Used 1996 Mercury Tracer Sedan

1996 Mercury Tracer
List price range
1996 Mercury Tracer

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Tracer is the slow-selling Mercury counterpart to the Ford Escort. Available only as a sedan or a station wagon, the Tracer is a reliable but dated compact. Newer sedans from Dodge, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet and Pontiac render the Tracer an engineering also ran, but it remains a solid value at $12,000. Additionally, it is one of very few compact wagons on the market, and the speedy LTS sedan is a well-kept performance secret.

An 88-horsepower four cylinder powers the base sedan and wagon. For 1996, the 1.9-liter base motor goes 100,000 miles before a tune-up. LTS sedans get a twin-cam, 1.8-liter Mazda motor good for 127 horsepower, along with stiffer suspension settings and added trim and equipment. The LTS is a worthy competitor for newer cars offered by other manufacturers, but the base Tracer should be considered only against other bargain basement vehicles such as the Hyundai Accent or Geo Metro LSi.

The base engine is rough and noisy, offering passable acceleration. Off-the-line response has been improved this year on Tracers with automatic transmissions by revising final drive ratios. The LTS sedan is fun-to-drive. All Tracers have dual airbags and score well in crash tests. Antilock brakes are optional only on the sporty LTS.

New last year was a limited-edition Trio package that included alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a spoiler on sedans. This year, buyers can get a Trio in any of Tracer's exterior colors. Also added during 1995 was an integrated child seat. It continues for 1996.

If you're looking for a sprightly, high-revving, family funster, the Tracer LTS is worth a look. If you're looking for basic transportation, shop the Ford dealer and choose a slightly less expensive Escort LX sedan or wagon. Better yet, drop by the local Chevy store and see what a value the new Cavalier is.

1996 Highlights

Automatic transmission modifications make base Tracers more responsive, and the standard 1.9-liter engine now goes 100,000 miles between tune-ups. Last year's integrated child seat continues, and Trio models are now available in all colors, including a new one called Toreador Red.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Mercury Tracer.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Mercury racer
freddy mercury,06/03/2010
I actually have a Mercury tracer and it is one amazing little car it has some of the best and worst things in my opinion. But if you ever get one you get a strange attachment and feel like the car is more than it really is. I've had it for one year and it only has 46,000 miles on it it gets great gas mileage and has plenty of power for city driving and oddly enough this car does great cornering and on dirt it really handles well the interior is very simple but looks nice and the car over has a great look some of the parts are a little iffy though but it is a Ford and they have been known to have problems like that but fords also take the best beating and just keep going.
very fun to drive, that's why i call it the t-racer. it will smoke any car at the light.
Great Car!
Loved my car! I've had my Tracer Trio for 4 years but now have to say goodbye. It's at 134,000 miles and has been having more problems than I can afford to deal with. But through it all I have really enjoyed this car! It gets great gas mileage - 35mpg. Super fast giddy-up! It's comfortable and not bad looking. I wish I could afford to fix & keep it! 2 months ago I bought a 2003 Kia Spectra because it's problem free & almost new but like the Mercury so much better!
Mercury Tracer Trio 1996
This vehicle is in the shop every couple of months. Will nickel and dime you to death! New engine at 72,000 miles. I would definitely recommend an extended warranty.
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Features & Specs

22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
127 hp @ 6500 rpm
26 city / 35 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
88 hp @ 4400 rpm
See all Used 1996 Mercury Tracer Sedan features & specs


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 Tracer
Used 1996 Mercury Tracer Sedan Overview

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Mercury Tracer Sedan?

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Which used 1996 Mercury Tracer Sedans are available in my area?

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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 Tracer Sedan.

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

Find a used Mercury Tracer for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,077.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $9,410.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $13,649.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Mercury Tracer?

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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