This '90 Cougar was acquired from a neighbor for $2000 in June 1999 just before the 3.8L V-6 engine blew it's head gasket at 50K miles. $1000 in repairs essentially rebuilt the engine and there's been no problems since. The Cougar starts right up even during the coldest NY winters, runs smooth, accelerates OK and still gets 30 MPG on the highway. The ride is cloud-like, I haven't replaced the tires in 50K miles and there's no rattles. The brakes have been worked on a few times; but nothing more than maintenance work. Ford's engineers designed the vehicle well and everything works although it's almost 17 years old. If the doors and rocker panels weren't rusting out; I could drive this forever.
Enormous, wide interior with comfortable seats and plenty of legroom. Easy access with doors just as big. Well laid out under the hood and easy to work on engine. The styling was consistent through 1997; so the looks aren't as dated. Decent gas mileage for a larger engine. Well built and reliable.
The body rusts on a daily basis; but harsh winters, rarely washing the car and it's age contribute. A real big blind spot. The defroster doesn't clear the side windows quick enough. A bear to parallel park. The heavy body doesn't corner well. Not enough rear seat legroom. Ordinary dashboard design.