2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Review: Icon For a Reason

Jordan Lewis

April 17 marks sixty years since the Ford Mustang’s public debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The original pony car immediately became a pop-culture and automotive phenom, and it remains one of the most impactful cars in history. We’re celebrating with stories of the events surrounding the Mustang’s launch, the history of the early cars, and tales from owners. Click here to follow along with our multi-week 60 Years of Mustang coverage. -Ed.

Cynics call this one the “rental spec.” They would have you believe that the modern Mustang EcoBoost, thrust on stage sans its V-8 Viking helmet, is forever relegated to that endless grey blah world in which the Hertzes and Enterprises slither. The brightest spots in a car’s history tend to claim the column inches, and by extension, they tend to write the lore heavily in favor of themselves. In the case of the Mustang, that means the V-8s. Everything else just becomes fleet fodder in the eyes of enthusiasts.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior top down low front three quarter driving
Jordan Lewis

Shame, that. This is not your Mustang II‘s four-pot, nor a wheezy, compromised Fox-body. Ford’s current 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder makes 85 more horsepower and 70 more lb-ft of torque than the fastest factory Fox-body. It can return nearly 30 mpg at interstate speeds, with enough scoot on tap to make passing a cinch.

If this is a rental spec, ask yourself: How on earth can that be viewed as a bad thing?

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior bronze Pony badge and reflection
Jordan Lewis

Ford has sold more than 10 million Mustangs worldwide. Most have never seen stoplight launches or off-camber apexes; they’re just cruisers. When we reached out to Ford to line up a modern Mustang for a week on Michigan’s roads, we asked for a cruiser—an everyman spec, hewn as close as Ford could manage to those 1964 World’s Fair cars.

Weeks later, a 2024 Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible rolled up to our Ann Arbor, Michigan office, and off we went. To our car’s $44,185 base MSRP, five options added $5915 of additional cost: Rapid Red Metallic paint, $495; a Bronze appearance package (bronze pony logos, bronze 19-inch wheels) another $995; Equipment group 201A (12-speaker B&O sound system, voice-activated navigation, illuminated door sill scuff plates, and more) tacked on $3000; An active valve performance exhaust, $1225; and fancy floor mats, $200. All told, ours rang in at $50,100, including a $1595 destination fee and a $645 “acquisition fee.”

The build sheet reads suspiciously like the efforts of someone determined to sidestep the “rental spec” label, which is fine; media testers are rarely modest. That deep red paint does wonders for the car’s curb appeal, highlighting the new bodywork just so. Ditto the Bronze appearance package, which is a must in our eyes.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior bronze wheels center badge detail
Jordan Lewis

Specs: 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium

  • Price: $44,195/$50,100 (base/as-tested)
  • Powertrain: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Output: 315 hp, 350 lb-ft (with premium fuel)
  • Layout: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, two-door, four-passenger convertible
  • EPA Fuel Economy: 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, 26 mpg combined
  • Competitors: Dodge Charger, Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR86

As we noted in our first-drive review of the Mustang EcoBoost, calling this seventh-generation car “all-new” is a bit of a stretch, but astute passers-by will see that much of the exterior sheetmetal is indeed revised. The new car’s nose appears flatter and wider, more crouched to the ground. Sharp hips protrude just aft of the doors and harken back to the original pony’s flanks. The forward-canted bodywork on the car’s rear looks decent from the side, but the three-quarter and dead-on views reveal a pinched, too-tight confluence of lines. We preferred the caboose of the sixth-generation, S550 car.

The main justification for anointing this car as belonging to a new generation is the interior. Ford proudly touted the “video-gamification” of the Mustang’s cabin, headlined by a new dashboard that sports two massive screens laid side-by-side to handle infotainment and instrument cluster duties.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium interior top down front cabin area bathed in sunlight
Jordan Lewis

Parts of the new user experience are made better, such as the instrument cluster that can display the gauges of a Fox-body Mustang in the name of nostalgia or a smart dual-zone layout on the center screen that allows both Apple CarPlay and another piece of information from Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment software to display concurrently.

Other parts leave something to be desired, such as a climate control interface that, when asked to change anything, jumps up from the bottom bar to take over large chunks of the screen, only disappearing after you tap off elsewhere or cease touching the screen entirely for a bit. Nevertheless, this touchy tech is hot with the youths, and as Ford attempts to woo those buyers, the changeover seems prudent.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium interior low center stack buttons
Jordan Lewis

Those same younger buyers probably won’t groan at the thought of a four-cylinder, since basically everything gets one nowadays, including full-size pickups. On 91-octane gas, the 2.3-liter produces 320 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty to make things interesting when you desire. Even with regular, the car is plenty peppy. Our car did without the High Performance package, a $3475 bundle that nets a shorter 3.55:1 Torsen limited-slip rear end, upgraded suspension components, Brembo brakes, that kitschy electronic drift brake, and paddle shifters, among other things. Sans the paddles, you’re left with no way to call up specific gears, which takes away some of the urge to wring the car’s neck.

Again: cruiser spec, or rental spec if you’re untrusting of most yahoos on the road.

If you do decide to get your knuckles out, however, the car comes alive in a charming way. The transmission doesn’t stumble or dump you into the wrong gear, and the long wheelbase allows for predictable, creamy little slides. This is still a fun car to hustle, even if some inputs can’t be accessed.

Part of what makes it fun to hustle, however, also detracts from more modest driving. The steering feels too sharp in normal mode, with a small on-center spot that impedes the car’s ability to settle into the background and chow asphalt. Dial it back to comfort mode and things improve, but you’ll wish that comfort was the baseline, not something to seek out. Before you leave the dealer lot, spend some time setting up your custom mode via the button with the Mustang icon on it below the center screen. Our recommendations: Comfort steering, quiet mode for the exhaust—more on that in a moment—and normal mode for the throttle mapping.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior top down low side profile driving
Jordan Lewis

On our car’s order sheet, the active valve exhaust is the first thing we’d ditch. It may make cold starts sound more menacing, but inside, an inescapable booming resonance at low RPMs will hamper your cruising enjoyment. We thought dropping the top might remedy the situation, but alas, it did not. The best move is to switch the exhaust to mute mode (which still doesn’t entirely eliminate this drone) and try to stay out of the 1500 rpm range, a task easier said than done around town.

The exhaust also nets you dual tips at each corner, which to the aforementioned yahoos on the road, hints that you’ve got a GT with the V-8 under the hood. Expect roll-race invites that you didn’t ask for. The latter of these qualms is remedied with a measured hand in the configurator, and you can probably get used to the former.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior top down high rear three quarter driving along lakeside road
Jordan Lewis

The rest of what’s here has an immutable charm that seeps into your bloodstream quickly. Point the long, sculpted hood of the Mustang down an interstate, turn on some twangy bluegrass, and hoover up miles like salted almonds.

And while the experience is pretty good with the top open, fresh-air cruising is where this car really hits its stride. That power-folding top lasted all of four minutes once we’d exited the highway near Traverse City. The remaining 40 minutes of drivetime were spent al fresco, heat cranked, totally absent regard for the 48-degree, cloudy weather. (Did Mother Nature make me pay the following Monday by dousing the roads in snow and nearly stranding me at the bottom of my heavily inclined driveway? Listen, perhaps. But that’s certainly not the Mustang’s fault.)

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior top down silhouette full
Jordan Lewis

If you want to knock the seventh-generation Mustang for being not much more than fresh dressing atop reheated bones, I suppose I can’t fault you. But I humbly offer this food for thought: This car’s new interior could indeed rope in younger buyers who love their tech above all else. If it’s not for you, great news: You can get largely the same driving experience with buttons and a more analog interface—now at used car prices!

Ford had a choice with the 2024 Mustang: Throw up its hands and blame emissions regulations/the march of progress/changing market tastes, sending the pony car as we know it to the big parking lot in the sky—like a certain cross-town rival did—or adapt it, preserve the charm, and trust that despite current challenges, the nameplate would have what it takes to press on for another chapter.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium exterior top down low rear three quarter driving far
Jordan Lewis

As it has done so many times over sixty years, Ford chose the latter. Whether you receive the keys from a rental counter or over a dealership desk, you’ll be glad this charmer is still kickin’. We know we sure are.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible Premium

Highs: New interior feels correctly targeted at younger buyers, still a top-five top-down cruising machine. Can we say that the Mustang still being around in this form is a high?

Lows: Active valve exhaust drones incessantly at common speeds, steering that’s too sharp for normal mode.

Takeaway: Sixty years on from the nameplate’s world debut, Ford shows that it still knows how to make the pony car sing. Here’s to sixty more.


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Read next Up next: Which Original Mustang Paint Color Is Worth the Most?


    This is another case Americans that like muscle cars want the V8 sound.

    This is why I expect the Charger to struggle.

    I loved my 300 Hp turbo but it never had the sound.

    The Ecoboost is another bad idea born out of EPA regulations. It is an overstressed design with an extremely narrow RPM torque band that will likely need turbo rebuilds at early six figure mileage. Similarly, the 10 speed auto transmission that accompanies it is complex and extremely expensive to repair. The normally aspirated V6 that it replaced was 300HP and relatively bulletproof and could get within 1 or 2 MPG without any complex turbo. Similarly the transmission was simpler as the V6 has a wider torque range.

    Complexity and higher service costs do not equate to progress.

    I was 14 when the Mustang was introduced and was a big fan but never owned one. My friend is the local Ford dealer… and I told him that I would buy a new Mustang convertible IF the colors were better…(they look like a 6 year old picked them out of a group that a 4 year old made) and the interiors were something other than ”work truck ” black. Yes there are colored inserts on the seats and the doors, but that’s still too much black for a hot sunny day. He just shrugged.

    Ordering a new car used to be fun… and should be.. picking out from many color combinations and options. the 75 Chevy / GMC pickups had 5 interior choices… and certainly Ford did also. Now there are usually 2 interiors… the one you don’t like and the one you don’t want.

    I am convinced that the stylists at not only Ford, but the others are all 30 somethings who wear all black clothes and dye their hair pure black… and never go outside and see nature…. they live in front of computers. Prove me wrong…

    The 2024 actually offers several interior color and fabric/leather options, depending upon model and trim. Refreshing, to be sure.

    It is truly amazing that so much horsepower and torque can come from a 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine. I have not driven a newer Ecoboost Mustang, but I can see that it is a great choice in today’s world. Back about 35 years ago, we though the 225 horsepower / 300 lb ft output in the 5.0 V8 just ruled the road, and this Ecoboost offers more and gets great fuel economy.

    Long time mustang fan and over the years I bought two new ones.
    My biggest complaint is:
    Look at the lead photo, other than the tail lights, it could pass for a last Gen. Camaro (minus the mandatory NASCAR sticker).

    Agree about the the lousy colors and interior choices.
    I really liked the looks of the 2005-generation, but the interior with its hard plastics was a miserable place to be.
    Okay, I’m spoiled and too old to be the “typical” Mustang buyer, but would it kill Ford to offer a upgraded interior for folks who don’t want something worse than the import that got them through college?
    Remember the “Deluxe interior package from 69-73? They featured new door panels and better seats than the basic car).

    How come ford could give more options and colors in 1969 for a $3500 car than Ford offers today in a $45,000 car?

    I prefer the V6 over the Turbo 4 but that option does not exist anymore.

    I was never impressed with the acceleration of the ecoboost 4 myself. It never felt quick on the ecoboost coupe I drove. I admit if I want a Mustang I want a V8 anyway.

    Overpriced and one of the major publications in automobiles said build quality questionable, cowl shake present and 10 speed was constantly hunting for the right gear, usually getting it wrong. I believe the US “Big 3” should look at the Subaru/Toyota 86s and go back to the pony car beginnings. Keep the price closer to $30K and add a convertible and see if the younger ones ditch their Civics. PS: get rid of 75% of that electronic display crap.

    So you asked for “an everyman spec” Mustang (aka rental spec) and you received a car that does not have a V8 and yet costs north of $50K? Lawdy. My only issue with this car is its completely absurd price.

    I think the “rental spec” is apropos to the EcoBoost convertible. I don’t see any new ones on local (TX) dealers’ websites. When I see them offered as preowned/CPO, invariably the CarFax shows “rental” as prior use/ownership. I’m not interested in a preowned rental car.

    Man, this is one sweet-looking car!
    The fact that it’s a turbo-four makes it even more attractive.

    Sure, I’d also love a Shelby derivative, but there’s the dollar issue.

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