The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic cars of all time.
Pros: Head-turning style, fun to drive, surprisingly practical
Cons: Interior fit and finish, expensive, EcoBoost lacks V8 character
The Ford Mustang is a true motoring icon, and one of the most recognisable cars of all time. First launched in 1964, the Mustang is the car that everyone wants to own, and it has featured in blockbuster films such as ‘Bullit’, 'Need For Speed' and ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’. Fast forward to 2018, and the latest Mustang continues in the same veign, with new technology and engines to suit the modern buyer. With bold styling, powerful engines and a flamboyant interior, the Mustang scores high on desirability, but the question remains, is an American muscle car really suited to Irish roads? We spent a week testing it to find out.
What is it like?
The Mustang is bold and brash from the outside and it demands attention in a way that few other cars can. The large front grille and sloping Fastback roofline is reminiscent of the original 1960s car, while the iconic galloping horse emblem is emblazoned on the front grille and rear boot lid. The Grabber Blue paint scheme and contrasting 19-inch black alloy wheels of our test car make for an incredibly eye-catching combination. In Spring 2018, a subtly-facelifted Mustang will go on sale in Ireland and it features mild styling updates and updates inside too. Sun worshipers can also opt for a Convertible model.
The Mustang has lots of interesting features inside such as a classic three-spoke steering wheel, retro air conditioning switches and a special ‘since 1962’ plaque on the dashboard. The interior is spacious up front, however the quality of the materials is disappointing and the finish is cheap in places such as the dashboard and doors. The Mustang has four-seats and there is plenty of head and leg room from the front seats, although there isn’t much leg room for passengers in the rear. Boot space is good by sports car standards with 408 litres of room, and there are plenty of areas to stow away items in the cabin too. Ford’s SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment system is featured as standard along with a premium sound system which is ideal for cruising on the open road.
The Mustang is available with a choice of two petrol engines, starting with the entry level 2.3-litre EcoBoost, which is the unit in our test car. With 317bhp going to the rear wheels it can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of over 220km/h. Ford also offers a huge 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine and it is the one to go for if your budget allows, though it is much more expensive to buy and run. While the 2.3-litre four cylinder EcoBoost is powerful and sprightly, it lacks the V8 soundtrack. The Mustang is available with automatic and manual transmissions, and we drove the latter. During our test, the EcoBoost Mustang returned circa 9.5l/100 kilometres in fuel economy and annual motor tax is €750.
Although it is quite large and heavy, the Mustang is lots of fun to drive and copes well with tight and twisty Irish roads. That’s thanks to the fully independent suspension, which soaks up bumps well and offers reasonable refinement at higher speeds. There are four different driving modes to select via a switch on the dashboard, with Normal, Sport+, Track and even a Snow driving mode. In Track mode, traction control is switched off and the Mustang slides from the rear with ease. In wet conditions, it struggles to find grip however and it isn’t particularly confidence inspiring as a result.
Prices for the new Ford Mustang start from €55,500 in Ireland for the 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual, or over €70,000 for the range-topping 5.0-litre V8 GT. As standard it is well equipped, with Ford’s SYNC3 touch screen infotainment system, a Shaker Pro sound system, hill start assist, keyless entry, a reversing camera and ambient lighting. Our test car has a few choice upgrades, such as reverse park assist, a premium satellite navigation pack and climate control seats, so the price tag rises to €58,400. The Mustang has few direct rivals, but it is priced similarly to high specification Audi TT and BMW 4 Series.
Carzone verdict: 3/5
The latest Ford Mustang is a fitting flagship sports car for the brand, with attention-grabbing styling and a fun drive. The new model is better suited to modern needs than before too, it is surprisingly practical and the EcoBoost range of engines is a great alternative to the thirsty V8s. That said, it is rather expensive to run and the interior finish is disappointing, while the newly-facelifted Ford Mustang will go on sale in Spring 2018 and it aims to address some of these shortcomings.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Prices from: €55,500
Price as tested: €58,400
Annual Road Tax: €750
Engine: 2261cc four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Top Speed: 233km/h
0-100km/h: 5.8 seconds
Transmission: Six-speed Manual
Body style: Coupe
Boot Space: 408 litres