By John Faulkner Clean Fleet Report
A Modern Retro-Styled Pony Car
Does every Mustang have to be a 460+ horsepower, fire-breathing monster to have any fun? Spend some time in the 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, and the answer becomes quite apparent—the extra hp is not needed.
The 2019 Mustang comes in three versions: GT, Bullitt and EcoBoost. Clean Fleet Report spent a fun-filled week in the EcoBoost Convertible Premium, coming to the realization that our recent time in the GT may have been exhilarating, but not at all indicative of what owning a version of the base model Mustang is all about.
Healthy Power and Performance
The rear-wheel-drive Mustang EcoBoost comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder, producing a very usable 310 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is smooth, predictable and responsive as you go through the gears on the 6-speed manual transmission. Ford has positioned the leather-trimmed shifter perfectly for angle and grip size, for slow or hard shifting. The clutch, with a good feel and smooth engagement, produced shifts with enough heft that reminds you this is a 3,676-pound Pony Car. In different iterations the 2019 Mustang is a true track star, and is now used in NASCAR.
The 6-speed manual gearbox allows the Mustang EcoBoost to be driven in a civil manner, including the option of leaving it in second gear to get around town. However, when it was go-time, the turbo came to life and was ready-and-able to spin the rear tires.
The exhaust note was not nearly as throaty as on the GT with the 460-hp V8, but did have a satisfying grumble that increased when ramping-up to full throttle. Zero-to-60 mph times were right around 5.1 seconds. The acceleration is linear with no turbo lag. Pushback in the seat comes at 3,000 rpm and stays consistent and stout through the 6,500-rpm red line.
The EPA has rated the EcoBoost at 20 city/28 highway/23 combined. In 410 miles driving around Southern California we averaged 24 mpg, so right about as estimated. However, in a 100-mile run with the cruise control set at 65 mph, we averaged 34 mpg, exceeding the EPA figure. This fuel economy is encouraging, but it will take a wide-open road to equal it. The real world of driving fun, or getting hung-up in stop-and-go traffic, will use more fuel.
The fuel economy numbers reported by Clean Fleet Report are non-scientific. They represent the reviewer’s driving experience, but should be similar to most drivers living in our reviewer’s cities. If you live in cold weather, high in the mountains, spend time in the city or stuck in rush hour traffic, your numbers may differ.
Top Down Fun
Clean Fleet Report took delivery of a 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost convertible during a rainy week. If not in Southern California, this may be an iffy time to put the top down. As it turns out, we had six beautiful days and one with rain. For a drought-stressed state, there are no complaints.
The power top on the Mustang is operated by turning three latches and pushing a button. Up and down was a matter of a few silent seconds. When down, the cabin is largely protected from wind, especially with the windows up. With the top up, noise is well damped as the top is lined and insulated.
Once out on the road, the Mustang EcoBoost has an easy learning curve. The electric power steering delivered good road feel, aided by Pirelli P Zero 255/40R summer tires on optional 19-inch aluminum wheels. The grip was excellent, thanks in a big part to the independent rear suspension – only under the hardest of cornering did the rear end have to catch-up with the front. This became predictable as the optional MagneRide damping system kept the rear tires planted.
The Mustang interior has a comfy and retro feel to it. Gauges are large and easy to read, with black backgrounds with white letters. All controls, including the large dual-zone climate controls, are within easy reach of the driver.
Our Mustang came with the Performance trim level that included black leather-trimmed power front buckets with accent stitching on the seats, console and heated steering wheel. The materials were designed to be exposed to the elements, so they may not appear to be as upscale as found on other cars. The front seats were comfortable, while the rear is best for those of a smaller stature. Folding the split rear seat gives the Mustang the most versatility for stowing luggage and bags for long road trips.
The nine-speaker infotainment system includes navigation and SiriusXM®/FM/CD/HD with MP3 playback capability plus convenient steering wheel-mounted controls. USB ports with iPod connectivity, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, music streaming via Bluetooth and hands-free phone capability complete the system. All this is viewed through an 8-inch, high-resolution LCD touch-screen. The SYNC® Connect 4G LTE Wi-Fi supports up to 20 devices.
The Classic Mustang Look
A long hood with a short deck sums-up the classic Pony Car design. Made famous in the 1960s by the Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger (and others), the look on all three continues to this day. The 2019 Mustang has its own personality.
Most Mustangs will be sold as a coupe which has the distinctive fastback design and is done in a modern retro-style, harkening back to the 1965 Mustang (above). From the LED head and fog lights to the sequential turn-signal taillights, the 2019 Mustang is a good-looking car. To be a bit unique, our test Mustang came in green, but not just any green—Need For Green!
Convenience and Safety
The 2019 Mustang has available features of cruise control, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, rear vision camera, power and heated exterior mirrors, power windows with one-touch up and down, keyless start and entry, passive entry system and a theft deterrent system. Safety features include front and side impact airbags, tire pressure monitor and a reverse sensing system.
Clean Fleet Report’s 2019 Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium had a base price of $36,360. With the 201A Package and other optional equipment, the MSRP came to $44,120. Prices exclude the $995 destination and delivery charge.
Observations: 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium
What a fun car with affordable performance and attractive styling! The performance was more than adequate for a sporty drive, whether on mountain curves or cruising leisurely on our favorite highway or back road.
Where I live in Southern California, the Mustang convertible is a frequent sight on Pacific Coast Highway or in the desert, where going topless is as de rigueur as anything else considered cool in the Golden State.
When visiting a Ford dealer, we suggest comparing the EcoBoost and the GT coupe and convertible. That way you’ll know which of the iconic Mustangs could be right for you.
For more product information visit Ford.com
For more reviews by the author visit Clean Fleet Report
John Faulkner is Road Test Editor at Clean Fleet Report. He has more than 30 years experience branding, launching and marketing automobiles. His interest in automobiles is broad and deep, beginning as a child riding in the back seat of his parent’s 1950 Studebaker. He is a journalist member of the Motor Press Guild.
Mustang EcoBoost press fleet vehicle provided by Ford Motor Company. Prices and vehicle information applies to U.S. models at the time of publication, not including destination, taxes, license, etc. All product information, including prices, features, and specifications, is subject to change without notice.
Photos (as noted) © 2019 Lex Adams. Additional photos courtesy Ford
Story © 2019 Clean Fleet Report – This review is reposted with permission on CarNichiWa.com