2005 Ford Mustang GT Coupe and Convertible
Base MSRP Range: $18,945 - $30,550
Base Invoice Range: $17,425 - $27,871
MSRP As Tested: Not Available
Versions: V6, GT
Vehicle Category: Compact Sport Coupe and Convertible.
Engine Location: Front Engine
Drive Wheels: Rear-Wheel Drive.
Fuel Economy (city/hwy): GT Manual: 17/25 mpg / Automatic: 18/23 mpg, V-6 Manual: 19/28 mpg / Automatic: 19/25 mpg.
Standard Safety Features: Dual-level driver and passenger airbags, Optional Safety Canopy side curtain rollover airbags, Adaptive steering columns. ">Antilock Brake System, electronic brake force distribution
Competition: Chevrolet SSR, Pontiac GTO, Nissan 350Z.
Ford introduced the first Mustang at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. From that day forward, Mustang has taken a command position as both an American, and an automotive icon.
Originally designed as a stylish, commuter car for working-class women - yes, you read correctly… women… - Mustang was sold with a six-cylinder engine. The compact, 2+2 coupe had European styling and cost less than $2,400; a bargain at the start. Mustang was an instant success. 22,000 orders were placed on the first day it went on sale.
Based on the Falcon compact car, Mustang originally was more about cool styling than horsepower. Over the years it evolved into a performance product, and has been used as the basis for the development of some intense road machines including the Shelby Mustang, Ford SVT, Saleen, Roush, BOSS 302, and the Bullet. It was also successful on the racetrack winning many Trans Am and IMSA championships.
Despite Mustang’s humble - albeit sexy - beginning as a “secretary’s car,” it became a symbol of strength and individuality among both women and men. Today Mustang is the sole survivor of the American iconographic, “Pony Car” segment, a category that used to include the Pontiac Trans Am and Chevrolet Camaro, both which have been discontinued. Despite a few poor performing versions, like the Mustang II (more an overdressed Pinto than a true Mustang,) Ford managed to maintain the product’s styling heritage while constantly updating its technology to meet the demands of driving enthusiasts.
The 2005 Mustang reflects the styling, and attitude, of the car sold in 1967. That model year, Mustang was equipped with a bigger more powerful V8, requiring a larger car to accommodate a bigger engine under the hood. This change marked the shift away from providing transportation for the secretary, and onto the boss.
The 2005 Ford Mustang has a new-from-the-ground-up platform. It is such a tremendous improvement over the previous version that it makes one wonder why Ford didn’t make at least some of these changes ages ago. The new Mustang is available as either a coupe or convertible. Both can be purchased with the entry-level, V6 engine, or the up-market, V8-powered GT. All these changes capture the style and feel of the earlier Pony Cars, but in a modern package - the critical step necessary for the survival of an icon - something the competition never bothered to do.
Mustang has much better fit and finish than before. It offers real value with a V6 coupe with a starting price of under $20,000. The GT and the convertible will retail for around $35,000. If that seems like a big price tag for the up-market versions, consider how many 300-horsepower convertibles there are on the market for $35,000. None, that we can think of. And if you compare the GT coupe at under $25,000 to the Pontiac GTO. The Mustang is definitely the performance bargain.
According to J Mays, Ford Motor Company Group V.P. of Design, - and a very hip dude - after 40 years Ford wasn’t interested in doing a normal car redesign. They were looking to add another chapter to its epic history. Ford did a fantastic job of sticking to the original Mustang design cues. While you may not always be able to tell the difference between a Camaro and Firebird, you’ll always know a Mustang when you see one. If you saw the 2003 Mustang concept car, it will look very familiar to the 2005 production version and both were based on the 1967 model.
The 2005 Mustang’s shape is squarer than the old version, and it is larger everywhere. Instead of looking chubby, it has the sleek tone that comes from regular workouts. At the front it has a forward slopping grille with a mouth-shaped opening. The headlights are inset with an eyelid formed by the leading edge of the car’s nose. The front wheels are set forward so you can see where they are on the road. The long hood draws the eye up to the windshield. The roof on the hardtop coupe has a fast-back design which slopes down to a very short deck lid. The rear passenger windows are small and fixed in place. The tail lamps are styled with a modern take on Mustang’s classic, tri-bar design.
The most distinctive design cue retained on the 2005 Mustang is the side C-scoop. The modern interpretation is a horizontal L. The air scoops look great and surely will be swapped-out on upcoming special editions, as in the past.
A convertible version of this American icon is also now available, and it is a necessary pony in the stable. It appears to be the value leader in the class - as we cannot think of another 300-hp convertible on the market for around $35,000.
The convertible was designed at the same time as the coupe, and received a great deal of Ford’s attention, as they knew full-well that it would be popular. The roofline is, again, similar to the ‘67 Mustang. It’s styling is more notch-back than a fast-back. The convertible roof is as well integrated into the look of the vehicle as the hard-top version. When the roof is down, the top fits well into the rear deck. And it looks great even without having a toneau cover over it.
The 2005 Mustang’s retro vibe is as strong as that of the Thunderbird’s. It is a thoroughly modern product despite its resemblance to the ’67 Stang. People in their 40s and 50s will have the same feelings about the new 2005 Mustang as they did about the hot cars from their high school and college days.
Make sure that the 2005 Mustang you take home has the two-tone, Interior Color Accent Package. It is worth every penny. It makes the entire car hipper, and classier. It accents the interior design and brings out the styling. (In the standard charcoal color all the cool stuff on the inside is indistinguishable.)
In the car we drove, the door inserts, floor mats, and the front, bucket seat seats were red leather. That package gives the car a level of refinement not usually seen in American cars. The Interior Color Accent Package will enhance your enjoyment of the car by making it more comfortable, more pleasing to the eye, and more valuable should you ever decide to sell it.
The dash maintains the two-hood design that has been in every Mustang. For 2005 the arches are squarer. The instrument panel is aluminum and gives the interior the same effect as the massive use of chrome did in the ‘60s. Overall, the execution is better than in the Tbird.
Mustang has a three-spoke steering wheel that looks like it is right out of 1967. The instrument cluster consists of two, chrome-rimmed, circular gauges connected by chrome bars. The tachometer is on the right. The speedometer is on the left. The fuel, temperature, oil pressure and battery gauges are between those two chrome bars. The lights in the cluster are color configurable, and there are 125 different shades to choose from. The stereo controls are at the top of the center stack, along with the heating and air conditioning controls.
Ford is proud of the real-world, quality control tests and subsequent adjustments that they have made. It is now possible (though not recommended) for Coke to be spilled into the shifter repeatedly, and it will still operate. Clearly that was a common occurrence in past models. And we can attest to the significant number of gunky shifters we’ve seen in the cars over the years.
The longer wheelbase of the new Mustang provides more room for everyone, front and rear. Taller drivers will definitely notice a difference. Unfortunately keeping the cool styling means that adults will not be able to tolerate sitting in the back seat for long. However kids (up to their early teens) and pets will be happy there.
Ford launched the original Mustang as an affordable, stylish car for women entering the workforce as secretaries. All that was needed was a nice, straight-six engine. But by 1967 Mustang had become a performance car. It was among the fastest on the planet, powered with a big Ford V8 engine. Ford still offers both a six cylinder version and the V8 powered GT.
The base Mustang has a 4.0-liter, single overhead cam, 12-valve, V6 engine which puts out 210-horsepower at 5,200 rpm, and 240 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. The new V6 has more horsepower and torque than the engine it replaces. A 5-speed, manual transmission is standard. The same 5-speed automatic used in the Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird is available as an option. This engine delivers adequate performance for commuters, and it will be the volume leader, but it does not have the sound and power that excites the senses of performance-orientated drivers. For that experience, buy the GT.
The Mustang GT comes with a 4.6-liter, single overhead cam, 24-valve, V8 engine with 300-horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 320 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. It is the first stock Mustang in 35 years to come from the factory with 300-horsepower. This is the engine you want if you crave the “true” pony-car experience. The power in the V8 is better matched to the weight of the car making everything about the way it performs feel right. The 5-speed manual is a vast improvement over the previous one. It has a relatively short throw and is fairly smooth especially compared to other U.S. produced gearboxes. We always recommend going with a manual transmission when fun is your mission. But if you find shifting distracting, or you have to sit in traffic a lot, get the automatic. They have better resale value too.
The hardtop with the V6 can be purchased for under $25,000, and the convertible for under $30,000. The hardtop with the throaty V8 (that you feel through the soles of your shoes) can be purchased for under $30,000, and the convertible for under $35,000. If you can afford it, go for the V8. Otherwise if the only way you can get into a Mustang is by purchasing the V6, do. You’ll still be Happy.
Ride and Handling
The 2005 Ford Mustang has its own purpose-built chassis. It is all new and it is a first for Mustang. The coupe and convertible were developed in tandem - hence the convertible is not an afterthought with a sawed-off coupe roof. The previous Mustang convertible had serious problems with chassis flex (twisting) and cowl shake (noisy dashboard) all demons that plague coupe-to-convertible conversions. The new design took all of this into consideration from the first day they took pen to paper, and all the problems are gone.
The ride is comfortable and smooth on the freeways. On twisting mountain roads Mustang it grabs the pavement so that you can whip around curves without loosing control. It goes where it is supposed to, providing an exciting driving experience. Attention was paid to straight-line speed and vehicle stability for the drag racers, while also making sure the car has high-speed maneuverability for fast driving through curves. Lastly the new 4-wheel, disc brakes are larger than before with great stopping power - an important part of driving fun.
The same stiff structure giving the new Mustang its great handling, also has the added benefit of making the car more crashworthy. The coupe’s shell has 31 percent more torsional rigidity for stiffness. The convertible's shell is more than 50% stiffer than its predecessor. Better handling makes it possible for an alert driver to steer clear of danger and avoid an accident.
Front airbags are standard. Side impact airbags are optional, as is traction control, and anti-lock brakes. Ford's Personal Safety System is standard on the convertible, and optional on the coupe. The Personal Safety System employs the driver and front-passenger air bags (which can deploy at full, or partial, power,) safety belt pretensioners, and energy management retractors.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. Their size has been increased by more than 12% for more braking power. As we always say, “brakes are something you can never have too much of.”
All the drivers’ aides and airbags are really important to personal safety. We encourage consumers to purchase as many of these features as they can possibly afford. While it would be nice if all these features were mandated by the government for inclusion, they are not, yet. So you have to pick and choose and budget for these options.
The new 2005 Mustang is the best product offered since the late 1960s. It is an entirely authentic, yet modern Mustang. It looks great, it is a blast to drive, it is the only remaining pony-car on the market making it the best deal in an American performance car available today.
The V6 coupe remains the most affordable, rear-wheel drive, sports car on the market with a starting price of $19,410. For $24,995 you can have the 300-horsepower V8 hot rod - the Pontiac GTO costs $7,500 more.
The best value though is the Mustang convertible. The V6 starts at $24,495. The GT convertible with the 300-horsepower, V8 engine starts at $29,995 - we can’t think of another 300-horsepower convertible under $30,000. Both the Chrysler Sebring convertible with a 200-horsepower V6, and the PT Cruiser Convertible with a 220-horsepower, turbo charged, 4-cylinder engine go for just under $28,000. Neither have the style or stature of the Mustang convertible.
Mustang is the perfect choice for people who want big, muscle car performance, while still being able to drive their car to work in comfort. If you love true American muscle cars and want one of your own, Mustang is your only option. And it is a great one.
Pros: Great performance for the money and the convertible is a real bargain. Best looking Mustang since the sixities.
Cons: V6 with the automatic not as much fun to drive, opt for the V8 if you can. The back seat is a challenge for anyone near adult size.
- Style: 9
- Performance: 8
- Price: 10
- Handling: 8
- Ride: 8
- Comfort: 7
- Quality: 7
- Overall: 8.1
Where Built: Detroit
Major Options: 5-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, front-side airbags, upgraded sound system. .
Number of Rows: 2
Length in Inches: GT 188.0, V6 187.6.
Warranties: 3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper, 5 years/unlimited-miles corrosion protection, 3 years/36,000 miles roadside assistance.
Weight in Pounds: GT 3,483, V6 3,351.
Cargo Capacity in Pounds: not available.
Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: not available.
Towing Capacity in Pounds: 1,000.
Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 16
Destination Charge: $650