First Drive 2017 Ford Mustang convertible: Topless or not, the fun is all the same

(Ford)

(Ford)

Ford has been very, very good to me. In the last few years they have delivered to me such goodness as the Focus RS, Fiesta ST, Escape and the Explorer. While those were one-off tests, in the past three years Ford has also delivered to me one of my favorite all-time cars, the Mustang.  I had the 2015 model, then the 2016, and recently, now the 2017 model.  And for the first time my Mustang could go topless.  The last two years it was the coupe, this go around it was the convertible and that made an already good car even better.

The 2017 Mustang comes in a coupe or a soft-top convertible. There are five trim levels: V6, EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, GT and GT Premium.

Most of the model changes came in 2016 and were mainly electronic. The Mustang’s optional MyFord Touch infotainment system as dropped for the Sync 3 system with a simpler interface. The EcoBoost and GT coupes added the available black-painted roof. The GT Performance could get the convertible as well as the coupe version, and all GT models got standard secondary turn signals that are integrated into the hood vents. Newly offered bundles in 2016 included the Black Accent and California Special packages (GT) and the Pony package (EcoBoost).

For 2017 the additions include color choices Grabber Blue, Lightning Blue, and White Platinum which replaces Kona Blue, Guard, Deep Impact Blue, and Competition Orange. Ruby Red Metallic has been added to the GT350’s exterior color options. Sync 3 now comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. All 2017 Mustang GT350s now come standard with the Track package, with an aluminum tower-to-tower brace, a high-downforce rear spoiler, coolers for the engine oil, transmission and differential, and the MagneRide damping system. A new Electronics package for the GT350 adds navigation and a nine-speaker sound system while the Convenience package adds power-adjustable leather sports seats instead of the standard Recaro bucket seats.

The base V6 has power accessories including cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, manual front seats with driver-side height adjustment, the Sync voice control system, Bluetooth, a 4.2-inch central display screen. It also has the MyKey parental controls, Track Apps performance telemetry and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and dual USB ports.

As options, you can step up the 17-inch alloy wheels to 18s, add a rear spoiler, a six-way power driver’s seat, and LED foglights.

The EcoBoost trim has all the V6 stuff including the options, includes the 18-inch wheels (with a different design), and adds a six-way passenger seat.  There’s also aluminum dashboard trim and active noise cancellation.

The options include Recaro sport seats, and an EcoBoost Performance package.  The package deletes the spoiler, shortens the gearing up for quicker acceleration, upgraded brakes, enhanced engine cooling featuring a larger radiator, along with sport tuned suspension and steering.  There’s also additional gauges.

(Ford)

(Ford)

The EcoBoost Premium adds leather to the Recaro sport seats, as well as ambient interior lighting, aluminum and chrome accents, navigation, satellite radio with a 9-speaked sound system, selectable drive modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, and an 8-inch touchscreen.

Options (besides the Recaro seats), include trim and color packages, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert, automatic wipers, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver memory settings (not available with the Recaro seats), HD radio and a 12-speaker Shaker audio system. There’s also a “Pony” package with 19-inch wheels, a distinctive front fascia and other trim additions.

The top of the line GT has the biggest engine, a V8, in the lineup and the list of features mirror those of the EcoBoost trim except for upgraded brakes and electronic line lock. The manual transmission variant has launch control. The optional GT performance package differs with Brembo front brakes, and a Torsen limited-slip differential.  There is also the Black accent package with 19-inch black alloy wheels, blackout badges, and a black rear spoiler.

Finally, you can get rear parking sensors as an option across the lineup; the EcoBoost and GT coupes can now get the black painted roof, while the Premiums can option on 20-inch wheels.

There are three engines across the line with either a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.  The V6 is a 3.7-liter with 300 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque for the base models, a 2.3 liter turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 310 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, and finally a 5.0-liter V8 that spits out 435 hp and 400 lb-ft torque.

My tester for the week was the convertible EcoBoost Premium.  While some other reviewers complained of turbo lag, unless you are an honest to goodness racer needing to get a hole shot, it’s really not noticeable. Putting the top down is a relatively easy and effortless affair requiring only a turn of the locking handle and a push of a button.

The interior is still the nice retro looking, welcome to the muscle car world, let’s have some fun today shall we, that carries over from the Ponies of old.

On the road, there seemed to be no real difference in body flex with the convertible as opposed to the coupe. The Mustang can still power aggressively around corners and rocket off the line in Track mode. For everyday driving the rear view is still a bit restricted, as it is with all Mustangs, but with blind spot monitoring and bit of due diligence on the driver’s part, it really isn’t an issue.

While there is something to be said for having the wind blow through your hair while wheeling around town in an iconic muscle car, if I had a choice, it would be the coupe.  Make no mistake however, if I had a Mustang, convertible or not, I would be a happy camper. I still miss the throaty noise of a big V8, but the EcoBoost delivers all the fun the Mustang is known for and is a lot less dangerous than a big V8 in the wrong hands.  Truth be told however, I wish Ford would let me get behind the wheel of a GT or Shelby for a week just to see how dangerous it would really be.

Ford will refresh the Mustang for 2018. The V6 will be gone and there will be some design changes. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before the 2018 is sent to me for another glorious week with a Mustang.

The 2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium convertible

Engine (as tested): 2.3 liter turbocharged inline 4, 310 hp @ 5500 rpm, 320 ft-lbs. torque @ 3000 rpm
Transmission (as tested): 6-speed automatic w/OD
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 20 city, 28 highway, 23 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 24 mpg
Base Curb Weight     3642 lbs

Exterior Measurements
Height: 4 ft. 6.4 in. (54.4 in.)
Length: 15 ft. 8.3 in. (188.3 in.)
Wheel base: 8 ft. 11.1 in. (107.1 in.)
Width: 6 ft. 3.4 in. (75.4 in.)

Interior measurements
Front headroom: 37.6 in.
Front hip room: 54.9 in.
Front legroom: 44.5 in.
Front shoulder room: 56.3 in.
Rear headroom: 34.8 in.
Rear hip room: 47.4 in.
Rear legroom: 30.6 in.
Rear shoulder room: 52.2 in.
EPAinterior volume: 98.0 cu.ft.
Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 13.5 cu.ft.

Warranty
Basic: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Corrosion: 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.

The full specs can be found here.
The product sheet can be found here.

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. He served in support of Operation Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm and ended his military career in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology.

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