1996 Mercury Mystique GS 2.0ltr from North America


Inexpensive version of Ford Contour and reliable


Water Pump failed at 89,000 miles, approx 400.00 to repair. Not done at dealership, Typical shop, cheaper.

Rear Brakes needed replacing (drum not disk) and had a bad seal on passenger side rear brake total repair 300.00 Not done at dealership repaired by typical shop. Dealership wanted 300.00 more for the water pump replacement, chose cheaper shops for both repairs. Satisfied.

I lost a hub cab and priced them. Decided to get cheaper ones from Advance Auto and saved over 100.00 bucks getting all four that I like a lot better and make the car look newer. Excellent idea if your caps are faded and the fake chrome isn't shiny anymore. Price 40.00 for all 4 (cheap but effective and have lasted).

The car original owner drove it daily and then his college aged son.

I knew the car had some wear and tear as far as the engine and drive train. I actually did not expect this car to be as durable as it has for me as I too have drove it daily.

The car now has over 100,000 miles which brought something to memory. If you don't know it the car is a copy made by ford, of the Ford Contour. The commercial for the Ford Contour is what I remembered when it turned over to 100k, the commercial said you wouldn't need a tune up for 100k.

Therefore, low on money and not eager about working on the car, even if for it was for prevention, I went to advance auto again and got four of the spark plugs for my model Mystic and installed them. The spark plug caps that go onto the installed plug are trouble to get snapped into place, if you have skipped timing just keep unplugging them and replugging them, you will get it. The extension on them is the problem, it doesn't seat right on the plug head which is about 5 inches inside the manifold. You need a spark plug socket and long extension.

I had excellent results. My mileage went up by 6 miles per tank and I got more horsepower. The old plugs were past the time of needing replacement. I wish I had checked them sooner or just replaced them. Cost 12.00 for four plugs new. Get Bosch plugs. You can even enter your correct model car and get the right plugs at Adv Auto on line through the mail. Shipping may cost you though.

General Comments:

The Mercury Mystic GS was in very nice, but driven, condition when I purchased it in 2002 for 2200.00.

I thought it was a fair price. The interior was flawless except for a missing ashtray and I don't smoke anymore so I didn't miss it. The seats are blue cloth, would easily tear or burn. I have taken it easy on the interior and now in 2008, 6 years later, the car still looks about the same. The exterior was also in excellent condition. White finish with only the cheap plastic chrome at the grill and front bumper pealing up in places.

The car had only one dent, the size of the bottom of a basket ball and was from a tree falling on the car 'Hurricane Fran' incident which made sense because in Raleigh, NC there were hundreds of trees down on every street. We had also had two major hurricanes in the last 5 years so it made sense.

The odd thing was that the dent is on the passenger rear side above the rear door and the seat on that side, the rear seat, also has squeaky springs. Maybe they got wet with hurricane rain and rusted. Not sure. There was no sign of any body repairs at all. Maybe someone else has their rear seat squeaking too!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2008

10th Jul 2009, 07:28

I agree with much of what you've said. I also changed spark plugs but I didn't notice much of a difference in power. Gas mileage I noticed, but I also took a lot of stuff out of the car.

My seat also squeaked. Try folding it down, and then slam it shut hard. (Mine was loose from accessing the trunk from the interior of the car) This fixed it for me.

1996 Mercury Mystique GS 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America


Mercury Mistake


What hasn't gone wrong would be a better question to ask. This car has had so many major problems it's pathetic.

When I first bought the car, the A/C didn't work. The driver's power window didn't work at all, and the other front window would jump off track. The power window switch pod on the driver's door needed to be replaced. The dashboard padding had peeled up and been repaired under recall, thank goodness.

It was fine after that, but really shouldn't have happened to begin with.

The brake lights stopped working and sounds to be extremely common. Very dangerous! It turned out to be a connection in the steering wheel, or so the mechanic said. I don't get that.

It always took two tries to get the car to start and stay running. The first try it would start and immediately stall. It would catch it's breath and stay running on the second try.

Immediately after that I sold the car to a friend. He's owned it since 2004. I owned the car less than a year. Since he's had it the brake master cylinder has failed. The fuel tank has mysteriously developed a leak. He can't put more than half a tank of gas in or it leaks out. I don't understand this because this is a southern car with no rust.

Lately he's been complaining that when he puts the brakes on, it feels like the front wheels are going to fall off. I'm assuming the tie rods have gone bad, but who knows with this car. For less money you can buy a Hyundai and get the same level of quality.

General Comments:

I love the look of the car inside and out. Mine was sort of an aqua metallic color with grey cloth interior and alloy wheels. Very sharp car. To me it felt like an American car trying to be European. I liked that a lot. It needed even more European influence and less American to have been a better car though.

The 2.0L 4cyl. is a smooth running and good sounding motor, but just too darn weak for a car of this weight. It belonged in the Escort/Tracer, not the larger Contour/Mystique. I assume the 2.5L V6 to be good power for the car though.

The interior was very comfortable.

The steering was tight and responsive.

The brakes were typical American car mushy.

The automatic transmission was typical Ford "let me think for 3 seconds before I downshift" behavior. Terribly slow to respond to throttle input, just as bad as the Taurus and Crown Vic.

The ride was somewhat firm, but very compliant. A nice balance.

Ironically with all the problems this car has had, the engine and transmission have be the only good aspects of the car to not give problems. How strange. It's too bad everything else on the car was apparently made in China.

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

Review Date: 31st July, 2008