiftness a sporty car deserves. Nevertheless, there it is, splitting in two. The upshift paddle remained in one piece but isn’t made of high quality plastic. I can’t imagine it will last.

Yet by a measure of many miles, I’d prefer to spend time in this Mustang than in a better-built Chevrolet Camaro, if in fact Camaros are more solidly constructed. The Mustang doesn’t have visibility issues; visibility is the Camaro’s achilles heel. The Mustang feels like it totes around 500 fewer pounds; it’s closer to a 200-pound differential. The Camaro handles with grip and sheer force as though handling is work, like a 9-to-5 job. The Mustang handles with the kind of effervescence we typically encounter in lightweight cars with two-thirds the power, as though handling is Friday night fun.

With added refinement and improved dynamics, it’s hard to imagine many ways in which the Mustang’s appeal could be broadened. I suppose they could add all-wheel-drive availability – gasp – but after spending much of my time with the 2015 Mustang V6 on snow-covered roads, I sincerely hope that the Mustang owner base takes advantage of every opportunity for on-demand tail-out action. Eschew traction. Embrace oversteer.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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81 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Ford Mustang V6...”


  • avatar
    johnxyz

    Well-written piece, Timothy – an enjoyable read. You’re not just a numbers guy…

  • avatar
    raph

    It’s too bad the V6 can’t be had with the same level of options that the EB and GT Mustangs get.

    I understand the reasons why (Ford needs to amortize the EB development costs and getting people into an EB Mustang positively effects their C.A.F.E numbers on paper at least and the EB probably as a better margin compared to the V6 as a premium vehicle) but it just seems a shame they are blatantly railroading people instead of letting the buyer decide how to spend their money.

  • avatar
    John R

    I don’t know if it’s the photography, but this is one of the few times I’ve seen a car with the base wheels NOT look underwheeled.

    Shame about the paddles. That doesn’t bode well.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      It doesn’t look underwheeled in pictures or real life, but those aren’t the base wheels. Equipment group 051A includes 18″ Foundry Black painted aluminum wheels. Without that option group the V6 rides on 17″ sparkle silver wheels, which are also standard on the EcoBoost.

    • 0 avatar

      But it’s a Mustang. I’m sure it’ll be all of three days before someone comes out with an aftermarket solution for sturdier (perhaps aluminum) paddles…

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Mercy me, that car is beautiful. Even more so in yellow, which I’ve seen on dealer lots locally.

    It is a shame they’ve gimped the options list on the V6. They really want people to not buy it and go for the EB or V8 instead. I’m sure its days are numbered.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Great review, Tim, but come on, any review of a “Nothing Burger” for the TTAC site should be on the manual version. That is a car I would consider, since I enjoy “right power” for street cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Hey now, I think we all know that if I was the one choosing which car FoMoCo sent us to test, it probably wouldn’t have been kitted out like this car. As the review makes clear, I enjoyed it regardless, and it was eye-opening, but again, I don’t choose what comes my way.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    How much does Ford Canada hate TTAC? A mustang on snow tires…yup, I think we get the message.

    • 0 avatar

      I had one too. It was great.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      If the Mustang wasn’t on winters I would hardly have been able to get around the city most of the week. Keep in mind, there’s a big difference between modern winters and the snow tires of the past.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnny Canada

        Thanks TC. All I’m saying is that it feels like TTAC has been getting table scraps from Ford Canada. A Mustang on snow tires review feels more like a relationship building exercise rather than informative content. Specifically, Ford Canada is implementing a “wait and see” approach for TTAC’s access to future vehicles. Personally, I find no benefit for TTAC readers to have you and D-Rock suck up to the “cool kids” in Oakville. Best of luck.

        • 0 avatar
          Timothy Cain

          The next Ford I’ll be reviewing is a fully-loaded Fusion AWD – should be here soon. Hardly table scraps. The Ford I reviewed before this Mustang in January was a fully-optioned Escape.

          The Mustang arrived in Canada in winter. If they’re going to get auto writers into the cars on snow-covered roads, they’re all but obligated to put the cars on winter tires. Whether Ford “likes” me or TTAC or GCBC is scarcely relevant to me, but there’s nothing in their behaviour toward me (in terms of providing test vehicles) that differs from how they treat every other auto writer on the east coast of Canada – including the former president of AJAC – all of whom drive the exact same cars I drive. And if they’re working against TTAC, it’s odd that I ended up in this Mustang and that Escape before any other auto writer on the east coast had a chance to drive them.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    It seems as though all auto manufacturers are doing this in the name of “cost reductions”. I can’t buy the car I want, with certain options BECAUSE that’s not allowed! As noted, I’d like a V-6, but w/ some of the higher end options. Over at Honda, if you want a manual, you’d better like black, because that’s the only color manual cars come in!!

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>Over at Honda, if you want a manual, you’d better like black, because that’s the only color manual cars come in!!<<

      For Accord sedan also steel gray.

      For Accord coupe 4 cylinder, just black.

      For Accord coupe 6 cylinder, black, steel, white and red. Seems like they added a color or two here.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Most cars today pack a lot of features and capabilities for an amazing price, even in base models. One of the reasons it’s even possible to do this is because of the supply-chain efficiencies.

      There’s not really any choice. You can still buy cars that are relatively bespoke—BMW or Mercedes will happily take your dollar—but you’ll pay a lot more for it; consumers aren’t willing to pay the premium for a bespoke car any more.

      • 0 avatar
        statikboy

        Sorry to be the pedant of the bunch, but I cringe at the continued misuse of the word “bespoke.” It means specifically “one – of – a – kind”, a phrase which can be applied to very few, if any, automobiles available today and certainly not a 2015 V6 Mustang.

        The word is also what’s known as an “absolute”, which, like perfection and pregnancy, can not be described as “relative.”

        I am a pedant but, being relative, I’m also not perfect so if anyone feels that they can correct me on this or any of my grammar or word usage, please fire away.

        Stu

  • avatar
    MEngineer

    Nice review. This is good. Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up in crazy power numbers and the latest high tech. 300 hp is very respectable- more than some V8 Mustangs of not all that long ago. And no need to go turbo if it’s not really needed. Those days will come. In reality, this is the Mustang that just might be the best to own and easiest to live with in the long run.

  • avatar
    r129

    After reading this article, I decided to check dealer inventory in my area to see which configurations actually exist, especially for those of us who prefer a manual. Of the 7 local Ford dealers, there were plenty of V6 models, but only one with a manual. It seems that most dealers don’t stock the base Ecoboost with either transmission, only the Ecoboost Premium. I guess they figure that if buyers are willing to spring for the Ecoboost, they want all of the other options to go with it. It was encouraging to see that nearly every dealer had at least one Ecoboost Premium with a manual.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Two things I’m disappointed in, the V6 no longer can be had with the track option. As an ex SVO owner I liked the European style of the interior, which the current Mustang is not. I test drove a 2013 and the one real problem I had was I kept bumping my head getting in and out. After the third bump the salesman commented “you are not going to buy this car are you.” I don’t know now, I’ve got this headache.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    THe Fusioned face is not as appealing as the predecessor. That said, I’d take the 6 over the Ecoboost for a LT buy.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Excellent review, Tim.

    You covered every possible significant aspect of this vehicle in a meaningful way, using an efficiency & economy of words, and without resorting to every known cliche under the sun, that anyone in your audience could likely wonder about.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This new one’s not bad, but I liked the older Mustang better. It really was more of a Mustang.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    There is way too much plome in that interior. Did the OBD port get a trim ring too?

  • avatar
    Madroc

    Biggest disappointment about the new Mustang is the decision to neuter the V6. Ford had a real winner in the 3.7 and it was a screaming bargain for the performance. Maybe Ford will start offering a V6 Performance Pack again once demand slackens and they start building lower-margin specimens.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Is this essentially the very same 3.7 I have in my ’09 Mazda6 S?
      If so, it is an amazing motor…except for the poor MGs of that year.
      I am confused about the 3.7 as a Mazda from the Ford days through it today in the Ford and Mazda cars like the CX9.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Is that what I think it is…

    Did Ford finally figure out how to construct a “tune” dial for the radio? Oh lord, the rapture, it’s coming at any second now!

    But on the other hand, Ford really screwed the consumer again, how do they come out with a brand new model and downgrade an engine? The MPG is now lower, seriously? Didn’t the power either stay the same or go down too? They’re trying to force the ecoboost on consumers again by making the better option less appealing. As little as I care, the new Camaro V6 isn’t going to have the slightest trouble wiping both the ecoboost and this V6.

    Ford has been trying for a longtime to be a European company, with America as black eye to them. The quality of their products has always shocked me, it is absolutely abysmal, yet they manage to hang onto a significant portion of our market. It is truly our very own homegrown VW, they have terrible quality but consumers refuse to notice for whatever reason. You have to imagine half of the backlash for losing the solid rear axle was because owners remember the last folly they had when they tried IRS.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The argument about ecobost vs V6 is moot to me. Power is what’s important and any of the current engines would spank the HiPo 289 V8 that was the much vaunted engine option of the early years.

    Congrats to the Mustang for evolving.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      I can vouch for the 3.7l Ford. Its a free revving, reasonably torquey engine. As best I can tell, it weighs maybe 75 pounds more than the Miata engine (it’s hard to get the exact number). That probably helps handling a lot with the independent rear suspension.

      I’d go for the manual transmission, of course. The street price of this thing is up roughly 2500–3000 over last year.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    While the article in general gives the new Mustang pretty decent marks, their quality shows through in one statement: “Worst of all, the downshift paddle was literally coming apart at the seams.” This is why I refuse to buy a Ford of any type after having owned two different models. They may be great in so many ways, but I have yet to know a single owner who hasn’t complained about things breaking or simply going bad within the first year. Yes, I’d love to own a new Mustang for all the reasons he liked it; I don’t need a raw racing car, just a fun, sporty car. But I want it to at least hold itself together for more than six months.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Good review. I feel the same way comparing it to the Camaro. Lighter and more open feeling, not so claustrophobic.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    When I buy my next car in the next couple of years, I’ve narrowed down my car choices to this mustang in ecoboost with performance pack or a wrx, manual for either. It will just come down to test drive and especially, seats, room in the pedal box, and how the wheel, pedals and seat line up. I hear the miata is outstanding on those issues, but miata isn’t for me.

  • avatar
    Gregg

    Too bad the 3.7 is now down on both power and mpg from the previous year. I suppose the previous 3.7 had numbers crowding uncomfortably close to the Ecoboost Mustang, so it had to be clipped. Still, this just seems wrong.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I wish Ford could figure out a way to justify offering this patform under more cars. A sedan and wagon with a Lincoln badge would seem to be a prime 3 series competitor (although I’d love an affordable model with the Ford badge) and would help share the costs associated with what is currently a bespoke chassis.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I agree with you totally. If Fields and his merry band of preening bandits in Dearborn are as smart as they act, of course they’re going to amortize the cost of this platform. They’re not going to make it up in European Mustang sales.

      Personally, I’m waiting for a new Lincoln Continental with center-pull doors based on this platform. It’ll cost $50-$60K, ride like a Lexus or Hyundai Genesis, with a paint job to outshine a Roller, and interior fittings done in consultation with an American builder of cabin cruisers.

  • avatar
    omer333

    Nice review.

    I’m surprised Ford let a car with the shift paddles falling apart make it into the hands of a journalist.

    I hope they weren’t thinking “Eh, it’s only the V6.”

    The EcoBoost sounds cool on paper, but if I’m going to spend the money on a premium Mustang, I’m going all in on the 5.0. Sorry, it doesn’t make sense to spend the extra money on the EB just to get all the accoutrements that you can get with the EB. You’re better off buying the 5.0 either new or used.

    That said, a V6 is what I’d get if I were in the market for a Pony Car.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    In the fall of 1989, I bought a brand new Mustang 5.0, 5 speed LX hatchback. 225 horsepower/300 lb/ft torque. Shows how far v6 engines have come. Although this new Mustang is heavier than the 1989 I had, I bet with a 6 speed manual it would be plenty fun. In the Spring of 1990, I took it to the drag strip and ran consistent 14.40s. Got to think this new car would do similar numbers.

    I also think the new Dodge Challenger v6-8 speed auto combination is a pretty sweeet combination, especially with the Super Track Pak. I wish it came in a 6 speed manual.

    Face it, from an engine standpoint, we are spoiled with choices. When a Camry/Accord 4 cylinder makes more horsepower than a 1987 Monte Carlo ss, you know you are going in the right direction. Too bad they can’t replicate that distinct v8 sound from 5.0, 5.7 HEMI, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      These V6 Mustangs can easily break into the 13s with the manual transmission now. They certainly aren’t *slow* like the base engine versions used to be. A buddy has a 2013 V6 model that ran 13.80s when he took it to the track last summer.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      On paper, yeah, but in reality, the old 5.0 would smoke a new V6 Mustang, even if it was sandbagged with equal weight. But we’re talking with 3.73 gears that didn’t come standard for the 5.0 V8 in ’89. The best gears you could get were 3.08s if you or the dealer knew to order it with them. Your’s probably had the 2.73s.

      The old 5.0 made 300 lbs/ft of torque, just off idle. The Windsor made most of it’s power early in the rev band, like most V8s of the Malaise era. The thinking was if they could get them to shift early with low revs, fuel consumption would drop dramatically.

      Besides, Horse Power is what sells cars. Torque wins races. Dynos just give a torque reading and hp is calculated by multiplying max torque by the rpm when it happens. The lower the rpm is at peak torque, the lower the hp figure. That’s why a 500 lb/ft diesel can have just 180 hp. Peak diesel torque happens low on the rev band.

      Plain “Horse Power” doesn’t give you the total picture.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        If his LX 5.0 ran 14.40s out of the box, it was a ringer. They couldn’t even come close to 13s off the showroom floor. I hung out at the drag strip when those cars were showing up bone stock in droves and I used to have an ’88 LX 5.0L, they never came close to 13s out of the box no matter who drove them at only 700 ft above sea level. All the buff book tests back then confirm that too. 3.73 gears won’t take off more than a second that car would need to keep up.

        The new V6 Mustang plainly would blow the doors off a stock Fox body LX 5.0 without making any excuses.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          The old 5.0 isn’t getting a fair shake here. It’s not an excuse to compare apples to apples. Give the old 5.0 modern Mustang equipment including the 6-speed, wider/grippier tires and let’s see what happens. That plus 3.73s and control arms/bushings that can take them. The 1st thing that happened when I switched to 3.73s in my conv ’90 was the massive wheel hop that it got. So I had to go aftermarket to keep it settled. And aftermarket shifter. These and other shortcomings weren’t the old 5.0’s fault and not a problem for current Mustangs.

          “10 second” (10.99) stock engine (output) and stock body “notch” 5.0 Mustangs did happen, but it did take all sorts of simple commonsense mods to realize the bone stock engine’s true potential. Now can 10.99s happen with current stock engine V6 Mustangs, plus slicks, etc? Not likely since there’s not as much room to improve.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            >“10 second” (10.99) stock engine (output) and stock body “notch” 5.0 Mustangs did happen

            Do they didn’t.

            The 5.0 is being given a fair shake here, it just doesn’t make the same power output of the 3.7L in stock form. They were installed in Fox body Mustangs that weighed 700lbs less than the current model and won’t keep up. That’s just the way things have progressed.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Even on paper the V6 has much less tq than the old 5.0. Higher V6 hp just means the power hits much later on the rev band is all. By then the race is over.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @danio3834,
          I do believe you are relatively accurate with your number.

          In the early 80s I was involved in drag racing and even a 327 Chev in a Holden with considerable work done only managed 12s and 13s. This is an engine needed a 780. The vehicle weighed less than the new Mustang as well.

          The older V8s were not as quick as some here on TTAC remember. Or would like to consider.

          Maybe these people haven’t driven a modern vehicle that is less than 20-30 years old.

          As and example of how well a modern gasoline engine is, just look at the 4cyl Colorado. It is doing 9s from 0-60.

          My 1995 XJ Cherokee with the 4 litre only did the same times and it was lighter than the Colorado.

          I do think V8s are going to have a slow death for many “normal” and affordable vehicles. There will be V8s in the future, but they will have a premium to pay.

          Even the 2.3 EcoBoost will out accelerate the 3.7 and I consider the 3.7 a far better engine than the old Ford 302s by a country mile.

          Let the old engines die a peaceful death. They are like horses. They served their purpose and now we must move on. It seems to be V6s and 4s are the future direction.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            A better modern comparison for the Windsor 5.0L would be the Coyote 5.0L. With all the modern tech applied, it basically doubles the output of the old Windsor 302. HP does matter. Especially in this case where the new, heavier V8 Mustang will beat the Fox body 5.0L by about 2 whole seconds in the 1/4.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You want to race the new chassis/drivetrain/tires vs the old Fox setup, not Windsor 5.0 vs new V6.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The Camry 4 cylinder is still the 178 hp 2.5 from years ago so it’s not more. The Accord makes 185. But your forgetting that both of these mills are 50-60 FT LBS of torque short of the Monte SS depending on year of course. And neither engine sounds anywhere near as good when flooring the go pedal.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    The V6 is a great car for the money, but Ford is pushing the Ecoboosts so hard, around here they are essentially the same price and much easier to find. And then you can get the performance pack which is a incredible bargain. My GT was about $32k, I could have gotten an EB/PP for $25k… stellar deal. I have recommended it to several friends who love my car but can’t stomach the payment.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      Huh….that’s right. Only about a $700 difference between the 6 and the e-boost.

      I like the 3.7L so much I would still get it. I guess if you want the performance pack you have no choice.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        I was surprised too, they discount the EB more, even with the PP. You can get a base V6 for about $23k, still a good deal if you don’t care about the PP, or want to upgrade it yourself. But its hard to pass up all that extra equipment for a couple grand more. You will spend at least $1000 on wheels and tires alone. I can understand preferring the V6, I don’t know if I trust the turbo motors from Ford just yet. The V6 would probably have better long term reliability and maintenance costs.

  • avatar

    “The overall interior design that earned so much initial applause is less whelming in this lesser guise.”

    I would actually say the opposite. I’m usually the ‘leather, sunroof, navigation’ kind of guy, but there are some cars that I really wouldn’t mind in base or near-base spec. Cheap paddles notwithstanding, I think the Mustang looks great even with so few options, and that adds to the overall appeal of the car, for me anyway.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    At first glance i’d go the V6 but is there a reliable after market tune for the ecoboost? If so, that would REALLY gap the V6 in performance.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    Are you sure those are 18″ wheels? They look very large, almost like the 20″ wheels that were on a GT that I test drove.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    My wife still wants a new Mustang, has since 2013. Until Ford makes it available in Bordeaux Red (from the bigger Taurus), it’s a no go.
    No Race Red, no Candy Apple Red; basically maroon only.
    Our license plate that has graced a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (Red Toreador Metallic) and now the 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible (Dark Cherry Metallic, from the 1995 Aurora) is MAROONR.
    Ford lets those Yellow and Raceway Blue monstrosities sit on dealer lots for months, not realizing that a darker red DOES look good on a coupe! It worked on the 1997 Mercury Cougar 30th Anniversary Edition.
    Ford, unlock the doors to the paint booth…!
    Make Mine Maroon and we’ll order a Mustang tomorrow!

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    If I ever wanted a car I’d seriously consider one of these with a normally aspirated V6 and manual transmission.
    Good review.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’d be interested in a Performance Packaged V6 6 MT. Vortech makes a kit for the 3.7 that easily made close to 400whp. I wonder if Ford Racing sells the Brembos/suspension separately. This motor has a nice tone when opened up. Mr Shelby himself admitted he preferred the sound of his V6 motored Terlingua (sp?) one off to his V8 iterations.
    It will never happen though , as the Ecoboost is where the development $ have been spent, so the volume must come from that mill.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    If they’re gonna give it AWD, then they might as well rebody it and make a MK-IX as well. End of story.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Just a couple questions.
    First, people often call this car just another Fusion. Is this something you felt?
    I understand the Euro feel and as such, is this just another version of the Euro Fusion body messed with to be the Stang?
    I wouldn’t think so after reading how Ford spend so much time and money on the rear suspension development. It turned out so damned good, they allowed a redevelopment of the front.

    Next, the reason I could not buy this car, although I am deeply in love with the Mustang and its history, is the rear seat. I JUST do not get the larger muscle car design. Big, bulky, yet has no real rear seat.

    And the view of the front is awful! It has the hood needed for the monster V8…but the 4 and 6 do not need this hood.

    For the money, why not just get a real cool sports car like a Miata?
    If you do not need a rear seat…why bother to mess up the design trying to have one? Or just get a decent Challenger or Charger? At least you get a useable rear seat.

  • avatar
    Brumus

    Did Ford really neuter this V-6 or simply change the numbers in the marketing materials and on the webpage?

    • 0 avatar
      otaku

      The stats near the top of the page list the 2015 version of the 3.7L V-6 with 300 horsepower. As far as I know, it made 305 last year. If that’s the case, I certainly wouldn’t characterize a mere five hp difference as neutering an engine. Couldn’t something as simple as a slightly more restrictive exhaust account for that small of a decrease?

      • 0 avatar
        Brumus

        Yes, it easily could.

        I believe the term “neutered” was used on this site to describe the ’15 engine. And yes, five h.p. is not a significant drop for anything but a wheezy econobox (but makes the 2.3 EcoBoost seem a tad more appealing on paper).

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It could be something as simple as a less aggressive ECM calibration. Although the hardware on the car changed too, so exhaust and whatnot would be different. Either way, 5hp won’t account for much if anything on the track.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Tim,
    I finally had the time to read this article, it is well written and unbiased.

    I have an interest in this because in Australia Ford is introducing the Mustang Downunder. From what I’ve read all 12 000 have been sold (deposits) out even before the first one has been delivered.

    So, if the US builds a worthy vehicle that is of a global standard it will sell. I do hope Ford can fix up those quality issues. Aussies aren’t very tolerant to low quality interiors and exteriors.

    We will on receive the 2.3 EcoBoost and the 5 litre. Pricing for the Mustang was released today and the media here are complaining about the pricing being to high.

    Here’s the link to an Aussie news paper article;

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/new-ford-mustang-is-half-the-price-it-used-to-be-in-australia/story-fnkgdhrc-1227246054520

    I do feel the pricing is quite good. AUD $45 000 ($34 900USD) for the 2.3 EcoBoost and $55 000 ($42 900USD) for the V8, 5 litre. I don’t know what level of trim and bling that will be offered, but we generally don’t get the Spartan US vehicles you guys can get, even from MB, BMW, etc.

    It’s great to see an American Ford being built that doesn’t have it’s suspension related to a cheap truck.

    The Euro feel/tune in vehicles will gradually become the norm in the US as people realise that handling is far more important than having a poorly tuned suspension.

    I do hope the Mustang does well for Ford globally, it has the potential since it moved away from the previous live axle “trucks” of past generations.

    It would be interesting to see a tweaked Lion V6 diesel variant of the Mustang to sell in the EU. It wouldn’t be a muscle car, more like a roid car.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – It’s the non enthusiasts, non Mustang buyers and even non sporty car buyers that sniveled about the live axle. Do you see Bark M complaining? IRS suspension isn’t necessarily a performance feature or enhancer as much as it is a compromise, mostly to silence to critics, besides shared platforms/parts etc.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I’m very curious how they managed to lose a full 3 highway MPG out of the 3.7 V6 for 2015. I suspect that this is yet another way to make the 2.3 look better and real world results are similar to 2014 numbers. Also note that to get the 32 highway and 310 HP the Ecoboost wonder needs premium fuel whereas the 3.7 does fine on 87. Put 87 in the 2.3 and the power drops down into the 280’s range and mileage suffers too.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This sort of thing makes me angry at OEMs – intentional sabotage.

    • 0 avatar
      otaku

      So filling the tank with regular instead of premium fuel will result in a difference of almost thirty horsepower? Seriously? I thought if you used 87 octane on the 2.0L EcoBoost it only reduced the hp figure from 240 down to around 232 or so. Is the 2.3 version that drastically different? And how would fuel economy be affected by lower octane? Isn’t gas mileage more a reflection of driving style than anything else?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        On cars that are recommended to use premium Ford uses adaptive timing where the car is able to learn the octane of the fuel currently in the tank with the knock sensor(s)and adjust the timing curve for that fuel. Throw a turbo in the mix and they may even limit the boost along with the lower timing. Lower boost of course means lower power and less timing results in lower efficiency and lower MPG.

        • 0 avatar
          otaku

          I was under the impression that direct injection somewhat mitigates the early detonation/knock issues that can occur when running regular octane in higher compression engines.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Just rented one of these for a 2-day road trip: only 9000 miles on it. Can’t believe it was a “base” model, with those sexy big-ass wheels, though the screaming orange paint might have been an option. Lots of admiring looks.

    I feel like I finally know what a GT is: spacious and comfy for two people and their bags, fast in a straight line, relatively quiet but with a nice engine note under pressure, long wheelbase for comfort.

    Stereo sounded reasonably good, Sync worked a lot better than it does in my C-Max. V6 engine offered good grunt at low RPM and fast access to triple-digit speeds at high RPM. MPG in the teens around town isn’t great, and honestly neither is 25.5 on the highway: but the kicker is that it turned in that same highway MPG over any given 30-minute period no matter how it was driven–whether plodding behind a semi on a 2-lane or roaring up a mountain pass at 85 mph.

    Ride was well controlled but comfy, as was one’s bod in the well-bolstered seats. Brakes were strong and easy to modulate. Lights were strong and looked cool with a soft-glow effect, with sequential turn signals in back and shark-gill running lights in front: strong design work there.

    But: precise steering? I guess I missed the part where the effort was adjustable, and maybe mine wasn’t set as it should have been…but while the steering wasn’t Korean-bad, it wasn’t Euro-good either. Some self centering, some weighting, some feedback, but honestly not nearly as good as the C-Max, a car with no sporting pretensions. And you’re sitting low in a wide, long car: it’s honestly hard to place where the hell the car is in the lane, so those big vertical ridges in the hood help a lot, like a hood ornament on an old Mercedes-Benz.

    Quality of the interior materials was light years ahead of last year’s base Mustang. Quality of assembly was disappointing though: no noises, but a huge gap on one side of the console, and stitching already coming apart in the back “seat.”

    If the car weren’t so damn big, I would be tempted to check prices.

  • avatar
    str

    Timothy you totally nailed this review. When I picked up my identically eqipped Mustang this June (V6, Auto, 051A package with 18″ wheels) yours was the only V6 review on the web. Glad I took your wise counsel. After 3 months of driving I am so impressed with the car for all the reasons you so clearly stated. It is such a performance bargain. And I am averaging over 25mpg. A Detroit home run.

  • avatar
    Hans B

    Don’t forget you can get the V6 with the 3.55 rear end for an additional $395, which I think is a fantastic way to go.

    The factory ratio is 3.15.


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