1989 Mercury Tracer 1.6 from North America

Summary:

Excellent, cheap, and practical transportation

Faults:

Air conditioning lasted about 7 years while I had it.

Radiator replaced twice, same with gas tank.

Exhaust system keeps rusting out in places, requiring replacement.

Remote gas tank release does not work, have to pry it open with a flat, solid instrument (ie. a pair of scissors)

Seat belt got jammed, needed replacing.

Rear struts needed replacing.

General Comments:

Overall, this car has served me well, even though I don't drive it very much. I STILL have this car (yes, it's 13 yrs. old now!) and it's a wonderful second car. The rust is starting to get to it, but the body and interior are still in good shape and the engine purrs.

Cargo space is amazing. I can put my bike in the back no problem.

If they could make this same model today I would definitely buy one!

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

Review Date: 20th June, 2002

1989 Mercury Tracer 1.6 liter 4 cylinder from North America

Summary:

A little beast

Faults:

It occasionally burns oil.

It has a flat spot in the ignition.

General Comments:

It is one car that won't stop running, no matter how you beat on it.

It's very ugly, but worth the money.

Cheap to maintain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2001

1989 Mercury Tracer 2 door hatchback 1.6L SOHC I-4 from North America

Summary:

A great first car

Faults:

This has been my first car, a hand-me-down.

The first thing that went wrong was the alignment.

At 126k miles, my alternator went bad.

At 128k miles the radiator and water pump blew up.

At 133k miles, the front axle broke.

At 134k miles, the air conditioner went bad (there are no parts still made for this).

Since 122k miles the piston rings have been wearing and you get white smoke pluming out the rusted tail pipe.

The car still runs well despite the dying pistons and rings.

General Comments:

I think the performance is much better than anyone would ever think. There aren't any after-market performance parts that I know of. Though considering that this is a Mazda engine, I would expect there to be. All in all, pretty ricey for a pseudo-American car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2001

1989 Mercury Tracer GS 1.6 L from North America

Summary:

Modern looking fuel efficient chick magnet

Faults:

Needs a new battery.

Has a bad catalytic converter.

Alignment bad.

General Comments:

Great little car. Gets good mileage and decent power. The auto transmission is okay but only has three speeds so expect high revs on the highway. I'd stick with the stick. Comfortable inside.

Buy it ahead of it's cousin the Mazda 323. It looks better and has better performance. Tough to find information on this car as Ford and Mazda collaborated on it. NOT like an Escort (that change didn't happen until 1991). Most closely resembles the Mazda 323 of the era. I paid 900 dollars Canadian for it (about 600 US) at a Ford dealership where it had just come in on trade. It's been great so far. Girls love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2000

30th Nov 2003, 23:51

Amazing, I had no idea that a $600 Tracer with 113,000 miles on it could be a "chick magnet". Mine only has 91,000 miles on it and the chicks run away when they see me coming!

8th Feb 2005, 10:13

Ya chicks love my car too, but that's because it's a chicken coop.

26th Jul 2005, 11:36

Canadian Chicks must be into different things than american chicks. All the ladies in my town dig Mustangs and Camaros.

1989 Mercury Tracer 1.6L from North America

Summary:

You could run a tank over it and still drive it back and forth to work

Faults:

Nothing really, it's a beast, the car from hell it just won't die.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2000

1989 Mercury Tracer 1.6l SOHC I-4 from North America

Faults:

I recieved the car as a hand-me-down from my parents, and they abused it. Ran the brake pads down to metal, hardly ever changed the oil or ATF, let it sit unused for months at a time, etc. After fixing the neglected things, the only problem has been an exhaust rattle that is due to a bad catalytic converter. I think the shop just put in a used one, so it wasn't the car's fault.

General Comments:

I run autocrosses with this car and find that it works fairly well other than the excessive stock body roll and anemic off-the-line performance (about 11 sec 0-60 with AT). All it costs to keep running is gas (and it gets about 30-35 mpg anyway). The lack of aftermarket performance parts is somewhat frustrating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 1999

14th May 2003, 08:53

I have a 1989 Tracer 4dr Hatchback. My dad bought the car in 1997. It has had five owners (the 5th one being me). The first owner was a man that lived down the street from us, the second owner my dad, the third owner my youngest sister, the fourth my oldest sister, the fifth me. My second sister was driving home from Chicago to Detroit and it over heated in Jackson and my dad had to put $2,000 dollars to get it back up and running. That was in 2000. Now every great once in awhile it will give out then you just leave it for a day then it will start right back up and keep on going. It is very fun to drive because it is a manual. And it is very good on gas.

4th Sep 2011, 13:19

There is a YT video helping to explain some of the things involved in changing an Automatic to Manual on Mercury Tracers. I think it's pretty easy except for making a bracket for the clutch pedal.