1998 Mercury Mystique LX 2.5 V6 from North America
The car would be perfect, but the engine, transmission, brakes, etc..
Right when I drove the car off the used car lot, I noticed a hard shimmy when the brakes were applied at highway speeds. Brakes were shaved down free of charge. Shimmy still persists. Front rotors replaced; shimmy still persists. Creaking noise now heard from the rear brakes. Comes and goes. I don't care right now to pay attention.
Car never seemed to drive like it had 170hp. I was always frustrated, until the engine started to drive like my 88hp escort. Couldn't get the car to rev past 4500rpm with my foot on the floor in second gear. The dealer told me that my exhaust manifold was clogged, all three catalytic converters needed replacing; $2000.00 dollar quote. Told the friendly dealer to go screw themselves. Had another mechanic remove just the one clogged converter and cleaned out the exhaust manifold all for $180.00 The car ran like it never did before. I was so happy, but my smile hasn't lasted long.
Car always seems to run rich. Can't stand near the car on cold start ups; heavy smell of unburnt gas. Car is losing power again, 'cause my exhaust system is getting clogged up!
The EGR tube was replaced at 140,000km. It cracked 'cause of too much back pressure from the clogged exhaust. Might have to go through the same mess soon. Was thinking of getting the car checked out again to see why the exhaust pipes keep clogging up, but I'm getting so sick and tired of bringing the car to dealer. I just drive the car nice and gentle, and I don't floor it anymore.
I thought I got swindled out of $2000.00 dollars when I reluctantly bought the used car warranty, but right off the bat, I had transmission problems. If I drove for more than 10 minutes. at a constant speed over 80km, the transmission would start to shift harshly when I came off the highway. These violent shifts would hurt my neck and make the tires screech. The problem would immediately go away simply by turning the car off and back on. But this was just a temporary fix. Another 10 minutes. of constant highway driving would create the same problem. My friendly mechanic reset the computer about 4 times in four visits until finally the transmission was replaced free of charge. Thank goodness.
I noticed the ABS didn't work the first time I tried it out in a snow fall. All 4 wheels locked up and the car slid sideways. Plus the unit made a noise so loud that people would stare at me in amazement. ABS unit replaced free of charge, thanks to the used car warranty, but it still doesn't work. I don't care, it's just a stupid gimmick. I never used or needed the ABS unit to help me out. I don't drive like an idiot.
Rear right passenger window switch is tempermental. It goes down, but doesn't go up until the 20th try.
The 'fog' or 'driving lamps' are just plain useless. I don't know why they are on the car. They don't make a difference, and the 'fog' lights break or burn out in just a couple of weeks. I haven't bothered to replace them.
The car looks great. It's fully loaded except for a CD player, power antenna, traction control, and rear discs brakes. The interior looks great, and the leather power seats are very comfortable. However, there is no room for people in the back, so it's no wonder why the car didn't sell in North America.
People see the leather, the factory aluminum sport rims, the factory rear deck spoiler, the tinted windows, and they think I'm driving a premium luxury car. If only they knew the problems I've been having!
I should have bought a Honda civic. I wanted something different that was cheap, loaded with leather, and had V6 power. I bought the car for $8,500.00 thinking I got a steal, but now I see why people stick to these underpowered Japanese imports. Reliability is an issue that really matters, not leather or V6 power!
I swore that I would not put another dime into the car. If I didn't buy the used car warranty, I'd probably would have drove the car into Lake Ontario because of all the annoying problems.
The car does start and go without a fuss however; no electrical problems, no shoddy build materials, and it hasn't left me stranded like many VW Jetta owners. I'm disappointed though considering that the body and interior build quality are excellent, but the engine, transmission, and brakes are always a worry.
If I got the engine and brakes to work properly, this car would be awesome. The car handles great, and the sound of the V6 is addictive ever since I put on a free flow air filter cone. It's a shame now I can't floor the gas pedal because of exhaust and engine problems. The car has big V6 thirst, but Honda Civic power. I'm too frustrated to drive the car some days. Only my booming aftermarket sub-woofer system makes the car a joy to drive during my slow jaunts around town.
You will die a slow and painful death my dear Mercury. No more maintenance for you, I'm saving up for a Honda. Ha ha ha...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 21st September, 2003
I had the same transmission problem with my 98 Mystique. I took it to the dealer and they drove it. They got back and said that it was not the transmission. They told me that the transmission was working perfectly and that it was the pressure solenoid causing it to shift harshly between gears. Hope this helps.