Real-World Review

2015 Ford Mustang: Real World Review

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author photo by Josh Sadlier October 2014

The 2015 Ford Mustang could have easily been overwhelmed by its own hype. Can you remember a car that caused more virtual ink to be spilled before it even existed? The all-new Mustang has set an unofficial record for sneak previews and artistic renderings. I was already almost tired of hearing about it when I finally got to drive it, and the stage was set for bitter disappointment.

Here's the thing: The new model is brilliant.

However, I felt differently about the Mustang up until now. Truthfully, I wasn't a fan or even a fence-sitter. The only thing I really liked about the outgoing Mustang was its sweet-revving 5.0-liter V8, and an engine alone wasn't enough to bring me into the fold. I couldn't get past the awkward rear-end styling, the chintzy interior or the infamous solid rear axle. You had to make too many compromises just to get the beautiful V8.

It took about 30 seconds in the 2015 Mustang's presence for me to realize that all three of my complaints had been thoroughly addressed. That's when I started trying to figure out how I was going to afford a 2015 Mustang GT of my own.

Are you asking yourself why I wouldn't go for the new turbocharged EcoBoost model, with its enticing $25,995 starting price?

It's a Mustang, folks. Anything less than a V8 would be un-American, wouldn't it? Don't get me wrong; I have some nice things to say about the 2.3-liter, 310-horsepower EcoBoost 4-cylinder. It has a nice rush of midrange torque. It seems to be pleasantly refined, with no untoward noises or vibrations, even at redline. It's lighter than the V8, and you can really feel the difference on a racetrack, where the GT bumbles a bit with the extra weight in its nose.

When it comes to muscle cars, I don't really care how they feel on track day -- and by the way, I can't say I'm too concerned about fuel economy, either. The 2015 Mustang sports a longer, prouder nose than ever, which dominates the driver's view through the windshield, and there just has to be a big V8 underneath it. Hearing a little 4-cylinder whirring away under there instead is like a clash of civilizations. This isn't an Audi A5 -- it's a Mustang! The GT's V8 is up to 435 hp, and it's a perfect match for this car's personality. It's how a modern Mustang engine ought to be.

Like I said, though, that V8 is also what the Mustang already offered. It's the new stuff that makes the 2015 Mustang a must-have. First of all, the styling is epic. I see some Aston Martin in the rear end, even a little Porsche 911 in the way it has some hips back there now -- but from the front, I see a lot of previous-generation Mustang, which is great, because that was its best angle. The archaic solid rear axle has been replaced by a modern independent setup. I'm a fan of that on principle, even if I hardly ever drive aggressively enough to reap the benefits. The interior is also night and day compared to the old model. The materials used are really good. There's aluminum on the dash and metallic toggle switches on the center stack. The door panels look and feel like they were assembled with real care. The standard seats hold you firmly in place, and all the controls fall readily to hand, like in a sports car.

With that big hood poking forward, the Mustang is ultimately too large to do a convincing sports-car impression on the road, but that's just fine. At the end of the day, the 2015 Ford Mustang GT is still a muscle car. It also happens to be one of the best-looking, best-driving and best-priced cars on the market today. If I really were ready for a new car right now, I'd take a look at the BMW 228i, too, but it would be almost impossible to resist the siren call of Ford's perfected pony.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Ford Mustang: Real World Review - Autotrader