2015 Ford Mustang GT review

Smoky burnouts come standard on Ford's refined but still untamed 2015 Mustang

Fifty years in the making, the all-new 2015 Mustang GT adds a welcome dose of style and refinement to complement its addictively raw V8 power.
Fifty years in the making, the all-new 2015 Mustang GT adds a welcome dose of style and refinement to complement its addictively raw V8 power.
Fifty years in the making, the all-new 2015 Mustang GT adds a welcome dose of style and refinement to complement its addictively raw V8 power.


  • Seductive fastback styling
  • Burnout-ready V8 power
  • Choice performance options


  • Cramped rear seats
  • Cheap interior finishes
  • Weak fuel economy

DT Editors' Rating

The engine start button – accented by a row of matte metallic toggle switches – is at the base of the center stack of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT. Push up on the second toggle switch from the left and a message appears in the instrument panel’s display, notifying the driver that traction control is switched off.

Slide the manual gearbox lever into first, apply generous throttle, and release the clutch and you’ll enjoy a good-old American burnout — pony-car style. The experience is as exhilarating as it is obnoxious. It’s addictive as hell, too, like crack for car-lovers.

Depositing significant amounts of the Mustang’s rear tires on pavement is nothing new, though. The last 5.0-liter ‘Stang I drove – a fifth-generation, 2014 model – shredded rubber just as readily, eliciting similar aural delights of roaring engine, shrieking tires, and roller coaster g-forces.

2015 Ford Mustang GT headlight

The package here, though, is fresh and exciting. This latest Mustang is sexier than the last, with sleek, fastback styling, a modern interior. Most significantly for a car with such sporty intentions, though, the 2015 boasts a more refined suspension, which helps it tackle a twisty road course as neatly as it does a drag strip.

Fastback styling

Not even a casual observer would mistake the new, sixth-gen car for its predecessor. The steeply raked rear glass and tapered tail give it away immediately. Squinty headlights flank a trapezoidal grille that, along with numerous other styling details, hark back to the original Mustang that first wooed enthusiasts five decades ago.

2015 boasts a more refined suspension, which helps it tackle a twisty road course as neatly as it does a drag strip.

A lower, wider profile contributes to the Mustang’s sporty look, and options on our test car like big, 19-inch black-painted wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires and Brembo front brake calipers reveal its performance capabilities.

Another must-have option for the speed-obsessed driver is found in the cabin: a pair of $1,595 Recaro front seats with plenty of lateral support. Despite hampering entry and egress for this height-challenged driver, the manually adjustable Recaros are an excellent addition to the Mustang — well worth the extra coin.

Finding a comfortable driving position with good sightlines is simple, and controls are easy to reach. Interior finishes, though, look better than they feel. Real stitching on the dash and door panels is better than rental-fleet fare, but drivers expecting class-above finishes may be disappointed.

Athletic moves

Any shortcomings in interior trappings fade quickly, though, when the 5.0-liter V8 growls. With 435 horsepower on tap – 15 more than the outgoing car – and a stout 400 pound-feet torque, the Mustang jumps forward with haste, almost regardless of engine speed or gear. The effect is deeply satisfying, reminding the driver of the advantages of a naturally breathing engine.

The six-speed is not as precise as a Porsche’s for example, and it lacks the rev-matching feature of some newer sports cars like the Nissan 370Z NISMO. But this pony loves to be flogged, and doing so is loads of fun. With so much power and a transmission that can handle it, speedy upshifts allow the driver to rip through the revs with ease.

Most big-motor Mustangs can sprint. It’s the new, independent rear suspension that endows this latest model with handling to match its quickness. Those optional Pirellis likely help, too. Despite a curb weight around 3,700 pounds, handling is nicely balanced, carving up even rough pavement without unsettling hops or bouncing. Power oversteer remains available, thanks to the big motor and instant-on torque.

On highway jaunts and everyday drives, the ride is firm but comfortable. I would not hesitate to drive the Mustang GT on an interstate trip, provided my crew consisted of no more than one passenger. The rear seat is tight, especially with a taller driver or passenger up front.

The test vehicle’s optional six-piston Brembo front brakes contribute to its handling prowess, too, arresting the Mustang’s speed quickly and controllably.

Ford’s track apps

Standard on the Mustang GT is a pair of features that allows the driver to ready the vehicle for a drag race and execute one like a pro. The electronic line-lock holds the front brakes during a smoky burnout. Launch control then modulates power off the line to limit wheel spin and optimize acceleration time.

2015 Ford Mustang GT center console

While I didn’t get a chance to find a safe, flat stretch to test the launch control, I did try out the line-lock in my narrow driveway. It works as claimed, either to gently heat up the rear tires or to perform a full-blown, NHRA-style burnout.

Driver assistance features

The day has arrived when adaptive cruise control (ACC) and forward collision warning is available on a Mustang … what a time to be alive!

Despite some bargain-basement interior trim, the 2015 Mustang GT feels like a good value.

While some drivers may choose the Mustang as a special car reserved for weekend outings, most will depend on it for everyday needs. These features, therefore, add some convenience. No driver wants to crash his or her Mustang into the back of a truck after a long day at work.

Admittedly, this was the first time I’ve used ACC in a manual-transmission car. With loads of torque from the 5.0, in high gear the Mustang requires no downshift to accelerate back up to set speed, even from 45 mph. When I approached stop-and-go traffic, though, I just switched it off and monitored traffic with my own eyes.

Muscle-car choices

Some drivers will need no time to choose between the Mustang and its competition. The Chevy-faithful have the Camaro, and dedicated Mopar fans have the Challenger. Still, some with no loyalty to a particular brand will cross-shop these models and choose the one that suits them best.

The Mustang has the advantage of newness while the Camaro and Challenger each boast high-performance models – the Camaro Z28 and ZL1 and Challenger Hellcat – with obscenely powerful motors and a host of go-fast upgrades. To combat these, Ford will soon offer the Shelby GT350 with more than 500 horsepower and an adaptive suspension.

2015 Ford Mustang GT front

On the other end of the spectrum, Ford allows potential Mustang buyers seeking a combination of power and efficiency to choose its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, a four-cylinder turbocharged powerplant. With an automatic transmission, Mustangs equipped with the EcoBoost motor will achieve 32 mpg on the highway or 25 mpg combined. For comparison, the GT clocked around 15 mpg in combined driving under my admittedly heavy foot.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, the Mustang is in rare company. Cars like the Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, and Mercedes-Benz SL are among the few that can claim such a long, uninterrupted history. All those years of building and refining the Mustang have paid off for Ford. The 2015 Mustang is better than ever.

My father, who turned 17 in 1964, once told me he’d have given his left eye for a new Mustang then. Today, he’s probably glad he didn’t. But plenty of 17-year-olds would probably take that same deal without batting a wrinkle-free eyelid.


Despite some bargain-basement interior trim, the 2015 Mustang GT feels like a good value. It certainly fulfills its pony-car mission, delivering big horsepower in a practical package.

If it were my money, I’d choose one over a two-seat sports car just for the rear seats, which are too small for adults on long drives. However, they’re big enough to tote the kids around town. If your tastes are similar, chances are you will be similarly smitten with the latest ‘Stang.


  • Seductive fastback styling
  • Burnout-ready V8 power
  • Choice performance options


  • Cramped rear seats
  • Cheap interior finishes
  • Weak fuel economy

At Bonneville, a 210-mph Volkswagen Jetta is nothing unusual

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the ultimate temple of speed. Follow along as Volkswagen attempts to set a record with a modified economy car, and see what makes Bonneville so special.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.

It’s not easy being green: California strips HOV rights from clean-air cars

Changes to California's Clean Air Vehicle decal program are raising the ire of early adopters. The decals let LEV and ZEV drivers travel solo in commuter lanes. More than 200,000 drivers will lose the privilege January 1.

Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.

Aced it! Tesla’s Model 3 earns a five-star crash-test rating

The results are in and they're great: the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 has aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's different crash tests and earned a five-star safety rating.