1998 Mercury Mystique GS from North America
A very well-designed sedan, flawed by quality issues in some components
Power steering at 32K miles. Oil change service did not pick up leak in fluid reservoir, which ran dry.
Pan gasket leak at 38K miles.
O2 sensors at 38K miles.
Rear brake cylinders leaking at 53K miles. Replaced myself with 2 $14 NAPA cylinders.
This car was bought new by my mother-in-law in 1998. Fortunately, she opted for the six cylinder version.
The car was built after the factory found a fault with the routing of the wiring harness on earlier cars, and changed to a better routing and insulation.
My mother in-law drove it gently and had oil/filter changes every six months. She had a transmission flush at 20K miles. The car was always garaged and waxed 2x a year.
I was given the car in 2009 when it had 43K miles. I am a rather competent auto mechanic. I replaced the rear wheel brake cylinders due to one leaking.
I ran a flush of Castrol GT-X 10/30 oil, and at 2000 miles switched to Mobil1 10-30.
At 51K miles, I did an 8 quart transmission flush.
Now, 11/10, the car has 53K miles, looks new and runs very well. I do not cruise at over 65mph, at which speed on long trips the car gets a consistent 32mpg on Chevron regular. I only use Chevron because of the additive package.
This car was made to compete with the Accord and Camry, but comes up short on build quality. Features are excellent, such as fold-down rear seats allowing a 7' item to fit nicely via the trunk. Leather seats are comfortable for a 500 miles trip. The A/C works well in temperatures well over 100 degrees. Everything works.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd November, 2010