Oakville Drives: 2016 Mustang I4 Convertible Premium

Mustang Convertible Premium 2016,
Oakville Drives: 2016 Mustang I4 Convertible Premium

About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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There are few times when you first get into a car, start the engine and instantly like it. My “review” Mustang convertible came in a “deep impact blue” with “redline leather grain” seats, 19” black painted aluminum wheels matched with Pirelli PZero ZR rated rubber that made for a stunning visual. I drove this toy for a week and very reluctantly returned it. This has been the most fun of any vehicle I tested so far this year.

Handling characteristics

This Mustang came equipped with the 2.3L 4-cylinder turbo charged engine providing 310 hp@5500 rpm and 320 ft-lbs of torque @ 3000 rpm. Matched with a rear wheel drive six-speed manual transmission, this combination provided more than sufficient “get up and go” to make a long time performance driver sufficiently happy.

Of course there are plenty of options for higher horsepower engines such as the 435 horsepower 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 in the GT premium convertible but realistically, this 4 cylinder is more than sufficient for most driving situations. There are actually some benefits to a lower but still more than adequate horsepower. For instance, acceleration and gear changes tend to be smoother for most drivers making typical city traffic and bumper to bumper driving much more comfortable.

For those of us that enjoy manual transmissions, I found the short shifter throw both comfortable and positive with full gear synchronization. Easy up-shifts as well as down-shifts with a responsive clutch pedal. My only complaint was that first gear could have been a bit longer.

The suspension is excellent, and given the lighter weight combined with high performance tires, this Mustang handles exceptionally well. You can drive this car aggressively around corners and across rough road surfaces without difficulty. Higher horsepower versions come with more grunt, but also at the expense of more weight that makes handling a bit more of a challenge.

19” high performance summer tires

19” high performance summer tires mounted on stunning ebony painted aluminum wheels

One of the reasons this EcoBoost Convertible Premium handles so well is because, it included the optional EcoBoost Performance package that upgraded the front brakes to larger rotors, matched with four piston calipers; a 3.55 ratio limited slip axle; larger radiator; 19” high performance summer tires mounted on stunning ebony painted aluminum wheels; unique chassis tuning that also included recalibration of ABS, ESC and EPAS; and, oil pressure and turbo boost gauges. This is a must have option that for the fastback model, also includes bigger rear sway bars and heavy-duty front springs.

Ford Motor Company

Model: 2016 Mustang I4 Convertible Premium
Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost Inline 4
Base Price: $40,448
Price as Tested: $50,448

Comfort

I’m a big guy so driver seat comfort and ability to adjust seat and steering wheel position is critical. 6-way power heated and cooled driver’s bucket seat with power lumbar control made this a pleasure to drive. Always a vocal critic of passenger seats, my wife deemed this car to be one of the most comfortable she has been in. (And wanted this Mustang back after I picked up a $100,000 plus luxury sedan to review).

Interior of Mustang

6-way power heated and cooled driver’s bucket seat with power lumbar control made this a pleasure to drive.

Rear seating is provided but realistically not useable for anyone other than a very small human or you pet. I especially liked the stitching across the leather dash and door panels as well as the layout of controls and switches. Driving a convertible can have its unique challenges that Ford has dealt with very nicely.

Getting the top down or back up is a seamless automatic function that takes about 8 seconds. With the top down, wind noise obviously increases so it’s nice to add another upgrade being the 201A equipment group that among other features gives you the Shaker™ Pro Audio System with 12 speakers so that you can really crank up that sound. This is coupled with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment, voice recognition and command system that provides sensible and easy to use interfaces including through the MyFord Touch® 8″ colour LCD touch screen.

The voice command system for audio and navigation is exceptionally easy to use and one of the best that I’ve come across this year to help keep your attention on the road.

Safety

The Mustang I4 premium convertible comes fully equipped with most of the safety and handling features that you would expect as standard equipment in a premium vehicle. These include:

  1. 3-point safety belt restraint system for all seating positions;
  2. electronic stability-control;
  3. front safety belt reminder;
  4. driver’s knee airbag;
  5. dual front airbags;
  6. front-seat side-impact airbags;
  7. lower anchors and tether anchors for children;
  8. tire pressure monitoring system;
  9. illuminated entry;
  10. perimeter alarm;
  11. remote keyless entry; and
  12. a post-crash alert system.

My test Mustang included several options that I would also recommend. For example:

  1. high performance ZR rated summer tires (forget the all season tires);
  2. 14” front rotors with four piston calipers (always get the best brakes you can afford),
  3. reverse park assist;
  4. adaptive speed control and
  5. blind spot info with cross traffic alert.

Things to consider

This is an excellent driving and very comfortable sports car that will definitely put a smile on your face. The Mustang lineup includes both fastbacks and convertibles with a full range of power/performance options. I was not disappointed at all with the performance, handling or comfort features of my review Mustang convertible “premium” with the smaller turbo charged engine.

Steering wheel

Over a week of driving in both city and highway conditions, I averaged 11.4 L/100km and that is quite respectable.

Over a week of driving in both city and highway conditions, I averaged 11.4 L/100km and that is quite respectable. If I were to buy a Mustang with the intent of “occasional” driving on a track, I would definitely opt for one of the fastback Shelby GT 350 versions. The Shelby GT350R is an awesome track car!

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