2021 Mustang Ecoboost rental review + Houston mini take

Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,357
Location
The IL
Went to Houston for the weekend for a wedding. My first time there. I decided to rent a Mustang to try a newer one out. I ended up with a 2021 2.3EB version pictured here:
IMG_8049.JPG


Grey exterior with a black interior. Let's go!

Seating: Leather bucket seating was actually quite comfortable once I had it set. I see nothing has changed about rear seating. My seat was touching the rear seat while I was driving. It has no real function unless the driver is five feet tall.

SYNC: It's not the SYNC system that is good, it's how well the iPhone integrates into it. USB port was easy to access and it was program my destination, turn on the SXM app, and let's get to driving. The screen is in a great location and is very reachable and easy to read. Speakers were average. They are functional and probably plenty for most people.

IMG_8053.JPG

Interior. Very well put together. You can see the control layout is small-ish, but is pretty easy. All of the steering wheel controls are easy to use. The tach and speed displays are easy to read. This also has the paddle shifters. I don't like them on the Edge, so I didn't try to use them. Speakers played sound loud enough.

Handling: It handles quite well. The suspension feels stiff and is very responsive when you weave. The brake peddle was extremely touchy. I had to get used to it.

IMG_8050.JPG

Engine: Weird noise on startup. But once idling it sounds like a large lawnmower. A little bit of buzzing. No deep tones. The engine does a decent job and certainly has a market. Many people would be satisfied with it. Sometimes I thought "I'd like to see what the 2.7 could do", but there's no need to do that. This isn't one I'd buy (obviously), but I'm sure people like it. I'm surprised at the HP rating because it doesn't feel like it.
Other stuff: I still like push button starts and I know how to use the key fobs efficiently. I found the Mustang logo puddle lighting to be both awesome and creepy.
This is great choice for someone looking for an every day sports car look that performance isn't the #1 priority. I don't know MPG, but I didn't use a ton of gas.

Houston: May as well put a take on it. I found it weirdly similar to Chicago. It's a large, modern city with a huge traffic problem. The planning is "last 30 years" type of stuff to serve a population of 20 years ago. Expressway circles as you go out and bi-section of interstates in the middle. The 4-6 lane highways with 2-4 lane frontage roads allow for getting one place to another efficient and are really favorable to a lot of commercial development along to corridors. When on the main highway, staying left is your friend as the right lanes are used for entry and exit onto the frontage only, so there's a lot of adding and losing lanes over there. Another thing is that nearly everything is a ramp or an elevated highway. I've never seen to many ramps everywhere. Part of that is topography of which there is none. The entire area is as flat as an iron skillet and I use that analogy because (I'm told) that's what summers feel like. Another funny thing is all these dudes in the jacked up pickups with the wide tires. It's a thing I don't get. Is there a ton of off road driving around there? Here's a standard example:

IMG_8048.JPG


Most of the people I met that live there are on the "don't like it" to "hate it" there (another similarity to Chicago). Small sample size I suppose. I have no reason to go back and I'd kind of like to keep it that way. No hard feelings.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
13,442
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Good job on the review!

I rent Mustangs all the time and tend to enjoy them. I find them a comfortable place to be on a long trip. Maybe even more than the Camaro.

The 2.3EB engine is robust, but I can't stand the tuning. I posted a video a while back of the intake manifold pressure going all over the place, with a steady foot. It leads to a weird feeling that goes away completely with a quality tune.

Your thoughts on HP are accurate. Real world dyno results are 240HP at the wheels, AFTER correction for temp and pressure. A 93 octane tune brings RWHP to 320. And torque from 297 to 425!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2020
Messages
108
Location
FL
Good job on the review!

I rent Mustangs all the time and tend to enjoy them. I find them a comfortable place to be on a long trip. Maybe even more than the Camaro.

The 2.3EB engine is robust, but I can't stand the tuning. I posted a video a while back of the intake manifold pressure going all over the place, with a steady foot. It leads to a weird feeling that goes away completely with a quality tune.

Your thoughts on HP are accurate. Real world dyno results are 240HP at the wheels, AFTER correction for temp and pressure. A 93 octane tune brings RWHP to 320. And torque from 297 to 425!
I concur with you in regards to the 93 tune. I think it’s safe to say that goes for any ecoboost engine as well.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
13,677
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I have rented Mustangs a few times in the past few years, but only for a day. One was a Hertz Shelby, or what ever they were calling it. The cars were easy to drive, look great, just plain fun. What's not to like?
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
2,987
Location
Back in Arizona. Finally
Your description of Houston is spot on and also the reason why I left in 2014 for small town Arizona. Now I drive through mountain passes on mostly empty 2 lane roads to get groceries and stuff I need. I like natural mountains better than man made overpasses. Quiet here, clean here, and very, very dry…..
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,766
Location
Texas, USA
They're good cars. I do wish Ford could've made it sound better. Weird mechanical buzz overpowers most other engine sounds, and the exhaust does it no favors either I rarely hear a "good sounding" four-cylinder, but I think they could have done better. But the go pedal makes you forget that pretty easily. Amazing power for 2.3 liters.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
154
Went to Houston for the weekend for a wedding. My first time there. I decided to rent a Mustang to try a newer one out. I ended up with a 2021 2.3EB version pictured here:
View attachment 89921

Grey exterior with a black interior. Let's go!

Seating: Leather bucket seating was actually quite comfortable once I had it set. I see nothing has changed about rear seating. My seat was touching the rear seat while I was driving. It has no real function unless the driver is five feet tall.

SYNC: It's not the SYNC system that is good, it's how well the iPhone integrates into it. USB port was easy to access and it was program my destination, turn on the SXM app, and let's get to driving. The screen is in a great location and is very reachable and easy to read. Speakers were average. They are functional and probably plenty for most people.

View attachment 89922
Interior. Very well put together. You can see the control layout is small-ish, but is pretty easy. All of the steering wheel controls are easy to use. The tach and speed displays are easy to read. This also has the paddle shifters. I don't like them on the Edge, so I didn't try to use them. Speakers played sound loud enough.

Handling: It handles quite well. The suspension feels stiff and is very responsive when you weave. The brake peddle was extremely touchy. I had to get used to it.

View attachment 89924
Engine: Weird noise on startup. But once idling it sounds like a large lawnmower. A little bit of buzzing. No deep tones. The engine does a decent job and certainly has a market. Many people would be satisfied with it. Sometimes I thought "I'd like to see what the 2.7 could do", but there's no need to do that. This isn't one I'd buy (obviously), but I'm sure people like it. I'm surprised at the HP rating because it doesn't feel like it.
Other stuff: I still like push button starts and I know how to use the key fobs efficiently. I found the Mustang logo puddle lighting to be both awesome and creepy.
This is great choice for someone looking for an every day sports car look that performance isn't the #1 priority. I don't know MPG, but I didn't use a ton of gas.

Houston: May as well put a take on it. I found it weirdly similar to Chicago. It's a large, modern city with a huge traffic problem. The planning is "last 30 years" type of stuff to serve a population of 20 years ago. Expressway circles as you go out and bi-section of interstates in the middle. The 4-6 lane highways with 2-4 lane frontage roads allow for getting one place to another efficient and are really favorable to a lot of commercial development along to corridors. When on the main highway, staying left is your friend as the right lanes are used for entry and exit onto the frontage only, so there's a lot of adding and losing lanes over there. Another thing is that nearly everything is a ramp or an elevated highway. I've never seen to many ramps everywhere. Part of that is topography of which there is none. The entire area is as flat as an iron skillet and I use that analogy because (I'm told) that's what summers feel like. Another funny thing is all these dudes in the jacked up pickups with the wide tires. It's a thing I don't get. Is there a ton of off road driving around there? Here's a standard example:

View attachment 89937

Most of the people I met that live there are on the "don't like it" to "hate it" there (another similarity to Chicago). Small sample size I suppose. I have no reason to go back and I'd kind of like to keep it that way. No hard feelings.
Keep in mind rental Mustangs are beat to hell!! Its a plenty powerful sports car w/lots of nice tech & smooth fast shifting tranny esp when paddle shifting. I have the 2.3L Gen2 Ecoboost in my '20 Ranger XLT FX4 an it's quiet, powerful an very smooth. I also don't beat the crap out of it ..broke it in easy an switched to a good full synthetic @1200 mis. If you like it then get it! Esp w/the track pack options. With gas prices the way they going you'll be far happier @GAS pump an still smoke most all ricers on the rd. 😀
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
6,598
Location
Southeast
Yeah - the 2.7 eco is much more natural in its element with high octane. Of course, that comes at a price….
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2021
Messages
1,116
Went to Houston for the weekend for a wedding. My first time there. I decided to rent a Mustang to try a newer one out. I ended up with a 2021 2.3EB version pictured here:
View attachment 89921

Grey exterior with a black interior. Let's go!

Seating: Leather bucket seating was actually quite comfortable once I had it set. I see nothing has changed about rear seating. My seat was touching the rear seat while I was driving. It has no real function unless the driver is five feet tall.

SYNC: It's not the SYNC system that is good, it's how well the iPhone integrates into it. USB port was easy to access and it was program my destination, turn on the SXM app, and let's get to driving. The screen is in a great location and is very reachable and easy to read. Speakers were average. They are functional and probably plenty for most people.

View attachment 89922
Interior. Very well put together. You can see the control layout is small-ish, but is pretty easy. All of the steering wheel controls are easy to use. The tach and speed displays are easy to read. This also has the paddle shifters. I don't like them on the Edge, so I didn't try to use them. Speakers played sound loud enough.

Handling: It handles quite well. The suspension feels stiff and is very responsive when you weave. The brake peddle was extremely touchy. I had to get used to it.

View attachment 89924
Engine: Weird noise on startup. But once idling it sounds like a large lawnmower. A little bit of buzzing. No deep tones. The engine does a decent job and certainly has a market. Many people would be satisfied with it. Sometimes I thought "I'd like to see what the 2.7 could do", but there's no need to do that. This isn't one I'd buy (obviously), but I'm sure people like it. I'm surprised at the HP rating because it doesn't feel like it.
Other stuff: I still like push button starts and I know how to use the key fobs efficiently. I found the Mustang logo puddle lighting to be both awesome and creepy.
This is great choice for someone looking for an every day sports car look that performance isn't the #1 priority. I don't know MPG, but I didn't use a ton of gas.

Houston: May as well put a take on it. I found it weirdly similar to Chicago. It's a large, modern city with a huge traffic problem. The planning is "last 30 years" type of stuff to serve a population of 20 years ago. Expressway circles as you go out and bi-section of interstates in the middle. The 4-6 lane highways with 2-4 lane frontage roads allow for getting one place to another efficient and are really favorable to a lot of commercial development along to corridors. When on the main highway, staying left is your friend as the right lanes are used for entry and exit onto the frontage only, so there's a lot of adding and losing lanes over there. Another thing is that nearly everything is a ramp or an elevated highway. I've never seen to many ramps everywhere. Part of that is topography of which there is none. The entire area is as flat as an iron skillet and I use that analogy because (I'm told) that's what summers feel like. Another funny thing is all these dudes in the jacked up pickups with the wide tires. It's a thing I don't get. Is there a ton of off road driving around there? Here's a standard example:

View attachment 89937

Most of the people I met that live there are on the "don't like it" to "hate it" there (another similarity to Chicago). Small sample size I suppose. I have no reason to go back and I'd kind of like to keep it that way. No hard feelings.
Are the engine sounds really enhanced over the audio system?
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
1,015
Location
Arizona
Jacked-Up trucks. Sorry, not my bag baby...... It's just that 95% of the time I see one dude driving these monstrosities and very few actually being used as a "truck". But hey... if that's your gig and can afford the gas... go for it. The Mustang has always been an intriguing and iconic car. Lately though.... feels a bit dated and the V-8 is going bye bye...
I'd love to see an update on these that wasn't electric. And yeah, Traffic. Nightmare here in Phoenix also.
 
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