Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost

The Ford Mustang has been exceptionally well-received in South Africa and the rumbling 5.0-litre V8 GT Fastback version has garnered most of the attention. Since its arrival in South Africa, the Mustang has received undivided attention from musclecar fanatics, the motoring media and the general public. The Mustang 5.0 V8 Fastback Automatic found it to be enthralling to look at and surprisingly engaging to drive. Despite its shortcomings, it proved hugely pleasurable to pilot and its road presence is near-impossible to match - it's guaranteed to get more attention that far more expensive exotic machinery.

Head-turning ability
If you crave attention wherever you are driving, then this Mustang Convertible will serve you well, because it garners gawks and draws envious glances at every turn (just like its tin-topped, V8-engined brother). In terms of design execution, the Mustang hits the sweet spot with its muscular bonnet and menacing grille, flaring wheel arches and that sinfully curvy posterior. The Convertible version of the 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang, in particular, is less about performance and more about ostentatious showboating while the wind ruffles your locks.

Power delivery
Yes, there’s no V8 in this Mustang and the eerie lack of a beefy burble upon start-up confirms it. Before your head drops in sorrow, you will be pleased to know that this 2.3-litre lump offers significantly more punch than you’d expect. With 233 kW and 430 Nm on tap, the engine is more than capable of propelling the 2-tonne Mustang (2 041 kg) forward with fervour.

Comfort features
The Mustang has been widely criticised for having a poorly constructed and rather plain interior that's trimmed in too much hard plastic - at least given its lofty asking price. This is true, to a point, and even so we feel the interior design suits the macho personality of the Mustang and doesn’t drastically detract from the overall offering.

Verdict
The Mustang is a unique offering in South Africa that boasts inimitable macho appeal and virtually unmatched road presence. The 5.0-litre V8 Mustang GT Fastback may be the pick of the litter, but this 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible has oodles of charm and its performance both surprised and impressed us. It’s comfortable and easy to drive with enough power to deliver spirited performance when required. The EcoBoost offering is clever, as many buyers will appreciate savings at the pumps while still having access to solid cruising performance. The Mustang’s pitfalls (a less-than-special interior and somewhat lethargic automatic transmission) are unlikely to matter much to the hordes of fanatics who are still lining up to purchase the right-hand-drive Mustang and even though there are more refined products on the market, none of them offer the same visual and emotional appeal as the Ford. If oodles of kerb appeal and wind-in-your-hair (but versatile) cruising ability is what you’re looking for in a car, then the 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang Convertible may be the car you.

Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible price
This derivative costs R779 900 and is sold with a 4-year/120 00 km warranty and 5-year/100 000 km service plan. Service intervals are set at 20 000 km.

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