$17,205 - $27,640

2015 Ford Mustang Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Ford Mustang was new.


Performance: 9.1

The redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang impresses test drivers with its ride composure over imperfect roads and agile, yet predictable, handling. They add that the new EcoBoost Mustang feels lively, especially around town, and are pleased that it has very little turbo lag. The Mustang GT delights reviewers with its ample power, and they like the standard manual transmission's short shifter throws and light clutch pedal.

  • "Whatever minor failings the Mustang has, none are where the rubber meets the road. Here the car impresses with a surprisingly compliant ride, grippy cornering, and serious power, particularly in GT guise." -- Consumer Guide
  • "How was it to drive the new Mustang? It was surprisingly good. Very good. So much better than any Mustang you've ever driven. It wasn't just the new independent rear that made the difference, though that was certainly a huge part of it. It was that all the inputs you receive in the driver's seat were tuned to eliminate all the stuff you don't need to know about. It wasn't isolated, just refined. Everything from the noise that comes into the cabin to the feel through the steering wheel is far ahead of old Mustangs. It's still more of a muscle car than it is a sports car, but it's one of the most refined muscle cars you'll see." -- AutoWeek
  • "Having now done so for a few hours around Los Angeles, what we can tell you is to forget everything you know about the Mustang. This new car shames the old, redefines the model and gallops far ahead of anything else in the segment." -- Autoblog
  • "Once we arrive at Newcombe's Ranch (est. 1939) at an elevation of 5340 feet, it's as if the 2015 Mustang has left behind all those stereotypes from 50 years of bad behavior back at the Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. Apparently it just takes a while for some kids to grow up." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The Ford Mustang's base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The Mustang EcoBoost has a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The Mustang GT has a 5.0-liter V8 that generates 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. With any engine, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. A base Mustang V6 with an automatic transmission returns an EPA-estimated 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is on par with rivals' ratings. The Mustang EcoBoost returns up to 22/31 mpg.

Auto journalists write that the new 2015 Mustang EcoBoost has ample power and feels particularly lively in city driving. They note that its power delivery is very refined and that there is minimal turbo lag. The Mustang GT is well-liked for its impressive power and easy-to-drive nature at low speeds, though some reviewers wish it was a bit louder. Test drivers report that the manual transmission has a smooth clutch take-up and short shifter throws.

  • "Now, let's look at the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four. (Yes, we know, the Mustang had a four-banger way back in the 1970s and '80s. It was even a 2.3 liter. Forget about that engine.) This one is very sophisticated, not just by those ancient standards, but by the standards of any four-cylinder on the road today." -- AutoWeek
  • "Even in traffic, you're aware that this Mustang GT has a beast within, since there's no other way to describe a 435-hp 5.0-liter V-8 matched with a six-speed manual transmission. Fortunately, this powertrain has been to charm school. The engine's docile personality at low rpm, the slick short-throw shift linkage of the Getrag-built gearbox, and the smooth clutch take-up combine to help you drive like a pro. You can make the shift from first to second gear so seamlessly that your passenger's head will barely bobble." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "As is characteristic of such engines, the V8 pulls strongly throughout its rev range. Equally characteristic of small turbocharged engines is a moment of lag time from a full-throttle start before power comes on strongly, but the new EcoBoost suffers less of this than most; in fact, stabbing the throttle while turning left from a stop broke the rear tires loose and sent the tail flying about halfway through the intersection." -- Consumer Guide
  • "As for the turbo-four, it transitions into boost seamlessly even at part-throttle, giving the car robust thrust around town. There's no sogginess off boost." -- Edmunds
  • "Speaking of throttle, the Coyote V-8 remains one of our favorite V-8s in the business with gobs of usable power and a willingness to rev. If only Ford would open it up a bit more and let it sing. ... The gearbox is pretty wonderful too, though I found myself missing fourth gear somehow on multiple occasions while moving quickly." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that a new rear suspension design makes the 2015 Mustang's handling significantly better than that of the previous model. They say the Mustang feels athletic and has predictable handling that makes it easy to drive. Some note that the available performance package, which adds features like Brembo brakes, upgraded suspension components and stickier tires, further improves the Mustang's handling prowess. They're impressed with the stopping power of the Brembo brakes, but mention that they are very sensitive. Reviewers are pleased with the Mustang's accurate and communicative steering, and report that the Mustang remains composed and feels comfortable over road imperfections.

  • "As the front end steers into corners athletically and the electric-assist steering communicates effectively, the chassis rolls predictably and then squats its outside rear tire so you know where the power meets the pavement." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Over the bumps, the independent rear not only soaked up every road irregularity it came across but allowed for easier application of power upon exiting. There were many times in corners when we uttered words like 'Superb!' and 'Magical!' That might have been as juxtaposed with the old Mustang, but it's still an impressive ride." -- AutoWeek
  • "It's not just the chassis that feels right. The precise steering is electrically assisted, but the sensations are richly analog and not digital. (This is true in any of its three adjustable modes, which largely alter weight.)" -- Car and Driver
  • "If you ever plan on taking the new Mustang through a corner in anger, the Performance pack is a must-have. The handling improvement over the base suspension is immediately obvious even before exploring the outer limits of grip." -- Edmunds
  • "The Brembo brakes also proved themselves worthy of slowing the Mustang's mass, though their grabby-ness takes some getting used to." -- Motor Trend

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