Used 1998 Mercury Mystique Sedan

1998 Mercury Mystique
List price range
1998 Mercury Mystique

Pros

  • Spirited performance. Comfortable interior. Nice Price

Cons

  • Small rear seat.
Mercury Mystique years
1998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Ford Motor Co. spent six billion dollars developing this new "world car," designed to be the best compact in every market in which it was sold. The program tested Ford's ability to utilize all of its worldwide resources to create a car that would streamline production, thereby slicing overhead and building bigger profits.

The result is the Mercury Mystique, and for less than the average amount of a typical car purchase in the United States today, you can get one loaded up with equipment, with performance and road feel you never would have expected from a sedan made in America. Actually, the road manners of the new Mystique are no mystery, given that Ford of Europe did the development work on this car.

The LS variant of the Mystique comes with a 24-valve, twin-cam, 170-horsepower 2.5-liter V6 engine that doesn't require a tune-up until the 100,000-mile mark. Also included on the LS are big tires mounted on alloy wheels and sporty front seats. Load on air conditioning, power windows and locks, moonroof, cruise, traction control, antilock brakes and a CD player with premium sound and the sticker stays under $22,500, with room for negotiation. Mystique GS is equipped with a four-cylinder engine, and is surprisingly zippy when mated with the manual transmission.

Much has been made in the automotive press about the Mystique's rear seat, and after spending a week with one in the 1997 model, we found ourselves wishing for more room. Mercury claims that they have increased legroom by two-inches this year, and it does seem to offer Edmund's tall editors a more comfortable seating position. The front seats in the Mystique are great, offering plenty of room and very good support; not what one would expect in an American compact.

In the last two years, the Mystique has won plenty of awards and has received great press from automotive critics, but still hasn't caught on with the public at large. For 1998, exterior enhancements are designed to attract attention to this oft-forgotten compact car, while interior improvements are supposed to make it even more inviting to drive. Mercury has simplified the buying process with the 1998.5 model by introducing trim level specific options. The GS, for example, can no longer be had with the V6 engine.

While we aren't yet sold on the Mystique's new exterior look, we still like the car a great deal. The body structure is stiff, and the ergonomically correct instrument panel features legible dials and well-placed controls. We really like the way the Mystique feels, but for people who need more interior room the Dodge Stratus and new Chevrolet Malibu offer a convincing argument to shop around before buying.

1998 Highlights

The 1998 Mystique receives a freshened interior and exterior that includes new wheels and a new front end. Mechanical enhancements include 100,000-mile maintenance intervals for the 2.0-liter Zetec engine, improved manual transmission shifter feel, improved NVH and improved air conditioning performance. New interior pieces are intended to distinguish the Mystique from its otherwise-identical twin, the Ford Contour.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Mercury Mystique.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Meh
Buddi,06/09/2010
My parents got this car for my sister when she was 17 as a first car. The first day she drove it, when she drove faster than 45 the car started to buck, the transmission was slipping. We've put more money into this car then we paid for it. Now I'm 17 (she's almost 21 now) and it's mine now. Not too fun to drive, it's very jerky when changing gears and it's really uncomfortable. My dad and I drove about an hour in it and we got out numb. After fixing it up a bit, she's running pretty good, but we still call it the Mercury "Mistake" because it is pretty much fail. The trunk for some reason floods when I open it up after it rains
1998 Mercury Mystique 2.0L 5 Speed (Perfect College Car)
thecptamerica,02/18/2015
Got this car for college for $1600 back in August with 117k on it. It now has 126k and I gotta say I really am impressed with this car. Very spacious upfront, huge trunk for how small the car appears to be, the 2.0L with the 5 speed is an absolute blast, transmission is pretty responsive, the independent rear suspension adds a responsive handling characteristic that makes the car quite good in the corners, the mpg is incredible (rated at 21 city, I usually get 24-26, hwy rated at 32, driving 70 mph I get 35, 80-85 mph I get 32). Grew up driving camaros, f150s, expeditions, Datsun/Nissan Z cars, SRT4's and I gotta give props to this little car for the amount of fun it is.
Amazing Car
FastCars09,12/14/2008
I've never had to put a dollar into repairing this car. It is absolutely amazing, I love the fuel economy, the pick up, the interior. Everything is in such amazing shape, and I've had this car for three years now, its almost 10 years old, and it drives like it's brand new! I recommend this car to anyone who's a Mercury/Ford Fan. This is one of the best cars they have ever made.
Anonymous looking...a BLAST to drive
goggomobil,11/20/2009
4 cyl Zetec with the CD4E automatic trans. Looking for a small but not cramped car, We chose a red Mystique. Although the styling isn't avant-garde, it is still an attractive car. The car had 108K miles when I test drove it. In spite of this, it was tight and was as devoid of squeaks and rattles as one could expect. What impressed me right away was how well it held the road. I took it around the perimeter of the GM Proving Grounds, got it up to about 55 mph and YANKED on the wheel, serpentine fashion. This car was absolutely stuck to the pavement. It is kinda light on horsepower, but it's the best everyday 4 door car I have ever driven.
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 32 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
125 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
170 hp @ 6250 rpm
See all Used 1998 Mercury Mystique Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • 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
    Poor

More about the 1998 Mercury Mystique
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Find a used Mercury Mystique for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $8,779.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Mercury Mystique?

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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