1994 Mercury Cougar XR-7 V8 4.6L V8 from North America


A Good Car with Minor Troubles


The brakes were essentially completely replaced about three times. The discs kept warping and there was always some component needing to be replaced.

The transmission was always clunky. We serviced it and it improved some. The transmission wanted to go fast; when I was getting on the expressway, it was very smooth and shifted correctly.

All of the ball joints and bushings had to be replaced, and there was more to be done after that. Someone had put junkyard parts on this nice car as a cheap fix.

The ignition harness failed. ($200+).

The "panic" feature on the keyless entry remotes never worked. All other functions functioned however.

The brakes were not strong enough for a car of this size. Also, no ABS control, which happened to be a standard feature on my '94 Beretta!

General Comments:

This car was so fast and it handled so well, even with those little 15" wheels and big truck tires.

The car rode comfortably and was very quiet. Every accommodation was there too.

I've driven Mustangs and the like and I can say that my Cougar was much more entertaining than a Mustang would have been for me. For one thing, the Cougar handled so much better than the Mustang, had the same performance, and was much more comfortable.

The car was resprayed right before we purchased it. Cosmetically, the car was absolutely clean. The powertrain was perfectly good too, it was just the endless string of brake and suspension problems that would nickel and dime one to death.

The Cougar never let me down, it always started without hesitation and took me many places in comfort. It was fun to surprise people at red lights with the explosive power under that hood too. It could get as much as 26 MPG, I usually got around 20-22.

The driver's door keypad was a terrific access tool that should be made standard on more cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2005

1994 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6 Liter V8 from North America


Very reliable and sporty


Car has been excellent. Replaced 2 oil pressure sending units at around 170,000 miles. Transmission rebuilt at 185,000. Catalytic converter replaced at 155,000. Brake calipers and rotors replaced at 145,000. No engine problems at all.

General Comments:

The car has a very nice interior, very roomy. The engine is strong and will accelerate quickly for a large car. I recommend only the V8, as the V6 has been known for it's unreliability. I love this car, and plan on driving it until it finally quits on me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2005

1994 Mercury Cougar XR7 Special Edition 3.8 liter V6 from North America


A stylish, sporty performer that just keeps running until it doesn't.


I bought it used, in excellent condition, with 60,000 miles on it, figuring it ought to go 200,000 miles before major work is required. The car needed a brake job after a couple of years, which was not difficult to do myself, however an anchor plate bolt was frozen on one front disk brake and that plate must be removed to change the rotor. I recently had a mechanic spend about an hour trying to break the bolt loose and it cost me nearly fifty bucks just for that one lousy bolt.

The temperature gauge barely moved from cold the entire time I owned the car, that is, until the engine suddenly heated up without warning at 83,000 miles and blew a head gasket. This is allegedly typical of the 3.8 liter motor. I was lucky to have it fixed for just under $900 and was told that the pistons, cylinders, etc, are still in excellent condition. There are a few issues remaining. The "check engine" light now comes on after driving it around for awhile and nobody knows why, precisely. All this high tech crap is for the birds. I've been looking more closely at the engine and finding a few small things I'm not too happy about, like a bypass hose that has become so crimped, how any coolant can get through it at all is a mystery to me. I would have hoped the mechanic would have caught something like that, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

A final complaint or two -- the ride is as hard as an old truck, at least around town. I've put some weight in the trunk and that helps a tad. What really smooths it out is to load up the trunk and take it out on the highway.

For awhile there, the transmission was beginning to downshift too much. I had been switching to overdrive to help decelerate downhill, but was advised that doing so eventually causes the problem. Otherwise, no further complaints about the drive train.

General Comments:

My Special Edition Cougar is a dark, candy apple blue with a silver racing stripe around the bottom, nifty medallions on the side, and a luxurious, gray leather interior. It is a nimble, sporty vehicle, very quick for a V6 and definitely above average in the turns, yet it gets pretty good mileage, perhaps around 23mpg. If you drive it slowly too often, it gets a bit sluggish, but when you goose the throttle at regular intervals, it hauls ass. It has a tape deck with a very decent sound system, but frankly, it sounds much better when you are parked and not having to fight the noise. Had it not been for the head gasket going out at such low miles and the ride being so hard, I would give this car an 8 overall. I like it, but it can't compare to the '69 Cougar my dad owned, which was luxurious, sporty, powerful, maneuverable, yet with a very smooth ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd January, 2005

29th Nov 2019, 23:48

I just noted the review I wrote above and had forgotten about it. I thought to include an update or two, if anyone cares.

I still own the Cougar, but another problem or two developed. Since the anchor plate was so hard to get off when I did the brake job, I did not use Locktite on those bolts and it later came loose while on a short trip. I was able to limp home and remounted it with blue Locktite; I think it was not the strongest type, but the middle type, and have had no further problems there.

The thing I really wanted to mention was something very strange. The oil dipstick holder broke off and you can't check your oil. That would be easy to deal with were it not for the fact that the odometer went out right after that so you can't simply approximate when you need to add oil. I try to guess at it and if I begin to forget, just get the oil changed to put it back up to full. As you can guess, that is a real pain. Both of those fixes are extremely expensive, the dip stick holder replacement requiring the engine to be removed. You gotta be kidding! And you have to replace the entire instrument cluster to put in a new speedometer. Really dumb, I think.

It still runs strong and looks good (have had to repaint the hood and roof due to sun damage, so far only with gray primer, which looks fine), requiring only normal maintenance otherwise -- a new alternator (difficult, unlike others I've done), a new battery every so often, a new serpentine belt and tightener -- standard stuff.

Overall, it has been a good vehicle but some of these things on a luxury car should not be going out, ever.