Back in 2005 when Ford re-launched its retro Mustang, the GT variant produced 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque from its 4.6-liter V8. The base model V6 made a paltry 210 horsepower, and unfortunately, it was kind of a slug. So 13 years ago, buying anything but a GT was a big no-no amongst enthusiasts. But in today’s world that’s no longer the case. This 2018 Mustang EcoBoost Premium, for example, packs 310 horsepower and a robust 350 lb-ft of torque. That means it’ll sprint to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, and will run the quarter mile in under 14 seconds, at over 100 mph. The best part? It does it all using a turbocharged 2.3-liter I4 under the hood! How that’s for progress?
For the full 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review, specs, pricing, and data read on…
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Exterior
It used to be that the smaller displacement variant of the Ford Mustang was easily distinguishable from its larger V8 sibling. Sure they would sell, but some buyers felt they got the short end of the stick, as most of the exterior go-fast goodies weren’t there. And while there are a few external differences between the 2018 EcoBoost and the GT models, it should be said that Ford has done a masterful job of keeping the go-fast feel intact for those who opt for the EcoBoost Premium.
Slathered in Triple Yellow tri-coat paint and equipped with the EcoBoost Performance Package (a $2,495.00 option), our tester came to us wearing 19×9 Ebony Black low-gloss painted wheels shod with 255/40-series tires, and the performance rear wing. As equipped, you’d be hard pressed to tell it apart from the GT. They wear the same vented hood, have the same aggressive front end (sans a slightly modified grille) and out back, the differentiation comes in the form of a more stylish rear diffusor. It features quad-tipped exhaust ports as opposed to the single ones on the EcoBoost model. More importantly, the EcoBoost works in ways that GT owners won’t care about. It gets better fuel economy, it’s lighter, and comparatively, it also costs quite a bit less. In our book, that’s a pretty big win.
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Interior
Ford has put an interior in the Mustang that’s befitting its $42,765 “as tested” price. There’s nicely bolstered and supportive leather-covered seats with heat and ventilation, intuitive dual mode climate controls, soft textured materials, Ford’s new 12″ LCD Digital Instrument Cluster and above all else, a feeling of quality. Keep in mind that much of this is due to the selection of the 201A option group ($2,200.00), but the fact is, it not only works beautifully, but it puts the Mustang into a luxury/sport category that it’s never been part of before.
A new turned aluminum-esque dash panel with inset oil pressure and boost gauges is set dead center of the dash. But the real talking point is the LCD cluster with MyMode that allows one to configure the layout to the tune of three different variants, based on the selected driving mode (Normal, Sport, or Track). Simulated analog gauges can be had, or if placed in Sport or Track mode, you’ll find a sweeping tachometer that runs to the cars 6,500-rpm redline. Steering wheel mounted controls also give further access to things like fuel economy, tire pressure readings, and other vehicle functions that are displayed in the cluster itself. Rear seating for adults is tight, but it is adequate for young children. Those looking to travel can also take advantage of the Mustang’s 13.5 cubic-feet of space in the trunk.
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Performance
Ten years ago, if you’d have told us that one day Ford would produce a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 capable of rocketing a 3,535-pound Mustang to 60 mph in just 5.1-seconds, we would have laughed. But here it is, in the flesh, and by gosh it’s a hoot to drive. And while a six-speed manual transmission is available for the purists, our tester was equipped with the new ten-speed automatic. The EcoBoost engine loves to rev, and if you play around with SelectShift, you’ll find yourself enjoying the exhaust note that emanates from the rear of the car. As mentioned earlier, our Mustang came equipped with the EcoBoost Performance Package. It is a great addition and one we highly recommend. It includes a 3.55 TORSEN limited-slip rear end, larger brake rotors with four-piston fixed calipers, heavy-duty front springs, a larger radiator, special chassis tuning, and a larger rear sway bar.
Consider as well that the EcoBoost Premium is also about 200 pounds lighter than a similarly equipped GT, and things really start to make sense. This is a car you want to drop into place in Sport mode and then hit your favorite canyon or back road with. Or, if you so choose, take it to the track, as it’s more than capable. The steering is nicely weighted, the brakes are great, and when pushed the EcoBoost is quite rewarding. There’s also a lot of GT goodness in the EcoBoost, such as a line-lock for drag racers, along with a host of track apps that record lap times and zero-to-60 runs. This well put together package also gets an EPA rated 21-mpg in the city, 32-mpg highway and 25-mpg during combined driving*, which means up to 400-miles on a tank of fuel.
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Safety
Ford has also included a host of safety features (some optional) into the 2018 Mustang. Features such as AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control, airbags throughout the cabin, anti-lock brakes, SOS post crash alert system, a rearview camera, lane departure warning, distance alert and a pre-collision assist system are just a few of them.
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Overall
It’s a good time to be alive if you’re a Mustang fan. Between the EcoBoost and GT, GT350, Bullitt and upcoming Shelby, there are a lot of choices here. This EcoBoost Premium is definitely one of the sweet spots in the lineup though, as it combines economical performance and safety in one of the best-looking wrappers on the market today. Combine that with a base price of just $25,845, and it also gives owners the opportunity to configure it in a host of different ways.
Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out today!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $42,765.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.