Sunday, July 14, 2024
First Reviews2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Drive Review: Familiar but better

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Drive Review: Familiar but better

The 2024 Ford Mustang gets new tech and features in a familiar package current Mustang fans will love.

 

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Pros

 

  • Quick accelerations
  • Great infotainment with multiple configurations
  • Better highway cruiser
  • Performance exhaust sounds amazing

 

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Cons

 

  • Still feels heavy around tight corners
  • Little difference in Sport mode
  • Some lesser quality materials still present inside

 

Pasadena, California – The 2024 Ford Mustang makes its debut this year, featuring a comprehensive redesign that includes a fresh exterior, powertrain enhancements, a brand-new interior, and advanced technology. Despite these updates, the seventh-generation Mustang continues to uphold its familiar feel. It builds upon the elements beloved by current owners, perfecting its performance and handling. If you weren’t a fan of the previous Mustang, this model may not sway your opinion. However, it should be noted that the 2024 Mustang wasn’t crafted for the critics, but for the enthusiasts eagerly awaiting this redesigned model.

 

2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur
2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur

 

The redesigned 2024 Ford Mustang offers two significantly improved engine options, a 2.3-litre EcoBoost and a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V-8. The latter powers the GT model, a tradition that has always held true for the Mustang. This GT model will be reviewed separately, so stay tuned. This review focuses on the 2.3-litre EcoBoost powertrain with features a new Modular Power Cylinder architecture. The base powertrain gains an extra five horsepower this year and a 10-speed automatic gearbox which now sends 315 hp and a considerable 350 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels.

 

Pricing for the base 2024 Mustang starts at $37,000 for the fastback coupe while the convertible starts at $43,900. In other words, the EcoBoost-powered Mustang is still one of the best performance values on the market, if not the best. 315 horsepower for $37k? Who can argue with that?

 

 

More Than Enough Power

 

With the 2.3-litre EcoBoost powertrain, the 2024 Ford Mustang delivers smooth and capable acceleration. This has been a concern in the past, particularly for the convertible version, where the initial iteration of this powertrain lacked the necessary power to confidently drive this American muscle car. However, this engine version has made significant strides forward.

 

Whether you’re driving on twisting canyon roads in the mountains around Los Angeles or cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway, both of which we enjoyed plenty of this week, the EcoBoost Mustang reacts swiftly and delivers a convincing punch, even in the heavier convertible. Thanks to an available active performance exhaust system, a $1,500 option I would strongly recommend, the sound coming from quad exhaust tips in the back is better than ever. And yes, it’s coming out the back, not just from the speakers.

 

2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur
2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur

The V8-powered Mustang GT is undeniably a different beast, but the 2.3-litre EcoBoost doesn’t feel like a compromise. The roads we navigated required a responsive engine with ample low-end torque. The aggressive turns and sharp corners of the Los Angeles Canyons are further complicated by the narrow road and steep drops just feet from the asphalt. In such conditions, excessive speed isn’t beneficial, but a car that comes out of the corner ready to accelerate swiftly is ideal. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost was always ready, providing adequate power as needed.

 

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Still Heavy

 

Running the canyons confirmed that the Ford Mustang isn’t a Porsche Boxster, nor will it ever be. Running the new generation EcoBoost on an autocross course didn’t do anything to change that impression. The steering can feel a little vague when rapidly cornering and somewhat disconnected, particularly on the track or in very tight corners. Sport or even Track mode certainly sharpen the Mustang, but don’t turn it into a corner carver.

 

2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur
2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur

 

But here’s the thing: My driving partner and I still had a blast; just like we did seven years ago when we drove the same roads in the 6th-generation Mustang or in 2018 with the refreshed model. The Mustang will never win a handling contest, but that doesn’t take away from the fun it can provide and the experience. And despite my previous Boxster comment, the 2024 Mustang’s improvements are noticeable and its agility has never been better.

 

2024 Ford Mustang

 

Back on the highway, cruising in the new 2024 Mustang is now even more enjoyable. Comfort significantly improved with the introduction of a new independent rear suspension in the sixth-generation Mustang, and the 2024 model expands upon these improvements. Despite being dynamic, it’s remarkably refined, and the suspension doesn’t punish you on rough roads. The interior of the convertible is quiet even with the top down if the windows are up, allowing for easy conversation. The coupe has a tad more wind noise, but nothing about this new Mustang would dissuade you from driving it daily, especially considering the brand-new interior.

 

2024 Ford Mustang

 

Significant Improvements Inside

 

The changes most will notice first in the 2024 Mustang are inside. The new dashboard is impressive, offering multiple customization options and an efficient, user-friendly infotainment system. There are numerous personalization options, and the new Mustang lets you switch between various display options for the digital instrument cluster. My personal favorite replicates the gauges on the Fox-body generation Mustang, complete with green lighting at night. There’s also a dizzying number of driving modes, along with a custom MyMustang mode that allows you to set your preferred settings for suspension, steering, exhaust (if equipped with the performance exhaust), and more.

 

 

The interior creates a more connected environment, strengthening the bond between owner and Mustang. You can personalize it to suit your style and preferences, and the screens offer a range of fun features. The material quality is decent, and while we’d have liked to see more changes beyond the new dual screens, the redesigned interior is a significant improvement over the previous model in terms of functionality and aesthetics. However, the interior space hasn’t expanded, so if you felt cramped in the previous model, the new one won’t feel any different. There’s still a lot of so-so plastics as well, but for the price Ford is asking for the Mustang, it’s forgivable.

 

2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur
2024 Ford Mustang | Charles Jolicoeur

 

Easy Drifting

 

The 2024 Ford Mustang offers a new Drift Brake feature, exclusive to the 2.3-litre EcoBoost model. This mode is the first of its kind in a rear-wheel drive vehicle and as its name implies, it is designed to assist you in drifting.

 

2024 Ford Mustang

 

At first glance, you might mistake the second lever next to the gearbox for a handbrake, but it’s actually a controller that when pulled locks the rear brakes while overriding stability control to initiate a drift. You need to turn the steering wheel slightly in your intended direction and then pull the lever. The car quickly swings its rear end forward, setting you off in the opposite direction. For those used to drifting in snow like me, it takes a few tries to get it right, but once you figure out the timing of when to use the accelerator in relation to the position of the lever, it really feels like a natural slide. It may not have much practical use and will cost you a ton in tires, but whatever…

 

 

Conclusion

 

The 2024 Ford Mustang powered by the 2.3-litre EcoBoost is a classic Mustang enhanced with a significantly improved interior, better performance, and a degree of agility that provides plenty of fun behind the wheel.

 

While not perfect, the Mustang is by far the most fun you can have in a car in its price range. If you are not a Mustang fan, this new generation won’t change your mind. However, buyers familiar with the Mustang’s offerings will find that the new 2024 model is everything they have always loved with even more to like.

 

2024 Ford Mustang 2024 Ford Mustang

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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