Say the words Ford Mustang and for a lot of people, it means a classic American sports car that over the last 55 years, has become an iconic shape and design. The current generation has well placed retro touches both on the exterior as well as the interior, paying homage to its storied legacy. Ford, for the most part (yes, we will exclude the Mustang II of the 70’s) has done a great job with the ethos that the Mustang represents and the 2020 model, with the 2.3-liter high-performance Ecoboost engine is no exception.
True, for most purists, the Mustang naturally should have a V8 and fortunately, Ford still offers some amazing V8 engines in their GT and Shelby models. These are not necessarily the best engine for everyone and for some buyers of the Mustang, a four-cylinder Ecoboost motor is just fine. Our test Mustang was a convertible version, equipped with a surprising six-speed manual transmission which for me, being part of the “Save the Manuals” group, gave me the chance to enjoy and savor this type of transmission during my one week with the car. The exterior is aging surprisingly well, and our test Mustang came with some nice options that enhanced the look and feel of this convertible even more.
Once seated in the driver’s seat, you are greeted with the traditional deep-dish round gauges that date back multiple generations. The controls and switches are all arranged in a traditional manner and all are surrounded by contemporary looking carbon fiber trim that accented the interior quite nicely. Yes, some will say the style, arrangement and interior design is dated and old, yet I find that it fits the personality of the Mustang perfectly. I don’t think this car would look better if it had a minimalist Tesla-like interior. On the contrary, the Mustang is about recapturing a classic era and the 2020 model does that quite well.
The manual transmission and clutch where surprisingly easy to operate smoothly. Other journalists mentioned that they disliked the clutch, yet I found it smooth, direct and comfortable to use during every driving situation. Throttle and brakes are easy to modulate, while steering feel can be modified depending on the driver controlled profile you select. Controls are simple and easy to understand, even with the top down and in bright, direct light.
Seats are comfortable and a snap to adjust, with plenty of travel and adjustments for both occupants up front. Rear seats are quite comfortable when the top is down, a bit claustrophobic with the top up. These would typically see occasional use anyway. Trunk is tight and narrow, still useful, but pack carefully.
Acceleration and performance is surprisingly spirited, featuring a nice throaty exhaust sound emanating from the quad-tail pipes. I found that this is a great car for around town leisurely drives with the top down yet its capable to hold its own in case you feel compelled to accelerate aggressively off a stop light. Overall ride is a bit stiff, but not uncomfortable.
The 2020 Ford Mustang 2.3L Ecoboost Convertible, a classic sports car with all the modern touches a driver needs.
Comparable convertibles include: Chevrolet Camaro, BMW 2 Series
MSRP: $32,170.00 MSRP (As Tested): $40,250.00
Fuel Economy (Observed) 22 MPG
Engine: I-Four 2.3 liter High Performance Ecoboost motor, 332 HP, 350 Lb/Ft torque
Popular Options: High Perf. Ecoboost motor (22+ HP), 19” Aluminum wheels, Spoiler delete, Active performance Exhaust
Please visit: www.ford.com
*Photos furnished by Ford