2004 FORD MUSTANG PREMIUM COUPE
Used Car - 2004 Ford Mustang Premium Coupe in Norfolk, Va
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2004 Ford Mustang ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
Celebrating 40 years.
It's time to celebrate! The Ford Mustang turns 40 next year. On April 17, 1964, the first Mustang rolled onto the streets. Performance and style were its hallmarks and folks loved its long hood, short rear deck, and low profile.
Anticipating next year’s milestone, every 2004 Mustang will have 40th Anniversary badges on the front fenders. They also get special exterior and interior upgrades. Wind noise has been reduced on 2004 models through the use of improved sealing, and both the V6 and V8 engines benefit from some minor refinements.
After all these years, the Mustang still represents affordable performance and style. A base coupe, for example, retails for just $17,720 and cash incentives can knock a big chunk off of that. Mustang convertibles are popular and attractively priced.
Mustang GT models are a hoot to drive with their 260-horsepower V8 engines. The Mustang offers good grip when cornering hard, and you can really feel what the car is doing. Just don't expect sophisticated ride and handling. The Mach 1 returns for 2004, boasting a 310-horsepower twin-cam V8, a sports suspension, and a shaker hood designed to remind us of the famous 1969 fastback. Production of the 2004 Mach 1 will be limited, however.
An all-new 2005 Ford Mustang is expected to go on sale in mid-2004.
Base models come with a V6 engine. High-performance GT models are powered by a V8. Each is available in coupe and convertible body styles. Convertibles feature a power top with a scratch-resistant glass rear window. A black semi-hard boot protects the top and gives the Mustang a clean look with the top down.
Every 2004 Mustang will have 40th Anniversary badges on the front fenders. In addition, a new 40th Anniversary Package, a no-cost option, adds exterior and interior upgrades to V-6 and GT models. Convertibles are available with an upgraded Medium Parchment soft retractable top that’s more durable and sound resistant.
The Mustang coupe ($17,720) and Mustang convertible ($23,455) come standard with a 3.8-liter V6, an overhead-valve engine rated 190 horsepower at 5250 rpm and 220 foot-pounds of torque at 2750 rpm. A five-speed manual is standard, a four-speed automatic ($815) is optional. ABS and traction control ($730) are optional, but we highly recommend them to help avoid accidents.
Reclining cloth front bucket seats come standard. Leather-trimmed front bucket seats ($595) are optional. Mustang coupes get 50/50 split-folding rear seatbacks. Standard equipment on all Mustangs includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, tilt-steering column, a floor console, remote keyless entry system and interval windshield wipers. Mustangs come with Standard, Deluxe, and Premium trim packages. Deluxe ($730) adds a rear spoiler, color-keyed floor mats, six-way power driver's seat, and speed control. Premium ($1,385) comes with all that plus a six-way power driver's seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Mustang GT coupe ($23,245) and Mustang GT convertible ($27,585) come with a 4.6-liter V8 with single overhead cams and two-valves per cylinder rated at 260 hp at 5250 rpm and 302 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. To manage all that power, GT models are equipped with gas-pressure shocks with unique model calibrations, P245/45R17 performance tires on 17-inch alloy painted wheels, a Traction Loc rear axle, ABS and traction control. GTs come with sport bucket seats and fog lamps. The V8 mates with a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox with a tall fifth gear for improved fuel economy. A four-speed automatic ($815) is optional. Optional audio systems include the MACH 460 ($550) with in-dash 6-CD changer and the MACH 1000 ($1,295).
The Mach 1 boasts a high-performance 310-hp 4.6-liter V8 with dual overhead-cams and four valves per cylinder. Mach 1 gets a sports suspension (stiffer springs, special shocks and struts, lower ride height). Distinguished by its black shaker hood, the Mach 1 ($5,575) is treated as a package. It also comes with special 17-inch wheels, special leather-trimmed seats, special interior trim, in-dash six-disc CD stereo, and special exterior graphics.
The Cobra is powered by the supercharged SVT 4.6-liter V8 from Ford's Special Vehicle Team. The SVT V8 produces 390 horsepower at 6000 rpm, with 390 pounds-feet of torque at 3500 rpm. It comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Cobra comes shod with P275/40R17 tires and loaded with special interior and exterior trim.
Standard safety equipment includes safety belts with pretensioners to tighten the lap belt and shoulder belts in the first moments of a crash. Energy-management retractors gradually slacken the safety belt if necessary to help reduce the force of the belt on the occupant's chest. Mustangs come with anchors in the rear to implement the LATCH child safety-seat system.
The 2004 Mustang design picks up styling cues from the 1964-66 original, but executes them in today's rounder, more organic idiom. The rear fender air intake, for example, has sharp corners and pronounced lines; but the rocker panels curve out, and the fenders have pronounced front and rear wheel well arches. The front end features wraparound complex reflector headlamps with integrated side marker lamps, combined with a square-edged honeycomb grille and a chrome pony. Tricolor front fender badges recall the good old days, as does the prominent but non-functional hood scoop. In back, it's 1965 with vertical, three-element taillamps.
GT models get unique hood and side-scoop treatments, along with fog lights and a rear spoiler.
Mach 1 is easy to spot with special trim that starts with its shaker hood scoop. Attached directly to the top of the engine, the black scoop rears its head through a squarish hole in the Mach 1 hood. (Hood scoops on GT models sit on top of the hood.) A bold low-gloss black stripe runs up the center of the powerdome hood to accentuate the scoop. Stomp on the throttle and you can see it move, or shake, slightly as the engine twists against the motor mounts. In theory, the scoop is designed to channel fresh air into the intake for increased breathing and, therefore, increased power.
The 40th Anniversary Package, a no-cost option for 2004 Mustangs, is distinguished by Arizona Beige Metallic performance stripes on the hood, lower rocker panels and deck lid. Arizona Beige Metallic accents upgraded wheels (16-inch for the V-6 and 17-inch Bullitt wheels for the GT). The 40th Anniversary models are available in an exclusive Crimson Red exterior, as well as Black and Oxford White, with body-colored, fold-in side mirrors.
The Mustang cockpit is a little quieter for 2004. New expandable foam seals designed to reduce wind noise are used around the body, particularly the outside door handles and belt moldings on both doors.
Convertibles and coupes offer about the same amount of room in the front seats. Either way, it's a cozy interior. There's enough seat-track length to accommodate tall drivers and just enough elbowroom to keep from feeling cramped. The Mustang offers good, reclining bucket seats with plenty of travel. The seats are fairly full, yet supportive, a good compromise, and you don't slide around. Seatbelts are attached to the seat frames so they move with the seats. Running horses embossed on the upper portions of the optional leather bucket seats recall the deluxe pony interior of the mid-1960s.
The 40th Anniversary Package upgrades the interior with four-way head restraints, a painted center console surround, and brushed aluminum door lock knobs, shift boot trim ring and pedals. The package includes unique floor mats with an embroidered 40th Anniversary logo and a matching badge on the center console.
The Mach 1 tachometer and speedometer use a tall condensed typeface and more hash marks that make it harder to read than the gauges in the GT models. The instrument panel, center console and headliner are color-keyed. To turn on the headlights, pull out an old-fashioned knob on the left. The center console includes cup holders.
SVT Cobra models offer front bucket seats with Nudo leather trim and suede inserts. The driver's seat features six-way power with power-adjustable thigh and side bolsters, and power lumbar support. Clearly, these seats are made for serious, fast driving. Switches are on the right-front corner of the seat. The SVT instrument cluster has been redesigned to include a boost gauge. The gauges feature titanium-colored faces and electroluminescent lighting. The Cobra's gearshift knob is leather-wrapped, with a brushed-aluminum insert on the top, inscribed with the six-speed pattern. Metal-trimmed pedals and dead pedal are standard.
The back seat is small, with only enough room for small objects or kids. Convertibles have even less hip and shoulder room than coupes, but about the same headroom and legroom.
The trunk is small with an even smaller opening. Coupes hold just under 11 cubic feet worth of cargo, while convertibles hold just 7.7 cubic feet. A split fold-down rear seat is standard and handy for hauling cargo.
Driving the Ford Mustang confirms it is a throwback to another era. A Mustang GT has more than enough power to break the rear wheels loose. The firm suspension transmitted freeway undulations, and there is some side-to-side jouncing on rough surfaces, but this car makes us feel happy.
The engine sounds so good, so deep and thunderous, it might be the most enjoyable thing about the car. With the Camaro/Firebird gone, they just don't make them like this any more. With a lot of high-performance cars, you have to be going fast to feel the joy, but with the Mustang, even 2000 rpm is fun. Such a broad range of enjoyment adds to the already high value of the car.
The GT's V8 feels and sounds very satisfying as you accelerate through first and second gear, upshifting at a modest 4000 rpm. In fifth gear, 2000 rpm is 75 mph, and the engine doesn't loaf at that speed, it rumbles. No engine we can think of sounds and feels like it's doing more at such low rpm. Not working hard, just doing more. This is particularly noticeable in the convertible, with the top down.
The torque provides steady, smooth acceleration, and the throttle response to blips is wonderful, with an easy heel-and-toe pedal position. The only small problem was throttle control at 5 mph in parking lots with the manual transmission, as it tended to snatch.
The manual gearbox gets very high marks. Because the top speed in second gear is 70 mph, most corners are second or third gear, so you find yourself downshifting a lot. You can drop hard into second, with a beautiful racy blip, and it's great stuff, smooth and solid, inspiring confidence. The GT's leather gearshift knob has the perfect shape for a firm grip.
In corners, the Mustang likes to be muscled, but it doesn't have to be. It's brutish, but still goes where you point it without a struggle. The brakes don't fade when driving on winding roads at an aggressive pace and using them frequently. The optional Bosch traction control system works at all speeds: Whenever wheelspin is detected, the system retards ignition timing, cuts fuel flow, and activates the brakes at one or both drive wheels, in that order. The driver can turn the system off with a console switch.
The Mustang suspension was retuned for 2003 for improved ride quality.
The current Ford Mustang is a hammer of a car, a throwback to another time. Its interior is dated. Stand on the gas and the GT's powerful V8 can spin the rear wheels. The firm suspension and handling make for a fast, racy ride. But it's not sophisticated. This is part of the charm and we love it. Driving a Mustang can put a smile on your face. We particularly enjoy the convertibles.
An all-new 2005 Ford Mustang is expected in mid-2004. Until then, the 2004 Mustang remains a value in performance and style.
Mustang coupe ($17,720); convertible ($23,455); GT coupe ($23,245); GT convertible ($27,585).
Options As Tested
ABS and traction control ($730); 40th Anniversary Package (no charge) includes wheels painted Arizona Beige Metallic, spoiler delete, Arizona Beige Metallic tape stripe on center hood, decklid and lower door panels, color-keyed dual fold away mirrors, 40th Anniversary badge on center panel next to power point, floor mats in Medium Parchment w/40th Anniversary logo; convertible soft boot ($95); leather sport bucket seats ($595);.
Ford Mustang GT Convertible ($27,585).