By Mike Torpey on 2018-03-02 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Ford Mustang 2.3
JUMPING to conclusions can be a practice with a habit of backfiring.
Take the Ford Mustang. I'm hooked, love it to bits, but was horrified to find that there's a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine in a line-up that should comprise only the 5.0-litre V8.
The V8's a belter, a beast that sounds sensational and pumps out 421ps of wallop and 530Nm of torque.
I reckoned the 2.3 shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a pony car - even though I hadn't driven that version.
Now I'm holding my hands up - I spoke too soon. Okay, the EcoBoost is absolutely not in the same league as its fire-breathing brother but it looks the part, is more economical and is hardly a slouch either.
The beauty of the Mustang, which is now being sold in Ford dealerships here and in right-hand drive too, is that it doesn't look like most supercars. It's not flash, it's unashamedly American.
And if you go for the lower powered variant you pay £37,145 for a convertible as opposed to £41,595 for the equivalent V8. Automatic transmission adds an extra £1,600.
Not only does the soft top look cool, and on the tested model its black hood contrasted spectacularly well with the 19-inch black alloys, but it is quick to operate.
You just release a catch, press a button and the electrics do the rest - a couple of plastic finishers completing the job.
Fuel cost isn't going to be a major consideration for a pony car buyer, especially when the purchase price is compared to other performance vehicles, but opting for EcoBoost does at least allow for an official average return of 34.4mpg - even if the real world figure is closer to 25 miles per gallon.
Kit on the EcoBoost is comprehensive with the likes of a an eight-inch colour touchscreen, rear view camera, Xenon headlights and leather seats included.
But you can splash out another £795 for a Shaker Pro sound system with sat-nav, climate controlled seats (£495) and reverse parking sensors for £295.
And for a really cool effect at night the car's puddle lights pick out the shape of a wild horse at full gallop. Along with the badge mounted on the centre of the Mustang's gaping front grille it's a small touch that makes a big difference.
Out on the road, the Mustang can blast to 62mph in 5.8 seconds and while the car can prove a bit skittish under hard acceleration on greasy surfaces, it is generally very stable and steers accurately.
There's also the reassurance of a performance brake system with four-piston front callipers and there are selectable driving modes for Snow/Wet, Normal, Sport+ and Track use.
A long profile equates to a large boot, though there's not a huge amount of rear passenger space - really only for kids.
Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible
Mechanical: 317ps, 2,261cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 145mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 34.4
Insurance Group: 43
C02 emissions: 184g/km
Bik rating: 35%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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