2021 Mustang Convertible (2.3 Ecoboost) Rental Review.

Messages
9,146
Location
Illinois
I rented a 2021 Ford Mustang "Premium" Convertible over the weekend. It had the 2.3 liter Ecoboost engine, and an automatic transmission. Black exterior, black top, and black heated and cooled leather seats. Only two options that I could find on it were the AT, and a spare tire. This seems to be how Enterprise is buying them, as a local Ford dealer has the exact car on their lot, a used 2020 with 19,000 miles, which was also owned by Enterprise.

Had it for 3 days and put 965 miles on it. It had right at 5,000 miles when I picked it up. I drove it into Missouri and Indiana. Average over that time was 27.5mpg on 87 octane gas. This was 90% highway driving. Not only was it time to take it back, because the weekend was over, but also because it is raining now, and is supposed to rain for the next two days.

My impressions? I don't think I'd own one. I'd definitely not have one as a daily driver.

The engine: The engine is fun, but only once you get the turbo spooled up, and it is happily within its power band. When it is, it's a hoot.

The transmission: The transmission seemed to have issues with keeping track of what the engine was doing, and then matching up and doing the right thing at the right time. There were times when just simply accelerating off of a stop light, the trans would get confused as to what gear it should be in. Generally, it did fine under normal driving, and did fine with hard driving... but in between, not so much. Sport mode only made the transmission behave worse.

The brakes: They seem to be mainly controlled by an on/off switch. Do they have good bite and work well? Yes... yes they do. But there are times that a bit more subtle would have been a good thing. Subtle was very difficult thing to consistently find. I suspect that a lot of this could be resolved with a different choice of pad.

The factory stereo was a touch on the weak side, with the top down, at interstate speed. I counted 9 speakers.

The gimmick of pumping fake intake engine noise through the speakers, when the car was in 'sport' mode is exactly that. A cheap gimmick. And to make it worse. it is a fake sound.

The lane keeping system was waaayyy too sensitive. It was vibrating the steering wheel too much, despite which settings were selected. Thankfully, it was quickly and easily turned off using a button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

The Pre-Collision system was mixed. One time (the first time it kicked in), I thought it was appropriate... some people in a minivan missed their turn, so they just decided to stop in the middle of the road, right in front of me.. The other time I thought it was being too aggressive. I was changing lanes on the interstate, and it appearently thought that I didn't see the back end of a semi truck (???). There very well might be settings to fine tune that to a driver's liking. Probably turned all the way up by default, especially since it is a rental car.

In the picture below, it is parked next to my buddy's 2017 Mustang GT (5.0/MT) Convertible, that he bought new in 2019. We had lunch together Friday in suburban St. Louis.

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Messages
263
Location
USA
Thanks for your review. I'm not a big fan of small turbo engines that try to be bigger engines. Nor am I a fan of bloated electronic systems in cars.

I considered a turbo 4 cylinder versus a 5.0 Mustang 4-5 years ago. The 4 was peppy and fun on a test drive, but I couldn't see owning one. The 5.0 was just too expensive for me at that time. So it was neither. If I were to buy one now it would be a ~decade old low miles well loved 6 or 8 cylinder.
 
Messages
3,070
Location
pa
small turbod engines need a manual tranny, but manufacturers love slush boxes as they are in full control + easier to meet EPA guidelines + thats why few manuals are around today!!
 
Messages
18,406
Location
NH
small turbod engines need a manual tranny, but manufacturers love slush boxes as they are in full control + easier to meet EPA guidelines + thats why few manuals are around today!!
That and few people want them. The 5% who do are very vocal about it, but do not represent the majority of the market. Or I should say, "buying" market, lots say they will but it does not seem reflected in sales.
 
Messages
822
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
small turbod engines need a manual tranny, but manufacturers love slush boxes as they are in full control + easier to meet EPA guidelines + thats why few manuals are around today!!
I would have to say that turbo's and automatics pair well... That is to say if the automatic is well tuned/controlled/designed. I say this cuz with a manual the boost falls off as you shift gears. Not so much an auto. Not sure I'd want a turbo 4 in as large a car as a Mustang...

I generally like manuals... but in a fairly powerful car a good automatic can be nice.
 
Messages
2,263
Location
British Columbia, Canada
That and few people want them. The 5% who do are very vocal about it, but do not represent the majority of the market. Or I should say, "buying" market, lots say they will but it does not seem reflected in sales.
You can't buy them if you can't get them.

The local Mazda dealer wouldn't bring in manual transmission Mazda6s. So if you only look at the sales statistics you'll find they didn't sell well.
 
Messages
1,702
Location
Texas, USA
That 10 speed is the reason I sold my '18 coupe. Too much shifting, and none of it smoothly. One interesting bit about the brakes is that they felt very different than those on the convertible. If I jumped out of the coupe and drove the convertible, the first thing to happen would be me throwing myself through the windshield with the brake pedal. Way grabby, and no explanation why. As far as turbo lag, I found it had next to none. There was no waiting for the powerband to appear. It would break loose 255 series tires from a standstill....something I've never experienced in a turbo 4 / automatic combo. But they need to work on the transmission coding. I know that transmission can be smooth, but it's not being instructed to be.
 
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