1996 Mercury Mystique GS 2.0L from North America


A fun car that drives and handles well


O2 sensor

Stabilizer bar mounts

A/C Compressor and drier

Power antenna

Dash vents fell apart but were covered by warranty

General Comments:

The 4 cylinder 5-speed has enough power and torque to get the job done, and the car handles and drives well. The 6500 red line allow the engine to be revved pretty high, though it can be a bit loud on the highway at higher speeds and RPMs. The amenities in the Mercury are very nice for the price. After putting stock 15" alloy wheels and tires on the car, the handling and ride improved noticeably, and the interior noise dropped some. Brakes and tires last about 40,000 miles which is pretty normal as is a battery life of 3 years. I do most minor repair work myself, so it's been a fairly cheap car to maintain on the average. After 3 years of no maintenance, I put $2500 in to it for A/C work ($960), Timing belt and pulleys ($550), transmision and radiator flush, wheel bearing ($200), and new tires ($400). It has had several recalls, all of which were taken care of promptly. The 'Contour Enthusiasts Group' was a great asset in understanding and working with this car, and dealing with its few short-comings. E-bay had been a good source for parts, as needed. After hearing about the problems with the 2.5L and Automatic transmissions, I'm glad I have the 4 cylinder 5-speed! I don't know if I'd buy another Mercury, as they don't make anything I like at the moment.

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

Review Date: 4th January, 2004

1996 Mercury Mystique GS 2.5 V6 from North America


Mercury Mistake - Continuous Problems and Expensive Repairs


Brakes needed to be replaced at 90K and needed replacement again at 150K.

At 90K, the coolant light kept coming on. I had to take it in 3 times (car was still under warranty) but they could not diagnose the problem. Had to pay diagnosis every time they had to look at the problem, but got somewhat of a break as under warranty. Since they could not fix, I just ignore it now. I got some ideas from the other postings of what the problem could be, but the car is no longer under warranty.

Air Conditioning needed repair at 110K, since the car was under warranty, I took it back to the dealer, who said they found a leak and filled it with freon. By the following summer it did not work anymore, dealer wanted to charge $170 just to look at problem.

At 110K I also had a problem with the CV joint. This had to be fixed at $700. This was fortunately covered under warranty. I do not think that I corner this car hard at all.

At 120K I had to replace the muffler. The real part from ford cost over $1K. So I took it to a local shop, where they put on a retrofit. I had to replace it 3 (last change at 140K) times! Who knows how long it will last.

At 170K, I began to notice a problem with the transmission and the check engine light comes on. The car jerks between first and second gear. The OD light flashes every now and then. I took it to dealership who charged me diagnostics ($100 including tax) but said that it would require more time to look into this. If the transmission is gone, of course I do not know this as the dealer did not look into it, will cost over $1K to fix. They said I had to pay $100 to look into every problem.

They were able to diagnose the check engine though (this is where my $100 went), but it will cost $800 to fix. (The diagnosis on the check engine is faulty intake valves, also my ignition wires need replacement.)..which would still leave a problem with the transmission.

There has also been a loud vacuum noise coming from the hood, which has been happening since about 110K. I asked the mechanic to look into it, and they could not figure it out, so now I just ignore it.

I have also had a problem with the battery, which has to be replaced every two years. I put in a new battery in 2000 and then had to put in another one in 2002. These batteries are special and hence can I can only get them from the dealer at $140 a shot. They also build up sulfur on the terminals.

General Comments:

There are so many problems with this car. I am tired of wasting money fixing it. I waste so much time at the dealership service instead of doing other things.

I am very disappointed in this vehicle as it is not that old. I put a lot of care into this vehicle, cleaning it, doing regular maintenance etc.

Seriously considering selling it if anyone will buy it or scrapping it. I do not want to put serious money into this car as it will likely have another problem short thereafter.

I will never buy a mercury/ford again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th December, 2003

1st Jan 2004, 20:46

I agree with everything. I have a 1995 Mercury Mistake. Transmission replaced at 60,000 miles. Currently has 121,000 and is shifting hard again. Transmission gets flushed and new fluid every 30,000 miles. Constant cooling problems, that nobody can seem to fix. I will Never by a FORD product again.

3rd Jan 2004, 17:33

I totally agree with your assessment of this vehicle. I bought my 1996 Mystique GS brand new. It was OK for the first 4 years then started to self-destruct. It has engine oil leaks which would cost over $1000 to repair. Electrical problems have shorted out the instrument lighting and back-up lights. I have replaced numerous oxygen sensors. The latest is, the catalytic converters are plugged sending exhaust gasses back through the engine compartment and into the cabin. That's it! At approximately $3000 to repair, it is going to the scrap yard. Too bad; it was fun to drive and had lots of power.