2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Mustang Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.6 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 390 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Ford Mustang

  • Fittingly, the Mustang is the last surviving member of the "pony car" breed. For the 2004 Ford Mustang, the Anniversary Edition should give enthusiasts something to brag about.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Available V8 power, variety of trim levels, healthy dose of American attitude.

  • Cons

    Archaic underpinnings, cheap interior materials, choppy ride.

  • What's New for 2004

    With an all-new model scheduled for '05, there are few changes for the 2004 Ford Mustang. All models wear commemorative 40th anniversary exterior badging, while V6 and GT models can be ordered with a full 40th anniversary package that includes additional exterior and interior enhancements.

Full 2004 Ford Mustang Review

What's New for 2004

With an all-new model scheduled for '05, there are few changes for the 2004 Ford Mustang. All models wear commemorative 40th anniversary exterior badging, while V6 and GT models can be ordered with a full 40th anniversary package that includes additional exterior and interior enhancements.

Introduction

The Ford Mustang debuted in April of 1964 as either a coupe or convertible with six or eight cylinders under the hood, and became a national sensation. Ford sold hundreds of thousands of Mustangs, convincing General Motors and Chrysler Corporation to release their own variations on the theme. By the late 1960s, the Mustang competed against the AMC Javelin, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda and Pontiac Firebird. But, like Elvis Presley, the Mustang had evolved from lightweight and simple agile to overweight and cumbersome. By the time the oil crisis of 1973 hit, the Mustang had lost its edge in terms of performance and appeal. Reborn for 1974, the much smaller Mustang II rode on a Pinto platform to save development costs and improve fuel economy. Emissions regulations had stifled performance, and the convertible model had disappeared from the lineup. The mid-1970s represented a dismal time for the American automobile industry, and the emasculation of the Ford Mustang is perhaps the greatest example of what went wrong in the middle of this decade. Not surprisingly, sales reached an all-time low during this period of time. Still, Ford wasn't ready to give up on the Mustang. In 1979, it was completely redesigned. There was even a performance model with a turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine, and a stripes-and-decals Cobra version. The new Mustang proved popular, and by 1982, Ford had endowed it with a relatively strong (for the time) V8 engine and the GT designation that continues today. General Motors released a sexy new Camaro and Firebird duo in '82, so Ford countered by continually updating the Mustang GT and engineering a special turbocharged performance model called the SVO. In the late 1980s, Mustang enthusiasts heard that Ford planned to replace the rear-drive model with a front-drive car based on a Mazda. Recoiling in revulsion, these purists bombarded Ford with hate mail, effectively convincing corporate brass to keep the all-American Mustang as it was and release the new vehicle under development as the Probe. This delay meant Ford needed to market the existing and aged Mustang beyond its expiration date until a suitable replacement could be styled and engineered. To retain buyer interest, Ford kept boosting power and improving the Mustang in subtle but effective ways. The new car arrived in 1994 wearing retro styling cues such as tri-bar taillights and a side scoop. Inside, a dual-cowl dashboard provided plenty of pizzazz. A coupe and convertible were available, with either a V6 or V8 engine. A Cobra model with added horsepower and special performance upgrades paced the Indianapolis 500 that year. In 1999, the Mustang was updated with boxy new styling and more power. The 2004 Ford Mustang appeals to those who love the burble of a V8, the handling of rear-wheel drive and the appeal of a legendary car with a long and storied history. For 2004, Ford will offer a 40th Anniversary trim package to commemorate the longevity of the original American muscle car.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Base, Deluxe and Premium models have a V6 engine. The GT Deluxe, GT Premium and Mach 1 get a V8. Coupes are available in each trim, while the convertible is limited to regular and GT versions of Deluxe and Premium trim. Standard equipment on base models includes 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, a CD player and power windows, mirrors and locks. Deluxe models add a power driver seat, cruise control and a spoiler on coupes; additionally, the GT Deluxe gets 17-inch wheels, an upgraded suspension, sport seats and a limited-slip differential. Premium models come with leather upholstery, an upgraded sound system and a CD changer. The 40th Anniversary Package is available on all Premium models (either engine) and specifies either red, black or white exterior paint; special Arizona Beige wheels; brushed aluminum pedals; and embroidered floor mats, while deleting the spoiler on coupes and adding a better-insulated cloth top on convertibles. The limited-production Mach 1 includes a functional shaker hood with ram-air scoop; special interior detailing; unique alloy wheels and exterior trim; a lowered, retuned sport suspension; and upgraded brakes.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on base, Deluxe and Premium Mustangs is a 190-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6. Step up to the GT Deluxe and GT Premium, and you'll get a 260-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8. The Mach 1 gets a tweaked version of this V8 worthy of 310 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. All Mustangs are rear-drive and can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.

Safety

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on the 2004 Ford Mustang. Antilock brakes and traction control are optional on all Deluxe models and standard on all Premium and Mach 1 models. The Mustang coupe received five-star frontal crash test scores for the driver and passenger. Side-impact testing resulted in three-star scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants.

Interior Design and Special Features

Instrumentation is simple and controls are straightforward, if sometimes hard to locate and reach. Seats in the V6 and GT models are flat and featureless; the Mach 1's seats offer a retro design to go along with their stiffer bolsters and greater adjustability. You can spruce up the interior by adding the 40th Anniversary Package, which bundles together metallic trim, aluminum pedals, embroidered floor mats and upgraded head restraints. It's not uncommon for Mustang drivers to find it difficult to achieve a comfortable driving position. This is because of the rather awkward placement of the shifter and steering wheel in relation to the driver seat.

Driving Impressions

Mustangs are crude by modern standards, but strong engines and low prices keep them plenty desirable next to the more refined sport coupes and convertibles on the market. The performance-oriented Mach 1 is a terrific blend of power, handling and retro design, while the GT offers V8 power for under $25,000. Even V6 models can be entertaining when equipped with a manual transmission. Both the GT and the V6 make fine daily drivers, especially for those who crave tail-out thrills and don't mind a less-than-ideal seating position.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nothing i'd rather drive

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

Ford got it right 7 years ago with the 03-04 Terminator Cobra. I've owned several pony cars before finally finding the right Cobra last year. All I can say is wow. Great looks, I love the heat extractors and the SVT wheels. Great sound, from the low growl of the exhaust to the turbine scream of the Eaton supercharger. Great drive, the car puts it's power down nicley, handles much better than a 3600 lb nose heavy car should. After a new supercharger pulley and an exhaust, these will truly terminate almost anything else on the road. I'm making 460hp to the wheels. 2010 Camaro? Ha!




An amazing svt team!

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I loved driving this car! I purchased new and just sold due to unemployment. I previously owned an 02 Lightning. I am sold on everything that the Coletti SVT group put their stamp on. This came to an end with the release of the 2005 GT. I find it sad that folks are still buying live axle mustangs/shelby's when they had the Independent Rear Suspension for the SVT Cobra's! This 2004 Cobra Convertible was the best most advanced and most powerful Mustang "Production" car to come out of Dearborn, which shut down after the 2004 model year. SVT was special! Now, it's a badge.




Muscle car returns

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I grew up during the muscle car era when they ruled main streets all over America. With the mid- 70s oil crisis muscle cars slowly faded away. Finally, John Coletti, another baby boomer finally resurrected the power and feel of a muscle car. With a 2004 Mustang GT, I had to shift down to 3rd gear to get decent torque and yet feel more power in 6th gear on the highway for passing in the SVT Cobra, making highway driving a dream! The SN95 is the ultimate aerodynamic body style ever made for the Mustang and from the front, nothing beats the 03-04 SVT Cobra fascia. Compared to all other performance cars this is the ONLY one you could get new for under $40,000.




Got to love the hp

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I have enjoyed this vehicle. I usually drive it on nice days (trying to keep the miles low and in good shape) I have had a few problems with maintenace issues but other than that it has been a blast to drive. The Ford dealer where I take it has been very understanding. I blew up the tranny on the track and they still did the warranty work. Other than what they call "tip in clunk" I would not change a thing.




03 cobra coupe

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

It is very responsive, great drift car, loves 3.73 gear swap, just needs sticky tires. Torque is always available. Tight suspension doesn't lean on turns



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What do you expect

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl S/C 6M)

I picked this car up used for a little over $20k. I've put 14,000 miles on it and loved every minute of it. This car puts a smile on my face every time I sit behind the wheel. It gets horrible gas mileage and that's O.K. After all, it is a 400 hp sports car. The accomodations are a little tight for a big guy like myself (6'4" and 280 lbs.) but that's ok too. It's worth being able to drive a car in this price range that will kick anything in it's path that is standard factory issue. After all, isn't that why we drive these cars? This is definitely the best alternative for those of us who can't afford $30-$35k for a Corvette or M3. You really can't go wrong with this car!



Talk About The 2004 Mustang

2004 Ford Mustang Discussions See all Started By

gt4me
gt4me
04-24-2002
I started this thread for new owners of Mustangs but feel free to leave anything concerning Mustangs here....


m1miata
m1miata
04-09-2006
Consumer Reports: Mustang 2004 reliability looks excellent....


facts101
facts101
02-01-2006
The Ford website shows $1,770 for the shaker. The Mustang trunk is bigger because of the gas tank relocation on the GTO for US safety stds. Previous Mustang, 2004 the gas tank is right at the bumpe...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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