Used 1996 Mercury Cougar Coupe

1996 Mercury Cougar
List price range
1996 Mercury Cougar

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Mercury sells half as many Cougars as Ford does the mechanically identical Thunderbird. Not bad, considering Mercury's more limited dealer network and the Cougar's more conservative styling. In concept, the Cougar is a traditional luxo-coupe boulevardier, but when infused with Ford's potent modular 4.6-liter V8, the Cougar's purr becomes a snarl.

Amazingly, the hefty Cougar V8 turns in some pretty impressive performance figures. It feels much quicker and lighter than it actually is. The exterior features traditional cues such as a chrome grille and formal roofline. Unfortunately, these looks make the Cougar a prime candidate for aftermarket or dealer-installed luxury packages' that include such gimcrackery as tacky opera lamps, fake convertible roof applications, and yucky gold trim add-ons. Not even the factory can resist cluttering Cougar's lines; a non-functional luggage rack is available on the options list. Inside, the Cougar offers first-class accommodations for five, with a sweeping dashboard that provides a cocooned cockpit feel to front passengers.

Revised front and rear styling debuts on Cougar for 1996. A chrome insert appears in the bodyside cladding. Both V6 and V8 engines get improvements, including 100,000-mile tune-up intervals. Also new is a Total Anti-theft System option, a cruise control system that increases or decreases speed one mph per tap of the controls, and chrome alloy wheels. Power lumbar support is gone from the Cougar this year, and three formerly standard conveniences (illuminated entry, power driver's seat and leather-wrapped steering) go to the options list. Watch for a special midyear feature car with special interior and exterior fittings.

This iteration of the Cougar has been on the market since 1989, albeit with dramatic improvements over the years. If a healthy dose of luxury and traditional styling is your cup of tea, the Cougar is likely one car you'll want to consider.

1996 Highlights

New styling and powertrain improvements highlight the 1996 Cougar. Some formerly standard equipment is now optional. New options include a revamped cruise control system and a Total Anti-Theft System. Four new colors debut.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Mercury Cougar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Sleeper hit!
I fell into owning this car accidentally. My aunt was moving and had no room for it anymore, so I traded her a set of couches and a couple hundred bucks for it. I figured I'd just flip it and make a few extra bucks. NOPE. What I thought was an old man's car actually turned out to be a fun sporty powerhouse of a car that I just can't part with now.
Buying a used 96'w 3.8ltr
Tim S....Pennsylvania,11/29/2015
Pick a one under 100k....i traveled 220miles to pick up my used cougar in sept... i looked, called at at least 30....setlled on the 3.8ltr in Conn... no issues...drives and runs great....rear bushing will nesd done, past that.. love my second cougar..... may get one w 50k miles next.... shop around dont by a beat one and it will be worth your time and effort.. i f you love the bodystyle of the 95-97'..... oh yeah cup holders suck....
Outstanding Car!
I bought this car from an owner and its been nothing but awesome! Will out perform all except a Cobra Mustang. I love the looks of this car and aparently so do others as they keep staring and pointing as I go by. The all leather interior is excellent & well maintained. If I can find another one I would buy it in a flash!
Seasoned Cat
car lover,06/22/2008
I bought a 96 V8 XR7 in sept. of '03 with 94652 miles on it. It is now June of '08 and it has 209231 miles on it with the original engine and no rebuilds! It always starts like a champ and still has the abilty to go buck! The transmission however is the only true drawback with it's sluggishness to respond. There is a temporary lag when kicking down to passing gear and an uncharacteristicly poor throttle response. Once you learn to work around those details or modify to change them, the car is a ball to drive. Previous owner modified the PCM to generate more ponies but the change was made by the dealership and not by some shade tree mechanic!
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Features & Specs

17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
145 hp @ 4000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Mercury Cougar Coupe features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Mercury Cougar
Used 1996 Mercury Cougar Coupe Overview

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Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Mercury Cougar Coupe.

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Can't find a used 1996 Mercury Cougar Cougar Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Cougar for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $24,765.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,461.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Cougar for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,762.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $8,534.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mercury Cougar?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercury lease specials
Check out Mercury Cougar lease specials