1988 Merkur XR4Ti 2.3 I4 turbo from North America
Happiness needn't cost much
Water pump at about 30k miles.
Clutch at about 80k miles, and I'm easy on it.
Clutch pedal return spring, what a pain.
Ford's infamous ignition module, source of a class-action lawsuit they lost.
Starter at 110k miles.
Radiator hoses, which aren't cheap - $50 US for lower hose.
Dash electrics are buggy. Bulbs of controls/switches have dimmed or died, clock died, dash warning lights flicker on intermitantly.
Pro: Acceleration -- whoosh! Kept up with a new BMW 3 series in straight line recently, though it killed me at a corner. Interior - superb. Accessories (power, heated seats, etc) - very nice. Oddness (in USA) - something I like. Shifter and clutch feel - very good.
Con: Handling not spectacular like other reviewers have said. I wonder what they are comparing it to. I find it rolls a bit much. I used to take my Alfa through the mountains at speeds I would never consider in the Merkur. Also - Rear drum brakes - boo! Car is awful in snow/ice. It's time for a different car for me, but sadly I can't think of anything affordable that will match my Merkur!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 24th July, 2002
30th Nov 2002, 10:06
Hey man... i just learned how sucky these cars are in snow/ice...did a 360 the other night and came 5 inches away from hitting a concrete wall...lucky! as for your comment on rolling too much... this is a notorious ford problem, every ford I've been in tips way too much at turns...AJ.
28th Aug 2003, 13:39
They must have Americanized the XR4ti if it rolls too much in turns. I bet the German version handles just fine.
13th Aug 2004, 11:12
Although I don't own one, I would not think the xr4ti would be exceptionally good on snow and ice, as I believe they have RWD and a traction lock rear end. If you break traction, you do it with both wheels and the rear end starts to fishtail.
Not all Fords roll excessively in corners. I have one of the early Taurus SHOs and it is dead flat in corners. I would considering trying to figure out how to lower the xr4ti and put in heavier anti-roll bars. (Glad to know this because I am looking at buying an xr4ti right now).