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Mercury Cougar



  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Most of these questions can probably be answered in the Sports Car/ Coupe section under Cougar Support Group. We are on our 8th(I think) session. There are thousands of previous posts that would help in answering your questions. But, I will give you my opinions and comments:

    I have a '99 Cougar V6 w/ conv group and Automatic(I got in June of '99). I have had NO problems with the transmission. Fuel economy: city - 21-22mpg and Highway- 26-27. The best I ever got was about 28 mpg.

    No, the v6 Cougar requires 87 octane only. I think it is a waste to get any higher octane. If your new car knocks or pings with 87, get it checked by your dealer.

    Reliability: Pretty good. The only problems I have run into are: back hatch did not want to open all the time. This was fixed by dealer. I also have noticed rattles in my dash and hatch. The dealer has been unable to find (or hear) these so I have learned to live with them. Other than that, it have been a wonderful car. I would totally recommend the Cougar. You will also hear some individuals that have had numerous problems with their Cougars. I believe these are LIMITED cases and the car should not be judged solely on these instances.

    Why I like this car: Where do I start. It is the best car for the money. Great handleing, great touring car and comfortable. The styling is also awesome. I am sure my other cougar friends will fill in the blanks.

    Also, if you want more power, look at the new and coming Cougar S!!!! 200hp.
  • I'm asking $350.00 for the complete set.
  • Well, I hate to disappoint you but I do own a new cougar, or what is considered new. It now has 7000 miles on it and has been in the shop 8 times. all for different problems. do i expect a first year model to have some issues, yes, but not like this. Ford is currently giving me a full refund for my car. I also mentioned the asking price is usually around 19000. did i pay even close to that, hell no. plus, that's what they are asking in my area. I also have a signed form from for itself, stating that 1999 cougars have issues with brakes. so am i sorry i bought one, not at all. they are sharp looking with sleek styling, but lack many areas. so i am more then happy to be driving my new, different car and taking my refund check to the bank.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Sorry about your experience. What kind of car do you plan to get? Obviously not a Ford product!!!

    What year and month was your Cougar built in?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My friend and I are proud owners of a 2000 Celica GT. We have 3700 miles and no problems yet. The Cougar probably has more low-end power, but the Cougar cannot TOUCH it in the handling department. The flattest cornering I ever experienced! Try one, you might like it. They go from $21K for a loaded GT with everything to about $24K for a loaded GT-S with everything. Also, you should have no problems because, afterall, it is a Toyota.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    You think you got looked at when you had the Cougar... HUH! EVRRYONE's head turns when they see a Celica coming. I know from experience. I have gotten so many compliments and questions that I do not even go to the gas station any more (a crowd ALWAYS appears and has many, many questions). You will definitely turn heads and be on your way with Toyota reliability.
  • Whereas the Celica is named a GT, the Cougar V6 IS more of a true GT car, ie "gran Tourismo" , IMO. Smooth power from the V6, comfortable fast cross country machine. Will cruise nicely at 90-100 and above (if you have the opportunity) and still feel solid and the engine is relaxed. Top speed for the MTX, 140mph in stock form. It is also eats up twisty roads. It is widely recognized as one of the best handling FWD cars on the planet. To me the Celica is more of a boy-racer car. No doubt very competent and a blast with the 6speed and all, but a somewhat different type of vehicle.
    $.02 please...
  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    I would buy a Cougar, if there would not be Celica out there. I guess Cougar accelerates somewhat faster than Celica GT, but its handling is not as good (it is still much better than Mustang).
    BTW, when I parked Celica once in front of Mercury dealer the guy thought that this is a cougar.
    If you need a bigger trunk then Cougar would be better, but I already have Grand Marquis for the trunk and interstate ride.
    At a time I bought Celica it was only ~$500 more than similarily equipped Cougar.
  • Whats the deal with the Mercuty Cougar S? I ahve never heard about it until reading the review about the S edition on edmonds. Anyone know anything??? Thanks
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    The "S" will be released this spring,but in limited numbers (only about 3000). It will produce 200 horse power and 170 pounds of torque. The 2.5 Duratech will be used but the following will be changed/Modified:
    - Intake
    - Throttle Body
    - Injectors
    - Intake Manifold
    - Exhaust Manifold
    - Exhaust System (Borla dual tip cat-back system)
    - Modified computer program
    - Stiffer suspension
    - Standard leather/heated seats
    - Different instrument panel
    - Racing type pedals
    - Different rear wing
    - Different center hubs on wheels
    - "S" badging

    The limited numbers will make it difficult to get. On average each dealer will only get one. SO that means they will be unwilling to budge on the sticker price, which should be around $23,000.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Yes the Celica is a car that stands out in a crowd, but it was Toyota's attempt to copy the "New Edge Design" that FMC has been working on for the past few years. In the past the design was a flop (Taurus), but once they got it right (Cougar) everyone else jumped on the band wagon.

    I have had my Cougar for well over 15 months and I still get comments on it from complete strangers. I'm sure the Celica gets looks and comments, but it's design is to trendy for me, and I personally believe it will look very out of date in a few years time (kind of like all of those teal and purple cars that were so popular in the early 90's. I used to want a purple Camaro back in 1991. I saw one the other day and I asked myself "What was I thinking?).

    No the Cougar isn't the fastest car from 0-60mph in it's class, but it has a lot to offer for the price. For instance the world proven Mondaeo platform and the Duratech engine. The car is smooth, responsive, quick off the line, and handles like a champ at speeds well over 90mph. As someone stated, the stock top speed on the V6 MTX (Sports package) is 140mph. With a chip it is raised to 145mph. I personally have tested both top speeds and I found no problem achieving either of them (I would not recommend trying this due to the dangers of driving at such high speeds on public roads).

    If your looking for more performance, I would recommend that you purchase the MTX. Either way (ATX/MTX) the Cougar is a great car.

    PS - Also, to the person who is getting a refund on their Cougar. I'm sorry that you got stuck with a lemon. But i'm happy that you made FMC make good on it. Remember that all manufacturers produce the occasional lemon. It is unfortunate that you happened to be the unlucky person to get stuck with it, but that doesn't make all Cougars or FMC products lemons.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    As far as the design, Toyota themselves said they went after Formula one racing cars as their model for the styling. In a few years, every car will look out of date. So think about that. Also, with proven Toyota reliability, I am sure the Celica will be running long after the Cougar is taking a dirt nap.
  • I own a 1999 V6 Cougar ATX, Ive had my car for about 6 months now and i experienced a minor problem with the trunk. As stated in a message before, my trunk wouldnt release all teh time but most inmportantly it wouldnt shut causing the annoying dinging of the door ajar sensor to not stop. I drove around like that till the coming monday when i took it to the dealership. The problem was fixed within 2hrs. Springs in teh trunk were replaced. 2 months after owning the car, i experienced a problem with my fuel line. My car wasnt registering the amount of fuel I had in the gas tank. Due to lack of parts and a "small" mishap by the dealership (They ordered the WRONG part!!!) I once again had my car back after ONE ENTIRE WEEK!!!.. anyways..I love the design, I love the car.. CELICA GT, get outta the way cuz im gonna eat ya!
  • Glad you like your Celica if that's what you've got. Styling is in the eye of the beholder though, and pesonally I don't feel any maker has done a better job with the new edge type styling than its originator, and that'd be Ford (the notable exception to this is the Focus, however, that car needs some help I think). Celica, and Eclipse both look like pale imitators. The Eclipse looks a little more substantial, even though I can't get the side groove idea, but the Celica looks like a kids car to me. They both jumped on the bandwagon trying to demonstrate some similar bold thinking, but let's face it, as usual it's imitative. The Celica's chopped off tail looks awkward to me, although having had a 1st gen MR2 I admit to kind of liking that wacky angular Japanese look, but I'd never have called the MR2 nice looking either. Looked like one of those "transformer" toys, as does the new Celica. No, I'll stick with the Cougar, thankyou. It's bold forward looking style, but executed with some taste. Nobody else was doing that when the 99 Cougar was released except Ford/Mercury. As far as realiability, I've had no indication of poor realiability in the 29K miles I've driven my cat and the Duratec is a proven engine.
  • I meant reliability, not "real liability"
  • I agree, not just because I'm a Cougar owner too, but because I believe the new Celica is more of a "toy car". I'm 6'6" tall, and cannot fit in one. It seems Toyota only designs to the lowest common denominator with their "sporty" cars. Believe it or not, I could fit behind the wheel of an MR2 better than I could behind the wheel of any year's Celica.

    Practicality, Design attributes, Performance, Reliability are all good things, but if you cut out half of the population for your target market (by that, I mean tall people) then you've already lost the game. I'm very comfortable in the roomy interior of my Cat, and I think I'll keep it that way. Besides, the V6 is smooth, power is sharp, and response is quick. The same can be said about the new Celica too, but only above 5000 or so RPM's.

    I'll stick with my Cougar, thank you ...
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    Yes time will tell, but I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. The Mondaeo platform and the Duratech engine have been proven to be very reliable and to be great performers on a world platform.

    Yes the Cougar is an American car, but it was primarily designed and tested in Europe.

    I personally don't buy in to that old stigma that foreign cars are better than American cars. This may have been the case in the early 80's, but times have changed. All of my cars have been American and I have never had any major problems with them. All of them have had well over 150,000 miles on them when I sold them. Prudent maintenance is the key with any car.
  • Ok the Cougar is an awesome looking car. And so is the Celica. So what if Ford is the originater of the "new edge design?" And who cares that Toyota is trying to copy it. It's not really who the originater is that matters most, it's whoever that perfects it will be on top. How many manufacturers (not just cars) jump on a bandwagon for a certain design or anything that's in style? I'm not going to buy a Ford just cuz it's supposedly the originater of the "new edge design." I'll buy whichever car in my opinion looks the best. In this case, i bought a Focus, not because it has the "new edge design," but because it's a great car in and out. I think the Celica looks great especially the front end but i do question the back end of it. Nevertheless, toyota makes great cars and it's been proven year in, year out. As for Mercury (Ford), even though the design and engine is great, how is the interior? I've seen a lot of complaints of small annoying probems so far. I would rather have a car with great interior with nice exterior design rather than cheap interior with awesome exterior. After all, i'll be sitting in it, and driving it from the inside and not the out. I have no complaints with the Focus at all so far.
  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    BTW, Celica has been designed in California, Cougar in Europe. So much about american/japaniese car. Both are somewhat similar (as I told, even mercury dealer got fooled by Celica), and both are pretty good cars. Some don't like Celica's short tale, some don't like Cougar's fat one. As to reliability - I believe most of the cars now are very reliable. I have Grand Marquis 1995, and the only problem I had was with tape player, which was replaced for free. For new Cougar and Celica - time will show which one is more reliable.
    BTW, what is real mpg for Cougar? With Celica I am getting ~23 in city, not 27 from specs.
  • My Cougar gets about 20 mpg during normal driving conditions. The interior is awesome, save one item: The front cupholder in the '99s. But, since I don't use it, because I'm mostly driving too fast for cupholder conditions around corners and such, it's not a problem for me. I love the seats, the dash is really nice. The door panels and rear interior components are high-quality. I don't have any rattles in mine, like I've heard from others, so I consider it to be one of the best interiors out there.

    My $0.02
  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    Yes, I see, the cougar's specs are true. That is how japaniese cars become so economical. As it is suggested in the Celica manual to get 27 mpg one should ignore traffic lights and stops and not touch the pedals, not exactly their words, but that what they mean, no fun. With fun it transforms into 22-24. No miracles here.
  • Actually, I'm getting 27-28 out of my Celica GTS manual in a mix of stop-n-go rush hour and momentary blasts in the 80-90 mph range. The car is not babied. Maybe you should get yours looked at....

    BTW - I'm 6'1", have the sunroof, do not recline the seat at all, and have absolutely no problem with interior room. Yes, the backseat is miniscule but hey, my 5-month old daughter hasn't complained about the lack of leg space yet....
  • 5 inches inches in height must make that big of a difference, believe me. When I sat in it, I couldn't even get my leg in to work the clutch. I believe this car was designed with the "vertically challenged" in mind, and since no two bodies are the same shape or size (even if their close), I imagine you're going to enjoy your Celica. I, however, cannot.

    Happy in my Cougar ...
  • Well, one last posting and I'll be out of here. My car was dropped off at the dealer today so I am going to post all the problems i had. If your cougar is in great shape, good for you. they still look good. but because of the problems, i won't be driving one or a ford product again, ever.

    Car was bought July, 27 1999
    Returned February 18, 1999
    total of 7126 miles
    -hatch would not release (same as mrpotato1)
    -hatch would not close (same as mrpotato1)
    -hatch rattle, became loose
    -fuel guage would not register full all the time, still doesn't at this time(same as mrpotato1)
    -fuel leak
    -window molding leaks on both sides, poor design
    -window motor and relay burned out
    -lumbar adjustment broken
    -lumber frame cracked
    -headlight, chipping from inside
    -third radio/cd replacement
    -back-end became loose, needed adjusting
    -brakes squeak loudly, all the time
    -tremendous amount of brake dust
    -brakes would lock up, rub and grind
    -dealer ordered wrong part for fuel guage, had to go back
    -in shop a total of 28 business days, does not include weekend work days, a total of one week worth of personal time off to pick-up, wait, or go get car. It all adds up and is really annoying.

    This car was obviously a lemon. Ford bought it back. It's probably the one in a million that didn't work out, but if you start experiencing that same above problems, watch out. Your troubles are only beginning. so if your Cougar is running great, fabulous. They still look real sharp and shame on toyota for copying the design. Bad, Bad foreign car maker.

    p.s. I am now driving a Pontiac Firebird/Formula with the ram-air option, t-tops, 6-speed, etc. the type of car i had before the cougar. should have kept it, but oh well.
  • badulahbadulah Posts: 961
    With my V6 MTX I get anywhere from 23-30mpg depending on traffic.

    I've never been to fond of turbos. I'm sure they
    have improved over the years, but I would much
    rather go with a supercharger.

    The only way I would let my Cat be a guinea pig
    for something like that is if they were willing to
    offer full insurance if this thing blew up my
    motor, they would replace it with a new one at no
    cost what-so-ever to me. And even then I would be
    without a car for the initial install and testing
    period, which could last for quite a while. IF it
    worked, it would be nice to get a free turbo, but
    that's a big "IF".

    Good luck to anyone who is willing to try
    something like that!
  • At least you're happy now. I'm glad you were able to get rid of your lemon. I know how troublesome that can be because my wife and I bought a '98 Explorer which went through the same (or just about) thing.

    There's a lemon in every bunch. Just to let the rest of you know, my Cougar is still running great, and I would recommend this car to anyone.

    Have a great weekend, everyone, and be safe on the roadways!
  • sergeissergeis Posts: 134
    I guess I am not getting specs mpg on Celica because the motor is always cold, I drive just a mile or two at once with a lot of stops. And I don't do 80-90 in the city, top is 25-40 on those streets.
    About that reliabily - once I read a road test report on the new Beetle. The guys loved it, it was rated very reliable, as during the first year they had only "minor" maintainance, like broken latch, handle, seat, rattle, breaks, some engine tuning, airconditioning. The list was almost as long as chaldean's above.
  • Yeah, I've got a buddy who is 6'5" and always swore he had to drive a full size truck. A few years back he found out he fit just fine in a Saturn a bought one. He hasn't been in my Celica yet so I don't know how he would fit.

    Head room/leg room - I not sure if the following is correct, but FWIW:
    Cougar Celica
    Front Headroom 42.5" 44.1"
    Front Legroom 37.8" 38.4"

    Source - right here at Edmunds (check the New Car Section). I've verified the Celica #'s; they agree with both my brochure and the owner's manual. Can't verify the Cougar numbers. When you tried the Celica, did you actually run the seat back.........?
  • Hmmmmm, well lots of stops, only a mile or two at a time and the motor always being cold would probably be detrimental to your mileage. BTW, I try not to do 80-90 actually in town; that's just the occasional blast on the highway headed home in the evening.
  • Oh, yeah. I made sure I put everything at it's maximun settings, seat all the way back, seatback tilted, wheel up, that sort of stuff. For some reason I'm led to believe that maybe different manucaturers or magazine writers measure differently, or the headroom/legroom proportions are not to my proportions. Oh, well. If those numbers are right, I shouldn't be able to fit in my Cougar. Maybe it's also a perception thing, but when I finally squeezed down into that Celica I sat in, it felt like I was in a coffin, and my head was resting firmly on the headliner behind the sunroof. I parked next to one yesterday, and realize that from the outside at least, the Cougar is a really big car compared to it.

    Have you driven a Cougar, by chance? Not to persuade you to get rid of your new Celica, but just as informational ride. I bet you'd understand my view of the interior dimensions.
This discussion has been closed.