4 cyl Zetec with the CD4E automatic trans. Looking for a small but not cramped car, We chose a red Mystique. Although the styling isn't avant-garde, it is still an attractive car. The car had 108K miles when I test drove it. In spite of this, it was tight and was as devoid of squeaks and rattles as one could expect. What impressed me right away was how well it held the road. I took it around the perimeter of the GM Proving Grounds, got it up to about 55 mph and YANKED on the wheel, serpentine fashion. This car was absolutely stuck to the pavement. It is kinda light on horsepower, but it's the best everyday 4 door car I have ever driven.
Outstanding road handling, reliable drivetrain, 30+ mpg highway, good ergonomics. Interior hardware has held up well although rear doors squeak upon opening.
Ford would have had a memorable, sought-after car if they had wrung out small problems with this car early on. Transmission filter and PCV valve require major dismantling for service. Headlights hazed badly. Oil filter access difficult. Minor electrical problems due to cheapo 3rd party hardware.
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