As I wrote in this article earlier today, Sunday, June 19, 2022, my father would take my grandparent’s Plymouth Golden Commando and win race after race on the streets of Brooklyn. That experience arguably began his love for cars; and he enjoyed test driving both rental cars and cars at vehicle dealerships. I enjoyed those experiences with him…
2021 Ford Mustang 2.3L Road Test and Review
…so I thought that in honor of him for Father’s Day, I would review a car which he would have wanted to test drive: a 2021 Ford Mustang 2.3L with an EcoBoost engine, which was a rental car that I drove.
This version of the pony car somewhat emulates the style of the original 1967 Mustang Fastback — but yet equipped with many modern conveniences and technology. My father would have absolutely appreciated that.
The rental car itself was scuffed in several places around the exterior of the car; and it had plenty of dust built up in some interior parts of the cabin. Also, white is not exactly my favorite color for a sporty car.
This car features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic high-beam headlights, a rear-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, pre-collision assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, dynamic brake support, and dual heated side mirrors.
As with the original 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback model, the tail lights of this car blink in succession one at a time towards the outer side of the car when the driver signals a left turn or a right turn.
The emulation of the Fastback style lent to quite a bit of cargo space in the trunk — which is especially useful for long trips.
The cockpit of the car was thoughtfully designed, with fully-adjustable comfortable seats and controls and features sensibly placed.
Plenty of leg room awaits the passenger who sits in the front seat — although the seat does not have as many controls for adjusting as the seat for the driver.
Satellite radio and single zone climate control are two of the many features of the central unit — dual zone climate control would have been a great improvement for the passenger in the front seat — but each seat can be either cooled or warmed with separate controls for the driver and passenger.
The interior somewhat emulated that of a classic Ford Mustang from the 1960s — especially the steering wheel, floor pedals, and many of the control buttons and knobs.
Many of the controls which were mounted to the steering wheel were easy to find and use, as they were ergonomically placed to the point where little thought was necessary when the time came to use them — including cruise control, controls for the stereo sound system, and controls for mobile telephones.
At night, mood lighting in at least seven different ambient colors — green, purple, blue, orange, red, ice blue, and white — can be set for the interior of the car. This includes the door handle, floor pedals, and cup holders. You can also set your own custom color.
The mood lighting is especially evident when the door is open — and the Mustang logotype is illuminated. Cool.
I also liked how the Mustang pony logo lit up the ground when either car door was opened — especially at night.
The back bench seating — which somewhat seemed to emulate individual bucket seats — appeared to be quite comfortable…
…if you do not mind virtually no leg room at all, which was seemingly worse than the seat pitch on an ultra-low-cost carrier — and getting in and out of the back seat in a car with two large doors usually proved to be quite a chore as well.
Under the hood is a 2.3 liter EcoBoost gasoline engine. In general, I have driven cars with peppier engines — but with 310 horsepower, this car was able to go from 0 to 60 in approximately five seconds, which is impressive for an engine which only has four cylinders; so this car took off on the highway. It felt rather solid and maneuvered rather well; but it was not the most responsive car which I have ever driven.
Final Boarding Call
My father might have been disappointed to find out that the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger — which have been fellow muscle cars of the Ford Mustang and have both returned some years ago to the landscape of cars which consumers can once again purchase — are both being retired in a couple of years, which means that the Ford Mustang will not only be the only car left which Ford actually manufactures; but it will also be the only car of its kind in its class once again.
Although not necessarily a car which I would purchase, I found the 2021 Ford Mustang 2.3L with an EcoBoost engine to be a fun car to drive. Though it had some faults, I was more impressed with this car than I thought — especially as the fuel economy of this car is officially rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. You get the best combination of both performance and fuel economy with this car — but not the best of either performance or fuel economy.
This one is for you, Dad.
All photographs ©2021 by Brian Cohen.