1996 Mercury Cougar XR-7 4.6L from North America


A Great V-8


- Radio went out in warranty period - replaced

- Intake manifold - front section was a composite, replaced with full metal manifold - had dealer replace spark plugs too as the car was reaching 100,000 miles

- Goose neck on gas tank - got a hole in it (super fast repair!)

- Power steering - rack went bad, took 4 trips to the repair shop to figure it out!

- Torque converter - started leaking, got it replaced right away.

- Heater core - also took the dealer 4 times to fix it right.

- Replaced mass air flow sensor several times and finally bought a ScanGauge so I can just turn off the idiot light.

- Body work: replaced door skins and front fenders: rust repair.

General Comments:

I've had this car longer than any other car and I love it. It is a great car. I've replaced the tires 3 times so far. I sometimes consider getting a newer car since I've had this one for almost 14 years now, but I am so disappointed with anything that is on the market now. I really don't want any kind of SUV either.

I've had one person tell me he felt like he was riding in a cockpit of an airplane!

Also, you wouldn't believe the things I've bought at Home Depot that fit in the car!

Plus I have towed quit a bit with the car. When the intake manifold went out, we had just finished towing something and were on our way back home with the empty trailer! Too bad it was out of the recall period! Just my luck.

All in all, the cost of repairs for this baby are way less than any monthly payments and so-called gas savings. I average 20 mpg, and if I'm light on the pedal (which is soooo hard to do in this car), I can get 24 mpg easily.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2009

5th Jun 2009, 21:17

I have a 97 T-bird and it's running great! But now high in mileage 316,000 I invested $4000.00 back into the car over the 12 years ownership. It's a V6, I just talked to a mechanic and he is in awe that I kept a V6 running this long!!

I am now looking at a 95 -97 V8 Cougar and a T bird. I love these cars!!! And you're right, I can't find any car compatible of what Ford/Mercury made. There are good Japanese cars, but not like these cars. I will or might buy this 95 V8. I always wanted the V8, but now have a chance buying one for a low price. I may go for it again just like 12 years ago.

6th Apr 2010, 06:25

I was lucky when I went to a garage to buy an older farm truck for around the farm. Sitting beside it was a pacific green 96 Cougar with the 4.6L engine, already with the oil/water mixture problem. I ended up buying this car, and instead of fixing the engine in it, I bought another engine from a same year T-Bird. Everything went perfect in the engine swapping, and my wife fell in love with this car.

Lots of miles later (around 180,000 app.) it developed another minor problem, and while it was in the shop, we bought her a Lexus. Nice car but not a Cougar. Now her Cougar is repaired and... now I have a Lexus for sale! HaHa!!

While I was replacing the engine again, a friend asked me why don't I just scrap this one and buy something else. Obviously he never had one of these sweet little road rockets. Comfortable, quiet and plenty of power!

10th Sep 2011, 09:26

OH! How I love my (Hot Rod) 96 Cougar XR7, as my mechanic calls it.

Gets me on and off expressway ramps quickly with the flow of traffic.

I get many compliments on the white pearl paint finish, and the overall beauty of the 96 Mercury Cougar ZR7 design.

I've owned this 96 Cougar XR7 since September 2007.

Replaced parts when needed with nothing but the best.

OH! SOOOOOO comfortable seats. Power adjustments are easy to reach. Large trunk space for luggage.

8,000 mile round Montana trip from Michigan was smooth sailing, HA! HA!

My eyes are on a green 96 Cougar with sun roof and lots of chrome, top of the line. People won't turn loose of it.

I want to own two 96 Cougars XR7's. Yes, T. Bird parts do fit.

K.Wegienka from Romulus, Michigan.

1996 Mercury Cougar XR7 4.6L V8 from North America


The most overlooked and underestimated car ever, 96 Cougar XR7 4.6L


Serpentine belt snapped while driving on the inter-state. $25 repair.

2 O2 sensors were bad, causing the check engine light to illuminate occasionally. $90 repair.

Alternator quit. Acquired a second hand 150amp alternator from a Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. Charges at a nice 14v now.

Apart from regular servicing that's about it.

General Comments:

This has to be one of the most overlooked, underestimated car's ever. When my 96 Lumina blew it's second intake manifold gasket, I got rid and wanted another car. Luckily I had a friend of the family selling her 96 XR7 Cougar with the 4.6L. I test drove it and immediately fell in love.

The power from the 4.6L is just truly amazing, a lovely quiet cruiser, but put the pedal to the metal and it promptly throws you back in the seat and you get a lovely engine note.

The interior is like sitting in a control room, everything is designed around the driver and accessible. The half leather/velor seats are perfect and give plenty of lower back support.

This car is fully loaded with all the toys. Cruise, remote locks, drivers door keypad, climate control, CD changer, 8 way power seats, self dimming rear view mirror. Long journeys leave you refreshed unlike some of the smaller cars.

I was surprised to find out this car is rear wheel drive. The car sits squat and low and grips like a sports car in corners with very little body roll.

I test drove a 99 Cougar after purchasing this one, and walked away disappointed because it lacked ALL of the qualities of my 96. Sure the older body style might not be to everybody's taste, but this is just an awesome car and I'm disappointed that Ford don't produce them anymore, because I'd buy a brand new one in a heartbeat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2008

24th Jul 2010, 15:17

I've had my '96 Cougar since it was new, and it now has 233,000+ miles on it and is still going strong. Besides the usual maintenance items, I have not had a single problem with this vehicle. The engine is still as strong as ever, and I consistently get about 21MPG. The most amazing thing is that there is NO rust anywhere on the body! I love this car, and will probably keep driving it until it falls apart, if that ever happens! :)