2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up

2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term
 

Read the introduction of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT to our long-term fleet.

See all of the long-term updates on this vehicle.

What We Bought
When the Ford Mustang was redesigned with a new look and independent rear suspension, we were eager to pick one up. There was a four-cylinder turbocharged "EcoBoost" engine available, but we swung for the fences with the bigger, more powerful, 5.0-liter V8. The V8 has 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, and we opted to pair it with a six-speed manual transmission.

There were a few options we wanted to test out on this latest Mustang, so we selected the GT Premium trim. With that, we got selectable drive modes, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a nine-speaker sound system, satellite radio and an 8-inch touchscreen with MyFord Touch. We also added the Performance package, which meant we got 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a Torsen limited-slip rear axle (with 3.73 gearing), a strut tower brace, upgraded brakes and a rear spoiler delete.

Up front, we added Recaro front seats, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, rear parking sensors, a 12-speaker Shaker audio system, blind-spot monitoring and an Enhanced Security package (wheel locking kit, active anti-theft system and locking center console). All of that equipment brought the out-the-door price for our Mustang to $45,490.

It turned out that even with the beefy V8, the optional Performance pack and all the assorted factory upgrades, we wanted more personality from the Mustang. So, several months into the test, we ordered and installed some aftermarket parts: a Ford Performance short shifter, a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust and the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack suspension upgrade. The personality that the Mustang was lacking from the factory had suddenly arrived.

Performance

  • "Our 2015 Mustang GT is impressively composed on the road, and I for one was thoroughly blown away by its balance, grip and stability when I thrashed it about on a tight, bumpy autocross course and a high-speed racetrack on the same day." — Dan Edmunds


  • "I was really disappointed with this Mustang. The last one we had was such a blast to drive and I never had any issues with the brakes or clutch. I suspect the Performance package is to blame here. It might be great on the track, but for the other 95 percent of the time, you'll have to live with its potentially nauseating side effects." — Ronald Montoya

2015 Ford Mustang GT

MPG

  • "Our 2015 Ford Mustang GT's awesome new Ford Racing exhaust continues to be, well, awesome. I found myself driving in 3rd and 4th on the highway this morning just to revel in the noises that so wonderfully enhance the big 5.0 V8.... In related news, our lifetime fuel economy went down in October and November to 15.7 mpg." — James Riswick


  • "There was plenty of comfort and style on my trip to Monterey, and I dig the car's high-speed composure and refinement. But to me, a proper GT machine needs a real-world driving range of at least 400 miles. And that's where the Mustang comes up short." — Josh Sadlier

Comfort

  • "It's not that the GT rides poorly on the highway, it's that there's a constant, slightly unpleasant, bounciness on an imperfect road like Highway 15 out of San Bernardino. It's one of those things you'd learn to ignore until you got a ride in a friend's car that doesn't do it." — Mike Magrath


  • "To be sure, this [Ford Performance aftermarket] suspension isn't something that you'd select for a dedicated track car running slicks. It's too soft for that. But for daily driving and/or dual-purpose use, it's totally fine. I'm really impressed by it. I never thought I'd say this, but I prefer it to the stock suspension." — Jason Kavanagh

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Cargo Space

  • "That didn't stop me from trying to stuff the Rug Doctor in the Mustang's trunk. I wasn't really concerned about having adequate space (the Mustang offers 13.5 cubic feet back there), but I was a bit worried about the trunk opening and if I'd break anything trying to squeeze it in there." — Travis Langness


  • "The new Mustang's pass-through is reasonably, almost surprisingly, large. Our 2015 long-termer also doesn't have a gigantic subwoofer taking up trunk space like our 2011 model. After taking off the bike's front wheel, it slid right in without any problems." — Mike Monticello

Interior

  • "Opinion is widely mixed here in-house, but I like the Recaros — once I'm in them, anyway. I don't especially like the solid piece of plastic between the cutouts for, ostensibly, shoulder harnesses, that the base of my skull bumps into when driving. But they complement the rest of the car's performance intentions, so I'm glad we got them." — Dan Frio


  • "[Our Mustang] comes with a few interesting, somewhat quirky and borderline bedazzling features (i.e. color-customizable gauges, Track Apps and Horse Lasers). These configurable options band together to form a virtual playground that conspires to keep you more entertained than a top-20 GIFs-of-the-Week post." — Jonathan Elfalan

Audio and Technology

  • "A few months ago Ford said it's going to soon ditch the whole MyFord Touch interface and replace it with a fully re-engineered version called Sync 3. But from an ownership standpoint of our 2015 Mustang, the touchscreen interface no longer seems to be a major liability." — Brent Romans


  • "Now, years and many consumer complaints later, Sync 3 is on the horizon. I can't wait to try it, but having lived with MFT in our 2015 Ford Mustang GT for a while now, I can report that using it gets easier with familiarity." — Carlos Lago

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Maintenance

  • "Our 2015 Ford Mustang GT wins the award for the most awkwardly placed dipstick of this model year. There it is on the right, tucked down beneath the strut tower brace. The dipstick pulls out about 3 inches before it must be bent significantly to circumvent its neighbors." — Mike Schmidt


  • "Halfway through its day at driving school, Vehicle Testing Manager Mike Schmidt mercifully halted our Mustang flogging while I made a few calls to procure a set of new OE replacement Pirelli P Zeros. This was a Thursday afternoon. If I couldn't get a new set of tires by the next day, we would have to park the car for the weekend." — Reese Counts

Miscellaneous

  • "Step one of our performance-enhancing campaign on the Mustang is done and I am happy with the results. The new exhaust sounds great, replacing the far-too-quiet stock pipes. Even better, it doesn't sound too obnoxious." — Mark Takahashi


  • "I really like what Ford has done with the newest 2015 Mustang. In prior years, Mustang GTs were plenty of fun to drive but you had to put up with a few negatives (like the ho-hum interior and non-independent rear suspension) that impacted daily driving appeal. This time around, Ford has polished off the rough edges but smartly maintained the car's core appeal." — Brent Romans

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
The Mustang has a performance-based maintenance calendar that recommends the first service after 7,000-10,000 miles. Our first service notification chimed in around 10,000 miles and cost $59.77. The second service (at 20,000 miles) included similar service items (oil filter, oil change, labor etc.) but prices were a bit higher, totaling $114.52.

Our only additional maintenance cost for the Mustang was tires. After 16,954 miles, the Mustang needed four new tires, which cost us $1,229.12.

Service Campaigns:
None.

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA estimates that the Mustang GT with the V8 and the six-speed manual will get 19 mpg combined (15 city/25 highway). We managed a lifetime average of 15.7 mpg, with a best single tank of 23.5 mpg and a worst fill of 5.3 mpg. Our best range on a single tank of fuel was 321 miles.

Resale and Depreciation:
We bought our Mustang GT for $45,590. Fourteen months and 21,500 miles later, the Edmunds TMV® Calculator valued it at $30,417. CarMax said they'd give us $27,000 for it and after shopping around for some comparison prices, we took them up on the offer. The Mustang had a few modifications (exhaust, short shifter, suspension) but they didn't take that into account for the buying price. Depreciation for the Mustang ended up being a whopping 40.7 percent.

Summing Up

Pros:
Thrilling V8 powertrain; a much more refined and modern suspension; classy interior with plenty of tech; consider it a two-seater and there's loads of cargo space; it can still do burnouts with the best of them.

Cons:
Massive depreciation after a short time; bouncy ride quality over uneven surfaces; touchy brakes with the Performance package upgrade; cramped backseat can't handle full-size adults; small fuel tank means a limited fuel range; the MyFord Touch interface (while updated) is still a bit finicky.

Bottom Line:
The Mustang may have its quirks, but this V8 GT is one of the best modern muscle cars around. No one shopping for a sporty American coupe should pass up an opportunity to test-drive a Mustang.

Total Body Repair Costs: None
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $174.29 (over 14 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: $1,229.12 (4 new tires)
Warranty Repairs: None
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 2
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: None
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
   
Best Fuel Economy: 23.5 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 5.3 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 15.7 mpg
   
True Market Value at service end: $30,417 (private-party sale)
What it Sold for: $27,000
Depreciation: $18,590 (40.7% of paid price or original MSRP)
Final Odometer Reading: 21,568 miles

Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.


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Past Long-Term Road Tests