Best Axle-Back Exhausts for 2005-2014 Mustangs

Best Axle-Back Exhausts for 2005-2014 Mustangs

Last Updated October 13, 2021 | Alison Smith

Axle-back exhausts replace the stock mufflers and tips to give your Mustang that signature pony car roar. When compared to cat-back exhausts, they’re easier to install and more affordable. There are also plenty of options out there, whether you have a V6 or a GT.

But too many choices can make it difficult to find the best-sounding exhaust for you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best axle-back exhausts for S197 Mustangs broken up by category.


If you’re looking for some of the loudest axle-backs for S197s, these are some of the best options.

The ACCELATEC Race Series muffler delete axle-back allows for the most flow and volume on any 2005-2010 GT. The mirror-polished finish also looks great with any color.

For ‘11-‘14 GTs, the MBRP Black Series muffler delete offers one of the most aggressive exhaust notes. The matte black painted finish offers a low-profile, blacked-out look.

AWE’s Track Edition axle-back is their loudest option for ‘11-‘14 GTs, ‘12-‘13 Boss 302s, and ‘11-‘12 GT500s. It has a straight-through design to maximize performance and a perfect fit guarantee.

Best for GT

The Borla S-Type axle-back exhaust for ‘05-‘09 GTs and ‘07-‘09 GT500s uses the famous "Stinger" S-Type mufflers and has always been a top pick with enthusiasts. It’s lighter than stock and offers better flow with an awesome sound.

The Roush axle-back exhaust for ‘11-‘14 GT Mustangs is tuned to prevent the annoying in-cockpit boom that’s prevalent in many exhausts on the market. The hollow chamber yields a higher airflow and lessens backpressure.

Another great-sounding axle-back for ‘11-‘14 GTs is the BBK Varitune. It has an adjustable power valve design that lets you fine-tune the chamber for up to an eight-decibel increase in exhaust volume.

Best for V6

ACCELATEC axle-back exhaust tip for 2011-2014 V6 Mustang against a white background

The JBA stainless steel axle-back for ‘11-‘14 V6 Mustangs both sounds and looks great. It has 3" polished tips and high-flow mufflers.

For a louder and throatier exhaust note, there’s the Ford Performance Touring axle-back. It’s also 50-state drive-by legal, so you don’t have to worry about it being too loud.

ACCELATEC’s stainless steel axle-back exhaust is a more budget-friendly option for ‘11-‘14 V6s. It still offers superior sound and strength plus a sleek look.

Top Picks by S197 Owners

Sometimes it’s best to take advice straight from the horse’s mouth. And by that, we mean other S197 owners. Roush is a popular choice for both ‘11-‘14 GT and V6 Mustangs, while the Borla 11831 axle-back is a favorite for ‘13-‘14 GT500s.

Bill’s Picks

JBA axle-back exhaust for S197 Mustang against a white background

Bill is our resident pony car expert and knows almost everything there is to know about Mustangs. Here are some of his top picks for S197 axle-back exhausts.

BBK’s Varitune axle-back exhaust is Bill’s choice for ‘05-‘10 GTs. It has a straight-through, wide-open design for a bolder sound. The adjustable power valve can be tuned for the street or track.

Bill’s pick for a simple and easy exhaust upgrade is the JBA axle-back for ‘05-‘10 GTs and ‘07-‘10 GT500s. This stainless steel axle-back provides a deeper exhaust note and improved throttle response.

For lower exhaust temps and a higher flow, Bill would recommend the MBRP Pro Series muffler delete axle-back exhaust.

Best Value

Even though axle-backs tend to be the budget option compared to cat-backs, they can still stretch your budget. But there are plenty of affordable axle-back exhausts that don’t skimp on quality. ACCELATEC offers several value options for the S197.

Upgrades to Go with Your New Axle-Back Exhaust

Axle-back exhausts can significantly improve your Mustang’s sound, but other mods can offer more performance benefits. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive exhaust upgrade, check out our guide to the best cat-back exhausts for S197 Mustangs. Exhausts also go great with a cold air intake and a tune, but it’s not required on many systems if you prefer to keep things simple.

No matter what you decide, be sure to sign up for our newsletter for deals on exhausts and other parts for your S197.

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About the Author

Alison is the author of over 100 articles on CJ’s resource center. She’s used her inquisitive nature to help millions of readers learn more about their favorite vehicles. Read full bio →

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.

Best Axle-Back Exhausts for 2005-2014 Mustangs

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give your S197 a deeper, race-inspired sound. An axle-back exhaust can give your 2005-2014 Mustang a richer exhaust note without breaking the bank. Whether you’re searching for a raspier tone or pure volume, these axle-back exhausts both look and sound great.