2000 Ford Cougar 24v X 2.5 V6 from UK and Ireland
A true grand tourer
New automatic gearbox fitted at 6,500 miles under warranty.
Ford will rue the day they did not offer the ST200 engine from the start.
The only Cougar model worth considering is the 24v X with leather seats. The 2.0 litre version is all show and no go and the seats in the cloth trimmed models are the most uncomfortable ever fitted to a car. Car and Driver magazine in the USA remarked that the comfort of the non-leather seats was "like sitting on four pine logs!"
The 2.5 V6 engine is a smooth performer until a note of harshness creeps in at higher revs. This engine does have an annoying tendency to hold onto revs after gearchanges. My Cougar has the four speed automatic box, and this unit appears to be well suited to the engines characteristics.
Fuel economy I have found to be outstanding. Keeping to UK speed limits on a run you should achieve between 33 to 35 mpg. Round town expect 24 to 28 mpg depending on your driving style and mood.
The ride is firm at low speeds but improves greatly the faster you go. Cougars exported from the US have the sports suspension package as standard. Corners can be taken at insane speeds such is the confidence this car inspires. Very high lateral G forces can be achieved and the Cougar is one of the quickest cars on a slalom course.
Don't be put off by the 2.5 V6 engine. It is very cheap to service and basically only requires oil changes up to 30,000 miles. The long life spark plugs are not replaced until 100,000 miles!
Unusually, my automatic gearbox dramatically failed at only 6,500 miles. Apart from that (and that was enough), nothing else has gone wrong. Remember, this is a car designed to survive a Chicago winter and a summer in Phoenix.
It is a beautiful looking car with a practical hatch arrangement. However the rear seats are only suitable for people under 5'8".
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 30th December, 2000
Great review, except about the seats, on all leather seats I seem to slide about, but the cloth ones were much better and this 'sitting on logs' expressions is balls... They're perfect, perhaps the reviewer had piles..!!!
Would agree with most of the comments, but dispute the mpg for the around town figure, I would suggest 22 - 24 mpg on 2.5 auto, even in 'economy' mode.
As a member of the Ford Cougar Owners Club for the UK, I feel I have to add that even in the club, there are wide and varied reports about fuel consumption. Some people report as little as 23 MPG in manual form, whereas I commute in rush hour traffic with a manual and get between 31 MPG and 34 MPG. I normally get 35 MPG on a long run at 70mph.
I would be surprised if autos weren't the same story, and I whilst I completely believe the figures stated above, I would suggest that the owner's of thirstier Cougars are possibly guilty of enjoying the power more often than others.
Just my 2p.
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