I love it and recommend it!!
The bolts that hold the gear-stick in place came loose and were addressed as part of a service.
It has failed to start twice – once needing the "RAC", but by the time they got there, it just started. It turns out that this car either needs super unleaded or a petrol additive (mine has done 96k miles) ever couple of tanks. This prevents sticky valves that can flood the engine. Apart from that, in the 20k miles or so I have done, I have not had one problem and the car has not needed one single drop of oil (apart from routine changes).
There is a small amount of wear on the drivers seat.
The Ford Cougar X24 is a 2.5 litre V6 (5 speed manual) with ABS, leather trim, factory alarm and mobilizer, heated seats and heated electrically controlled mirrors, remote central locking, power assisted steering, air conditioning, electrically controlled drivers set, electric windows. Mine also came with a pretty good multi-speaker stereo, with 6 disk multi-changer, and which does not need a sub-woofer! Mine was manufactured in 1999.
I bought the car from my brother in 2004 as he was trading up to something new and expensive. I had previously borrowed it as I had some long journeys to do in extremely hot weather. The car, or the air con, did not disappoint, and I was surprised that I was managing 30mpg.
The Cougar apparently has passive rear wheel steer, which accounts for the feeling that it wants to over-steer, when you first start pushing it around the bends. It turns out (no pun intended) that the car is in fact just going exactly where you put it, which when you get used to it, is amazing! The performance is good, but its no 911. I think of it more as a grand tourer and in its defense the competent acceleration and excessive top speed are tamed by the size of the car, which alters your perception of the speed somewhat. This factor is a godsend on the motorway.
In terms of types of use, I live in the South West of England, in the Countryside, and regularly drive up muddy lanes, which it handles admirably; as it does the long journeys I have made (driving for nearly 10 hours, with safety breaks, of course!).
This car has (so far) been extremely reliable, a joy to drive and an eye catcher – either catching the eyes of people who know what it is and wishes they had one, or by people who have not seen or noticed a Cougar before and are just taken by its sleek, stylish looks. The maintenance costs are no higher than my old Cavalier was (although the insurance is about £150 more) and I can leave an entire telescope and accessory case in the boot, with plenty of space left for shopping and baggage.
If I had to identify any limitations, I would point out that the rear seats are OK for thin or quite young people only, but this is not a problem to me. I would also prefer the engine to be a little more highly tuned, which is something I could deal with myself, but there is no way I am compromising the reliability of this baby for that small wish.
For every sensible reason, and for the desires that I retain from my childhood, but that are so rarely met by modern vehicles, I rate the Cougar very highly and recommend the model I have as a practical, drivers car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th January, 2007