Mighty quiet Mustang
BACK in August last year I was able to take the wheel of a true American icon available in the UK for the first time in right-hand drive form.
Up until last year, Ford’s Mustang had to be privately imported to this country and all of them had the steering wheel on the wrong side.
Suddenly the car that had been on sale for over 50 years and gained cult status was available here – and at a reasonable price.
One of the most recognised cars across the globe, it is available in coupe and convertible body styles and with a choice of two engines.
Penned by a design team headed by Scot Moray Callum, brother of Jaguar’s design director Ian, UK cars are available with Ford’s impressive 5.0litre V8 or a slightly more economical 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo EcoBoost engine and you can match both to sixspeed manual or automatic gearboxes.
Last time out, I sampled the magnificent 5.0-litre V8 in convertible form and this time I got to try out the less muscular 2.3 in the coupe body.
Nearly as quick as its big engined brother, the 2.3 should cost far less to run and there is thankfully no difference to its stunning visual look.
Sadly, you have to do without the legendary muscle car’s V8 burble and soundtrack but the smaller engine is nearly as quick and – on paper at least – not nearly as thirsty.
Half the cylinders doesn’t mean half the grunt or a lack of fun. Once you get over the initial shock of not hearing a V8 burst into life when you fire the engine up for the first time you just accept the fact and get on with enjoying the car.
This model came with the six-speed manual gearbox and the EcoBoost unit does not lack firepower. It has 313bhp on tap and is capable of reaching 145mph.
It accelerates smoothly with a hint of turbo whistle and takes just 5.8 seconds to reach 62mph.
In an attempt to make the car more exciting, Ford has created an artificial soundtrack that comes through the speakers but sadly it can’t compete with the real noise from the V8.
There are four driving modes to choose from, Normal, Wet/Snow, Sport and Track, with the latter two making adjustments to the steering and throttle response.
As you would expect the ride is on the firm side but the Mustang offered bags of grip and balance.
The roomy cabin has some nice retro touches and is identical to the 5.0-litre version. It is comfortable and as you would expect very American but the rear seats are only suitable for children or small adults.
There is bags of equipment included as standard and for £31,745 you get a lot of car for your buck.
Special paint will cost an additional £795, a premium audio system with navigation another £795, climate controlled seats (heating and cooling) £495 and reverse parking sensors £295, taking the total to £34,125.
The claimed combined economy figure is 35.3mpg, and this Fastback model is surprisingly practical with a large boot.
It offers all of the looks and fun for less cash and lower running costs but if you want to enjoy the fabulous noise of the V8 then its probably worth paying the extra £4,000 to get it.
TEST DRIVE FORD MUSTANG 2.3L
MODEL: Ford Mustang 2.3-litre EcoBoost Fastback PRICE: £31,745 MECHANICAL: 317ps, 2,298cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox MAX SPEED: 145mph 0-62MPH: 5.8 seconds COMBINED MPG: 35.3 INSURANCE GROUP: 46 CO2 EMISSIONS: 179g/km BIK RATING: 34% WARRANTY: 3yrs/60,000 miles