2.3-litre Ecoboost Mustang is a modern sports car

Here’s what we think of the 2.3 AT Mustang with its drop top. 

Why would someone choose the 2.3-litre, four-cylinder Ford Mustang over the 5.0-litre, V8 version? To find out, Autodealer spent a week in the milder of the two cars, driving it as an everyday car in town as well as pushing it to the limit on the open road.

Flashy look

The Mustang has a unique look, one that suits the theme perfectly. Yes, unlike the AMGs, Ms and RSs of the Germans who all have a small-medium-large approach to styling, the Mustang looks like no other Ford.

It’s flashy and loud even before startup.

Wherever it’s parked it draws people and when on the move it turns heads without fail.

This wow factor, however, can lead to panic because, on a number of occasions, when parked in a lot, Ford SA demo’s bonnet got draped in bodies for impromptu selfies by passersby.

Upon startup, one does miss the deep rumble of the V8, but the 2.3 doesn’t sound too bad, the exhaust letting everybody nearby know that all is not just for show, and that those twin exhausts pipes mean business – well, not writing the really big cheques but it will certainly give the hot-hatch boys a run for their money.


For a sports car the Mustang is quite spacious. It has room for three passengers with two bucket seats at the back. While anyone larger than a hobbit will have to dislocate some joints to fit in the rear, the extra seats do come in handy at times.

The boot is exceptionally large for a car in this category and is not far off that of a smallish sedan. It will hold the luggage of two people going on a road trip holiday with ease.

As for the rest of the cabin, there’s not much else one can wish for as the 2.3T Ecoboost Mustang boasts a full-leather interior and all the amenities associated with a high-end vehicle in these ‘connected’ times we live in.

The 8-inch touch screen is loaded with Ford’s SYNC3 communication software and there’s also an application with which to monitor performance.

A 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system rounds off the Mustang’s luxury features.

No slouch

Autodealer tested the 5.0-litre V8 Mustang before, and while the GT-marked muscle car is all that it’s made out to be and more, we did note that so much power (331kW/529Nm), asks for a driver with skill or else…

The 2.3-litre Ecoboost version with its twin-scroll turbo-charger is in no way a slouch and a lot more controllable than the V8.
The four-cylinder engine produces 213kW and 441Nm. That’s a lot of power and right up there with hyper hatches like the Golf R (228kW/400Nm). However, in the Mustang’s case all power is sent to the rear and that of course changes things substantially, making for a very enjoyable drive even though there are fewer ponies under that vast bonnet.

The 2.3 Mustang is lighter and feels more nimble compared to its full-powered, bigger brother. Especially in an urban environment, one can push the car hard without fear of overdoing things and making a booboo.

Five driving modes: Normal, Sport, Snow/Wet, Race and Drag, offer the driver computerised versatility and add to the sports car’s drivability factor.


If you are going to drive it every day, the 2.3T Ecoboost Mustang makes a lot more sense than the V8. In an urban environment, sharing the road with other cars, it’s more controllable and more agile, and one can even get the rear to step out without much effort.

The 2.3-litre turbo-charged engine is light on fuel and the 10-speed automatic transmission super fast.

Add to that space and luxury, plus a wow-factor way above that of any hyper hatch, and the slightly milder Ford Mustang makes a strong case for itself.

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