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