Saying Goodbye To Summer Mustang Style
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The Ford Mustang has been around for over 50 years and whilst early examples still set the pulses racing, it would be fair to say that some models are entirely forgettable.
Always a rare sight on UK roads, this all changed last year with Ford's decision to make the Mustang available in European trim and more importantly in right-hand drive.
Such was the level of interest and excitement that at launch, Ford were able to boast about a long waiting list.
My notes from the media launch event reminded me that early buyers seemed to prefer the fastback (80%) and the V8 engine (68%).
Bucking the trend completely was the rather fetching Ruby Red convertible that graced my driveway in late August. Missing also was the delectable V8 engine.
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Surprisingly well is the answer, aided no doubt by the warm summer sunshine which allowed me to drive everywhere with the roof down.
So what does your £37,145 get you?
Under the bonnet would seem a good place to start and here you find the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine which also provides the firepower for the feisty Focus RS.
Headline figures show the sprint to 62mph will take just 5.8 seconds (a second slower than a V8-powered car) and a top speed close to 150mph. In reality the Mustang doesn't feel this fast from rest unless you are especially brutal with the clutch...
However once on the move, the EcoBoost engine is rarely found wanting and provides power aplenty for fast overtakes and relaxing high speed cruising. The six-speed manual gearbox has a delightful short throw and is a pleasure to use. An automatic gearbox option can be specified (add £1,600), but unless I was town based I wouldn't bother.
Missing of course is a delightful V8 thrum, but clever electronics ensure the EcoBoost Mustang sounds good too.
Selectable drive modes come as standard on all Mustangs. You can choose between Normal, Sport+, Track and Snow/Wet. Sport+ was my default choice as it suits my press-on driving style.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Mustang coped with stretches of pock-marked tarmac. There is an underlying firmness to the ride as befitting a car with sporting intent, but comfort is rarely compromised. The big cosseting seats clearly help too.
High speed motorway cruising is a relaxed affair, even with the roof down. Yes there is some buffeting, but up front at least it's all good fun. I completed a 300-mile round trip to Northumberland al fresco, refusing to allow a little light drizzle over the moors to spoil the experience.
And fun it was for the Mustang can handle the twisty stuff. Only the car's not inconsiderable girth can spoil the party on some of the narrower country lanes.
No one buys a Mustang for its green credentials and with a V8 upfront, you would be lucky to see more than 20mpg. Ford quotes 34.4mpg for the 2.3-litre on the combined cycle and I can report achieving just over 31mpg over 400+ miles of mixed, high-speed motoring - an impressive result. However CO2 emissions of 184g/km do let the side down a little.
All Mustangs come positively laden with equipment so expect to find Xenon headlights, an 8" touchscreen, dual-zone climate control and six-way adjustable powered front seats.
Space up front is plentiful and the driving position spot on, but the rear perches are best reserved for children or amenable adults on short trips only. Boot space is a very usable 400 litres or so, enough for the weekly shopping or a weekend away for two.
Materials are of better quality than many American cars, but the premium German brands have little to worry about. A standard fit leather steering wheel would be a good place to start...
So after a hard-charging week, did I miss the V8 engine and hard top? Not a bit, so much so that were I lucky enough to be placing an order, then I think I would choose EcoBoost power for its greater economy and lower running costs and being a convertible car fan, the roofless option is an easy decision.
What I can say is that any Mustang will bring a huge amount of fun to even the most mundane journey and you will find an appreciative audience along the way. It's a while since I've been custodian of a car that has attracted as many admiring glances...
Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible
Price £37,145 (as tested £39,325)
Ruby Red paint (add £595)
Shaker Pro audio and NAV (add £795)
Climate Control Seats (add £495)
Reversing sensors (add £295)
317PS EcoBoost engine
Limited Slip Differential
0-62mph in 5.8 seconds
Top speed 145mph
Combined economy 34.4mpg (31.3mpg on test)
Emissions 184g/km CO2
Saying Goodbye To Summer Mustang Style, 4th September 2017, 11:56 AM