2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible new car reviews

We're no strangers to Ford's Mustang. After all, we have built a couple as project cars. But this one was a little different. First, it was a convertible. Second, it sported Ford's EcoBoost drivetrain, spearheaded by a 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of pushing out 310 horsepower.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

The Mustang convertible excels at being a Mustang convertible. It’s not a Miata, a Boxster or a Corvette. It’s also not a track-ready GT350, your next race car, or a ’65 Shelby.

It’s a Mustang convertible—something great for daily use, cruising around, and fun times with the family. And judging by how many, I see, plenty of people are pleased with that. (Our neighbors have a GT convertible and seem to love it.)

The last time I drove one of these turbo Mustangs I came away pretty happy. That all still stands. The car still looks great, offers plenty of performance for most of the general public and, again, captures everything that makes a Mustang a Mustang: That hood is long, it just looks like a Mustang, and it’s not slow. The turbo convertible isn’t going to run a 12-second quarter-mile, but give it the boot and it gets out of its own way.

Last time, though, I might have been a bit too complimentary on the transmission. In D it’s okay. it’s not a DSG. It’s good but not the best ever. It’s fine for daily use but I wouldn't call it overly snappy. In the Sport + mode, though, it comes alive—nice downshifts, crisp upshifts. Our car also had paddle shifters, but they felt lazy compared to a DSG. Sport + also livens up the throttle and steering response.

Pulling the gear selector to S just seemed to keep the car in first the entire time—not the hot setup around town. Here’s the thing: In either mode, the transmission suits the car just fine. Again, this isn’t a race car. For lack of a better term, it’s a modern cruiser. (There’s also a Track mode, but around town I didn’t really feel any difference.)

I forgot how small that rear window is. Yeah, thank you, Ford, for the backup camera. Otherwise backing up takes a big leap of faith.

The car still feels tight—like way tighter than you’d ever think. I still like the seats, controls, etc.

It’s still a big car but, again, it’s not a Miata, a Boxster or a Corvette. It’s a Mustang.

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Driven5 Dork
7/6/17 2:40 a.m.

I actually just took one of these for a test drive while getting tires installed next door, to see if I could live with one as a combined fun car/family cruiser convertible once kiddo #2 goes forward facing... Especially since manual trans non-GT convertibles are exceedingly rare in the wild.

Now, I know that modern automatics should technically be capable of driving as good as a DSG. Unfortunately, they still seem to be choosing not to do so for some reason. Ultimately the transmission was better than I feared it could be, but certainly worse than I hoped it would be.

One of my pet peeves, that the vast majority of manufacturers are guilty of, is that despite the number of gears available to keep the engine happy, they still unlock the torque converter much more than necessary...Sucking all of the crispness, responsiveness, and directness right out of the throttle modulation. This is especially infuriating to me in manual mode, the one place it most belongs.

And while the torque curve of the EcoBoost was nice enough feeling puttering around town, there was no sense of occasion with it. Hell, as much as I hate to say it, I think our V6 AWD RAV4 feels spunkier when you mash the gas! Yes Sport+ helped, but driving around in that all the time wouldn't be much more than a step shy of using launch control from every stop. Otherwise there was generally still just nothing particularly interesting (let alone exciting) in the feel or sound even when it was pushed a bit.

So while it was a bit of a bust in the fun department, I was pleasantly surprised to find the sculpting of the seat back allowed me to sit behind myself on the passenger side. Which was definitely better than expected from a sporty convertible for the family cruiser side of the equation.

All in all, even if I graded the engine as adequate, or even acceptable, I just don't think I could get past the transmission. As much as the styling is an 'acquired taste', I was left wondering if the automatic in the V6 Camaro convertible is any better. Maybe a traditional manual trans is still the only was to get a decently fun drive in an accessible and reasonably economical four seat sporty convertible?...Or maybe there simply is no such animal.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
7/6/17 8:29 a.m.

A few months ago, my parents' Infiniti Q60 got in an accident, and they were given a 2016 Mustang Ecoboost Premium Convertible optioned much like this one to putt around in while their car was at the body shop. Using the Q60 as a benchmark, the Stang held up surprisingly well.

It was comfortable with plenty of room up front, and it had more than enough power to get out of its own way. I know it sounds corny, but I liked all the little call-outs to Mustang heritage: the light-up door sills, the reminders inside here and there that the car has been around since 1964, and even the prancing ponies that projected on the pavement when you opened the door. The Premium's seats were decent, and I liked the driving position. I didn't pay too much attention to the driving dynamics of the auto trans, but nothing drove me nuts about it like some other late model cars have. Besides, I'd get one with a manual transmission anyway.

One of these in coupe form will be on my test drive list when it comes time for a new daily driver.

Driven5 Dork
7/6/17 11:01 a.m.
Tony Sestito wrote: Using the Q60 as a benchmark, the Stang held up surprisingly well.

That sounds about right. It felt like it was engineered to be a boulevard cruiser for the appliance loving masses, with the marketing department being put in charge of 'sportiness' for the enthusiasts.

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