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#4813554 - 07/13/18 09:51 PM Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto
Cujet Offline

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Rented a 2018 Mustang ecoboost for some New England highway driving. Ugh, it's half the car the GT is.

The engine is poorly tuned and "tip-in" is problematic. At first I thought it was me. But after configuring the boost gauge to front n center on the display, it's easy to see what's happening. The throttle slams open at the slightest provocation, then closes to where it should be. Leading to herky-jerky starts at the light. Just like someone learning to drive a clutch car.

This is a car that is quite simply, impossible to drive smoothly. Smooth gas pedal movements DO NOT translate into smooth throttle opening. Look at manifold pressure for clues! In fact, the car seems to have pre-set throttle openings and just jumps to the next preset as the pedal is pushed down more. BIZARRE.

The 10 speed automatic shifts well, and matches the engine's groaning "mid range only" torque curve very well. Even so, the car is not fast in real world driving. It is fast enough from a standing start, as the transmission gets to keep the engine around 5000 RPM. But once on the highway, it falls flat. Climbing hills and passing is exactly like every minivan ever made. Acceptable, but not fun.

I've driven turbocharged cars forever. This one is tuned so weirdly, it's actually difficult to drive smoothly, and nearly unpredictable when asking for varying levels of power.

The steering feel is adjustable and I found that "normal" was just fine.

The ride is stiff, the car harsh, the steering less precise than the competition, (or even an Altima for that matter) and the engine is so wonky, it's difficult to enjoy. To make matters worse, the brakes don't work well until hot. At which point they are quite powerful.

Sport+, Track and winter modes do their thing, but don't satisfy. As none of them improve the awkwardness that exists.

Get the V8, which is a whole bunch more fun on every level. It is actually hard to believe they are even based on the same car.

Edited by Cujet (07/13/18 09:54 PM)

#4813561 - 07/13/18 09:58 PM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
aquariuscsm Offline

Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18441
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
I've never felt an Ecoboost is a "true turbo" car. I can't feel any "boost" when I've driven them. I can't even tell I'm driving a turbo car. The turbocharged cars I've driven you can actually feel BOOST!! When the turbocharger (S) kick in,it literally throws you back in the seat and the car takes off like a rocket!!
1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W30

#4813562 - 07/13/18 09:59 PM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
Cujet Offline

Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
With the boost gauge displayed, it shows when it's making 20PSI boost and you can feel it. It's not numb, it's wonky. At no point does it "pull hard" like many turbo cars.

Oh, and the 10 Speed automatic does a lot of shifting. It's just that 'ya can't really tell. RPM's don't drop much from gear to gear. The gear indicator displays what gear it's in, and it uses all of them.

Interestingly, the transmission finds the right gear in about the time expected when a highway downshift is called for. Not exactly lighting fast, but not horrible.

A couple of times when cutting and weaving, the car decided that it was not going to make any power until it selected the "proper" gear. Annoying and bordering on unsafe.

Edited by Cujet (07/13/18 10:01 PM)

#4813565 - 07/13/18 10:03 PM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
LoneRanger Offline

Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4167
Loc: Midwest USA
on the other hand... New England summer !! Not a steam pressure cooker like here. or Florida grin

'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)

#4813644 - 07/14/18 01:07 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
FermeLaPorte Offline

Registered: 07/25/17
Posts: 534
Loc: Texas (south)
That's how I felt my Edge rental was. Ford is not a doing a great job tuning them.
Always Mobil 1
2014 1.6L Nissan Versa Sedan, 5 spd, 5k OCI.
2011 3.5L Chevrolet Impala, Automatic, 5k OCI.

#4813645 - 07/14/18 01:09 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
BrocLuno Offline

Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5691
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
To bad, they could have made a fun car frown
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

#4813674 - 07/14/18 04:54 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
JLTD Offline

Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 931
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Cujet

A couple of times when cutting and weaving, the car decided that it was not going to make any power until it selected the "proper" gear. Annoying and bordering on unsafe.

I've had a couple of rentals that hesitated like that... dangerous in an emergency situation when you need power NOW.
Hers: 2008 Jeep Liberty 138k, AMSOIL SS 5w30/Amsoil

His: 2015 4Runner 41k, AMSOIL OE 5w20/Wix

#4813703 - 07/14/18 07:09 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
Audios Offline

Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 1003
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
So weird when these drive by with exhausts on them and they sound like Civics and Accords. Not impressed.
2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL

#4813711 - 07/14/18 07:28 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
KCJeep Offline

Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 7035
Loc: Mahzurrah!
I have a co-worker who has the exact same car on a long term rental due to the air bag recall issue. He has many of the same complaints, he doesn't like it and complains about shifting, he says his shifts very hard and randomly. frown
09 Lincoln MKZ AWD 95k - M1 AFE 0w30
12 KIA Sedona 90k - PP HM 10w30
09 Ford Focus 130k - GTX UltraClean 5w30
00 Chevy Lumina 198k - Supertech FS HM 5w30
04 Jeep Grand Cherokee gone but not forgotten.

#4813740 - 07/14/18 08:15 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
john_pifer Offline

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 2070
Loc: Nashville, TN via Memphis
It may have one of the twin-scroll turbochargers, like my WRX. Produces max torque from around 2000 RPM, and almost instant boost at highway speeds, but falls flat after around 4500 RPM, so, doesn't let you have fun revving it out to redline like a sports car engine should. There's no real point in revving it all the way out, because there's not much to be had above around 5000 RPM.

The WRX is also tuned horribly, with accelerator pedal angle not corresponding to actual throttle opening. You tip in the accelerator by 25% (or less!) and the computer opens the throttle close to 100%. I have no idea why they do this. Like you said, it makes for a frustrating experience trying to be smooth around town. I want a 1:1 ratio between accelerator pedal demand and throttle opening. Another thing they do is to artificially delay throttle opening and closing, which is done, supposedly, to reduce N0x emissions (it's said that snapping the throttle open or closed produces more emissions). Very, very frustrating. And then, this time of year, when you're running the air conditioning, it seems that the A/C compressor saps at least 20 horsepower. MUCH more noticeable on a 4-cylinder engine. And then you lose some HP when everything gets "heat soaked" and the intercooler is not as effective.

I will say that the problems I mention above are far less intrusive when driving for fun out on the backroads, when you're giving it full throttle out of the corners.

But I, like you, since buying this WRX, have, at times, found myself longing for the smooth, linear power and torque of a good, well-tuned, larger, revvy, naturally-aspirated engine. The problem for me is finding that sort of engine in a car that is as well-balanced, and handles as well as the WRX (its handling and balance and agility are outstanding - possibly unmatched in the sedan class, IMHO).
07 Tacoma V6 - M1 EP 5W-30, Fram Ultra, 10K OCIs, 198K
07 Yamaha R1 - Rotella T6 5W-40, Bosch 3300
07 Yamaha YZ-250, Klotz, Rotella

#4813748 - 07/14/18 08:26 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
SteveSRT8 Offline

Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 19046
Loc: Sunny Florida
^^^Quite possibly my number one complaint about most smaller cars. AC seems to sap the power too noticeably.

Never even know what's going on with the AC in our cars or trucks, all with V8 power. Can't feel a thing.

Many newer cars suffer bizarre programming issues that are easily solved with an aftermarket tune by a pro. many years ago when I had a Neon R/T we put an underdrive crank pulley on and completely eliminated the huge lag when the AC compressor came on. Kind of makes you wonder who drove the darn things before production started!
"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix

#4813766 - 07/14/18 09:12 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
itguy08 Offline

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3290
Loc: Somewhere
I dove an EB 10 speed at the auto show this year. Not much of a test - out the lot onto a high speed area (did get to 60) and back in the lot - about 3 miles total. But did notice it seemed down on power compared to the ratings. Pulled out in the street in front of someone and it just didn't seem as fast as the HP #s would suggest.

I do wonder if some of the shifting issues in rentals are due to all the different people that drive them - some say that the newer transmissions adapt to the driver. Not sure if it's [censored] or true though.

Although as you noted all those issues are corrected once you check the GT box. If anything I find the stock GT brakes a little too grabby at low speed.

#4813783 - 07/14/18 09:35 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
Trav Offline

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 19639
Loc: MA,
It seems to be a problem with Ford, I drove a C Max TD for less than a hour that had the worst lag I have ever experienced, it was downright dangerous and impossible to drive smoothly. VW and Toyota turbo diesels have no real problem with lag, the BMW TD is just a fuel hogging very unresponsive engine in comparison.
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

#4813794 - 07/14/18 09:55 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
Whimsey Offline

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4103
Loc: The Garden State
We have a 2017 Explorer with the 2.3 EB. It drives surprisingly smooth, the throttle is easy and seems fairly linear and there is no lack of power when using the turbo. The transmission is the 6 speed. We still have our 2005 4.6 V-8 Explorer and the 2.3 is the nicer driving Explorer. The V-8 is like driving with an on/off throttle, it's not linear at all. And this is a new Ford throttle body and updated programming. It was much worse before. The V-8 has the 5 speed transmission. My biggest complaint with the 2.3 Explorer is that when in D low speeds have the engine almost lugging. I assume they do this for fuel economy, it's annoying. At least the trans mission has a "Sport" mode which raises the rpm's at those speeds so it's not almost lugging. So far I'm pleased with the 2.3 EB in the Explorer. But of course if I had a Mustang I'd want a V-8 and stick! grin


#4813815 - 07/14/18 10:24 AM Re: Mustang 2.3L ecoboost review. 2018 w/10 sp auto [Re: Cujet]
CT8 Offline

Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 11486
Loc: Idaho
Last week end went to the drag strip and the Mustangs with the 5W-50 grin oil fill caps were fast.
"Don't let your preconceived notions get in the way of facts."
Geoff Metcalf

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