Ford Mustang summer love
I love summer. I love sun and all the festival that makes Montreal such a special city to live in. Luckily it’s also car season in Canada! Convertible, sports cars, exotic cars, you don’t see them in the snow storms and freezing cold weather. That’s why today, I have a blue Mustang Convertible. It makes sense.
Behind the scene!
As a car (and motorbike) enthusiast I must say I’m always way too excited to hear and experience again all kind of motorized vehicle (obviously it’s better if it’s naturally aspirated). That’s why, to kick start this 2019 summer season, when I was offered to test drive the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt I was like a child on christmas eve.
Did you know that the Mustang is most selling sports car in the world? Oh yes, more than Porsche 911! And one more thing, Ford never stop producing it since the first model back in 1964 (dawn, one year less than the 911). Adding to that a 5.0L V8, stick to change gears, no turbo, 480hp and a terrific symphony from the 4 tips exhaust. Seriously, what else do I really need?
Unfortunately, this all came to an end very quickly. When I arrived to pick up the car, I learn that one guy got into a crash with it and the beautiful british green muscle car was permanently unavailable… As you can imagine, I was very sad. To replace it, Ford Canada hands me the keys of another Mustang … eco-boost 4cyl … automatic … convertible! Well, that’s not really the same type of car but as I already tested the Mustang GT I had to go with the eco boost instead of the Bullitt. Let’s get into it!
Meeting the Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Interesting week ahead … I mean 4 cylinders are missing. However, I have to say that the convertible feature of this Mustang was quite cool considering the warm weather.
Surprisingly, this Mustang EcoBoost don’t look like one. It’s like if Ford took the Mustang GT and just swap the engine. There is the same 4 tips exhaust, air appendices on the hood, even the front and back splitters. It’s mean, clearly it’s a Mustang.
The look of the last generation of Mustang is a clear success in my mind, it’s by far the most beautiful Mustang since it’s very beginning if we exclude the 1st generation with the stunning Mustang Fastback serie 1.
Inside no big surprise. The quality of the assembly is average, but for the money it’s more than acceptable. Keep in mind that this car is about $45,000 CAD brand new! Almost a bargain.
Why almost would you say? Because I’m a car enthusiast and as far as I’m concerned a Mustang must have a V8 under the hood. I do understand the politically correct aspect of fuel saving but between us, let’s agree that a muscle car need to have an engine that swallow gas to make the experience complete.
The Mustang Ecoboost Convertible on the road
Let’s hit the road and experience what it’s like to drive a 4cyl Mustang. As soon as you push the start button the car get alive, grab the stick, drive position, let’s go! Yes, the car is equipped with the optional 10 gears automatic gearbox. Why on earth do I need 10 gears? I experienced the car for one full week in various circumstances, city, open road, highway and twisty roads and I have been quite disappointed with the gear box, the shifts are smooth but sometimes I found it weird to operate, as if the car doesn’t know what you want to do. The flappy paddles behind the wheel feel really plastic (which they are) and the car doesn’t let you as much freedom as I would like.
Do I recommend the automatic gearbox ? DEFINITELY no, back to basics, save 1,750$ and go with the old style clutch pedal (it’s even good for your health as your left leg will be exercising). I must say that in the GT I tested last year it was the manual gearbox and the handling of it was great, short and precise so no reason to choose something different.
Anyway, overall the car feels lively on the road which is good for a weekend car. The direction is quite light but you can make it stiffer with a button and the fully customizable driving experience is really cool. In fact you can set individually every aspect of the car. The want the suspension to be stiffer while having a light direction and a noisy car? No problem. You want a heavy steering with soft suspension and normal exhaust mode? Here you go.
No roof, extravagant color and great history, this car must be all about the driving experience! Yes and no.
Firstly, it’s a real weekend car (good point), the soft top is a bit painful to deal with as you must be stoped (under 5km/h) to operate it, the handle to unlock it’s very rough AND cherry on the sunday you have to get out of the car go in the trunk and grab plastic piece to install them on the side of the open roof to hide the roof mechanism … ok to enjoy a sunny Sunday but I’ll never do that in a hurry on a Tuesday morning!
It’s a 4 seaters which is quite cool, but being more than 6 feet tall the one behind me has to be quite small unless he/she a very inconfortable ride. Anyway you got it practicality is not outstanding however I don’t care about it because it’s not what we are asking for a sports weekend car! Actually i just want it to be fun. So, is it ?
Once again I will say yes and no. Let me explain to you. The engine works surprisingly well, even if it’s a 4cyl it still develops 310hp and their is almost no turbo lag which makes it somewhere pleasant to drive. It’s torque and goes well around the curves as long as you don’t hit roads too twisty. In that case, you’ll start to feel the weight of the car 1,684kg and quickly you will realize that it’s a bit underpowered. The equipment of the car is very complete which makes it very usable and easy to drive for a long time. Overall, I’m positively surprised by the dynamic capabilities of the car (I must say that I started this test drive with a bit of a prejudice because of the turbo inline 4).
Speaking about fun, if like me you like burning tires and lack of grip during standing start you’ll be pleased with the EcoBoost. Honestly I was very surprised (and very happy). Track mode, traction control off. left foot on the brake, right foot on the gas. 3,000 rpm, rear tires start to spin … release the brakes … off we go, the Mustang gently move around while staying super easy to control. This makes every launch an adventure. As you understood, it’s a propulsion and you know how much we cherish them at RoadRugCars.
Does it go sideways on twisty roads? You can try, I did, foot to the metal in the middle of the curve, the car stays in line, not even an once of sliding. I think this is due to 1 – the fact that it’s not overly powerful and 2 – the very good grip this car has.
When does the Mustang feel the best? While cruising. Roof down, arm on the door, rock and roll in the hears. In that sense it’s a true American car. It’s the proud decedent of the original Mustang, no doubt. In fact, I do think that the last generation of the GT and Shelby 350 are not really american, they feel too “balanced”. Almost too European and rational (in old muscle car standards)!
Deal breaker in my opinion? The optional active valve exhaust on the 4cyl. Once again just like the automatic gearbox, I don’t think anyone need to make that much noise with a 4cyl. It sounds very artificial and almost like a badly tuned Honda Civic. I honestly stayed on the quiet mode the all week and was very happy with it. To make it clear, it’s not that I don’t like noisy cars, actually I fell in love with the Mustang GT last year and the melody that its V8 makes. The active exhaust on it (the GT) is tremendous and should be mandatory to anyone considering buying the car. But on a 4cyl really? Not for me.
#FunToDrive Score: 65/100
Would I buy one of these? I don’t think so. Anyway, I’m not really the target of Ford for this particular car… However I can see that some middle age reasonable men/women can enjoy living with this car and that’s great. It’s affordable, good looking and not scary fast while having decent performances. This is truly the sport car for everybody, thanks to Ford you don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy a nice road in a beautiful car on a sunday afternoon. In 2019, what you get for the money with these Mustangs is really impressive. BUT…
As far as I’m concerned, I’m a young and an adventurous guy in my twenties so, for almost the same amount of money I’ll go without any hesitation for the base Mustang GT. Yes, absolutely no option expect the active valve exhaust and the magnetic suspensions, just a steering wheel and a manual stick.
Keep in mind that the Mustang GT I just described is just about 5,000$ more expensive that a well equipped Mustang EcoBoost. I don’t need fancy seats or navigation and satellite wtf radio. However I want it to be as fun as possible to drive by that I mean a true muscle car.