1994 Mercury Cougar XR-7 The torpid 3.8 from North America


Short-lived comfort


39,000 miles: Transmission went crazy.

50,000 miles: Body rot in rear rocker panels showing through.

60,000 miles: Cruise control quit working.

70,000 miles: Clearcoat starting to disappear/seat leather cracking apart.

80,000 miles: Blew head gaskets.

80,373 miles: Mileage odometer stopped.

A year later: Steel brake lines blew open, near accident

Bad placement caused rust. Clearcoat's about 50% gone.

A year after that: 2 wheel nuts sheared off for no reason. Suspension components all wore out at once, all kinds of rattles, squeaks and clanks now.

Duration of ownership: The brakes SUCK!!! Nearly whole system has been replaced, and still the rear brakes barely ever engage and the pedal's always low.

General Comments:

This is our first Ford product, and it'll be our last.

I'll say right now that the only redeeming quality this car has is that it was a freebie from grandpa after he bought a new Impala. I've owned vehicles said to be worse, but none of them ever blew head gaskets at only 80K miles. Sorry, but that's terrible engineering.

Also having to have the tranny fixed really disgusted me at only just under 40K miles. Now I can't even keep track of the mileage, because the odometer quit on me.

Most disturbing though, the brakes on this thing are junk; it never feels like the rears are working, even with about 95% of the brake system replaced, and the pedal has always felt low. The brakes don't even start to engage until the pedal's about level with the gas pedal.

The V6 is pretty slow, but it does get decent mileage... I think, I dunno, my odometer's broke!!

The seats were comfy until the leather started falling apart, and the A/C was nice until the linkage for the damper door broke and now it won't stay shut to recirculate the air for maximum A/C.

All my suspension bushings are gone after an estimated 100K miles, and the car rides like an old shopping cart. I wish I still had my old 1991 Firebird, I never had such wacky problems with it, ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2008

29th Jan 2009, 19:52

You must have gotten a lemon, cause I have the same car with 140k miles and the only thing that I had a problem with is the speedometer broke at 90k. Other than that, the best car I ever drove.

Sorry for your luck, and don't down Ford on just one bad incident. Yeah I know it stinks to have a car that breaks all the time. My dad had a Kia that kept breaking.

On the Ford subject, I've had a 94 Cougar 4.6, a 03 Mustang V6 and my current car is an 08 Focus. They're all great cars.

31st Jan 2009, 20:55

All used cars have issues... The 3.8 V6 is engineered poorly compared to other engines though.

19th Sep 2010, 13:33

I have a 94 Cougar; same problems, worst piece of junk I've ever had or heard of.

24th Sep 2010, 09:18

I totally agree, that this Cougar is terrible. I owned a 93, and it gave me serious problems. You are right, Fords stink.

25th Nov 2012, 22:27

Like the commercial. Should've got a V8! Ha! My 94 V8 has been one of the best.

29th Feb 2016, 16:49


Hardly. Unless they mostly made lemons.

Own a 1994 Cougar. Have had just about every single problem others have listed here, and most are simply unacceptable. Head gaskets replaced... SECOND TIME, at 105,000.

Odometer stopped at 120,000.

Clearcoat gone for some time now.

Replaced transmission around 75,000. Does the same thing again, started around 110,000.

Leather seats... cracking...

Replaced ball joints 3 times. Rack and pinion about shot...

One, two, maybe three of these problems would be one thing... but ALL of them... on what seems to be the majority of the cars made? Ford reported big huge profits? They should be forced to cover some of this stuff...

Oh yes. Very interesting reading about the guy who mentioned the wheel lugs shearing off... have had that TOO!

1994 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6 V8 from North America


This car is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It looks soft, but runs hard with the pack


The MLP sensor failed on the transmission, which caused the trans to shift erratically. Ford corrected this N/C well after the warranty period has passed.

I have also had the spark plug wires replaced several times due to burnout failure, Once again, Ford has continued to replace parts at N/C, last set was done at about 200,000 kms.

The lower ball joints have been replaced, which I consider normal wear and tear.

Replaced the rear springs 3 times, and the fronts twice, due to them breaking. I now have aftermarket lowering springs.

General Comments:

This car is well made, handles very well, rides nice, and has great power with the V8 that gives excellent mileage. I have lowered my cat 1.5", and it looks very cool, This car has been very reliable. It is a sporty and comfortable car.

The back seats are tight for leg room, and trunk space is a bit shallow, but hey I have used this car hard. It towed a heavy 3800# boat for about 6 years, and never gave me a problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2007

29th Feb 2016, 16:51

You got a 4.6 as a V-8? Interesting...

29th Feb 2016, 22:54

Why would you be puzzled about that? The 4.6 was the optional engine.

3rd Mar 2016, 20:46

I think he means 4.7, like they used in the Ram and Dakota.