Used Buying Guide: Ford Mustang 2005-2014

For all you need to know to get yourself a modern classic muscle car, here is the Used Buying Guide: Ford Mustang 2005-2014

By Shahzad Sheikh

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

The fifth generation Ford Mustang launched in 2005 was a brilliantly conceived retro-styled edition that took the original 1967 Fastback version of the first Mustang as its design inspiration.

The movie car, Eleanor (based on a 1967 Shelby Mustang Fastback) had become a sensation five years earlier in the Nicolas Cage-starrer ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’. This had sparked renewed interest in a car first brought to movie prominence by Steve McQueen in 1968’s ‘Bullitt’ in quite possibly the most famous car chase ever committed to celluloid.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

So it was a logical move to take Ford’s iconic ‘pony car’ back in this direction stylistically. But the 2005 Mustang didn’t just represent a new body, this was a completely new rear-wheel drive platform for Ford, one that is to date still only used for the Mustang.

You may have heard a lot of about the alleged crudeness of the solid rear axle, which translates to a somewhat harsher ride and propensity to hop on roads with poor surfaces, but it is strong – something you need if you’re channelling a lot of torque to the rear wheels – and light.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

From Ford’s perspective, it’s obviously also cheaper to make. Frankly speaking you won’t notice much difference to regular independent suspension unless you do a lot of motorway miles, or find yourself up against Porsche Cayman on a race track.

In fact the Mustang is a hugely satisfying and highly entertaining car to drive, with faithful responses from the steering, great performance, decent grip and road-holding at speed, yet traditional muscle-car-esque lurid but highly benign and controllable sideways antics at lower speeds.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

Plus it’s narrower than its rivals, which makes it more practical around town and easier to park and of course it has those very usable rear seats, ideal for children, but okay for average-sized adults too.

Now you too can have one of these, without forking out for a new car, thanks to our Used Buying Guide: Ford Mustang 2005-2014.

Why buy it?

  • Are you kidding? Just look at it? It’s got one of the most recognisable shapes in American motoring history and the wonderful thing is that whilst it may look like a million dollars, it certainly doesn’t cost it.
  • Plus this year see the iconic Pony car’s 50th birthday, and everybody is in love with the legendary Ford once again. There has never been a better or more poignant time to own a Mustang.
  • The movie-star appeal combined with the everyday practicality, decent comfort and reasonable size all make it a highly desirable car. As far as its obvious rivals are concerned this is the smallest and lightest, therefore the most economical and potentially quickest.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

Why not buy it?

  • If you’re looking for a sophisticated sports car with lots of clever engineering and computerised driving aids, you’d better look at something European, or maybe wait for the 2015 Mustang. But frankly there are so few reasons not to buy a Ford Mustang that we’re struggling here.
  • The fit and finish is not the best in the business, it’s a very masculine car and it won’t be easy to find a used example that hasn’t either been modified/customised or abused/raced.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

Model details

  • The all-new fifth generation Ford Mustang was launched in 2005 and received a facelift in 2010 (the car you see in these pictures) with mechanical and cosmetic upgrades in 2011.
  • Sales started in our region in mid-2006 and it was available in both coupe and convertible guises in rear-wheel drive with 5-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
  • It was available with a 4.6-litre V8, with 300bhp and 320lb ft torque, giving a 0-100kph in under six seconds and a top speed of 229kph.
  • The V6 was only offered in 2010 by Al Tayer with the 4.0L engine. The 2011 model upgraded to the 3.6L V6 (thanks to readers for this corrected information).
  • Dimensions: 2005-2009 Length 4770mm; Width 1900mm; Height 1380mm. 2010-2014 Length 4780mm; Width 1880mm; Height 1410mm.
  • Safety – it has a five star rating for driver and front passenger from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

  • Equipment included traction control, 17-inch alloy wheels and CD player. Options included six-disc CD player Shaker 500 Watt stereo, and Ford’s MyColor configurable instrument colour.
  • Extensive facelift for the 2010 model (seen in these pictures) somehow took the Mustang’s striking style and enhanced it even further.
  • For 2010 aerodynamic efficiency was improved by at least 6%. There was a restyled Mustang emblem, the headlight was redesigned with integrated indicator signals, and the side mirrors were new. Revised three-lens taillights with LEDs that blink in sequence to indicate turn signals, powerdome hood, smaller fog lights.
  • The 4.6-litre V8 got more power and torque – 315bhp and 325lb ft, and the exhausts were bigger to improve engine sound.
  • The suspension was revised and Ford’s AdvanceTrac traction and stability control system added. Options included Ford SYNC, two-zone climate control and reversing camera. 18-inch wheels were now standard.
  • Manual transmission was only available on base model coupes. Automatic convertibles were available and a full glass roof option was introduced.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

  • For the 2011 model year, the 4.6-litre V8 was replaced with a brand new all-aluminium 32-valve 5.0-litre V8 (dubbed Coyote). It revved higher to 7000rpm and produced 412bhp and 390lb ft. Power for the 5.0 was increased to 420bhp for 2013.
  • A new Duratec 3.7-litre V6 engine was introduced with nearly as much power as the outgoing V8: 305bhp and 280lb ft.
  • Both engines were now available with new heavier-duty six-speed automatic manual and automatic transmissions.
  • Other improvements for 2011 including new electric power steering, enhanced aerodynamics, better refinement, a digital message and information centre and blind spot indicators.
  • 2011 convertibles received a front strut tower brace, stiffened crossmembers and strengthened bodywork giving 12% better structural rigidity.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

  • 2013 saw the introduction of the latest model updates including a new larger grille, standard HID headlights, new LEDs up front, LED tail lamps and reverse was now part of the brake light with a black panel at the back linking the taillights. V8 models got blacked out taillights. There was also a new instrument display for premium models, plus LED fog lights.
  • Boss 302 special edition. A handful of these limited edition track-orientated Mustangs, based on the 2011 GT with the 5.0-litre V8 but upgraded to produce 444bhp, were sold in the region. It only came with a manual six-speed transmission and featured a toughened limited slip differential with carbon fibre plates. There were also quad exhausts – two side pipes in addition to the rear outlets. There was stiffer suspension, adjustable shocks and a bigger rear stabiliser, and the body was lowered by 11mm up front and 1mm at the back. It got improved aerodynamics with front and rear spoilers and 19-inch black alloy wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero tyres.
  • The Shelby Mustangs are not covered by this guide.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

Which one?

Ford has done a great job of improving the breed with each revision and frankly you should try to buy the latest example you can. Most Mustang fans will want a V8 and if you’re buying a pre-2011 car that will be your only option. You may find some earlier V6 models but these were grey imports and won’t be GCC spec cars, so should be avoided.

Having said the new 2011-on 4.0 V6 was as powerful as the old V8, but for some the lure of the Eight’s classic movie-soundtrack rumble will be too great. The 2011 version’s 5.0 is regarding as a one of the best engines ever to grace a Mustang and is now being used in other Fords including the F150 Truck.

Earlier convertibles suffered from flex and scuttle shake (body flexing) but this was greatly improved for the 2011 version, so if you want a drop top, make sure it’s one of these.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

What to look out for?

  • The good news is that most Mustangs are owned by enthusiasts who tend to look after their car better. On the other hand, they might have been driven harder too.
  • A full service history is vital for a high performance car, especially if it’s still under warranty.
  • Engine and drivetrains are generally tough and reliable.
  • Most faults and issues reported by owners are related to trim and fittings, both internal and external, failing or coming loose. Push, prod, pull and click everything before you buy. Also check all seals around the doors.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

  • Mustangs could have been involved in crashes, visually check to see if the car is straight and the bodywork lines up correctly. Check all the body panels for damage, ensure there’s even spacing along the shut lines around the doors and bonnet. Get it checked professionally if there’s any doubt whatsoever.
  • Avoid heavily modified or customised cars. If you must buy one, ascertain if the work has been done by a certified, authorised or respected dealer using correct and genuine parts. Ask if there’s any warranty remaining on the car, see if it’s been invalidated by the modifications.
  • 2004-05, if the check engine light comes on it could be a throttle position sensor fault on the 4.6 V8.
  • 2005-07, convertibles suffered problems with the top including latching closing issues and uneven retraction.
  • 2004-05, fuel level sending unit can get coated by sulphur compounds from petrol and deliver inaccurate fuel gauge readings.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

  • 2005-06, noises from the front end when driving over bumps could be due to defective lower control arms bushings.
  • 99% of 2005-2009 V6 mustangs in the UAE have been involved in major accidents in the US, shipped to the UAE and ‘repaired.’ A simple VIN check online from a US site costs $10-15 and is cheap insurance to avoid buying a lemon (Thanks to readers for this tip!)
  • 2007-08, problems shifting into 2nd or 3rd with 4.6 V8 on Tremec TR3650 manual transmission could be because of faulty synchronisers.
  • 2011 problems reported with the Getrag MT82, six-speed manual transmission with owners reporting difficulty in engaging gears and excessive noise and vibration. This affected 3% of transmissions and Ford has come up with a series of rectifications from transmission oil viscosity to replacement clutch parts.
  • Always get the suspension checked, changing the shocks or struts is very costly.

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

What to pay?

Prices start from as little as AED35,000 for 2005 V8 Coupes, rising to AED70k for pre-facelift 2009 editions. Well specced 2010 cars are going from around AED100k. Budget from AED70k to AED170k for the newer 2011-onwards cars in non-Shelby spec.

Find them in the UAE here on Dubizzle

Ford Mustang Used Buying guide 2005-2014

If you liked Used Buying Guide: Ford Mustang 2005-2014, then also read:

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Tell us your Mustang owning/buying experiences below

6 responses to “Used Buying Guide: Ford Mustang 2005-2014”

  1. rashid alamiri says:

    One very important thing that you have not mentioned . That the us spec cars that are sold , are mostly car that were imported as a scrap or flooed are being repaired in shady sharjah garages no offense to gragues in sharjah . But alot of those car were not even spouse to be on the road agin . And after a paint job and a couple fixes in the engine and waela , they are being sold online and claim to be clean us spec cars . The 3 most popular cars in this situation would be the ford mustang . Infinity g37 and the dodge charger and challenger . For anyone who wants to buy a used car first go for the gcc and then look into a us spec . But either way . A professional check up is always recommended.

  2. Adnan Khan says:

    Correction Please *First Generation 2005-2010 were 4.0 V6 later ones introduced was 3.7 v6*

  3. Andrew says:

    Prior to 2010 Ford/Al Tayer only offered the GT V8 not the V6. The V6 was only offered in 2010 by Al Tayer with the 4.0L engine. The 2011 model upgraded to the 3.6L V6. 99% of 2005-2009 V6 mustangs in the UAE have been involved in major accidents in the US, shipped to the UAE and ‘repaired.’ A simple VIN check online from a US site costs $10-15 and is cheap insurance to avoid buying a lemon.

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