1999 Mercury Cougar I4 from North America


A great runabout with a sporty nature - just don't get the auto!


The transmission had a gasket blow at approximately 50000 miles. It was replaced under my extended warranty and two subsequent units were replaced before my warranty ran out at 80000 miles. Total cost, had I not purchased the warranty, would have been around $10,000.

That having been said, the only other two major repairs were a bearing in the right front assembly, again a warranty item, and the standard brake jobs (only two in 110,000 miles!).

Last summer I had several problems with the car stalling, which was traced to the O2 sensor: its "fault" setting allows it to work just fine in the winter, however, and I don't plan on replacing it until June. Regardless: this is a standard service item that should've been replaced well before 130000 miles.

The '99-2000 models come with plastic lense Bosch headlights that will yellow in time. You can replace them with the 2001+ glass units, but it requires modification.

Lastly, the driver's seat (perhaps to be expected at 130k) has not held up well and I will need to replace it soon.

General Comments:

My particular car was the Zetech I4 mated with the dreaded CD4E transmission from... well, just about every automatic car Ford makes. Ford never produced automatic I4s for the market (and in fact, my VIN shows that the car was new Cougar #28 - making it either a press vehicle, or part of the Ford rental fleet - not a proper production vehicle.) I would certainly stay away from this transmission!

However, the engine is an absolute dream and absolutely *nothing* has gone wrong with it in 110,000 miles! I suggest using Mobil 1 and 93 octane as a very rudimentary insurance, but don't expect problems from this engine. I cannot speak for the more popular Duratec 6. However, I have driven the v6 cars and found that they are quite nose-heavy compared to the I4 and have serious doubts that they handle as well for this reason. The I4 Cougar handles especially well, especially with its new Traction TAs, and has no problem leaving the Eclipse, Tiburon, or Civic behind on off-ramps (0.85g on the skidpad - a little less than the stellar Mazda P5 ( (0.87g) ) - not great, but not bad for the money). It's also quite comfortable, no matter what people say: I drove from Maryland to Wyoming in three days with two other people in this car, and we didn't kill one another.

I enjoy the styling, the usable torque response, and the gorgeous interior. I only wish that the car had been a little lighter and rear-wheel drive: the hip arches certainly suggest that it is already. I believe they'd still be making it today if that'd been the case.

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

Review Date: 2nd May, 2005

1999 Mercury Cougar 2.5L from North America


I love my Cougar!


Nothing out of the ordinary, I have needed a set of tires (probably from my driving style).

I had to replace brake pads and rear rotors (again my driving style).

I just had to replace the alternator.

General Comments:

The Mercury Cougar 2.5 L MTX is such a fun car to drive. I find myself looking for reasons to drive. It is a dependable car. I have only needed to get "normal" repairs done on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2005

1999 Mercury Cougar from North America


Electrically faulty and expensive to maintain


After one week of owning the new car my brake light came on. After returning it to the dealership I was told "it may be a defective sensor in the brake pad". A courtesy light that is supposed to let you know when it is time for new brakes. The car's brake light came back on leaving the parking lot after getting new brake pads and proceeded to keep coming on after getting the car serviced for the same thing three more times. They finally they seemed to correct the problem only after having the lemon law association called. The sunroof motor went at under a year of ownership, the heat and air conditioning motor flow resistor had to be replaced because the ac/heat only worked on the highest setting (4). I paid to have that replaced, along with the heat duct covers flying off when the heat is used, the cup holder malfunctions, undiagnosed humming in the engine started around 30,000 miles and now I'm being charged for a new alternator, fuel filter, and blown out radio for the second time since I've owned the car. (I am a girl who never listens to the radio loud.) This car has had many other things go wrong with it too lengthy to discuss here, but it was so cute that's why I purchased it and it has been such trouble to keep on the road and too expensive. I'm sorry to say I will be getting rid of it soon and I would not recommend it unless you are a mechanic. I'm getting an import.

General Comments:

Looks cute, is fast and handles well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2005

26th Jul 2006, 20:25

I also had the problem with the hood latch freezing up. I finally was able to get a socket on a long extension in through the grille to take the nuts off the bracket and open the hood. The next year it almost froze up again, so I spray it with grease every now and then which helps a lot. Road salt is killer on that kind of stuff.

21st Nov 2006, 13:54

Just saw this post, can't believe what I am reading... Have owned my Cougar since it left the Flat Rock plant in July 1999 and love it. Have had the wire harness re-routed for some int light dimming and the door lock problem, replaced hatch shocks under warranty, fuel pump as well, all tolerable, minor issues for a 1'st year car. Never had other complaints, brakes have been fine, never a problem with the hood latch, no bearing problems... Live in South-Eastern Ontario (cold & Salty up here) have had it Krowned every year since new. Used to take better care of it, now, not so much, but, 115,000km and going strong... Will gladly drive her till she drops, probably another 6 years :)

13th Feb 2010, 12:55

I know it is an old post I'm responding to, but I wonder since that post, if the car is still in tip top shape! It is just odd that everyone has the same issues. Just like my moon roof is in the closed position and don't work. I have the hum when you start the car in the morning. If I remember right, there are 7 idiot lights that are on when I start the car as of now. Oh and there are a lot more to go!

The car drives great and is comfortable to me. Being disabled, it is something I look for when buying a car. Mine is black and the windows are just as. :)