MUS­TANG ECOBOOST 2.3 v MUS­TANG 5.0 GT

Mus­tang ma­nia has swept the world and Chris Ri­ley pon­ders the $64,000 ques­tion: which one should I get — the V8 or the turbo?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

MUS­TANG ECOBOOST 2.3 VALUE

It’s a re­mark­able price for such a de­sir­able car. Auto adds $2500, putting you on the road for about $50K — if you can wait. Mod cons in­clude sat­nav, leather ac­cents, two-zone cli­mate air­con plus heated and cooled front seats. War­ranty is a mun­dane three years/ 100,000km, ser­vic­ing a rea­son­able $1055 (three years/45,000km).

DE­SIGN/TECH

Think of it as two-seater. There’s a rear seat but legroom is lim­ited, ac­cess dif­fi­cult and your head is un­der the rear win­dow. The front seats are big-body friendly but the long doors swing wide, which can be prob­lem­atic when parked. Sadly the movie star looks are not matched in­side, with plenty of black plas­tic. The rear seats flick for­ward to re­veal a handy sized boot that holds the space-saver spare.

EN­GINE

Per­for­mance from the four-cylin­der twin-scroll turbo (233kW/ 432Nm; es­sen­tially as in the killer Fo­cus RS) is sur­pris­ingly good. There are four drive modes, pad­dle-shifters for the auto and ad­just­ment for steer­ing ef­fort. Auto claims 9.3L/100km (95 RON).

SAFETY

No rat­ing from AN­CAP yet but it has five stars from US test­ing. Eight airbags in­clude knee bags for driver and pas­sen­ger, along with a rear-view camera, re­verse park­ing sen­sors and camera guides that fol­low the steer­ing. None of the lat­est tech such as auto brak­ing, blind spot as­sist or lane de­par­ture warn­ing.

DRIV­ING

The turbo has plenty of poke, even if the auto hunts a bit. Sport mode holds gear longer but us­ing the pad­dles yields the most sat­is­fy­ing re­sult. A lim­ited-slip diff is stan­dard and the ride qual­ity is good. The rear tends to bounce around on rough roads and step out in the wet.

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