2019 Ford Mustang GT & Convertible Ecoboost
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
This week we are reviewing the Mustang GT Fastback & the Mustang EcoBoost Convertible in premium trim. Our 2 vehicles were assembled at the Flat Rock plant in Michigan, USA and have an MSRP of $41081 CAD for the Fastback and $45429 CAD for the convertible. We had teased you in past reviews, hinted that we were reviewing these 2 Mustangs, the review is finally here.
Fun Factor: 8 Fastback / 9 Convertible Can it Family: 3 Fastback / 4 Convertible Fuel-Friendly: 5 Fastback / 6 Convertible HWY-warrior: 8 Fastback / 6 Convertible Karaoke Friendly: 7 Fastback / 7 Convertible Baby friendly: 4 Fastback / 5 Convertible City Cruising: 4 Fastback / 5 Convertible
As you can see, we tested both the iconic Fastback & convertible Mustang. The Fastback was equipped with the 5.0L V8 and the convertible with the 4 Banger 2.3L turbo. How can the 4-cylinder be more fun than the traditional big V8? For starters, the convertible wins points for being a convertible. However, that's not what tipped the scale; both cars came with quad-exhaust tips, somehow Ford managed to make the turbo 2.3L sound surprisingly aggressive. It may not sound as good as the V8, yet Ford sure did some wizardry to make it sound as good as it did, especially with the top open and the wind in our hair it was just priceless. The V8 obviously has more of that aggressive sound traditionally linked with Mustangs, and most people may not hear a difference. Due to the lighter engine in the EcoBoost, we felt it took corners better, and the turbo 2.3L was more comfortable in the day-to-day, it's more fuel-efficient, the car feels lighter and has better maneuverability compared to the 5.0. In terms of raw power, nothing currently beats the V8; Ford announces for the V8 a whopping 460hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. As for the 2.3L it produces 310hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, that's almost as much horsepower as a 2010 Ford Mustang GT, the EcoBoost engine will give you a lot more torque in return compared to that model. This goes to shows how much more powerful engines have become in such a short time. The Fastback V8 has an announced 0-60 mph in an impressive 3.9 seconds while the EcoBoost convertible sprints to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Both cars were equipped with Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission, under hard acceleration and hard breaking the transmission can feel somewhat hesitant in both the V8 and 4-cylinder variants to shift into the right gear. The Mustang as we've known in the past wasn't necessarily enjoyable to drive on winding roads, yes it was fast in a straight line but when it came to twisty roads it wasn't its strong point. Since the 'stang has an independent rear suspension, the rear is a lot more tamable when imperfections are found on the road.
Can it Family? Oh, how can we put it nicely, it might not be the greatest car to haul the whole family. However, it will bring the family joy, especially in the convertible. It may be the perfect car for a weekend getaway, in our case, the kids loved the gargling and rumble of the engine and asked to floor the car more and more naturally the closest possible to the speed limit. In both cases, keeping the speed limit is harder said than done with the immense power both engines produce. Yes, space is limited to 2 adults in front and 2 children in the back. Those front seats offer quite the amenities, they offer heated and cooled seats, these are especially enjoyable on warmer summer days. We did find that when the top was down on our convertible Mustang, the cooled seats had little not to effect. Smaller adults can fit in the back. We would only suggest those back seats for shorter distances as these are more of a +2 than actual 2 seats. Mind you that the trunk is acceptable for a convertible for shorter weekend journeys. We were able to fit three large backpacks in the trunk and three sleeping bags and accessories to bring kids to Scout Summer camp. Why would we even try this? Our kids would not accept driving anything else while we were testing it; it was way too cool to miss an opportunity to ride a Mustang. The Mustang definitely has people turning their heads and also brings a lot of smiles to its passengers. Unfortunately or fortunately, when testing the Fastback, we encountered lots of rain, with the bad weather on the road the enclosed cabin of the Fastback gave it more of a comforting experience with the kids making way to lighthearted moments.
How's the fuel consumption of these 2 sports cars? We averaged 13.6L per 100km with the V8 Fastback and 10.5L per 100km with the convertible EcoBoost. Ford announces a City consumption of the V8 to 15L per 100km and 9.1L per 100km on the HWY, what we experience in the city was 16.8L per 100km and 9.2L per 100km on the HWY. Our test was done over a distance of 600km including 50% city and 50% HWY. Now for the convertible, Ford announces a City consumption of 11.2L per 100km and 7.3L per 100km on the HWY. We experienced 12.6L per 100km in the city and 9.5L per 100km on the HWY. Our test was done over a distance of more than 1000km and included approximately 40% city driving and 60% HWY driving while having the top down most of the time. These results were achieved by driving in a spirited fashion. Lower results can be achieved, especially with the convertible when the top is up while driving on the HWY. Both cars require premium octane fuel to attain maximum HP; however, they could both run on regular octane and produce less power.
Now if you're going to do a lot of HWY driving the clear winner is the Fastback, operating at speeds above 100km/h the wind becomes less enjoyable for rear passengers even when the outside temperature is soaring high. Naturally, the lines of the Fastback make it more streamline at higher speeds, and less road noise does enter the cabin compared to the convertible when the top is closed. The road handling on the HWY felt more planted in the Fastback and overtaking felt a lot easier thanks to the V8, even if the 4-banger felt powerful enough for the task. The iconic V8 rumble still represents the American dream and the perfect road trip machine even if the days are numbered for engines such as the coyote engine. Will we ever see a hybrid Mustang competing with supercars? Only time will tell.
How's the sound system of the Mustang? Both were equipped with the same Nine Speaker Stereo System by Bang & Olufsen; overall, we were pleased with the system and couldn't find any fault to it. Even if it wasn't, we couldn't be upset as the soundtrack provided by the car is just as beautiful to listen to as any chart trending song. Something that we hadn't specified previously, however both variant offer muting of their exhaust system so that you don't get a bad reputation with your neighbours. The Mustang comes with SYNC 3 infotainment that offers both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. SYNC 3 responds quick enough; some of the infotainment's features are hidden away in submenus. The car offers both physical buttons for heating/cooling, those found in the infotainment are easier to adjust compared to the ones found underneath the infotainment finding your way to look off the road a lot longer to find the actual control versus the several steps it takes within the infotainment.
The biggest question of all, were we able to fit child seats in the Mustang? We did have to do a lot less acrobatic compared to the Camaro we tested recently. The ISOFIX ports are tucked away with a kind of leather lip. The ports themselves are quite far to reach, making it less than ideal for attaching car seats. Trying to attach a forward-facing car seat is not impossible however will take away some of the space from the passengers in front, attaching it rear-facing would condemn it altogether. We did wish to see these latches be more accessible for installation. Once this has been done, you'll have the satisfaction of driving away with a smile on your face. The rear anchor in the Fastback is very visible and easy to attach, as for the convertible that anchor latch is tucked away with the roof making it hard to find and to attach it. The convertible does have the upper hand as it is a lot easier to install car seats once the top is down and makes it a lot more pleasant to install them as well. As for your younger children entering the car, such as opening the door might not be too hard as the door handle is low, the weight of the door makes it harder for them to hold the door open they will also need assistance to gain access to the rear seats as the mechanism can be hard to operate for them. Once they are attached with the roof down and the wind in their hair, you'll be happy the time it took and the enjoyment it will bring your children.
Finally, how does the Mustang live up in the urban jungle? The long nose does add a little challenge when parallel parking in tighter spots, a front camera or sensor would significantly improve keeping your Mustang free of scratches. The lower score we provided to the Fast is mainly due to the higher fuel consumption with the V8. Making it less ideal driving it during traffic. The Mustang is still today more comfortable on long stretches of HWY. The purist might not like the next few words. For low speeds driving while in the city, we would surely like to see a mild hybrid system or even a performance Plug-in Hybrid similar to what we see in the new Lincoln products. Making it more enjoyable to drive at these speeds and also better for your wallet in the long run.
Why would we buy the Ford Mustang and what we liked: The convertible will give you more smiles per mile in both the GT and EcoBoost convertible variant; The iconic 5.0L coyote sound; the price they are available fully equipped; comfortable front seats. It looks mean and raises your cool factor.
Why wouldn't we buy the Ford Mustang and what we didn't like: Hard to install car seats; limited seating for rear passengers.