best cold air intake for mustang
Mustang

Best Cold Air Intake for Mustang Review

Ford’s Mustang is America’s pride and joy: it’s one of the most popular performance cars out there and looks like a million bucks. First introduced back in 1964, it’s the Blue Oval’s longest-running nameplate. Under the hood, it’s rocking only the mightiest engines: V6, V8 – you name it. However, while the powertrain is, indeed, incredibly strong, it’s not very well protected against overheating.

That is exactly why I want to introduce you to the best cold air intake for Mustang. Our focus will be on the finest picks for Mustang GT and V6 – some of the most capable and good-looking editions of the legendary race car. The following list includes two comparison tables, with three aftermarket air intake systems for both models. Let’s see what the cat has dragged in!

Best Cold Air Intake for Mustang GT (Updated December, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

ROUSH 422086 Cold Air Intake for 2018-2020 Mustang GT

1) ROUSH 422086 Cold Air Intake for Mustang GT

  • Best Features:
    • Maximizes fuel efficiency
    • Doesn’t require any tuning or calibration
    • Specifically designed to be a perfect fit for the 5.0-lit GT
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 10.4 HP and 8.4 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models:
    2015-2017 Mustang GT 5.0L
    2018-2020 Mustang GT 5.0L

2018-2020

2015-2017

Airaid 451-328 MXP Red Cold Air Intake System with Dry Filter

2) Airaid 451-328 MXP Red Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • Very easy to install with basic garage tools
    • Available in different configurations and colors
    • Backed by Airaid’s no-hassle warranty
  • Filter Type: Dry/Oiled
  • Power Increase: 8.4-11 HP and 7.0-10 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2015-2017 Mustang GT 5.0L

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SR Performance Cold Air Intake for Ford Mustang

3) SR Performance Mustang GT Cold Air Intake

  • Best Features:
    • Greatly improves the throttle response
    • High-quality powder coating for durability
    • Filters out harmful dust particles and debris
  • Style: Black/Polished
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 15.66 HP
  • Fits Models:
    1996-2004 Mustang GT 5.0L
    2011-2014 Mustang GT 5.0L
    2015-2017 Mustang GT 5.0L

1996-2004

2011-2014

2015-2017

Best Mustang GT Cold Air Intake Review

1. ROUSH 422086 Cold Air Intake for Mustang GT

ROUSH 422086 Cold Air Intake for 2018-2020 Mustang GT

For the fans of fuel economy, the Roush air intake system may be exactly what the doc has ordered. While it’s not the most affordable option on the market (but still reasonably-priced), it does greatly improve the MPG. That means you’ll get to save some bucks in the long run. On top of that, it will be a perfect fit for the latest editions of the Mustang GT, as it was specifically designed with Ford’s pony car in mind.

Once installed, this cold air intake won’t cause any Check Engine lights. Yes, you can forget about calibration and tuning: the GT computer systems will welcome Roush’s gear with open arms. There’s one minor downside, though: this air system is not officially approved for sale in US states that require an EO number (like California, for example). Other than that, Roush has a top-notch product on its hands.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Significantly improves the MPG (miles per gallon) ratio
Designed to avoid the Check Engine lights
A perfect fit for the Mustang GT
Not on sale in California (and some other states)

Verdict
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Designed to be an easy install and perfect fit for the Mustang GT, this cold air intake is a bargain for most drivers. It boosts the MPG ratio and provides a decent boost in HP/torque. However, if you live in a state with strict EO requirements, shipment/delivery won’t be possible.

2. Airaid Cold Air Intake System for Mustang GT

Airaid 451-328 MXP Red Cold Air Intake System with Dry Filter

With this next air intake kit, you get to choose between four different colors/configurations. Airaid offers dry and oil filters with various finishes – pick the one that fits your current budget and needs most. Regardless of your choice, the air intake will be very easy to install with basic tools. You’ll be done in 30-60 minutes, depending on how good you are with aftermarket parts. The company backs it up with a no-hassle warranty, by the way.

Add a high-flow filter, roto-molded intake tube, and box, and you’ll see why this product is so popular among the Mustang GT owners. However, I have to also mention the quality control issues reported by many drivers. Mostly, this refers to missing parts. For example, some intake systems come with two clamps instead of four. In other cases, the packages arrive damaged/dented. Make sure to get in contact with Airaid if this happens to you.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
4.9
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Easy, fast installation with a set of basic tools
Four different configurations to choose from
Includes a no-hassle warranty
Quality control issues

Verdict
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Easy installation, a generous no-hassle warranty, and a choice of four different configurations make this cold air intake a good purchase for the average Mustang fan. There are some quality control issues, though: that means you may not get a complete package or get some damaged parts/hardware.

3. SR Performance Mustang GT Cold Air Intake

SR Performance Cold Air Intake for Ford Mustang

With the SR cold intake, your favorite race car’s throttle response will be greatly improved. Faster acceleration, more HP and torque, and, overall, better performance – that’s what you can expect from it. Another standout feature is the high-end powder coating. It will make sure to keep all the individual parts in a good shape. SR is also famous for its excellent anti-contaminant protection, and this cold air intake is no exception to that rule.

It filters out dust, debris, and any other tiny particles that can damage the engine. As for the cons, the installation process isn’t as smooth and flawless as I expected it to be. To line it up perfectly with the factory mounts and holes, you might have to work a bit. But, once connected properly, the filter performs like clockwork. And if you’ve got a buddy to help you out, the installation will be much easier.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
4.9
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Takes the throttle response to another level
Premium-grade powder coating for extra protection
Blocks harmful contaminants (dust and debris)
Installation can be a bit tricky

Verdict
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Despite the not-so-friendly installation process, this aftermarket cold air intake is a keeper. It is well-protected against dust, debris, and features a top-notch powder coating for durability. It also improves the throttle response, resulting in better performance on all fronts. So, at the end of the day, SR has a highly competitive offer.

Best Cold Air Intake for Mustang V6 (Updated December, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

BBK 1737 Cold Air Intake System - Power Plus Series Performance Kit for Ford Mustang 4.0L V6

1) BBK 1737 Cold Air Intake System for Mustang V6

  • Best Features:
    • Eye-grabbing design – looks good under the hood
    • Improves the Mustang V6 acceleration
    • Designed and crafted in the States
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 10% HP
  • Fits Models: 2005-2010 Mustang GT 4.0L

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K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

2) K&N Mustang V6 Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Best Features:
    • No maintenance required for up to 100K miles
    • A good purchase for the fans of towing
    • Makes the engine sound really powerful
  • Filter Type: Dry/Oiled
  • Power Increase: 11.8 HP and 13.47 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2011-2014 Mustang GT 3.7L

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SR Performance Cold Air Intake

3) SR Performance Cold Air Intake for Mustang v6

  • Best Features:
    • Brightly polished aluminum for anti-rust protection
    • The package includes premium-quality installation hardware
    • Impressive boost in HP and torque
  • Style: Black/Polished
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 14 HP and 15 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models:
    1996-1998 Mustang GT 3.8L V6
    1999-2004 Mustang GT 3.8L V6
    2011-2014 Mustang GT V6
    2015-2017 Mustang GT V6

1994-1998

1999-2004

2011-2015

2015-2017

Best Mustang v6 Cold Air Intake Review

1. BBK 1737 Cold Air Intake System for Mustang V6

BBK 1737 Cold Air Intake System - Power Plus Series Performance Kit for Ford Mustang 4.0L V6

Moving on to my list of the finest air intakes for the V6, let us take a look at what BBK is all about. The 1737 kit features an eye-catching design – that’s probably the first thing that you’ll notice. It does, indeed, look pretty cool under the hood of a muscle car. What’s more important, you’ll feel an instant boost in acceleration. The second you hit the gas pedal, the air intake kicks in, vastly improving performance.

And this is a US-made product, too: it was designed and manufactured in the States. It went through numerous dyno tests and proved to be a reliable and durable product. What I didn’t like about it was the somewhat odd installation manual. Yes, the package includes a guide, but it’s not very clear – you might have to do some of your own “digging” for everything to fit properly.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Boasts a catchy, trendy design
Boosts the car’s acceleration
A 100% US-made product
The instructions could have been clearer

Verdict
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Designed, crafted, and tested in the US, the BBK replacement air intake system is a bargain. That’s especially true for the Mustang V6 owners that have always wanted to improve acceleration. The trendy design is even more reason to consider BBK’s 1737 over the competition.

2. K&N Mustang V6 Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

Easy installation and maintenance have always been K&N’s biggest selling points. And this cold air intake kit is no exception to that rule. No need to worry about cleaning/maintenance until you reach 100K miles. And then, it won’t take long to remove, clean, and reinstall the filter (yes, it’s a reusable one). Speaking of installation, there may be some minor fitment issues. In my case, the fastener holes were way too narrow – I had to enlarge them.

The plastic pipe plug didn’t look very sturdy either, but it actually turned out to be reliable. The towing and up-the-hill performance will be improved, by the way – good news for people that like to haul things around. My favorite thing about this air intake system is how great it makes the engine sound. If you’re not a big automobile pro, you’ll think that it’s a V8 hiding under the hood and not a V6.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.8
Value for Money
4.9
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Easy maintenance (no cleaning until you hit 100K miles)
Maximizes the up-hill performance and towing
Makes the V6 sound like a race-track-ready V8
Minor fitment issues

Verdict
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Incredible performance, improved towing/uphill capabilities, and easy maintenance turn K&N’s cold air intake for the V6 into a must-have. It sounds great, comes at a relatively affordable price, and is, for the most part, easy to install. The fitment issues aren’t something you won’t be able to handle.

3. SR Performance Cold Air Intake for Mustang V6

SR Performance Cold Air Intake

The last cold air intake kit on today’s list comes from SR Performance. It’s all about premium-level parts and coating/finish. With it, you won’t have to worry about rust and corrosion. As for the parts, I was impressed by the quality of the clamps, hoses, bolts, and everything else that comes as part of the package. However, strangely enough, the rubber pieces aren’t on par with the rest of the hardware.

They are average at best and you might want to replace them with a quality set from a local store or online. Now, what puts this air intake kit aside from all the other replacement intakes is the market-leading boost in HP and torque. The 14 HP and 15 lb.-ft. of torque that it adds do make a difference both on the race track and on regular highways and streets.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.8
Value for Money
4.9
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Excellent protection against corrosion and rust
Top-quality installation hardware (nuts, bolts, clamps, and more)
Provides a powerful boost in horsepower and torque
The rubber pieces are of low quality

Verdict
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Mustang V6 drivers craving for some extra HP and torque will find SR’s air intake system to be a worthy investment. Compared to the rivals, the overall performance boost that it provides is very impressive. Top-notch anti-rust protection and high-quality installation hardware are a part of the package as well.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that the Mustang is any man’s dream car. It is fast, sounds like a beast, and looks even better. Nothing feels quite like driving into the sunset behind the wheel of this performance car. And once you install one of the air intake systems that I reviewed today, you’ll be able to take performance to the next level. On top of that, thanks to improved air filtration, you’ll avoid the risk of damaging the engine.

When making this list, I was looking for aftermarket air intake kits with a perfect price-quality balance. So, no matter which one you choose, rest assured that it will be a safe bet. Be careful, though: air systems that fit the GT perfectly might not be compatible with the V6, and vice versa. Drive safely, and enjoy your Mustang!

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