Does the Four-Cylinder 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Walk the Mustang Walk? [Review]

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
[Photo: Arv Voss]


The current Ford Mustang, which debuted in 2015, soldiers on through its sixth generation with a facelift for this model year. As always, though, the Mustang is available as either a coupe or a convertible. Ford is selling the Mustang in three trim levels: Base, Premium, and the V8-powered GT. While the Mustang is intrinsically linked with that V8, there is an alternative. One with exactly half as many cylinders. The base V6 is gone, but you can get a 310 horsepower, 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. Going one step further, there’s the big cheese: a 5.0-liter V8 propelled muscle model that pumps out more 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. This time around, I had the opportunity to review the smaller-engined EcoBoost Mustang.

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
The 2018 Ford Mustang features an optional 12-inch digital instrument cluster. [Photo: Ford]


The new 2018 Ford Mustang appears with a sleeker design, more advanced technology and improved performance. It features a lower, restyled hood and grille, as well as new hood vents that provide a bolder, more athletic image. The entire lineup features all-LED front lights, plus revised LED taillamps. Ford fitted a new bumper, fascia and an available performance spoiler. Dual-tip exhaust is standard for Mustang EcoBoost models. An available 12-inch digital instrument cluster offers different displays for normal, sport and track modes. Ford MyMode – a new feature for 2018 – allows customers to save drive settings when ordered with the 12-inch cluster.

As far as safety features go, the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost comes pretty well equipped. There’s a pre-collision assist feature with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning and lane keep assist.

The 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost also has new shock absorbers, cross-axis joints on the rear suspension and new stabilizer bars deliver to improve the ride. If you spring for the $2,495 EcoBoost Performance Package, you can get a 3.55 Torsen limited slip differential, as well as unique chassis tuning. $1,695 nets you MagneRide suspension, as well.

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
[Photo: Arv Voss]


The 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost’s four-cylinder could certainly sound better, but it performs well. Acceleration is more than adequate, as you’d expect with 310 horsepower on tap. It may not deliver the full-fledged V8 experience, but if you judge it on its own, it will meet and may even exceed your expectations. In terms of handling, the EcoBoost does feel, thanks to its lighter weight at the front end. Steering delivers a positive feedback and responds quickly to driver input. Ford also vastly improved the ride quality thanks to suspension changes. The Performance Package and the MagneRide suspension take the ride and handling attributes even further, for a shaper driving experience.

A selectable Drive Mode feature is available to tune in the right amount of crispness for your driving situation. Depending on whether you’re in normal, sport, or track mode, you can tailor the steering effort, engine response, transmission and stability control settings to your liking.

Shifting is more responsive and smoother with both the manual and automatic transmissions. Automatic paddle shifter response is both rapid and seamless. Connectivity and safety elements and enhancements showcase the latest industry advancements, bringing the Mustang well up to par with its contemporaries in the Ford stable.

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
If bright yellow is a bit much, there are plenty of other color options. [Photo: Ford]


Lounging comfortably in the back seat of the Coupe on a long trip is out of the question for tall individual due to its cramped nature. Then again, rear seat legroom has never been the Mustang’s strong suit. Bottom line, the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost makes for a competent daily driver, and serves as a way for folks to experience the Mustang brand. Even if it doesn’t have a V8, it still carries a fair amount of the full-on Mustang’s DNA.

The base price for my 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is $30,600. However, after factoring in options, that price rose to $42,765. Optional features kicked off with the Triple Yellow paint, a $495 up-charge. If bright yellow doesn’t strike your fancy, there are ten other color options available. The 10-speed  automatic transmission comes in at $1,595 over the six-speed manual. Then there is the $2,495 EcoBoost Performance Package and the $1,695 MagneRide suspension, improving the car’s dynamic abilities. Then there’s the $395 Enhanced Security Package, nine-speaker premium audio system and destination charges.

If the EcoBoost Mustang, despite its good points, just isn’t enough for you, check out our review of the V8 Mustang GT below!

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $30,600
Price as Tested:
Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive
Horsepower: 310 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 350 @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission: Ten-speed SelectShift automatic
Suspension: Front: Double Ball Joint Independent with MacPherson struts and stabilizer bar

Rear:  Integral Link Independent with coil springs and stabilizer bar

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABSand AdvanceTrac electronic stability control system.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero P255/40 ZR19 96Y
Fuel capacity: 15.5 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 22 City MPG / 31 Highway MPG


Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Length: 188.5 inches
Width: 54.3 inches
Height: 54.3 inches
Turning Circle: 36.5 feet
Curb Weight: 3,532 pounds