Used 2001 Mercury Cougar Hatchback

2001 Mercury Cougar
List price range
2001 Mercury Cougar

Pros

  • Unique styling, solid handling, large cargo space.

Cons

  • Acceleration from four-cylinder model can't match looks, heavy steering, poor interior ergonomics.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A sporty coupe that isn't particularly sporty and isn't really a coupe. Plus, what's up with all the angularity?

vehicle overview

The Cougar stands out as one of the more distinctly styled vehicles on the road today. And don't expect Cougar customers to be cross shopping for the 2001 Grand Marquis; this kitty cat is aimed at a much younger crowd.

The Cougar's New Edge look combines sleek, rounded main forms with creased straight-edge detail. The most interesting parts of the Cougar's appearance are the cat-eye headlamps with smoked lenses, large triangular taillights, sculpted doors and hood, and the character line that runs along the lower portion of the greenhouse.

Underneath this eye-catching skin are components that are much more familiar. The Cougar is built on the same European-engineered platform as the old Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. It also shares roughly 70 percent of its parts with these two entry-level sedans. This is important to Ford, because it keeps the cost of the Cougar down.

The Cougar is blessed with an excellent suspension, neutral handling characteristics and powerful brakes. This translates to plenty of fun on curvy roads. The only thing slowing the Cougar down is an overly heavy steering feel and engines that don't quite measure up to the car's exciting looks. Ford offers either a 125-horsepower, four-cylinder engine or a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 170 horsepower. Compared to the engines found in the Mitsubishi Eclipse or the Volkswagen GTI, the Cougar is a bit shy on power.

Mercury was originally planning to offer a high performance version called the Cougar S this year, but that car has been shelved. Instead, two special editions -- the Zn and C2 -- will be offered. The Zn is sheathed in Zinc (Zn on the periodic table) Yellow paint and rides on 17-inch machined aluminum wheels finished with black painted ports. The C2 gets unique French Blue paint, with French Blue instrumentation and a French Blue spoiler. The machined aluminum wheels have French blue center caps. Why didn't they call it the Cougar Fb? Because you can also get it painted in white, silver or black. Both the Zn and C2 have diamond-patterned cloth upholstery

For all Cougar interiors, you'll find a conventional control layout with a decidedly unconventional appearance. Accessing the backseat is a breeze, thanks to a front passenger seat that slides forward when the backrest is folded and then returns to its preset position once riders are secured in back. The rear seats are firm and place the rider high in the car; taller adults will find that their heads are squashed into the headliner.

For 2001, the interior has been notably updated with a CD player now standard. Visually, the door inserts have a perforated black material and there's a new steering wheel with revised cruise-control switches and a Cougar head emblem. There's also a new instrument cluster with a satin aluminum face and graphics, new gauge surround rings and pointers, and a new cluster shroud with a technical grain. Many components are also refinished with a new appearance and others will be painted with satin aluminum paint.

Despite the relative lack of power, the regular Cougar still has a lot to offer. It's affordable, functional, fun to drive and neat to look at.

2001 Highlights

Exterior and interior changes are extensive for the Cougar. At first glance outside, you'll notice new front and rear fascias, new headlights with a projector and reflector system, a new grille, a new spoiler, new foglights and 16-inch painted or 17-inch machined aluminum wheels. New clearcoat metallic colors include Dark Shadow Grey, Tropic Green, French Blue and Sunburst Gold. Later in the year, two special editions -- the Cougar Zn and C2 -- will be offered.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Mercury Cougar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

This Cougar LOVES her Cougar!
alznwonderland,05/17/2011
I bought my Cougar in 2003 with 19,000 miles on it. 88,000 miles later, I have had to sink about $2,000 in her. But for me, she is worth it. I get compliments all the time about how cool looking this car is. I have replaced the computer, brakes, and most recently, the coil. I was having problems with surging, a gulping or missing action when I accelerated and my mechanic couldn't figure out what the problem was. I found that in 2004, the fuel module had been recalled and was effective to have it replaced until October, 2011. It was at that time the seviceman told me the coil is what was causing the "missing" affect. I had a friend replace it for $70.00. Runs like new again! I love this car!
A pretty AMAZING car!
cwe005,04/21/2010
It's a 2001 Mercury Cougar ZN. Its got close to 150,000 mi, and its a precision build machine! Like everyone says, it doesn't have a whole lot of power but the fact that it weighs close to 3500 lbs doesn't help either. It's amazing to drive. Corners like a beast, brakes like a beast, looks like a beast. It's a ZN, and it's had routine things go wrong with it (water pump, burnt out blinker bulbs, CD got stuck, transmission rebuilt) Its still amazing to drive though, on smooth pavement it rides like its on a cloud. 17" rims mean tires are CRAZY expensive, but they make the car look amazing though! This is the sportiest daily driver you can have. But never get over 3K rpm, because I get 15 MPG
Driving it til' it dies
Love my cougar,06/23/2010
Bought my car 6 years ago for an awesome price from a friend. A couple car dealers, and mechanics told me that it was not a smart choice, had electrical problems, etc. I was hesitant and nervous I would be fixing it a lot, but I still couldn't pass up the price. Six years later, I have put nothing more than basic wear and tear money into it. It is by far the best car I have ever owned! Wouldn't trade it for the world! So glad now that I made the right choice!
Excellent Vehicle!!!
Estranged,02/26/2002
I got my custom V6 manual in Feb01. It's custom 'cause I got convenience package + ABS brks. It's very fun to drive (both the stick and auto). Transmsn is designed/made in Germany and it shows! A very european car, with a huge trunk. The biggest plus of this car is handling. It has a computer: "temperature outside", "average speed", "mpg", and best of all "miles before empty tank". I'd also say that chicks dig the car - one made me roll down my window on the hiway to say how cool my car was.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
MPG
21 city / 31 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
Gas
125 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 2001 Mercury Cougar Hatchback features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2001 Mercury Cougar
Used 2001 Mercury Cougar Hatchback Overview

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 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.

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