2015 Ford Mustang: Iconic muscle car turns 50 in style

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The 2015 Ford Mustang marks the car’s 50th anniversary, and the carmaker celebrated the milestone with a surprise. It didn’t spoil the party with an over-the-top, too powerful machine. Instead, it offered an EcoBoost four-cylinder as one of six trim levels.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

With its Competition Orange exterior paint and black ragtop, the 2015 Ford Mustang attracted as much attention as any car I’ve driven with the exception of a Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Young people in the neighborhood yelled out praise. Strangers in parking lots offered compliments, and a few drivers accelerated past me on the highway seemingly wanting to have drag races.

None of these onlookers knew, but my Ford Mustang test vehicle for the week was the EcoBoost trim. It includes some standard and optional equipment of the V6 trim’s with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

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The 2015 Ford Mustang celebrates the iconic car’s 50th anniversary. All Images © James Raia/2015

 

Standard equipment on the V6 includes: xenon headlights, LED taillights, a limited-slip rear differential, keyless ignition and entry, integrated blind-spot mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera, the Sync voice control system (with 4.2-inch multifunction display) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack. The options: 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, rear park assist, a power driver seat and an anti-theft system.

The EcoBoost trim also includes: foglamps, a rear spoiler, six-way power front seats, aluminum dash trim, active noise cancellation and a “Tracks Apps” system. It can provide performance data such as 0-60-mph and quarter-mile times, lateral acceleration and stopping distances from 60 mph or 100 mph.

My weekly test driver Ford Mustang also featured an upgraded Shaker audio system with 12 speakers ($1,795) and nearly a dozen other single-feature upgrades that pushed the base price of $34,7800 past the $40,000 plateau.

I drove the Mustang in typical city and freeway driving, including a 90-mile trek to the San Francisco Bay Area from Sacramento with the top down. The new Mustang isn’t pedestrian with the top up. But like many convertibles, it feels right with the top down. I cranked up the radio, pulled my cap on tight and embraced the crisp morning air.

The ragtop functionality is impressive. Put the windows down, pull and twist a large lever on the top of the console, push a button and six seconds later, the top is secured. The top goes up in 16 seconds

With its new independent suspension, the new Mustang has become a refined muscle car. The ride is smooth and particularly quiet at freeway speeds. Steering is precise and braking is firm. Shifting is smooth.

The coupe and convertible are considered four-seaters. But anyone in the rear seats, with the exception of small children, will be cramped. The convertible offers a sizable trunk, 11.4 cubic feet. Its overall interior design is modern with a lower console row of toggle switches. The navigation system is intuitive and the screen clarity is superior.

Likes:

Convenient, quick functioning ragtop.

Reflect night image of Mustang logo blow front driver and passenger door handle.

Driving comfort.

Superior clarity on rear view camera and navigation system.

Dislikes:

Difficult to see over the long hood.

Tight back seats.

Facts & Figures: 2015 Ford Mustang

Acceleration: 0-60 mpg, 5.9 seconds
Airbags: 5.
Fuel economy: 20 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway), 24 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 310.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $34,800.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.ford.com.
Price As Tested: $41,295.00 (including $825 destination charge).
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“With the arrival of the 2015 Mustang, Ford has successfully reinvented an icon. Yet for all its updating, the Mustang coupe and convertible retain the power, value and dashing driving manners that have fostered 9-million-plus sales over half a century and countless more fans.” — Kelley Blue Book.

“For the money, in the segment, nothing can touch it. Not even excuses. Finally.” — Autoblog.

“Essentially an all-new car, the 2015 Ford Mustang has been refined and modernized like no Mustang to come before it.” — Edmunds.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“It’s always fun to drive iconic cars. And with the ragtop down, I could have just kept driving the 2015 Ford Mustang toward to horizon for as long as it took to get there.”

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