Barbara drove up to the house returning from our weekly car swap and parked the Deep Impact Blue Mustang Convertible in our garage.
“Wow, do I love this car!” were her first words as the car door made a solid “thunk” sound as it closed.
We were both surprised by how much we liked the 2015 Ford Mustang, even though it’s not the type of car we usually prefer.
It seems that nearly everyone has a Mustang story, and Barbara was reminded of the blue 1965 Mustang convertible she had when she was much younger. She’d never been noticeably faithful to any car brand, then she started remembering all the Fords she had owned over the years, and the list was significant starting with a 1936 Ford coupe (Barbara constantly reminds –she bought it used – very used) as her first car and the last being our Ford Probe GT in the 90s.
Since then we’ve been busy as automotive journalists and normally we have two new cars to drive each week to review. As a result, our own car sits in the garage, covered up and it only gets out a few times a year.
The Ford Mustang Convertible is all new from the ground up for 2015 and celebrates 50 years since the original pony car debuted. Now in the sixth generation, the Mustang has gone from sporty little compact to muscle car to its present state which is easily the best sports coupe and road car Ford has ever built.
The 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible is a clean sheet, totally new design, but there is no question about its Mustang design heritage. The basic shape is classic Mustang, from the signature long sculptured hood to the short rear deck. The sides take new twists with a dramatic sculpting and the rear has an interesting three-dimensional taillight treatment of the signature Mustang taillights. Ford says engineers spent twice as much time in the wind tunnel than would be normal perfecting a more slippery shape, but they don’t tell us the coefficient of drag. Whatever it is, the car stays well planted at all speeds (we are taking Ford’s word for the three-digit speeds) and it helps the fuel economy, too.
The interior in our EcoBoost Premium Convertible test car looked like a contemporary version of the classic Mustang. The seats were very comfortable and supportive, the controls conveniently placed and the steering wheel was filled with more buttons and controls than the rest of the dash combined. The large two-pod instrument cluster was also classic Mustang with a large color display between the pods that’s used to control a variety of vehicle functions from some of the steering wheel mounted buttons.
Like most convertibles, the rear seat of the Mustang is snug, but it can handle small children, adults for short drives, but it’s best suited for stuff. Cargo space is quite good, 11.4 cubic feet, and that’s with the top up or down.
The 2015 Mustang convertible was engineered as a convertible, not merely a fastback with the top cut off and the result is a very solid body structure. We felt no twist or shake, even on rough roads. The cloth top is a new design with a fabric outer layer, insulation and full inner headliner. It’s so quiet you’d think you were in the fastback. Lowering the top requires twisting the center latch and pushing a button. The top folds nicely behind the rear seat with no cover required, other than small tonneau caps on both sides of the folded top.
Ford engineers used real buttons and dials instead of “touch” controls making the car much more user friendly than some other Fords. The large navigation screen mounted mid-level on the center stack works better than previous versions and the voice activation understood most of our commands, and was the easiest way to control the navigation and the new Sync 911 Assist® systems.
One of the most important changes is the fully independent front and rear suspension attached to a lighter platform. The older Mustangs were often criticized for their live axle which was not known for its precise handling; however the new Mustang has significantly improved handling characteristics thanks to struts in the front and an Integral-link independent rear suspension with coil springs, solid stabilizer bar and twin- or mono-tube shocks. It also has a limited slip differential, standard 18-inch wheels and a revamped electric steering system. The four -wheel disk brakes and a full complement of techno-aids further enhance the handling, performance and safety of the new Mustang.
The result is a sport coupe, or in this case — convertible, that feels nicely balanced, forgiving and it’s very much a driver’s car. It’s a bit heavy tipping the scale at 3,500 to 3,700 pounds, but the engines don’t seem to notice.
The new Mustang comes as a fastback or convertible. The two transmissions available are a six speed manual or automatic, along with three engine choices: four- six and eight-cylinder.
The base engine is no slouch — a 300 hp 3.7-liter V-6. Our test car had the optional EcoBoost four-cylinder with 310-hp. Then there is the GT with its 435-hp 5.0-liter V-8.
We haven’t driven the V-6 and V-8 models, that will come later, but we loved the four-cylinder EcoBoost. It’s quick — buff magazine testing has the four-cylinder with the automatic transmission combination making a 0 to 60 mph run in a quick 5.2 seconds — the V-8 is listed at 4.5 seconds. In addition to the impressive “go” power Ford engineers have tuned in some engine sounds through the audio system to make it sound meatier when accelerating. There is certainly no comparison with the V-8, but it doesn’t sound like a wimpy four-banger either.
Fuel economy on the EcoBoost/automatic sticker lists 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. We averaged 25.5 mpg according to the trip computer.
The 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible is available as the V6 Convertible, the EcoBoost Premium Convertible and the GT Premium Convertible. The base prices of the three are $30,125; $35,625 and $42,625 respectively including the destination charge.
There are a variety of available equipment groups which add more tech features, audio equipment, wheels and other appearance and convenience enhancements. Our Mustang EcoBoost Convertible with the automatic transmission had a premium audio, adaptive cruise control, park assist, accent group and navigation taking the price to $41,295. To whip up numbers for your own dream Mustang go online to the “build and price” center at the Ford website: http://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/trim/v6convertible/ .
This new Mustang must be special, Barbara was actually lusting over the Deep Impact Blue Metallic with black cloth top convertible, and that’s unusual. It’s definitely good looking and especially fun to drive.