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2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Drivers' Notes | Qualified excitement

Autoblog Staff

While this version also came equipped with Ford Performance parts, it's a decidedly different (and tamer) beast than the Shelby GT350 we had in our fleet a couple of weeks ago. With the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine under the hood, this Mustang offers 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, directed to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. A saner car it might be, but it's far from boring.

Here's what our tester had as optional equipment:

  • Ford Performance wheel center caps - $192
  • Mustang Shelby GT350 Air Filter - $89
  • Mustang Track Handling Pack - $1,520
  • Mustang Ford Performance strut tower brace - $239
  • Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Performance Calibration Kit - $699
  • Mustang Ford Performance radiator cover - $105
  • Powered by Ford Performance Badge - $99
  • Mustang "Ford Performance" windshield banner - $50
  • Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost cat back sport exhaust system w/black chrome tips - $1,549

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I might have some unpopular opinions about this car. For one, I thought the EcoBoost engine provided plenty of power, at least for my tastes. It was plenty responsive, with crisp acceleration when I dug into the right pedal, even at highway speeds. Sure, the high-end grunt levels off a bit, but it still had enough oomph to overtake anyone I needed to. Secondly, I enjoyed the sound of the engine. It isn't the gut-punch of a roar that a V8 offers, but I think it's still soulful and exciting.

I'd probably opt for this engine if I were in the market for a Mustang. A couple generations back, I used to rag on the V6 Mustang. Now, I think the EcoBoost I4 offers a more compelling option than previous base motors, and provides a better balance of ample power and respectable fuel economy. Plus, it takes a just a little bit more work to achieve and maintain quicker speeds. To me, that makes it more fun and engaging.