These Are The Top 2005-2010 Mustang Exhausts

Samuel Weber
June 16, 2021

When Ford brought out the redesigned Mustang in 2005, people were ecstatic about the modifying potential. With the 4.6 liter V8 GT, 4 liter V6, and eventually the 5.4 liter supercharged GT500, the aftermarket world shot forward with new upgrades. The new design allowed for classic body styling, the interior brought back the muscle car feeling, and most importantly all new exhaust upgrade opportunities to fit the classic body language. These new exhaust setups were throaty, expressive, and complimented the styling of the S197 well, and today the S197 is one of the most customizable Mustangs ever built.

Today, there are hundreds of different exhaust options available to these earlier S197 platforms for each of the engine options that all get different results regarding volume, appearance, “wow” factor, and style. With so many options to choose from, it gets difficult to pick what the best options for your S197 Mustang could be in order to get the right sound from your car. We have compiled a list of the best sounding and looking exhaust options available for all three different engines in exhaust setups which all change the quality of the exhaust note dramatically.



Axle Back Cat-Back Resonator Delete Side Exit



flowmaster mustang

2005-2010 Mustang: Best Axle Back Exhaust

When it comes to simply wanting some increased sound, an axle-back exhaust is guaranteed to get the job done right and for not much money. A good axle-back exhaust makes any of the S197 Mustangs sound great.

For the base 4.0 V6 Mustang, you can still get a deeper and more aggressive exhaust through an upgraded exhaust. The best sounding axle back exhaust for the V6 S197 is definitely the Flowmaster American Thunder setup. The Flowmaster American Thunder axle back is subtle in look but gives a nice aggressive-sounding exhaust note that sounds much bassier than many other V6 exhausts which is difficult to set up. The system looks stock from the outside except for the larger exhaust tip and helps keep a subtle profile until you hit the gas hard.

If you move up to the 4.6 V8 GT model, the options increase. After checking the sound quality of each axle-back exhaust, the best exhaust we could find was none other than our own Steeda Axle-Back setup. We developed an exhaust that would give you a deep rumble to the exhaust that doesn’t drone or get annoying on longer driving stints. The Steeda exhaust gives a nice burble at idle and sounds like a serious performance car at high RPM that you can’t find in many axle back exhausts.

For the highest performance GT500, the best sounding axle back exhaust would definitely be the American Racing Headers’ Pure Thunder exhaust which also works on the GT model. This exhaust is much louder than the other options on the list, and is definitely on the loud end as far as any exhaust for the S197 goes. The exhaust is less bass-heavy and instead pushes more towards sports car territory in tone but also sounds as aggressive as you could ever want from an axle-back exhaust option.



mustang mbrp exhaust

2005-2010 Mustang: Best Cat-Back Exhaust

If you want a more aggressive tone as well as performance increase over the axle back exhaust option, a cat-back exhaust is exactly what you need. Cat-back exhausts are proven to increase horsepower while increasing the volume of your exhaust system dramatically.

If you have a V6 Mustang but want that added performance, a cat-back is a great way to do this. In addition to the power increase, many V6 cat-back exhausts actually require slight body work since they have dual outlets. The best option on the V6 would be the Flowmaster Force 2 dual exhaust which does require modification on the rear bumper. This dual exhaust setup both looks great and sounds great with a more sports car tone to it as opposed to the more stereotypical muscle car tone found in Mustangs. As far as cat-back exhausts go, this Flowmaster is the best option available because it improves the look of your car as well.

On the GT model, the best cat-back exhaust available is the Flowmaster Outlaw. The Outlaw system has made a name for itself as one of the more aggressive sounding exhaust options on the market and there is no exception on the S197 GT. This exhaust brings back some old-school exhaust sounds that have been absent from factory exhaust for years on the Mustang.

On the GT500, the best sounding and performance cat-back exhaust is the MBRP XP Series cat-back. This exhaust, similar to the AHR one, brings the car more towards high-performance cars rather than the pony car sound expected in the Mustang body. The MBRP exhaust is one of the best for a high-quality build and sound that you will love on your Shelby GT500.



mustang x pipe

2005-2010 Mustang: Best Mid-Pipes

If you want a horsepower increase without making your car dramatically louder, a resonator delete can easily do this. Simple installation and lower price make this a great option as a first modification for increasing your car’s exhaust and horsepower. Resonator deletes can change the tone of your exhaust without increasing the volume too much.

pypes h pipe

If you want to install an H-pipe, the best option for the S197 Mustang GT is definitely the Pypes H-Pipe. This H-pipe helps bring a lower exhaust note out without making your car much louder. Realistically, it makes the Mustang sound how it should have from the factory. The H-pipe helps you recapture some of the old school muscle sound for your S197 to match the retro body. If you want to use an X-pipe resonator delete, there are multiple options to do so. After comparing the sounds of the X-pipes, the best option for the GT model is the Kooks Catted X-Pipe. This delete upgrades the catalytic converters while adding an X-pipe for a more high-pitched performance sound. On the GT500, a similar option uses the Corsa X-Pipe which increases the volume more than other options. The Corsa pipe is not catted and can be fitted before the catalytic converters with extra cutting to fit.



cervini exhaust

2005-2010 Mustang: Best Side Exhaust

Nothing screams classic design quite like side exit exhaust. Made famous in racing, side exit exhausts made their way onto the “Eleanor” and since then it has been a styling cue for the Mustang. When Ford brought retro styling back to the Mustang, Cervini’s took full advantage of it and created the Eleanor body kit. With this comes one of the best sounding S197 exhausts ever built into their side skirt design. Available for every engine option, the Cervini’s side exhaust gives your car a racy and almost violent sounding roar from idle all the way to redline and looks amazing the whole time.





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