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?
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.