My '94 Mercury Special Edition Cougar XR7 with a six cylinder engine was purchased with about 60k miles on it and it looked and worked great for awhile. However, only 20,000 miles later, it blew a head gasket. I do 99% of my own work but I allowed a professional mechanic to handle that one and he did a good job from all I can tell. However, I forgot to mention that the car was rear-ended soon after its purchase and the other guy's insurance company wanted to total it out. Hey, nothing doing, I protested, a decision that might have been a tad hasty. There have been continual leaks from the driveline ever since, possibly because I suspect that mechanic changed the motor mounts w/o disconnecting the driveline, otherwise no other problems owing to the accident. However, I've always been extremely dissatisfied with the car's ride, which is akin to rolling down a rough dirt road in a buckboard, so different from the fantastic '69 Cougar my father owned that it is like night and day. Now THAT was a car. My Cougar, in stark contrast, bangs over every bump and anything in the trunk sounds like a snare drum. It does drive nicely over the open road but not nearly so well around town. Oh, it corners like a champ and has the tightest turning circle of any car I've ever driven, the mirrors are great, and it was very reliable up to about 100,000 miles. But it has had nothing but problems, big and small, ever since. The oil dipstick holder broke off, if you can believe that one, and it cannot be replaced without pulling the entire engine, which the Ford folks told me is an $800 job!!! Are you frigging kidding me? 800 bucks to replace the oil dipstick holder?!!! I had to pass on that one, which shouldn't be too much of a problem except that the lube and oil folks look at me like I must be very lax in the maintenance of such a nice car. I just kept track of the mileage, knowing how often it would need a quart of oil from past experience, but soon thereafter the odometer went out (a very odd coincidence) and you couldn't keep track of the mileage anymore, and you must replace the entire instrument cluster to get the odometer functioning again. It's several hundred bucks to do so, that is, IF you can get one. I've replaced the radiator twice, the alternator recently for a whopping $140, the serpentine belt, the idler pulley that keeps the belt tensioned properly (the Ford mechanic didn't realize that said pulley has left hand threads even when asked if that was so after I'd struggled with it for a long time). About six months ago I had to replace the rotors and pads on the front disc brakes. No biggie, it's not a difficult job, except that one of the anchor bolts simply fell out recently and I had to replace it and check the other brake, practically redoing the entire job all over again. You're supposed to use red (permanent) locktite on those bolts but you can barely get them off if you do, a bit of a quandry. I used blue locktite recently, hoping it would hold well enough so I don't lose a bolt again, but of course I'm worried about it. There are coolant leaks popping up that make no apparent sense, even with a new radiator and hoses and everything tight as a drum. You tell me. Oh, and now, both power windows don't work. What's next? I'm less than thrilled with the lack of reliability of this tempermental car. I'll take the old technology any day, where you could crawl under you vehicle and SEE just what's going on above the chassis. CHASSIS? What's that? Good old unibody construction is about as dumb a supposed advance as truss construction and blown-in insulation for your home's roof. It's like, who cares if the attic is unusable and it gets 180 degrees up there, just begging for a fire to start that will burn down your house and all your prized possessions in a few moments when the summer heat really gets cooking. It's about as sensible as replacing paper bags with plastic at the market, where they throw an item or two or three in one bag and there's absolutely no logic to bagging an order. People come out of the store with a cartload of 20 or thirty plastic bags. Why not just throw all the groceries into the trunk w/o any bags at all? I vaguely remember when this country used to be something to be sort of proud about but the memory of the so-called good old days is fading fast. I dunno, maybe the US was always a sad joke purporting to be such a wonderful social and political experiment, at least on paper. Probably when we stole the land for it from the natives who'd been here for tens of thousands of years before our arrogant ancestors showed up, it set the stage for some very bad karma, but who knows. I do know that we continue to make stupid mistakes and these stupid new cars are a good example. At least my '94 Cougar has some actual style, unlike those overpriced, gaudy, plastic-ridden little boats they're pushing today. But you know, you can't stop "progress."
I got this car 6 years ago with 20k miles on it. I keep up with all the maintenance. It has done nothing but fall apart. Head gaskets, engine block crack, the computer went and fried all my sensors twice, motor mounts, bad breaks wear out frequently, front end problems the tire fell while driving, catalytic converter problems, suspension problems
very very comfortable and good looking interior! I replaced all the door speakers and put in a new radio so i always was happy when i wasn't thinking of the thousands i had in repairs!
it would be easier to list what not to improve. the interior was nice except where the cup holders are placed!!
great car all around!! handles great and have had little problems with it since i got it in 94.fuel milage is modrate,it really fun to drive every time.. it has a really fast motor and can get up to 70 in 4.9 sec tops!!
I bought my Cougar new, and it always started well. I had it for 14 years. On occasional weekends, I'd drive from Albany, NY to Hartford, Connecticut and back, which is a distance of approximately 250 miles round-trip on three-quarters of a tank, and the drive was very smooth and extremely comfortable. I always enjoyed the rack and pinion steering, which handled extremely well - like a smaller sports car. The transmission performed well, shifting well up hills at 55 mph. Eventually, however, the transmission needed work. (I was never informed of the torque converter recall.) Nevertheless, I miss my Cougar very much. I recently traded it in for a Nissan Frontier pickup, which I needed.
The exterior style - very sleek. The interior, especially the power seats. The overall feeling of sitting in the front seat, which was very comfortable and roomy. The stereo that had four speakers, and sounded magnificent, and blocked out all external noises, like a Lear jet.
The cup holder was in the center armrest, and it was positioned too far back, which made it unusable.