1996 Mercury Mystique GS 4 cylinder, 2.0 liter from North America


Definitely a Mercury Mistake, not Mystique


71,100 miles - had problems with running too hot, changed radiator fluid and replaced thermostat and upper radiator hose.

80,500 - timing belt broke as I was driving down the freeway, replaced timing belt and tension pulley, and drive belt.

95,800 - once again replaced tension pulley because the part went bad (had purchased a brand new part to begin with)

97,500 - replaced 02 sensor due to problems with it going out.

116,000 - neutral safety switch going bad which causes the car to not crank when trying to start it, have to put in neutral and then start.

Cup holders are made of light plastic and broke after a few uses.

The trunk leaks water when it rains.

The antenna is permanently up even though it is supposed to go up and down.

The doors make awful squeaking noise even though they have been greased, etc.

The carpet is coming up in the back and I rarely have anyone sitting in the back seat.

The gas cover release doesn't work unless I slide my key around the the outer edge of the cover and then push the release.

The headlights are very dim even when they are on bright.

The left blinker works randomly.

The plastic interior cracking and breaking.

There have been several recalls from Ford Motor Company.

The front passenger door handle is difficult to open and has been fixed twice now.

General Comments:

Throughout owning the car I have had problems with it randomly stalling, and problems with starting. No one can figure out what is wrong with it! It is very frustrating!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th July, 2005

29th Jul 2006, 18:05

I actually bought my Mistake at 116,000 miles. It's at 154,000 miles now. I read your review and everything is too true. I think satisfaction depends on how much you paid. I paid $2500, and I know I've got that much plus the repairs out of it.

1996 Mercury Mystique Spree 2.0 liter 4 cylinder from North America


A poor man's BMW 325


-At 57,000 miles, replaced water pump.

-At 110,000 miles, noticed a clicking and clumping noise in the front, replaced Front suspension components.

-At 112,000 replaced second DOHC belt. The engine nearly blew because the belt was literally held together by a single strand of nylon.

-Currently at 125,000 miles, at random, the Engine/Transmission seizes in an instant like someone slammed on the brakes, however, the car resumes its normal running and the whole thing is over before you realize what happened. Very disturbing when driving on the interstate.

-Inside of trunk has a serious leak near the right-side hinge. The leak has soaked the trunk mat and you can believe the new car smell is gone after that.

-Temp gauge does not work.

-Engine vibration at idle gets worse as the miles add up.

-Seems as if the car starts falling apart after 120,000 miles.

-The car has not blown up or caught fire yet so everything's good!

-Paint is getting dull and has many hairline scratches.

General Comments:

-All original power switches and interior lights still work.

-The engine is not very quick from a standing start, but when you get it up to its power band it will get up and move.

-Great gas mileage - 34 HWY with cruise control.

-Excellent emergency handling. Car handles well and drives like a European sports sedan.

-Comfortable seats and well designed interior. You can tell there was a lot of European influence in the design of this car. Interior has held up rather well.

-Very dim headlights even on high beam. New bulbs do not correct this problem because of poor headlight design.

-Nice sporty driving cheap car, but will not buy another Ford product again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2005

24th Jun 2005, 19:02

No need to bully someone like that. What I believe the reviewer meant is that it is a cheap car that drives like a small sporty sedan. Please keep your attitude in check when posting comments, otherwise it looks immature on your part. Thanks.

14th Nov 2005, 15:00

This review isn't bad, I had a 1996 Mystique, and it was junk. I think I had every possible part go out on this car; let's make a list shall we?

Water pump (twice), timing belt, fuel pump, alternator (four times, thank god for the warranty on it) it ran way to hot, but the computer said the temp was fine, even after replacing the sensor, so eventually the heads warped.

The transmission slipped constantly, it would sometimes just lose overdrive, the O/D light would flash and then it shifted REALLY HARD.

It always idled rough, speedometer went out, it had a bad hesitation, brakes wore out way too quickly, interior wasn't that bad.

It was nothing like a BMW; I have a 330i, and I don't see the similarities. The two aren't at all the same or even comparable. The Mystique does not handle, accelerate, or stop very well at all.

Overall, a terrible car, I would tell everyone to stay away. The dealership actually dubbed it "the Mercury MYSTAKE".

13th Mar 2006, 07:30

I have have had a 1996 Mercury Mystique for seven years now, and I love it. The only problems I've had with it was the fan belt, and it was a problem because it's a serpentine belt and they charged me quite a bit... then about 6 months later I had to get another one because they said the other mechanics had not had the tension right and it chewed up the belt.

My trunk also leaks water. Otherwise, nothing. It has never stalled on me, and only refused to start once on a very cold morning when I hadn't driven it for 2 days.