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Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)



  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    According to the source on, ignore the drawing of the yellow Mustang that was featured in Road & Track. (Thank goodness - that one is a dog!) The blue Mustang rendering featured in a recent issue of Automobile is closer to the mark, although it doesn't exactly reflect the production version.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    The clutch on the mustang is not as smooth as the miata for sure. In it its defence though you feel more connection to the engine through it than in any other car I have driven (part of it's roughness). It takes some getting used to if you are used to the japanese type, but after a while I have grown to really appreciate it. It's coarseness gives it character, which is much better than rubbery shifters with no feeling at all.
  • ..."the Mustang is fine by all means, but the shifter is sloppy, and the clutch is heavy"...

    The clutch in my '87 lx 5.0 was heavier than in either my '99 GT or '01 Cobra.

    Sloppy shifter is remedied by aftermarket Pro 5.0 or Steeda Triax.
  • gt4megt4me Posts: 58
    I'm glad to see that this thread has got us all chatting about our ponies.

    I got a chance to take my '02 GT down to Seabring Intl Speedway last week with a driving club I've recently joined (www.chinmotorsports check it out if you live in FL or GA) and thought some of you might be interested in the results.

    First off, MAN WHAT A SWEET TRACK! 3.7 miles with 17 turns was quite a workout for me AND the car that day. In the 5 hours of track time I got with an instructor, I came nowhere near the limits of the car. And in relatively stock form! All I did beforehand was put on a set of Hawk brake pads and change out the stock brake fluid for high boiling point fluid. The brakes NEVER got mushy...not once. Lots of guys had to stop into the pits to let their brakes cool off but not me or my Stang. I could dive into the hairpin (also called the safetypin) turn at 80 and jam the brakes to the floor letting the ABS take over. Sweet. I also noticed my times were a bit better with the Traction control set to ON. I assume that as I get better I'll want to turn off the Traction but I'm a noob so...

    Handling was much better than I (or my instructor who owns and races Porshes, Cobras and a sweet Mercedes) ever expected. Not once did I mow the lawn or leave the track. I could take the carousel (or long S-turn portion of the track) at an amazing rate of speed without any hint of slippage from the car. The U turn at the end of the straight (where I was barreling in at around 120mph) can be very tricky. It's so big that you can make it one huge turn or two smaller ones depending on your line of choice. The GT could enter the turn winding out in 3rd gear at around 70mph to feather out the gas and upshift and floor it into 4th at around 85mph with just a slight amount of drift. What a blast that turn was!

    In all I'm very happy with the car and it's performance. Not only did I not crash (shew!) but I truly feel the car had more to do with that than I did. There were guys out there with blown SS's and Corvettes with around 600hp that my instructor was smoking when he took a few laps in my GT. It TRULY is in the driver, not the car. Case in point...all day long there was a guy lapping pigs like my GT and hopped up Camaros in his STOCK SVT Focus. Apparently he was one of the instructors and was driving his friends new car for fun...and never looked back! They had to peel this guy out of the Focus. It was great watching this guy loose ground ever so slightly on a BMW M-Series in the straights only to make it up in the curvy parts of the track and flash the highbeams for a pass. Man that made a few guys humble.

    Well, thought you might want to hear about how the Stang handled at a real track in real world conditions. Most people around the pits were very impressed with the cars times (hehe when my instructor was driving it) and were not afraid to say it outperformed their previous expectations. Oh ya, and I drove it home with the AC on while all the rich guys dragged theirs home on trailers.

    Be good ya'll. And like the T-shirt says "Keep on Truckin'!" errr...Car'in?
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Wow that sounds like fun. How much did it cost?
  • gt4megt4me Posts: 58 much track time we got (5hours), two classroom sessions, video taped analysis of our progress and that we had an instructor all day long. The whole day cost us $250. Well worth it IMHO.

    Btw Revdrluv, they often rent time at Atlanta Motorspeedway. Being from GA that might be up your alley. I'll be at the next event they're having up there. Looks like a kick butt track.

    One of the OTHER impressive cars on this curvy track was the WRX. Just an amazing car right out of the box. Hope you get one!

  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    I have a 2000 V/6 convertible and love it. I have no need for the brute power nor insurance premium that the V/8 brings. In my case I wanted the convertible and was not willing to spend an additional $5000 for the GT. I went from an 88 4 cyl LX convert so the almost 200 HP of the V/6 is just fine for me. Its a fun car and always gets attention from people. Have fun with it!
  • Jutin, definately go for a V8. I dont think I have spoken to a mustang owner who actually said something good about a V6. Thats why you see all of the V6s driving around with GT decals. No one wants a V6 mustang. It is supposed to be a muscle car so why get a V6. I faced the same decision in 96. It was either a GT or V6. I bought a Gt 4.6 V8. It was very reliable and you can definately tell its a GT by the exhaust. Setting car alarms at 5k is a lot of fun. :)

    Although the new V6s are a lot stronger 190hp vs. the 145 of the older sn95s, it is still slow and not very fun to drive. You will still be missing the torque of a V8.
  • If you can manage the extra expense of the GT or Cobra then don't even hesitate. Power is intoxicating, the more you have the more you want. The v6 is certainly sufficient for some people, but the extra H/P, and performance will not disappoint.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Nor will the insurance surcharge you'll pay!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Justin- The GT is certainly a great automobile, and I am very happy with mine. The engine/exhaust sound alone is worth the added cost to me. The handling is quite capable (old-school in feel but indicative of the car's charm), and the acceleration never fails to provoke a smile.

    However, the V6 is by no means a bad choice. I've driven them fairly extensively, and while not the performers the GTs are, they are still quite enjoyable. Not a muscle car, but perhaps more of a "pony car" in feel (cf the original Mustang concept).

    As I'm sure you've noticed, reviews of the V6 are hard to find in the automotive press. Besides the one here on Edmunds, check out for Aaron Gold's review of the V6.

    Either way, a Mustang is a special car with a really cool heritage; I don't think you'll go wrong with either car. Just my thoughts...

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    again, i don't want a manual transmission. doesn't a GT automatic seem like a waste?

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Why *not* get the automatic on a GT? Not like it's unheard of...plenty of the '60s and '70s-era "classics" had them.

    I don't know for sure, but I think even the 2002 Corvette comes standard with an automatic transmission, with a manual as an option...
  • ndmike88ndmike88 Posts: 154
    I have an '02 GT auto. No it is not a waste. I read somewhere that better than 1/2 of the GT's come with an automatic.
  • NSORICNSORIC Posts: 33
    gt auto is definitely not a waste... it's just that a gt 5-speed is sooooo much fun... take it from someone who's owned both back to back!
  • cobra98cobra98 Posts: 75
    I haven't checked out many 2003s recently but I thought the V6 and GT both had a forward facing scoop. I did see a V6 yesterday at the dealership that had a reverse scoop akin to the Cobra style. Don't know if that's the normal scoop for the V6 or not, but that's what I saw.

    Speaking of the dealership, they had 2 Thunderbirds and a Cobra. The Cobra was marked up "$4999 Dealer comparable value", or some such nonsense (price gouging). The Thunderbirds were marked up $5999 over the $40K initial MSRP. I wanted so much to [non-permissible content removed] at someone there for the gouging, but then again if someone is willing to pay the gouging to be "first on the block", so be it. Meanwhile, I bought my '98 from them on April 15, '98 for $300 over invoice (thanks to Edmunds for the info). No haggling... I had a GT on order from somewhere else and stopped in to check out a Cobra. Saleslady did the ol' "what'll it take". I said I had a GT on order but would cancel it if I got the same deal. She said "ok", and later that afternoon I was driving her home (the car that is...)
  • gt4megt4me Posts: 58
    Good thing you clarified that last sentence. Driving Miss Daisy! *Shifty'll probably nuke that one ;-)
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    I think lots of the T-birds you see on the dealer's floors are there because people are not paying the incredible over MSRP sums they are asking. Like the Beetle and many others before, eventually all these cars go for closer to msrp. One for us!
  • The '02 V6's were supposed to get the Cobra style heat extractor hood, but i've yet to see any around here. Even the brochure has a pic of a black V6 with the hood.
  • Well, my job is forcing us to take a fleet car in leux of a stipend coming up very soon. I can upgrade a '03 Base Taurus SE/Taures wagon SE/Windstar LX for a Mustang V-6 automatic for a nominal fee.

    I would like some opinions on the Stang with V-6. automatic (too bad I can't get a 5sp). I have a 98 Mustang GT 5sp. and welcome comparisons to the GT.

    What I would like in the fleet mustang is a bit of daily fun and reliability. I know it's not going to be a GT, but would like something that will keep me somewhat interested to jump in the car and get to work and not dread the commutes. I'm thinking a bit better than the Taurus and hoping for more. Thanks.
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