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2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Delivers the MPGs

There are a lot of folks that think a four-cylinder engine is just about the worst thing you could drop between the fenders of a pony car. I’m not one of them (anymore). While I was skeptical initially, after spending a week in the saddle of an EcoBoost Mustang, I’ve come around to the idea. A traditional muscle car must always have a V8 under the hood. But a pony car can be wicked fun (and fast), without traditional muscle.

I put a Guard Green EcoBoost Mustang Premium to a week-long test. It was fitted with the six-speed automatic, and 201A – Equipment Group (which includes the Shaker Audio System, Memory Driver’s Seat, Blind Spot Mirrors and cross-traffic alert) along with with adaptive cruise control. This is the most refined Mustang I’ve ever driven, edging out the 2015 Mustang GT I tested last month.


The Highway MPG test was performed four times, over a 40+ mile loop of interstate highway:

  • Cruise set to 68 MPH – Windows Up/AC OFF: 37.4 MPG
  • Cruise set to 68 MPH – Windows Up/AC ON: 34.3 MPG
  • Cruise set to 68 MPH – Windows Down/AC OFF: 36.5 MPG
  • No Cruise/60 MPH target (light foot), Windows Up/AC OFF: 42.4 MPG

Historical Perspective: Ford offered a 2.3-liter turbocharged four in the 1984 through 1986 Mustang SVO. The horsepower and torque varied through those years, peaking at 205 horsepower and 248 foot pounds of torque in the 1985.5 model. The SVO Mustang weighed in at slightly over 3000 pounds, roughly five hundred pounds lighter than the 2015 EcoBoost Mustang.

Although weight is the 2015 Mustang’s enemy, that’s where the four-banger plays a strong card. The automatic EcoBoost fastback tips the scales at roughly 200 pounds less than the equivalent V8, while the EcoBoost manual is approximately 170 pounds lighter than a similarly equipped V8. (The weight differences between EcoBoost and V6 Mustangs are negligible.)

The EcoBoost Mustang feels more nimble than the V8 and is significantly more fuel efficient. That said, the V8 is no slouch when it comes to fuel economy, if and when you drive it conservatively. My personal preference is the traditional V8 (because hey, I grew up when and where I did), but I’m intrigued by the potential in the turbocharged 2.3-liter. There’s a whopping amount of horsepower just waiting for a high octane tune.

All three power plants are engineered to run on 87 octane regular. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is begging for modern high-octane fuel. Something a good bit higher than the 91-93 octane swill that’s sold as “premium” …

2015 Ford Mustang Gas Mileage / Horsepower / Torque Ratings

3.7L V6 5.0L V8 2.3L EcoBoost Four
Automatic:
19 city / 28 highway / 22 combined
Automatic:
16 city / 25 highway / 19 combined
Automatic:
21 city / 32 highway / 25 combined
Manual:
17 city / 28 highway / 21 combined
Manual:
15 city / 25 highway/ 19 combined
Manual:
22 city / 31 highway/ 26 combined
300 Horsepower
280 Foot Pounds of Torque
435 Horsepower
400 Foot Pounds of Torque
310 Horsepower
320 Foot Pounds of Torque

. . .

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium at Sunset

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5 comments ↓

#1 Anthony on 06.29.15 at 12:28 pm

Never realized that AC is such a fuel hog … now I know!

#2 John on 07.12.15 at 8:45 pm

Did you use premium or regular gas for this test?

#3 mpg-o-editor on 07.13.15 at 8:02 am

@John – IDK. I’ll guess that it was premium. The Mustang EcoBoost was tested with a full tank of fuel as supplied by the manufacturer, as are all the vehicles we test.

Octane makes a difference with modern engines, no doubt about that. One of my goals is to test 87 vs 93 extensively, but it takes resources (and time) …

#4 John on 07.13.15 at 10:53 am

Thanks!

#5 Pierson Tedeschi on 07.28.15 at 7:48 am

I loved the article. I had no idea, that if driven that conservatively, you could squeeze that many miles out of each gallon. Obviously one of the main purposes of a 4 cylinder forced induction engine is to get better gas mileage but i didn’t know it would do that well. That being said, I would have guessed that the 4 cylinder would have weighed a lot less, not just a few hundred pounds.

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