Used 1998 Mercury Tracer

1998 Mercury Tracer
List price range
1998 Mercury Tracer


  • Economical transportation. Willing engine.


  • Ugly front end.
Mercury Tracer years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

The Tracer has been Mercury's bread-and-butter car for years. Think of it as the car that brings consumers into the Mercury family. The Tracer's low price, decent reliability and above average crash test scores have consistently offered recent college grads and young families an attractive set of American wheels. Last year, in face of increasingly stiff competition, Mercury decided to redesign its entry-level vehicle.

The Tracer needed help in three major areas; the first is power. The old 1.9-liter four-banger just wasn't getting the job done against the newer cars. Heck, the lowly Hyundai Accent and Suzuki Esteem had more power available than the base 1996 Tracer. To tackle this, Mercury replaced the old powerplant with a two-liter overhead-cam engine that produces 20 percent more horsepower and 14 percent more torque than the one it replaced. This difference in engines is most readily noticed under hard acceleration; what was once a noisy bumpy affair is now a smooth, quite one.

Mercury's second area of concern was with body stiffness and vibration. Second-generation Tracers are notoriously wiggly over rough surfaces. The Tracer's tendency to shake, which leads to a lot of rattle-and-roll, can really punish passengers on long commutes. One-piece body construction, a cross-car beam and stiffer stabilizer bars solve this problem by radically improving the Tracer's torsional rigidity.

Fit and finish, the Tracer's third problem area, are also refined by the one-piece body construction; windows and doors fit better and are less likely to let in the weather. The instrument panel, a long-standing sore spot among Tracer owners, has been brought up to speed by the introduction of Mercury's Integrated Control Panel, first seen on the 1996 Sable. The ICP reduces dashboard clutter by combining the stereo and climate controls. The single-unit ICP is very easy to use and allows eyes-on-the-road operation of its systems. Further interior improvements include rear-seat heater ducts, an upgraded six-speaker audio system and nicer upholstery and dashboard materials.

Of lesser importance is the Tracer's new sheetmetal. Striking a more mature chord, the new Tracer has fewer cut-lines and a more polished demeanor than previous models. We find this ironic considering how much more fun the new one promises to be. In the end, we feel that Tracer is a real winner; no more increased blood pressure when merging with freeway traffic, no more shaking like a willow when driving over uneven pavement. Mercury has done a fine job updating this car. We are to starting see quite a few of these new Tracers on the road.

1998 Highlights

No changes to Mercury's recently redesigned entry-level car.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Mercury Tracer.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

This is a excellent Car.
Good Car
No One,01/22/2004
Great car with great gas mileage. I have only 27,00 miles on it, and its still going strong. Only minor repairs needed, as standard maintenance.
1998 tracer wagon 5spd
I bought this 1998 Tracer Wagon new in 1998. It has been one of the most economical cars I have owned. It had a few items fixed under warranty. The only non warrantee items I have fixed are the PCV valve and hose, an alternator and some normal maintenance items such as plugs, shocks, tires 1 set of brakes. The car now has 180K miles and still runs strong. It burns no oil, and still has the original clutch. It never got less than 30 MPG, it would average 33 and occasionally would get 40 mpg if you drove a whole tank at 55 mph. I would still be driving the car but a large tree fell on it. I did jack the roof back up and put a back hatch on it and my daughter still drives it. The only complaint I had with it was the cabin noise was a little high, but not any more than any of the other cars in its price range. It was a great car and I was sad to see it go. I bought an 2006 Infiniti G35 to replace it and while it is a fine car, I have spent more on maintenance on it in one year that I did the 12 years I owned the Tracer.
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Features & Specs

24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
110 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Mercury Tracer 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 1998 Mercury Tracer
Used 1998 Mercury Tracer Overview

The Used 1998 Mercury Tracer is offered in the following submodels: Tracer Sedan, Tracer Wagon. Available styles include LS 4dr Sedan, GS 4dr Sedan, and LS 4dr Wagon.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Mercury Tracer?

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 1998 Mercury Tracers 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) 1998 Mercury Tracer 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 1998 Mercury Tracer.

Can't find a used 1998 Mercury Tracers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercury Tracer for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $25,151.

Find a used Mercury for sale - 1 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,680.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury Tracer for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $7,778.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercury for sale - 7 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,229.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 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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Check out Mercury Tracer lease specials