2005 Ford Mustang Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Solid V8 power in GT models, about as well mannered as a solid axle suspension can get, slick retro interior, much improved cabin ergonomics.
  • No side curtain airbags or stability control, seats could use more lateral support.
List Price
$6,499

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Not merely a retro reskinning, the 2005 Ford Mustang improves its performance in all areas and offers V8 enthusiasts a tempting price tag.

Vehicle overview

The Ford Mustang debuted in April of 1964 and became a national sensation. By the late 1960s, the Mustang competed against the AMC Javelin, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Barracuda and Pontiac Firebird. But, like Elvis Presley, the Mustang had evolved from lightweight and simple into overweight and flashy. 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 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. 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. 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. A new car arrived in 1994 wearing retro styling cues such as tribar 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. Time marched on, however, and the Mustang was in desperate need of a more modern platform by the turn of the century. Enter the 2005 Ford Mustang. The canted nose with its big grille and round headlights recalls the '67 to '69 Mustangs, while the side sculpting, fastback roofline and taillights recall those ponies of the 1965 vintage. Even the triangular side windows are reminiscent of what Carol Shelby did when he made the 1965 Mustang "2 + 2" (a.k.a. the fastback) into his Shelby GT 350. The new Mustang's interior is unique and matches the exterior design theme. Obvious old-school influences are found in the instrument panel -- a dual-hooded dash with aluminum accent panels pays obvious homage to the 1967-'68 Mustang, as do the big speedo and tach, circular air vents and plump, round steering wheel hub. Changeable backlighting illuminates the nostalgic instruments; at the press of a button one can select from white, blue, green and orange hues. For power, the base Mustang uses a 210-horsepower V6, while the GT packs a 300-horse, 4.6-liter V8 with variable valve timing. There's also a new suspension that features lighter weight components, repositioned and lighter coil springs, a stouter rear axle with more effective control arms and bigger brakes. The result is a relatively supple ride and ultracrisp handling. Ford has done a fine job with the new 2005 Ford Mustang -- not only in terms of styling, but also in performance, handling, ride dynamics and basic ergonomics.

2005 Ford Mustang models

Two body styles, coupe and convertible, and four major trim levels are available for the 2005 Ford Mustang -- V6 Deluxe, V6 Premium, GT Deluxe and GT Premium. Standard equipment on V6 Deluxe includes keyless entry; 16-inch alloy wheels; air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; and a CD player. The V6 Premium adds a 500-watt Shaker 500 premium audio system, upgraded wheels, a power driver seat and, on convertibles, leather seating. The GT Deluxe includes the V6 Deluxe equipment, plus antilock brakes, foglamps, 17-inch alloys, sport seats with driver six-way power adjustment and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The GT Premium adds the Shaker 500 sound system and leather seats. Interesting options include a Shaker 1000 sound system with nine speakers and 1,000 watts of power, and an interior upgrade package with metallic accents, dark charcoal Aberdeen pattern door panel inserts and instruments with changeable backlighting -- at the press of a button one can select from white, blue, green and orange hues.

2005 Highlights

The 2005 Ford Mustang is completely redesigned.

Performance & mpg

V6 Mustangs include a 4.0-liter V6 with 210 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Step up to the GT and you'll get a 4.6-liter V8 with 300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, three valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. All Mustangs are rear-drive, and can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission.

Safety

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all Mustangs. Antilock brakes and traction control are optional on the V6 models and standard on the GT. A stability control system is not offered. Side-impact airbags for front occupants are optional on all models, but full-length head curtain airbags are not available. The 2005 Ford Mustang has not yet been crash tested.

Driving

The 2005 Ford Mustang turns crisply and eagerly into corners with a flat and composed attitude. The powerful brakes are more fade resistant than before, and control in bumpy corners is improved, despite the continued use of a solid rear axle. The comfortable cabin benefits from low wind and road noise, as well as a surprisingly compliant ride.

Interior

Interior ergonomics are vastly improved over the previous Mustang. Switches and handles feel substantial, and overall materials quality is top-notch. Retro styling abounds in little touches like the large round speedometer and tach (which feature an appropriate vintage font), dual-hooded dash and a cool steering wheel with a small round airbag hub and metallic spokes. A striking color accent package features red leather seats, red door panel inserts and red floor mats all set against a dark charcoal interior.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2005 Ford Mustang.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The year the pony got its gallop back ;-)
bryanbrock,04/09/2012
This is the 5th mustang I have owned all others being older models, And I have to give ford credit it is a vast improvement and a whole different animal. Handling is by far much improved due to new chassis engineering, you get 305hp in the GT! Which is the most power available to the GT to that date. Engine management system does a great job of turning it into a boulevard bully when your in the mood then pretend its Hybrid when it senses your trying to save gas. Back seat takes effort to get into but plenty of room in the 2005 when back there. Clutch could be handled by my 80 yr old grandma, ..not heavy at all! Now even the car is 6 years old it still gets complements and ride requests!
Best Mustang V6 i ever driven!
bikersam,03/21/2012
05 Mustang V6 is the best car i ever driven, the 4.0 engine is fast and fuel efficient and reliable, i don't know what people are complainning about, when i buy a car, i don't care about the looks, the small things that go wrong with it, i go for preformance, the Motor and Trans, those are the most importance of a car, if the motor and transmission is in good working condition and so far, i had this Mustang since 2005 and its 2012, i have no problems with the engine and transmission and thats great for a Ford!! The only small problems was the battery went bad in 4 years, thats normal for any car, the dashboard gages went bad on the temp. and fuel gage, no big problem!
the best car that you can buy!
Rodolfo Fuenzalida,10/27/2009
This car means only pleasure. I am a Mustang lover, this is the first one that I bought and I can tell you that the car is the best of the best. Its retro style and power engine only can give you good moments. Mine is convertible, then drive with the top down is really a dream.
Excellent Value for American Muscle
Charles Starks,07/02/2010
This is the best car I've owned! No one single mechanical problem after 5+ plus years of ownership. I had the opportunity to run this monster on the German autobahn at speeds in excess of 140 mph with the top down. What an experience. Buy one, you will not be disappointed. Great job on this one Ford!

Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
300 hp @ 5750 rpm
MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
300 hp @ 5750 rpm
MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
210 hp @ 5300 rpm
MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
210 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all Used 2005 Ford Mustang features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2005 Ford Mustang
More About This Model

After reacting like Pavlov's dog every time we saw the 2005 Ford Mustang prototype at the car shows and the production version in pictures, we were beside ourselves. What a looker this car is -- they could sell a million of them if they just gave last year's car these new threads. Still, we were hoping that there would be more to Ford's latest pony than head-turning retro looks. The day of reckoning came when we got to spend a full day with the Ford Mustang, both on the road and the track, and let's just say that we weren't disappointed.

As far as exterior design goes, not since the 1970 Fastback has there been a Mustang that's been so right. Like the latest Ford Thunderbird, the designers managed to pay homage to a classic style without having the end result looking like a caricature of the original. The canted nose with its big grille and round headlights recalls the '67 to '69 Mustangs, while the side sculpting, fastback roofline and taillights recall those ponies of the 1965 vintage. Even the triangular side windows are reminiscent of what Carol Shelby did when he made the 1965 Ford Mustang "2 + 2" (a.k.a. the Fastback) into his Shelby GT 350.

Unlike the similarly retro-styled Thunderbird, whose cabin borrows its dash and console from its Lincoln LS cousin, the Mustang's interior is unique and matches the exterior design theme. Look at the instrument panel and it's obvious that the old-school influences are there -- a dual-hooded dash with (optional) aluminum accent panels pays tasteful homage to the 1967-'68 Mustang, as do the big speedo and tach, circular air vents and plump, round steering wheel hub. Changeable backlighting illuminates the nostalgic instruments -- a modern touch that's intriguing but a little gimmicky for a pony car.

The materials and features aspects of the interior were not overlooked, either. The door panels and release handles are now more substantial in look and feel, and one-touch up-and-down power windows add a bit of unexpected convenience. The climate control setup is the tried-and-true three-knob design, which is fine with us -- if it ain't broke, ya don't need to fix it.

We're also glad to report that the sorry ergonomics of previous Mustangs, such as the "sitting on an ottoman" seating position and gorilla's-reach gearshifter location have been exorcised for 2005. With the new car, you sit more in rather than on the seats. Although they're generally quite comfortable (as we discovered on a rather lengthy ride back from the track -- yes, we took a wrong turn), we still think more aggressive lateral bolstering is in order.

Although the previous manual gearshifter was bolted directly to the gearbox, this year's is a remote-linkage setup that puts the stick within easy reach regardless of the driver's height. And lest you worry about the shifter's action feeling disconnected due to the non-direct design, fret not. Compared to the rubbery yet clunky feel of the 2004 car, the '05's shifter is much more precise and simply more satisfying to use whether jockeying in traffic or blasting around a racetrack.

While the handsome style of the 2005 Ford Mustang is obviously rooted in the past, behind the galloping horse in the grille is a thoroughly modern source of motivation. In the GT, no less than 300 horses and 315 pound-feet of torque await the driver's command. Compared to the V8 in the '04 GT, these are substantial increases of 40 horsepower and 13 lb-ft, respectively. This 4.6-liter, all-aluminum V8 sports three valves per cylinder which, along with variable valve timing, allows for a deliciously broad spread of power. A nice bonus is that one needn't feed this steed expensive oats; 87 octane fuel is just fine. Even the V6 has more muscle this year; specs for the six-shooter now stand at 200 hp and 235 lb-ft, improvements of 10 horses and 15 lb-ft.

Whether you prefer an automatic or a manual gearbox in your new Ford Mustang GT, you'll have five gears at your disposal. The do-it-yourself version has the improved shifter mentioned earlier, and the automatic is sourced from the Lincoln LS/Thunderbird. You already know that we like the stick, but the automatic proved to be the big surprise; it didn't let us down once. Under hard acceleration, changes up through the gears were so swift and smooth that there was no letup in the gratifying shove to our backsides. Downshifts were equally eager -- no annoying lag, just a quick dip down into the power to get by those semiconscious sorts who tend to dawdle in the passing lane.

The V6 car comes with a choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. We drove the automatic and found it did a decent job with keeping the V6 responsive, though it wasn't quite as quick-witted as the five-speed in the GT.

At the track we had the chance to sample both the base V6 and GT Mustangs, as well as a couple of 2004 GT models. Starting out with the '04 GT, we were reminded how seriously wrong the seating position is in that car. If a driver isn't completely comfortable behind the wheel (in terms of feeling secure in the seat and having vital controls close at hand), it tends to diminish the experience, especially when trying to concentrate on driving fast. And we were also reminded how that outgoing GT is essentially a straight-line car -- cornering was never this Mustang's forte. Granted, Ford did a nice job with the Bullitt and Mach 1 editions in the handling department, but the base Ford Mustang GT was hurting in this regard when compared to contemporary sport coupes like the front-wheel-drive Acura RSX or Toyota Celica.

Night and day. That's the difference between the '04 and '05 versions of the Mustang GT when the road throws you a curve. Where the '04 felt like an ornery old pony that was lazy to respond to the reins and not smooth when doing so, the new one handled like a quarter horse, turning crisply into the turns while displaying a flatter and much more composed attitude when charging through them. Many thanks go to the new suspension, which features lighter-weight components (allowing it to react quicker to changes in the road surface), repositioned and lighter coil springs, a stouter rear axle with more effective control arms and bigger brakes. The latter were noticed (and appreciated) as less prone to fading when the going got hot and heavy on the track.

After the adrenaline rush of the track, we just wanted to kick back and be comfy for the long ride back to the hotel. This over-200-mile journey brought to light how easy the '05 Mustang would be to have as a daily driver. Low wind and road noise levels, a supple ride over the bumps and a much more comfortable cabin than before helped us unwind the miles with a minimum of stress.

With the Mustang's competition pretty much nonexistent (those age-old rivals, the Chevy Camaro and Pontiac Firebird were no longer available after 2002), Ford didn't have to make huge changes in the already popular Mustang. But the company did -- not only in terms of styling but also in performance, handling and ride dynamics and basic ergonomics.

With pricing slated to be just under $20,000 for the base V6 and around $25,000 for the Ford Mustang GT (both nicely equipped, we might add), we expect that once these horses hit the market, the Ford dealers are going to see a stampede of a different kind, that of rabid enthusiasts eager to fill out sales orders.

Used 2005 Ford Mustang Overview

The Used 2005 Ford Mustang is offered in the following submodels: Mustang Coupe, Mustang Convertible. Available styles include GT Premium 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl 5M), GT Deluxe 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl 5M), Premium 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 5M), Deluxe 2dr Coupe (4.0L 6cyl 5M), GT Premium 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5M), GT Deluxe 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5M), Premium 2dr Convertible (4.0L 6cyl 5M), and Deluxe 2dr Convertible (4.0L 6cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2005 Ford Mustang?

Price comparisons for Used 2005 Ford Mustang trim styles:

  • The Used 2005 Ford Mustang Deluxe is priced between $6,499 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 24929 and100875 miles.
  • The Used 2005 Ford Mustang GT Premium is priced between $14,998 and$14,998 with odometer readings between 3056 and3056 miles.
  • The Used 2005 Ford Mustang Premium is priced between $4,000 and$4,000 with odometer readings between 150123 and150123 miles.

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Which used 2005 Ford Mustangs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2005 Ford Mustang for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2005 Mustangs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,000 and mileage as low as 3056 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2005 Ford Mustang.

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Find a used Ford Mustang for sale - 8 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,117.

Find a used Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,923.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Mustang for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,423.

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Should I lease or buy a 2005 Ford Mustang?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Mustang lease specials