What's New for 1999
The Mystique gets a revised instrument panel and redesigned front seats this year. A six-way power-adjustable seat is now standard on the LS model and all Mystiques benefit from a revised suspension and larger fuel tank. Medium Steel Blue replaces Light Denim Blue as an exterior color. A final note to family-oriented shoppers: the optional integrated child safety seat is no longer available.
After a thorough redesign last year, Mercury focused on more subtle improvements to the Mystique's interior and suspension for 1999. Rear passengers are now treated to 1.2 inches of additional legroom while front passengers will notice an updated instrument panel that looks less cluttered.
Mechanically, the Mystique's front suspension now shares the same design as its European cousin, the Mondeo. With a revised subframe and A-arm design, plus updated suspension geometry for improved braking on surfaces with varying grip, the 1999 Mystique returns an even more confidence-inspiring ride than in previous years.
The base model Mystique has been ditched this year, leaving only the GS and LS models to choose from. The GS comes standard with Mercury's 2.0-liter inline four Zetec engine that makes 125 horsepower and 130 foot-pounds of torque while LS models get the larger 2.5-liter Duratec V6 engine that makes 170 horsepower and 165 foot-pounds of torque. Either powerplant can be had with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
With an improved interior to match its already distinctive styling, the Mystique has plenty to offer the small sedan shopper. While we still aren't sold on the exterior look, we like this car a great deal. The body structure is stiff, and the ergonomically correct instrument panel features legible dials and well-placed controls. The Dodge Stratus and Chevrolet Malibu may offer greater interior volume, but for pure road-going thrills in a well thought-out package, the Mystique makes for a fun car at a great price.