2004 vs 2005 Ford Mustang DifferencesLast Updated August 4, 2019 | Sam Padgett
The 2004 and the 2005 Mustangs bridge the gap between the fourth and the fifth generation of America's favorite pony car. From the New Edge Mustang to the S-197 generation, these two specific model years of the Mustang show some of the most drastic changes in recent Mustang history. While the Mustang core does shine through both models, they look entirely like different vehicles.
2004 and 2005 Mustang Exterior Differences
The 2004 Mustang is the last of the New Edge Mustangs, a subset of the SN95 Mustangs that lasted from 1998 to 2004. Their styling stands out amongst the entire Mustang canon. Compared to other Mustang models, the 2004 Mustang is more sloped and less angular, combining the softer look of the Foxbodies and the early S95 models with a tougher and more intimidating look.
The New Edge exterior is a bit of a misnomer; there aren’t too many hard edges on its outside. The hood of the car bends down towards the smaller grille, flanked by thinner and longer headlights. The quarter panels feature side scoops, a feature shared with previous generations of the Mustang. There is also a small quarter window that is seamlessly connected to the main side window.
The 2005 Mustang, on the other hand, is styled after classic models. The grille, which was hardly existent on the 2004 models, was made considerably larger. This also means that the front fascia of the car is less slanted and flatter, again, bringing the Mustang back to its pony car roots. The headlights are circular instead of rectangular. There are also separate turn signal lights underneath the headlights. The rear quarter window is separated from the main window by the B pillar. Both the 2004 and 2005 Mustang share the pony Mustang logo on the center of the grille.
This iteration of the Mustang is visibly inspired by the Mustang’s roots. One of the words frequently thrown around to describe this generation of Mustangs is retro-futuristic, as it captures the classic pony car style utilizing modern design elements. The 2005 Mustang marks the beginning of the S197 body style which continued until 2015.
2004 and 2005 Mustang Interior Differences
The 2004 Mustang’s interior went mostly unchanged. Besides a few minor tweaks here and there, there aren’t any major additions to the inside. This does mean that the interior of the 2004 Mustang looks a bit retro to some. For the most part, the inside is covered in monochromatic plastic, and the instrument cluster and glove box are situated under large swooping lines that continue the curved theme of the New Edge Mustangs. Being honest, this is one of the most underwhelming Mustang interiors out there. Its reminiscent of mid-nineties economy cars, which considering the otherwise impressive performance of the 2004 Mustang, is disappointing. That said, for every potential problem, there is an aftermarket solution.
The interior of the 2005 Mustang is quite handsome, especially in comparison to its predecessor. In some places, aluminum replaces plastic, and the overall simplicity of the interior creates a striking and classy look. The steering wheel was given a complete redesign with the three-spoke design and the tri-bar logo on the wheel's center. In a nod to classic Mustangs, the size of the speedometer and tachometer were significantly increased. Additionally, the color of the backlighting for the instrument cluster can be changed to 125 different colors with Ford's optional MyColor system which was introduced on the Mustang with this model.
Visually speaking, there are quite a lot of differences between these two Mustang models. While the Mustang is known for being a versatile line of cars, these two years represent a dramatic shift in the trajectory of the look of the modern pony car.
2004 and 2005 Mustang Special Trims
The 2004 Mustang has unique trim options as well: The revamp of the Mach 1 and the SVT Cobra. The most notable of these is the SVT Cobra which is also known as The Terminator.
This supercharged Mustang can come with the Mystichrome exterior paint package. It’s hard to miss this dazzling paint color, as it seems to change hue depending on how you look at it. In effect, not only is this vehicle very powerful, it is several colors at once.
The 2004 Mach 1 is also a special Mustang. Each Mach 1 comes with a signature stripe painted down the middle and a functional shaker scoop poking through the hood.
Since the 2005 Mustang had to introduce a whole new generation of Mustangs, there weren't as many special versions of this vehicle. The top trim level for the 2005 Mustang is the GT, which comes with grille embedded foglights, an additional rear stabilizer bar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a rear spoiler.
2004 and 2005 Engine Selection
Both of these Mustang generations have their own pool of engines to draw from. The base level V6 engine in the 2005 Mustang gained a small edge over the base level 2004 engine. Concerning raw power though, the V8 2004 engine from the Mach I is slightly more powerful than the 2005 model, whereas the base V8 from 2004 is less powerful. Between all of their options, they are evenly matched concerning raw automotive power.
|3.8L OHV V6||193 hp||225 lb-ft|
|4.6L SOHC V8||260 hp||302 lb-ft|
|4.6L DOHC V8||305 hp||320 lb-ft|
|4.0L SOHC V6||210 hp||240 lb-ft|
|4.6L 3-Valve V8||300 hp||320 lb-ft|
Which one of these would win in a race though? The quarter-mile for a 2004 SVT Cobra Mustang is 12.9 seconds at 111 mph, and for a 2005 Mustang GT, the time is 13.5 seconds at 103 mph. Similarly, the 2004 SVT Cobra can make the 0-60 in 4.5 seconds when the 2005 GT can make it in 5.1 seconds. All in all, the 2004 Mustang has a decent edge over the following model. This isn’t purely representative of the stock models of both the 2004 and the 2005 Mustang respectively but rather shows that the performance-oriented models were faster in 2004 than in 2005. Regardless of these figures, there are plenty of aftermarket solutions to raise your Mustang’s speed, irrespective of its year or trim.
Sure, numbers only go but so far. Instead of hearing about how these two Mustangs stack up on the track, why don't you watch it happen? Thanks to Youtuber jmartr34 for this footage of a 2004 SVT Cobra head off against a 2005 Mustang GT. Not spoil the video, but the results are exactly what you'd expect from the values listed above.
The size of these two Mustangs changes significantly between these two models. The 2005 Mustang is bigger all around, only lacking a few inches of rear legroom over the 2004 model. Not only is it several inches longer and about an inch taller, but it also weighs a few hundred pounds more than the 2004 model.
|Dimension||2004 Mustang||2005 Mustang|
|Front Leg Room||41.8-42.6"||42.7"|
|Rear Leg Room||35.5"||31"|
|Front Head Room||38.1"||38.6"|
|Curb Weight||3,006-3,208 lbs||3,351-3,518 lbs|
The stark differences between the 2004 and 2005 Mustang make them useful landmarks for differentiating the generations of Mustangs. However, a Mustang is still a Mustang, no matter how different it looks. Regardless of which model that you own, we have the parts that you need right here at CJ Pony Parts.
Unlike many other consecutive Mustang models, the 2004 and 2005 almost appear to be completely separate cars. While they both successfully capture the essence of a pony car, they look quite different. Besides their physical differences, there continue to be many more differences under the hood.
Ever been at a Mustang event, whether it’s a car show or drag race and hear someone utter the term S197 or S550 or even Fox Body, perhaps? These are body codes set by Ford Motor Company in their Research & Development process for the Mustang.
Known popularly as the SN95, the fourth generation Mustang ran from 1994-2004, ushering in new modernized design and features for the turn of the millennium while retaining the pony heritage that captivates enthusiasts. Read about the history of the SN95, including its inception, the transition to the New Edge design language, and special editions.
The Saleen S281-C is production numbers were very limited, with less than 20 produced each year between 1996 and 2004. Even rarer is the Extreme Rainbow paint option estimated to only exist on between 14 and 16 Saleen S281-Cs. The paint has tiny flakes of aluminum and chrome to reflect light making the vehicle appear to change color based on the viewing angle.
The fifth generation of Mustangs, otherwise known as the S197 generation, represents the Mustang's return to form. With this generation, many classic pony car elements can be seen making a big come back. That being said, the Mustang continues to adapt, and while it takes inspiration from the past, remains a fully modern vehicle.