You had to figure Ford would do something special to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Mustang. I am proud to report it did. In fact, let me get this statement out on the table now: I believe I have driven every year Mustang ever built, and this is without a doubt, the best Mustang ever. Yes, E-V-E-R.
My review vehicle is the GT Premium version, in a stunning Deep Impact Blue color. Under the hood this 2015 has an upgraded 5.0-liter V8, and a six-speed manual transmission. Together, they are producing 435-horses and an impressive 400 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is strong right off the line, but for me this car really shines in the upper gears where the power seems to continuously gain momentum.
You have choices in the 2015 pony car. If you want to step down from the GT, there is the 3.7-liter V6, which you’ll probably find mostly at the Hertz counter. Or you can go down to the new 2.3-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine which puts out 310-horses and is the fuel economy leader of the trio of engines.
One huge change for 2015 is that Ford finally went to an independent rear suspension. The end result of that move is improved handling, much more balance in tight turns, and a remarkably better ride. I’ve had some back issues lately, and I was concerned about the usually bouncy Mustang being hard on my back. That is not the case; it was nothing short of shocking how much better this Mustang rides than before. I again give Ford kudos for making a major change that you can’t see-for the good of the car. Driving dynamics are fantastic in every different scenario I ran this car in.
If you have a healthy back, you might consider changing the selectable drive modes to sport or track. You can also choose normal, or snow/rain when the weather is bad. You get four different driving experiences with each setting. When in track mode, you’ll want to try out the new track apps. New for 2015, track apps features electronic Line-Lock and launch control, and provides performance metrics instantly on the 4.2-inch message center in the middle of the instrument cluster.
The exterior of the new Mustang features an all-new front end and rear fascia. There are some classic Mustang cues to be found, like the swooping roofline, yet with it all, the designers at Ford stayed true to the heritage of the car. There are new options for wheels; this car has 19” black aluminum wheels with Pirelli tires. Not normally a fan of black wheels, it works on this car. The front HID lights look great, but for me, the sequential LEDs in back are awesome.
Moving to the inside of the car, it is much improved as well. Soft touch materials abound, stitching on the seats, dash, and steering wheel give the Mustang a feel of luxury. Taking a cue from 1965, two large, round gauges stare back at you when in the driver’s seat and go well with the large, round air conditioner vents. Next to the pushbutton start, you’ll find five large chrome toggle switches for things like the emergency flashers and this is where you change the drive mode. For me, Ford found the right mix of leather and aluminum surrounding the dash. Bear in mind, there is virtually no back seat. Plan on this being a two-seater only car.
This version, the Premium has a base price of $36,100 and comes with a nice array of standard features like leather heated and cooled front seats, ambient lighting, Sync and MyFord Touch Bluetooth and voice activation, rear view camera, keyless entry, the track apps I talked about earlier, and much more. Options on this car add $8960 to the window sticker. You get the Shaker audio system with 12-speakers, enhanced security system, the GT performance package (the 19” wheels, Pirelli tires, 3:73 rear end, and rear spoiler delete). You get rear park assistance, and navigation system that is voice activated. Included in the $8960, you get Recaro seats for $1595. The seats look GREAT. I would warn people who are full-bodied that the seats are tight and have very limited adjustment. I will say they hold you in place hitting the curves hard, but not sure how comfortable they would be on a long trip. Normal sized to smaller folks will love these seats.
The 5.0-liter V8 (I still prefer 302) calls for 91-octane gas to maximize power, but Ford admits that with 87-octane, you only lose 1% of the horsepower.
Just a heads-up, the 2015 Mustang in my opinion looks better in person than it does in pictures. The size of the Mustang is a bit misleading, too. This is not a small car by any stretch in spite of the lack of backseat room. Ford put all the length in the hood, and I will tell you, from behind the steering wheel, this hood looks great as you stare at the functional hood scoops. To put it in perspective, the 2015 Mustang is only 1” shorter than Toyota Camry.
I don’t think you can buy a more American car than the new Mustang. Over the last fifty years, Ford has screwed up the Mustang a few times, but this one is perfection. Over 9 million of you have bought a Mustang over the years, and I think there is little doubt that sales of this new Mustang will go through the roof. What I liked most: Exterior looks, performance, handling.
What I would change: There has to be a way to get 2” more rear seat room.
MSRP: Base price $36,100. As equipped $45,885.
Fuel Economy: 15 City/25 highway/19 combined, actually doing better.
Odometer reading when tested: 2805 miles.
Weight: 3705 Pounds.
Length-Width-Height: 188.3” long/81.8” wide/54.4” High.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16 gallons.
Towing Capacity: N/A
2015 Mustang in a few words: I wish Carroll Shelby could see the greatest Mustang ever built.
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage with roadside assistance.
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Photo Credit: Ford