Used 1999 Mercury Tracer Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1999

The Tracer gets a new sport wagon model to help extend its appeal to young buyers. The LS Sport Wagon model comes standard with leather seating surfaces and 15-inch wheels. Other changes include a standard interior trunk release on all sedans. A remote keyless entry and AM/FM cassette player is standard on LS models.

Vehicle overview

The Tracer has been Mercury's bread-and-butter car since it replaced the Lynx model in 1988. 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.

After a major redesign in 1997, the Tracer has seen only minor upgrades in '98 and '99. The one and only engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with overhead-cam and split port induction. Each intake port is fed by two intake manifold runners. This design allows for maximum efficiency and performance at both low and high rpm. It helps the Tracer make 110 horsepower at 5,000 rpm while still being classified as a low emissions vehicle (LEV) in the state of California.

One-piece body construction, a cross-car beam and stiffer stabilizer bars give Mercury's smallest car the confidence young buyers enjoy when traveling along winding roads or cruising at highway speeds. An Integrated Control Panel combines stereo and climate controls for a more efficient use of dash space.

Striking a more mature chord, the latest Tracer has fewer cut-lines and a more polished demeanor than previous models. We find this ironic considering how much fun the new one promises to be. In the end, we feel that the 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 bringing this car up-to-date and we are starting to see quite a few of these latest generation Tracers on the road.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.