Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
I'll be honest; when Ford first unveiled its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, I was skeptical. Past attempts at building turbocharged American cars were almost universally awful, I reasoned, so why would Ford's latest effort be any different? This may seem foolish today, considering the success that the growing EcoBoost range has achieved - particularly the 2.0-liter and 1.6-liter mills. Yet I once again found myself questioning Ford.
It's the makeup of the 1.0-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder slotted into the compact engine bay of this Fiesta that has a way of breeding doubt. Three-cylinder engines remain an extreme rarity in the US. What's more, they earned a less-than-desirable reputation for applications in the 1980s and 1990s, and my trepidation about this latest three-pot as a result.
As I found out, though, history is a poor informant of modern technology. The thrust available in other cars with the EcoBoost badge on the back has not gone missing here; something the International Engine of the Year committee has lauded. That august body named the 1.0-liter Ecoboost the best engine of 2012 and 2013. After a week of driving, it didn't take long for my fear of threes to get turned into something like that line of thinking.
Owners of Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models, listen up. According to a report on Automotive News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into these four vehicles totaling an estimated 725,000 units. The investigation appears to center around a malfunctioning throttle body on non-hybrid models of the 2005-2012 Escape and 2011-2012 Fusion. With Mercury dying off after the 2011 model year, this probe will also apply to the 2005 through 2011 Mariner and the 2011 Milan. There has been some discussion around the Escape stalling issue for some time now, but this investigation appears to be larger in scope than before.
Though not a recall yet, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 123 complaints of stalling or surging vehicles, while Ford itself has logged 1,472 complaints. The investigation report, which is posted below, seems to indicate that a faulty circuit board for the throttle body could cause the vehicle to go into limp mode, which, according to NHTSA, could cause complaints of both stalling and surging.
Aside from the way it looks and perhaps its independent rear suspension, the biggest bit of news on the 2015 Mustang may be the inclusion of its 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That blown mill marks the first time since the Mustang SVO of the '80s that a turbo has been fitted under the engine of Ford's pony car.
The Mustang EcoBoost is the subject of the latest episode of Ignition from Motor Trend, giving us a great look at the technical, nitty-gritty side of the turbocharged coupe. Covering it from bow to stern, host Carlos Lago walks us through the boosted Ford before taking to the track for some driving impressions, with particular praise given to the low-end grunt of the 2.3-liter mill.
Check out the full video and then let us know which 2015 Mustang has your interest piqued the most - the EcoBoost four, the 5.0L V8 or the entry-level V6.