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Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)



  • 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: 155
    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: 76
    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.
  • The 2003 V6 has the reverse scoop, though it is actually more like tiny slots. Offered in Fl. on 2002, the pony package replaces that scoop with the one like the GT has had for the past several years. I think the Pony Package will have more national distribution for 2003. All GT's keep the big forward scoop.

    Also, for 2003 Laser Red has been replaced with a new red that is a bit darker. Sadly, mineral grey is gone and replaced with Dark Shadow Grey. But the new grey didn't look too shabby either, but lacks the metal flake of the mineral grey. I saw all this at dusk in person at a local dealership the other day.

    I'm not sure about getting rid of my '99 V6 for the '03 unless I got the new red. An '02 Mineral Grey seems more tempting.
  • I don't like the wheels on the V6 Stang. But otherwise it's reasonably enjoyable to drive. I had one on a trip and considering the lower power( I have a Cobra) it wasn't so bad. Too bad you can't fanagle an SVT Focus!!
  • I just ordered a "Redfire" '03. The redfire replaces the Laser Red. I got the color sample cards from 02 and 03 and compared, and they were very similar with the new redfire being ever so slightly darker.

    Keep in mind this was with color cards overlapping inches in front of my face. I could only see the slightest difference.

    If the color samples are accurate, and you put a redfire 03 and a laser red 02 in front of me I would not likely be able to tell them apart.
  • I saw the two side by side on actual Mustangs, and the redfire is noticeably a little darker, but most people will never know the difference unless they see the two side by side. I like it better though.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    I've got a 2000 Lazer Red convertible and the color and paint job on the car gets many many comments. Hope the new color is close enough to the old to get the same reaction!
  • Hello everyone i just bouth a 2003 Ford Mustang Sport Coupe GT Premium 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl 5M. i was wondering if any1 knew about BODY KITS. i would like to get a full body kit for it. can you put a body kit from the 98 models or the 02's or must it be the 2003 body kits (witch i cant find any of) so it would be great if some1 could help me out. thanx
  • 99-03 kits will work. There are many many many companies that make kits...

    Wings West




    just check out for info like this.
  • What aftermarket modifications are recommended from your experiences? The x-exhaust with flowmasters seems like a good idea, and the dealer even says that is all right> But I have had gears, pulleys, and a custom burned chip also recommended by a Mustang aftermarket specialist. It sounds good, but there have to be tradeoffs, and the dealer says the warranty could be voided. I just got a 03 GT (an awesome car!) and I am wondering what to do. I feel like Stangnet, great website that it is, might be prejudiced in favor of mods. What are your opinions? I would appreciate any advice, thanks!
  • I would do just the bolt ons. Catback, x/h pipe, throttle body, gears, cai, etc... those are things that shouldn't cause you any problems. For something to void the warranty, there has to be proof that the modification caused the problem to arise. Most of the stuff you'll do will not. Besides stangnet, try some magazines like Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords and 5.0 Mustangs and Super Fords.
  • BTW... the chip more than likely will void the warranty, but from experience, I think they are worthless. I'd go with the x-pipe and catback first, then cold air and pullies, then gears... That should definetly give you an awesome edge on the stock cars. Also upgrade the 4x4 look with some springs such as Eibach prokit or something like it. Subframe connectors help a lot as well as a strut brace. Good luck, money will be your only limit.
  • I took delivery of an 03 Mustang GT 5M this past Sunday and I love it! Unlike most I am content to drive it as it is from the factory. It is an awesome ride! Can't wait to get it broken in!
  • But I understand though that if I change the gears and do not also change the chip to match it, that the speedometer will read about 30% too fast. Doesn't that pretty much necessitate a chip to compensate? Also, I have been told by the aftermarket people that cold air induction is not effective and can even reduce HP. Is this the case in your experiences?? Thanks1
  • I love the retro touches, the car looks like the 68 hatchback to me. Also I love the pull out headlight switch, how retro! I hope the new mustang being developed looks back as well as forward and incorporates more retro elements.
  • I forgot that the 99+ stangs are not a gear driven speedo... so yes, I suppose a chip would be in order. I don't think the intake will cause you to lose power at all. I put one on mine and although I didn't notice much difference if any at all, I definetly didn't lose any power. Make sure you go with a fender mount though as the engine mount one just draws in warm air and the effect of the intake is canceled out to become worthless. I think without a doubt you should do the xpipe, catback, intake and pullies. One of my friends with a 99 GT vert has those mods and is almost dipping into the 13's and i'm sure he could with a little more practice.
  • I agree with americanflag re the retro look of the current mustang; I absolutely love it (own a 2002 GT). But my question for the assembled is which year do people think the current design most mirrors? To me, it most evokes the 1967 model....basically similar to the original, but more aggressively styled (the fake scoops, etc.). What do the more knowledgable mustang enthusiasts out there think?
  • You made me realize the hood scoop on the new GT's and the side vents maybe aren't classic, but they do make the car I think. Although the Shelby was certainly aggressively styled... Ford seems to have just made this car better and better each year. What I really want from an aftermarket modification is to make the car run like a classic 289 high performance Stang, yes, I admit, like the Mustang in "Bullitt". Pure exhaust sound, less processed feel to the power. Also on the retro point, I had a 1964 1/2 289 4-barrel Mustang Coupe for my first car, and one thing I noticed was it was designed so that it was very comfortable and natural to rest your left elbow on the drivers side door area when the window was down. The new Mustang also seems to have a great arm/elbow rest area on the drivers side door,albeit it is designed so that it can also be used when the window is up. I think in 1964 the designers probably took this into account because air conditioning was rare and it was more often that people drove with the window down.
  • At first I really didn't care for the scoops myself...but after a week or two, I couldn't imagine the car w/o them. I esp. love looking out over the really feel you're driving an old muscle car. Re the sound, I could not agree more....half the reason I bought a Mustang GT was because of my love of that movie and all things McQueen. If Ford Racing Parts were to offer a "bullitt exhaust", I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But I console myself with the thought that for a modern, emissions-controled engine, it sounds pretty good as is.

    And I actually like the fact that the car is so archaic in so many ways. The handling, while good, feels pretty vintage and there's no denying that the suspension (esp. the rear) is dated beyond belief. But I consider these things to be part of the charm of the car; a Mustang is's not just another sportcoupe. And considering the age of its components (I hear the chassis is the oldest currently operating in the car industry), it does a very good job performance-wise.

    And I LOVE that pull-out headlight switch.
  • Like John 324, I had a strong reaction to the hood scoop and the view over the hood. When I first test drove the car, I couldn't believe they still made cars like that. The view is very different from that of the typical rice burner front wheel drive car. I was reminded of the good aspect of the high school days. Ditto with John on the chassis, ever notice how when you accelerate quickly with a rear wheel drive the front end raises up some? I don't think that happens from a front wheel drive.
    John, you might look at a x-exhaust with flowmasters, every one I have talked with says they sound great and add horsepower.
    The mods I am looking at, gears, exhaust, pulleys, and chip are really aimed at making the car like it used to be, bringing out it's true nature. I want it to run like a 68 Hi-performance 289.

    Have you noticed the old 68 Mustang had side vents much like the new Stangs? The Mustang in Bullitt did.

    Also, the Mustang in Bullitt had had the Pony emblem removed from the grill. I have always felt this gave the car a very non-commercial/serious look, and also personalized it. I have seen replacement grills without the Pony are available, and I am thinking about this. I know it is not for everyone, but I think it would give the car a unique look. And I don't think the world would be worse off with one less emblem out there. It would make the car unique. And if it was good enough for McQueen... However, I confess it would be difficult parting with the Pony.
  • Does the traction control system introduced in 1999 on the GT make it any more driveable in the snow? I had a '90 GT and would love to get a newer one but need to be able to drive it through the winter too. Thanks.
  • I like to think that somewhere out there, there's a true Bullitt/McQueen fan who's driving around in a 2002 Bullitt edition Mustang (dark Highland green of course) with all the badging (or at least the grill pony) removed. I hope that sometimes when he drives it, he wears a turtleneck and sportcoat... ; )
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