Reviews

2015 Ford Mustang Walk Around

Although the sheet metal has been completely redesigned, the 2015 Ford Mustang is still instantly recognizable. The Mustang keeps its classic proportions, long in front and short in the rear. The new Mustang is lower and wider, with a wider rear track and rear fenders, giving it a more aggressive, hunkered-down appearance. In a nod to Mustangs past, coupes return to the fastback-style rear window. Convertibles get a new soft top that Ford says will lower and raise twice as fast as the old one.

In front, the 2015 Mustang gets a new interpretation of what Ford calls the Mustang’s shark bite front end, with a low, wide trapezoidal front grille with an integrated pony icon. It’s flanked by HID headlights with slanted tri-bar LED accent lights. Upper-level models get LED foglamps. Sharp hood creases give the front end a three-dimensional look.

From the side, the Mustang’s flat and upright front end is apparent. A straight, sharp crease runs from behind the front fender, through the door handle and just a head of the rear fender. Coupes get a sharply sloping fastback.

A variety of wheel designs are available, from the V6’s standard painted aluminum wheels, to the GT’s 19-inch alloys in gloss black; 20-inch rims are also available. Upper trim levels and the 5.0 GT also get a rear decklid spoiler.

From the rearview, the coupe’s large, sloping rear window pays homage to Mustang fastbacks of years past. Three-dimensional tri-bar LED taillights echo the front’s accent lighting. Dual exhaust pipes are integrated into the rear bumper, with bright chrome tips on GT models, and a rear diffuser on GT Premium trims.

Interior

Comfort and quality are greatly improved in the 2015 Mustang. Interior materials include soft-touch plastics and aluminum trim that feel good to the touch, not cheap or flimsy. More features come standard, such as pushbutton start and Ford’s Sync voice recognition system. Small, thoughtful touches equate to more comfort, like a narrower center stack that leaves more knee room for the driver and front passenger, and repositioned cupholders on the center console that leave a clear shifting path.

Analog gauges feature blue text on a black background, with an LCD in between that displays various vehicle data. A new steering wheel is smaller than before, and is beefy enough to get a good grip without feeling overstuffed. On the wheel are a variety of controls for easy access, including audio, phone and voice recognition functions.

On the center stack, a color touch screen sits beneath three round air vents. Controls are a mix of rotary knobs, hard buttons and a row of analog switches, which control the hazard lights and drive modes. On cars equipped with automatic climate control, hard buttons control most functions, though, to change the airflow (i.e. from face to floor), one must go into the menu on the touch screen, which takes more steps than it should.

Seats are comfortable and fit snug in the hips, perfect for a Brazilian racecar driver or a slim woman, but anyone bigger will find themselves sitting on top of the seat cushion bolstering. Other parts of the seats are proportioned for bigger people, like a long seat cushion that prevents the Brazilian driver or petite woman from bending his or her knees. Plenty of shoulder room between the supportive side bolsters. On our test car, our seats had power slide and lumbar functions, but reclined manually. Cloth upholstery comes standard on all but 5.0 GT models, with an optional upgraded Recaro sport cloth, which we preferred to the base. GT Premium trims get leather interior.

Storage in the cabin is minimal, but enough for anything but long road trips. A small tray below the analog switches on the center stack holds a smartphone or keys. Side door pockets are just wide enough to accommodate a standard-sized water bottle, but must be placed sideways. The center console has two cupholders, and there is moderate.

Forget about using the backseat for anything but storage space. It’s small and cramped, and even an average-sized driver will have the seat back far enough to pretty much eliminate any rear legroom. Plus, we found that the lever used to access the backseat is stiff and hard to use.

A six-speaker audio system with a single CD player comes standard, and produces average sound. The upgraded Shaker Pro system is better, but didn’t blow us away. We think Harman Kardon and Bose do a better job in this arena.

Ford offers a new free app, compatible with iPhone and Android-powered smartphones, to learn more about the 2015 Mustang. Users can access owner information, learn history about the Mustang brand, locate nearby racetracks and play games. An augmented reality feature uses the phone’s camera to shows hot spots inside the Mustang cabin, then lets users click their phone’s screen to find more info. We found the app promising, but many functions at this point are more novel than useful.

Visibility in the 2015 Mustang is remarkably good, especially compared to the blind-spot-laden Chevrolet Camaro. In most current cars, the A-pillar is so wide it hampers visibility, but the Mustang’s cleverly designed A-pillar is narrow enough to allow one to look through the corners. We could also see fine out the rear fastback window. Low profile rearview mirrors take some getting used to. We found the optional blind spot monitoring system helped to fill in the gaps.

Trunk space in the 2015 Ford Mustang measures 13.5 cubic feet in coupe variants, which is shy of the Dodge Challenger’s 16.2 cubic feet, but beats the Chevrolet Camaro’s paltry 11.3 cubic feet. Convertibles get 11.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

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