1992 Mercury Topaz Reviews - Page 3 of 5

1992 Mercury Topaz GS 2.3 4-Cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.3 4-Cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired36800 miles
Most recent distance49000 miles
Previous carMercury Topaz

Summary:

Very Fast Cruising, Semi-Fuel Efficient, Extremely Comfortable, GREAT Handling!

Faults:

The biggest thing I fear right now in this car is the fact that after driving on the highway for a couple hours straight, if you push the car to much, it seems like it starts to choke. No matter how much you push on the gas pedal, it doesn't seem to get any gas. Easiest thing to do to get it going again is wait a couple seconds and hold on the gas, or turn the car off and back on. (Yes, I have turned the car off while IN MOTION on the highway to fix this problem... in neutral of course. Do not attempt this if you don't know what you are doing PLEASE.) I have not yet been able to resolve this problem...

I notice on a lot of Topaz's and Tempo's on the road today that the rear end seems to sag. Well it happened to my Topaz as well. I just had the rear STRUTS replace (January 2004) at 45,000. The right rear was completely shot, and the left rear was ready to give out any day. The front ones seemed in great shape.

The LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL in this car causes the front right tire to wear down much faster than the front left. I'm not much into flooring it, but in the times of getting out in front of a car from a side road for example, sometimes the right tire will just break traction and spin an extra 3 or 4 times.

PAINT JOB on the roof of the car has war down to just about bare metal. Everywhere else on the car is fine. NO RUST.

BRAKES have been replaced once since the car's life time. New brakes were put on in 2001, and it's time for new ones already.

BRAKE FLUID runs down faster than normal. Be careful when running this car with worn brakes. Brake light does not let you know. It just uses more brake fluid to compensate for the loss of brake pad.

ENGINE NOISE is very loud when pushing 75 MPH. After that it quites down. At about 90 MPH it settles down to a reasonable volume.

WINDOW MOTORS have developed dead spots in them. My driver window, and the rear right window have dead spots on the motors. Unfortunately, the dead spots are when the windows are all the way down.

General Comments:

In this Grand Sport edition, the suspension of the car is extremely tight. People say that you can feel every bump, but that is not the truth. You can HEAR every bump. The suspension just echos throughout the car only because of the way the frame is built.

EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE on the road!

This 3-Speed automatic is not made for off the line racing, but once you get up to 95+ MPH, the torque is pretty good considering the 4-Cylinder engine.

At 100+ MPH you will only get about 16 - 18 mpg. Around 80 you can get 22 mpg. And if you really want to drag it out, (on my last tank of gas) I never went over 70 and never pushed it hard at all, and I got a WHOPPING 30 MPG!!! (OK, so it was 29.88... close enough)

EXCELLENT HANDLING on country roads:

When going through the mountains or just windy roads, you can count on this car to hug the road very well. The BODY ROLL of the car is Next to nothing, assuming your suspension is at least decent. And even if it's not, the car has never felt like it was going to flip over.

GROUND CLEARANCE:

With the original tire sizes and rims, don't worry about bottoming out with this thing if you feel like taking it into the woods for camping or whatever else you can do with a Topaz in the woods. (Sorry, Random)

The Mercury Luxury Reputation:

Mercury vehicles are basically Ford "vehicles gone luxury." This car has very comfortable seats and is excellent for long drives without getting a sore rear or sore back.

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

Review Date: 7th June, 2004

9th Jun 2004, 08:19

That first problem you have up there is an IDLE problem with the car. I had the same problem where I had to shut it off to close the idle valve. I can't say that I've EVER done it on the highway though. I have not gotten to fixing the problem yet either, but I don't drive so far anymore to have it become an issue.

1992 Mercury Topaz GLS 3.0 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.3 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carBuick Century

Summary:

Very unreliable

Faults:

Everything has gone wrong with this car.

At 45,000 miles the front CV joints went out.

At 55,000 the engine block cracked.

At 60,000 the whole front suspension fell out.

At 62,000 the radiator rusted out.

At 65,000 both the heads cracked.

At 70,000 the transmission died.

At 71,000 the shocks went out.

At 75,000 the heads cracked again.

At 76,000 the computer electronics had to be replaced.

At 80,000 the paint has almost totally peeled.

At 85,000 miles the alternator went.

General Comments:

This car is not reliable at all. The space under the hood around the 3.0 v6 is unbelievable. It is so small. You actually have to take the engine out to change the back spark plugs. There is about half an inch clearance between the engine and the frame by the serpentine belt. In order to take out the engine or transmission you have to take them both out at once. You cannot fit a timing light under the hood to set the timing. The manuals say that the timming in not user serviceable. This car is very unreliable and difficult to repair. I would not recommend ever buying one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2004

5th Jul 2004, 08:21

Hey Steven. I just wanted to comment on what you said about changing the spark plugs on the Topaz. You actually do not need to take out the engine to change the back plugs. All you need is a small ratchet. I have changed the plugs on my mom's Topaz many times.

23rd Mar 2007, 12:55

I agree with you on the topaz. It is very unreliable and breaks down all the time. Gave up on it a long time ago. Its one of those cars you put twice as much money as the car is worth into fixing it.

30th Dec 2010, 16:23

I absolutely agree with you - I had the same car, and it was nothing but trouble. It finally died at about 95k miles, was on its fourth engine (granted the 3 I put in were used with about 15-25k on them respectively).

The front driver's side axle popped out (compression fitting) twice on me while driving, heat completely went out at about 40k miles (I live in MN).

And with the guy who said he changed the spark plugs on the 3.0 V-6, without modifying the firewall; I don't see how that was possible. I tried it with a flathead ratchet, and the plug itself was longer than there was space to pull it out!

I think I pulled the engine and tranny out around half a dozen times to fix problems. When it finally died, the radiator was shot (going through about a gallon of coolant a day) and was just miserable.

To be fair, I am hard on vehicles, I drive a lot of highway, and I do drive rather spiritedly. But wow, this was the worst car I've ever have owned, hands down.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 14 reviews