Used 2002 Mercury Cougar

2002 Mercury Cougar
List price range
2002 Mercury Cougar


  • Unique styling, well-tuned suspension, large cargo area.


  • Acceleration from four-cylinder model can't match racy looks, heavy steering, compromised outward visibility.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A sporty coupe that isn't particularly sporty and isn't really a coupe.

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 Grand Marquis; this kitty kat is aimed at a different crowd.

Showcasing Ford's short-lived New Edge design theme, Cougar's look combines sleek, rounded main forms with creased straightedge detail. The most interesting parts of the Cougar's appearance are the cat's-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 that spawned the old Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. It also shares roughly 70 percent of its parts with those two dead entry-level but fun-to-drive sedans.

As such, 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 its heavy steering feel and engines that don't quite perform up to par with 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 motors found in the Acura RSX and the Volkswagen GTI, the Cougar is a bit shy on power. Traction control is available on the V6 Sport, but we aren't convinced you'll need it.

Mercury was originally planning to offer a high-performance version called the Cougar S last year, complete with the old Ford SVT Contour's stunning engine, but that car has been shelved. Instead, two special editions -- the XR and C2 -- are offered when you select the Cougar V6 Sport. The XR is sheathed in special red or black paint and rides on 17-inch machined aluminum wheels finished with black-painted ports and red center caps. It also has a rear spoiler and unconvincing fake hood scoop. 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, too.

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. Fold those seats down, and you're blessed with a huge cargo area.

A CD player is standard, which makes sense in a car marketed to young adults, and a handy six-CD in-dash changer is optional. The instrument cluster displays satin aluminum-faced gauges and graphics, and many components are finished with satin aluminum paint. Just like every other youth-oriented car sold since the Audi TT came to market a couple of years back. Side airbags are standard on V6 Sport models, but unavailable on regular Cougars. If you want ABS, you've gotta have a V6 engine.

Despite the relative lack of oomph, the Cougar still has a lot to offer. It's affordable, functional, fun to drive and neat to look at. But without more power and a diet, it can't hope to compete with cars like the Acura RSX and Toyota Celica.

2002 Highlights

New colors spruce up the outside, and all Cougars get the formerly optional Convenience Group (cruise, remote keyless illuminated entry and rear wiper/washer) as standard equipment. Evidently, the Zn (Zinc Yellow) feature car from 2001 failed to get buyers' pulses up, so Mercury tries again for 2002 with the XR package, which includes special red or black paint, a rear spoiler, a fake hood scoop and special logos. The Cougar C2 feature vehicle makes a return engagement for 2002. Sadly, the shelved Cougar S never materialized.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Mercury Cougar.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

2002 Cougar V6 35th Anniversary Edition
One of the best cars I've owned, easy fun to drive, got some power to it, would be nice if they could get a more powerful v6 in it
It's all over at 67,000 miles
Transmission needs to be has slipped since it was brand new. The spoiler broke at 3 years and they don't make it any more. The head gasket is blown and it has never over-heated, has had regular oil changes/service and obviously not used to tow anything. I need to replace a couple of sensors and it is $700 at the dealership. You have to pay $93 for diagnostics to determine minor failures and another $140 for compression diagnostic. As I should have remembered before I bought this, it is just a shinier FORD - Fix Or Repair Daily. I also own a 1967 Ford Mustang which is reliable - built before the American automotive manufacturers forgot how to build a decent, reliable car
Beautiful Cat
Notable information about the Cougar: -The engine was designed by Cosworth. They also design engines that go in formula one cars. Pretty respectable. -The Cougar introduced ford's new Edge design. Notable among this is that the cougar is a blend between American and European design. The hatchback styling is European, the high displacement high torque engine is american muscle. It was designed to be at home on the twisty nuburing. -Ford discontinued it because the Cougar dances around the Mustang. Ford wanted to sell Mustangs because they're in keeping with the all american Ford image. They also sold them for $20K more, the same thing was done to the Thunderbird. Twice.
Good kitty
I have had my Cougar for 3 yrs and have never had a problem. My gas mileage is usually 32-33 mpg. The trunk is big enough to put almost anything in it. It lacks power, you will not win any race, but you will be the best looking slow car on the line!
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Features & Specs

18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed manual
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
See all Used 2002 Mercury Cougar features & specs


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 2002 Mercury Cougar
Used 2002 Mercury Cougar Overview

The Used 2002 Mercury Cougar is offered in the following submodels: Cougar Hatchback. Available styles include 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 6cyl 5M), Sport Ultimate 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 6cyl 5M), Sport Premium 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 6cyl 5M), Sport 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 6cyl 5M), and 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Mercury Cougar?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Mercury Cougars are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Mercury Cougar for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used 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 2002 Mercury Cougar.

Can't find a used 2002 Mercury Cougars you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Cougar for sale - 4 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $17,435.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,239.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Cougar for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $8,159.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,985.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 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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