2017 Ford Mustang Ecoboost road test and review…
But before we address the elephant (or is that horse?) in the room, we’ll analyse the Ford Mustang Ecoboost on face value.
The Mustang Ecoboost is the smaller brother of the Mustang GT, while it looks the same externally, under the bulky bonnet is a 2.3 litre turbo petrol engine instead of the 5.0 litre V8.
Yes, a considerable downsizing of capacity and power, generating 233kW and 432Nm which is by no means measly but is nothing compared to the 306kW/530Nm of the full blown variant.
And that’s really what you’d expect from an iconic muscle car, which begs the question why offer this spec for this model and class?
You want power and grunt and though acceleration is rapid and smooth but not really enough to push you into the back of your seat kind of stuff.
Despite this there was some fishtailing under acceleration from a standing start coming for the rear wheel drive coupé and a pretty high fuel economy (11.7L/100km).
But probably the most apparent difference is the underwhelming exhaust note making the Mustang Ecoboost not really sound like a Mustang.
However, if you want something that looks the part but isn’t a wild beast and hard to contain and a more sensible choice for the urban environment then the Ecoboost is the go.
The model I was given the keys to also had the six-speed sports automatic transmission priced from $48,490.
It certainly didn’t have the response or feel of the manual and tended to hold the gear in the sports modes but can be corrected with the paddle shifters.
Handling is a plus point and I found the muscular car quite agile despite its build in addition to the solid chassis and harder suspension.
Steering is direct and the weighted feel can be tuned by one of three steering mode options.
The puddle lamp projections of a mustang as you open the door in the dark are pretty cool.
I took issue with the creaky brakes, gear change delay, the limited articulation in the left wing mirror, the tight hand brake and the less than precise throttle control being in the sportier drive modes unlike the well tuned Holden Commodore SSV.
The interior is adorned with chrome finishes, leather throughout, aircraft type switches, two bucket seats in the rear and a manual style gear selector.
Rounding off the comfortable insides are heating and ventilation in the front seats, Ford Sync 3 entertainment interface, and a rather deep boot.
But it was noticeably devoid of lane departure warning and other driver aids which brings us back to the start.
The Mustang’s 2 Star safety rating was in part due to the low score given for the lack of safety assist systems including lane support, autonomous emergency braking and forward collision not to mention the underperformance in the standard crash tests.
Unacceptable in this day and age of common 5 Star ratings but of course still safer than the classic version.
Let’s just hope Ford rectifies these issue both for the sake of our safety and the legacy of the Mustang.
NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Ford Mustang Ecoboost
Engine: 2.3L turbo petrol producing 233kW and 432Nm
Transmission: Six-speed sports automatic
Warranty: 3 Year/100,000km
Safety: Two Stars
Price: From $48,490