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2015 Ford Mustang Test Drive

Reasons you’ll love the 2015 Ford Mustang…

Whether you’re a die-hard Mustang lover, a sports car connoisseur or a style maven, the 2015 Ford Mustang has it all. Available with three engine choices, and in coupe and convertible form, there’s a Mustang for just about everyone.

Pros: Those looks, GT’s V8 power, terrific looking interior, great build quality

Cons: Rear seat is a bit cramped

Competitors: Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro

AutoNation Ford Mustang Inventory

Three years ago we were in the market for a new car with very specific criteria. We wanted at least a 400 horsepower V8, rear-wheel drive, track-capable suspension and a price tag that was around $35,000. After running the automotive gamut and going back through all of our previous test-drives, we came away with one obvious choice – a Ford Mustang GT.

That was back in 2012, and since then the Mustang has not only evolved, but has morphed into what has become the best Ford Mustang ever built.

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Exterior

Gone are the sharp angular lines that defined Mustangs built from 2005-2014, and in their place are organic European curves combined with some distinct American aggression. Since this new Mustang will be sold around this great planet of ours, it comes to us with a level of refinement not encountered in any previous models. Where the old pony was muscular, this one is sexy. The old car was the bouncer at your favorite pub, where this gentleman is more of a corporate security officer. While at first it may seem like Ford has taken the “American” out of the new car in terms of styling, you need to look deeper and understand that this time, the entire world needs to like this car, not just those of us who live in the great USA.

With a long sloped hood, pronounced blacked-out grill and aggressive lower fascia that’s flanked by LED driving lights, the new Mustang is elegant in its design. The lines are seamlessly integrated and flow nicely up a raked windshield, across a curved roofline and then down into the short rear deck lid. The rear bumper is overly pronounced, but uses sequential taillights, a black out trunk insert and a built-in lower diffuser to break up all that real estate. Overall, we like the new digs the 2015 Mustang has been given.

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Interior

If there was ever an area where the Mustang lacked initiative, it was inside the cabin. It used to be that one was greeted with a sea of plastic, hard surfaces and materials that felt subpar at best. With this new car though, Ford has not only made improvements, but given us an interior near worthy of our test car’s $46,480 (MSRP) price tag. From the onset almost every material has been upgraded or improved upon. From the double-stitched leather Recaro seats and center console, to the improved shift nob and dash. 

For 2015 Ford has FINALLY equipped the Mustang with a steering column that tilts AND telescopes — a feature taller drivers will adore. The center stack has been redone and utilizes a dual climate control system that, when properly equipped, can be operated by either manual dash mounted controls or through Ford’s SYNC system. In models like our GT test car, the use of a traditional key has also been replaced in favor of a start button that resides next to a series of toggle switches, the likes of which control the hazard lights, traction control system, steering firmness and multiple driving modes.

Additional available features such as adaptive cruise control, Ford’s premium Shaker sound system, ambient lighting, reverse park assist and voice activated navigation help to finally bring the Mustang’s interior up to a level worthy of the “Premium” tag. Visibility is decent but not great, and the rear seats are useful for only the smallest of folks. Once on the road though, you’ll notice that interior noise levels are at a minimum. A good thing if you like to have on-road conversations with those you’re traveling with.

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Performance

For 2015 Ford managed to wrangle a few more ponies out of their 5.0-liter V8 engine to the tune of 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque (up from 420 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque). Keep in mind that the new car has gaines a few pounds. So while the new car does have more power, the straight-line performance numbers are pretty similar (about 4.5-seconds to 60 mph and high-12s, low-13s in the quarter mile in the case of our GT tester).

The big news though is the inclusion of an independent rear suspension, a first for the Ford Mustang since the SVT Mustang Cobras built from 1999-2004. Thanks to the new suspension, the Mustang now feels more like a sports car and less like a muscle car. It’s composed over mid-corner bumps and offers a much better overall ride than its predecessors. High speed cornering is more confidence-inspiring, with just a hint of understeer when pushed hard.

The 6-speed manual transmission in our test car is a carry over from the 2013-2014 car. Some testers complained of a notchy feel, but rowing through the gears at speed provided us with nothing but crisp smooth gear changes. Buyers can also opt for an automatic transmission. Our car was quipped with the optional GT Performance Package, which meant the inclusion of 255/40/19 tires up front and 275/40/19 tires out back, a 3.73 torsen rear axle, massive 6-piston Brembo calipers, a strut tower brace, line-lock and a front splitter. In our opinion the Performance Package is a MUST for those who plan to drive their car in a spirited manner or take it to the track.

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Overall

It’s refined, comfortable, incorporates all the technology you could ever ask for and handles like a performance car should. The 2015 Mustang has evolved to the point where it is no longer a muscle car, but a wonderful GT car with sporting tendencies that one can exploit on their favorite back road or racetrack. In short, it’s a better car than its predecessor in every way with the capabilities to surprise cars costing thousands more.

Photos by Mike Musto

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