2004 vs 2005 Ford Mustang

2004 vs 2005 Ford Mustang

Last Updated June 13, 2023 | Meghan Drummond

2004 Mustangs closed out the New Edge generation, and 2005 Mustangs brought in the S197 Generation. There are minor changes between any two Mustang years. But 2004 and 2005 Mustangs have significant exterior, interior, and performance differences. They also lend themselves to different mods and have different features.

If you’re considering purchasing either of these Mustangs, it’s good to know the differences between them. This may help you find the best fit for your future modifications.

2004 vs 2005 Mustang Exterior Changes

The 2004 Mustang was the last to use the Fox platform. This platform had been used for Mustangs, Capris, and several other vehicles from 1979-2004. The Fox platform is beloved for its lightness.

For the 2005 Mustang, Ford moved to the D2C platform. Unlike the Fox platform, the D2C was a Mustang exclusive. It was bigger, heavier, and wholly unique.

2004 and 2005 Mustang Exterior Dimensions
Dimension2004 Mustang2005 Mustang
Wheelbase 101.3 Inches 107.1 Inches
Length 183.2 Inches 187.6 Inches
Width 73.1 Inches 73.8 Inches
Height 53.1 Inches 54.5 Inches
Curb Weight 3,006-3,208 Pounds 3,351-3,518 Pounds

A silver 2004 Mustang and a Windveil Blue 2005 Mustang


Mustangs manufactured between 1999 and 2004 are part of a subset of the SN95 generation referred to as “New Edge.” The New Edge style is characterized by bodywork creases which give it a more aggressive look. Coupled with larger wheel arches and an angular style, the New Edge Mustangs are distinct from their SN95 brethren.

The 2005 Mustang aspired to a retrofuturistic look. This means that it brought back some very distinct features from first-generation Mustangs. Some of these features included the larger grille, long hood, and the slope of the roof.

To complement the new style, Ford also unveiled some new colors like Legend Lime. As the first year of a new generation, the list of features on 2005 Mustangs wasn’t as long as it was for the 2004. This includes color availability.

2004 and 2005 Mustang Colors
ColorCode2004 Mustang2005 Mustang
Dark Shadow Gray CX
Competition Orange CY
Torch Red D3
Screaming Yellow D6
Crimson Red FX
Redfire G2
Cobra Exclusive
Performance White HP
Azure Blue L5
Legend Lime P1
Windveil Blue
Mineral Gray TK
Satin Silver TL
Black UA
Silver YN
Oxford White Z1

2004 vs 2005 Mustang Interior Changes

One of the more common complaints about New Edge Mustangs is that their interiors are bland. 2004 Mustangs have interiors that are primarily tan or gray plastic. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it pales in comparison to the 2005 Mustangs’ aluminum details.

The 2005 Mustang’s interior looks and feels nicer. Reviewers were quick to praise the S197’s comfort. New options, like MyColor, added customizable interior colors. While this added no practical value, it was a fun way to add flair to your Mustang.

2004 Mustang’s tan interior on top and on the bottom the 2005 Mustang’s more upscale interior

If the interior is the most important feature to you, most people would urge you to select the 2005 Mustang. But interior differences are the easiest, and least expensive, to correct. New ergonomic seats, a performance steering wheel, and a new shifter would all work to update a 2004 Mustang’s interior.

2004 and 2005 Mustangs Interior Dimensions
Dimension2004 Mustang2005 Mustang
Front Head Room 38.1 Inches 38.6 Inches
Front Legroom 42.6 Inches 42.7 Inches
Rear Head Room 35.8 Inches 36.3 Inches
Rear Legroom 29.9 Inches 30.3 Inches

2004 vs 2005 Mustang Performance

2004 and 2005 Mustangs are built on different platforms, so there are a lot of performance differences. The available engines, transmissions, and suspensions all changed noticeably. These changes affect the performance and handling of these two Mustangs.

Suspension Changes

One of the more significant changes between the 2004 and 2005 Mustang was the suspension. Through 2004, struts and springs were mounted separately. In 2005, Ford introduced a new system where the spring was mounted over the struts.

The rear suspension was also changed. While the 2004 Mustang used a four-link suspension, in 2005 the Mustang introduced a three-link panhard bar setup.

Both of these adjustments mean that the 2005 Mustang is better in a corner. Body roll is reduced and it creates a more comfortable ride. For this reason, most people suggest the 2005 Mustang for those seeking a daily driver.

The notable exception to this is the 2004 Cobra. This Mustang used an independent rear suspension and handles better than other New Edge or S197 Mustangs.

Engine Specs

2004 and 2005 Mustang Engine Specs
2004 V6 Mustang 3.8L OHV V6 190 hp @ 5,250 RPM 220 lb-ft @ 2,750 RPM
2005 V6 Mustang 4.0L SOHC V6 210 hp@ 5,300 RPM 240 lb-ft @ 3,500 RPM
2004 Mustang GT 4.6L SOHC V8 260 hp @ 5,250 RPM 302 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM
2005 Mustang GT 4.6L SOHC 3-Valve V8 300 hp @ 5,750 RPM 320 lb-ft @ 4,500 RPM
2004 Mach 1 4.6L DOHC V8 310 hp @ 6,000 RPM 335 lb-ft @ 4,200 RPM
2004 SVT Cobra 4.6L DOHC V8 390 hp @ 6,000 RPM 390 lb-ft @ 3,500 RPM

In 2004, the only Mustang that used an engine with an overhead valve configuration was the V6 model. In 2005, it joined the rest of the herd by moving to an overhead cam configuration. There are a lot of differences between overhead cam and overhead valve engines.

Ford’s updates to the 2005 V6 Mustang mean that it’s significantly more powerful than the 2004 model.

The GT also saw a performance shift. Both the 2004 and 2005 Mustang use a modular 4.6L SOHC engine. While the 2004 engine has 2 valves per cylinder, the 2005 has three.

Multi-valved engines (those with more than 2 valves per cylinder) breath better and produce more power. So, both the V6 and GT saw an engine power increase.

The most powerful engine was the one installed in the Terminator Cobra. The Cobra used a DOHC V8 engine that produced the most horsepower of any engine available in these two years. Though the 2005 GT and 2004 Cobra look similar in terms of power, the 2004 is also much lighter. Without modifications, the 2004 Cobra will always outperform the 2005 GT.

A 2004 Cobra and a 2005 GT

Transmission Specs

There were significant transmission changes between 2004 and 2005 Mustangs. In fact, they only share two transmissions.

The Tremec T-5 transmission was used for both 2004 and 2005 V6 Mustangs. The TR3650 manual transmission was used for 2004 and 2005 GT Mustangs.

There were two automatic transmission options for 2004 Mustangs. The 4R70W was used in all V6s, while the slightly hardier 4R75W was used for GTs. For 2005, both GT and V6 Mustangs used the 5R55S transmission. This automatic offered five-speeds, which was a distinct upgrade.

The 2004 Cobra naturally got its own transmission, Tremec’s T-56. This is unquestionably the best transmission offered during this time period. A common modification for increasing a 2004 Mustang’s power is to swap in a T-56 transmission.

2004 and 2005 Mustang Transmission Specs
TransmissionFirst GearSecond GearThird GearFourth GearFifth GearSixth Gear
2004 Tremec T-5 3.35 1.93 1.26 1.00 0.68 N/A
2005 Tremec T-5 3.75 2.19 1.41 1.00 0.72 N/A
2004 V6 Automatic
2.84 1.55 1.00 0.70 N/A N/A
2004 Mustang GT Automatic
2.84 1.55 1.00 0.70 N/A N/A
2005 V6 or GT Automatic
3.25 2.44 1.55 1.00 0.71 N/A
2004 and 2005 GT Manual
3.38 2.00 1.32 1.00 0.68 N/A
2004 Cobra
2.66 1.78 1.30 1.00 0.80 0.63

The Mach 1 and Terminator Cobra

There were two high-performance Mustangs in 2004: The Mach 1 and the Terminator Cobra. There were 7,214 Mach 1s made and 5,664 Cobras. That makes both of these Mustangs attainable, if challenging.

Though you may not be able to find one of these two limited editions for sale, they do offer some additional value for 2004 Mustangs. Because replacement Mach 1 and Cobra parts are still being manufactured, it’s possible to build your own with a 2004 Mustang. This means you can get top notch performance and looks and do the modding yourself.

2005 offered no performance editions. But in 2007 Shelby Mustangs made their return, and many of these parts can be used to improve earlier S197 Mustangs.

2004 vs 2005 Mustangs

It can be tough to pick between these two Mustangs. There are pros and cons to owning either a New Edge or an S197. The good news is that either is a Mustang. That means there will be substantial opportunities for modification and customization. You can also rest assured that either will be accepted by the Mustang community.

2004 and 2005 Mustang Pros and Cons
2004 Mustang Lighter
More Performance Options
Less Expensive
Dated Interior
Less Powerful in Stock Form
2005 Mustang More Comfortable
Needs Fewer Mods
More Expensive
GT Highest Option Package

Who Is the 2004 Mustang Right For?

If you’re working on a strict budget and are interested in heavy modifications, the New Edge may be a better choice. New Edge Mustangs are perfect candidates for Coyote Swaps and drift builds. Their lighter body gives them a slight edge in most performance applications.

Though the New Edge Mustang has a dated interior, that can be easily fixed with a few well-planned upgrades.

Who Is the 2005 Mustang Right For?

The 2005 Mustang handles better, and is more performance-focused without modifications. If you’re unsure about mods or prefer to start slowly, an S197 might be the perfect fit for you.

Even without modifications the 2005 Mustang is a comfortable daily driver. It has enough power to be interesting, and has plenty of options for future modifications.

Whether you choose a 2004 or 2005 Mustang, you’ll have a car with plenty of modification options, performance capability, and history.

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.