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Well today I went out with my friend Tanya to test drive a bunch of "girly cars". Her old Sentra finally bit the dust and we were out looking at little sporty FWD cars.

She wanted to drive a bunch of cars at different dealers, then buy the one she likes on ebay or autotrader or something like that.

We started off driving a v6 Hyundai Tiburon, and the way it handled, it was not like any Hyundai I have ever driven, they have really came a long way in quality. Of course the salesman wanted her to sign on the dotted line right away, don't they all.

Then we stopped at the Mitsu dealer, and drove the 3rd gen eclipses. Blah, i'm not really impressed with those very much.

I told her I think she should get a WRX, but that wasn't in the pricerange :(

Anyway, we ended up at the old ford dealer. He put us in a ZX5 focus with the slushbox automatic. Bleh!

Then she saw this 2002 Cougar XR with the v6 and the stick, and pretty much every option.

We drove it around for a while and its a neat little car. I know that its not a real cougar, but I thought it was very nice. It has the duratech v6 motor which i beleive was in the contour at some point.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had one of these new cougars, and what their repair/recall history was like. I know that mercury killed the new cougar last year, I was wondering if they did that because of alot of recalls/repairs, etc?

Thanks,
JH
 

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My girlfriend has a 2000 cougar with the 2.5L duratec. I found a great website for them too. Turns out the svt contour shared the basically same engine but was stroked to 3.0. There aren't many performance upgrades, most people just swap intakes, throttle body, and heads from an svt contour. But it's a fun car and man, I drove it the night it snowed 7" here and I never EVER lost it, even with street tires. It handles pretty decently, and with the stick, it makes it a fun car. They also make a really nice sounding borla catback for it.
-Thomas
 

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Discussion Starter #3
cool, whats the cougar website?

Any problems with your gf's cougar?

She won't be doing any performance mods to it I don't think, lol.
 

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Yeah my gf won't be doing anything either, but I will :D I just can't help but tinker with things. I already hardwired some red neons under her front seats hehe. Anyway, here's the link to the website. Click Here
-Thomas
 

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Oh one problem has risen with her car, every time it gets cold out the front end makes a bumping noise over bumps in the road. I'm thinking it's the cv boot, or possibly some rubber bushing in the suspension.
-Thomas
 

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Take this with a grain of salt, as I have never driven one. However I do know quite a few people who went for the new Cougar. So far their general impressions are :

i4 is pathetic, v6 is better but not by much. Apparently it's a sluggish engine, takes forever to get even near redline.

Quality was apparently NOT job #1 on the....(surprise surprise) transmission. words like "mushy" "uncommunicative" and "balky" were brought up more then once.

Decent hatch/passenger space, decent fit & finish, comfy seats... you probably noticed these on your test drive

handling/driving/feel - mixed reactions. The consensus was, however that the driver is very isolated from the road, brake pedal and steering feel being pretty bad. And the chassis seems to flex a little more then it should, being a relatively small car. Also suspension is bargain basement, struts up front and in the rear. It's not the handling as much as the feeling that seemed to bug the owners.

Decent hatch/passenger space, decent fit & finish, comfy seats... you probably noticed these on your test drive


If your friend is not a real "car person", and values looks and comfort more then a fun drive or a torquey engine, I wouldn't hesistate to reccomend it. It'll handle well in poor traction conditions, it will cushion the driver from the road. It's certainly a nice looking car, inside and out (allthough more outside then in ;) ) Also according to consumer reports reliability is above average, especially the newest model. And it sure is cheaper then several of it's class competitors like the new Eclipse, the GTI or the accord coupe!

Based on everything I've heard, if this car was a grade it would be a B-. It doesn't flunk out with an F, it doesn't ace the test with an A. But it's just good enough to warrant not getting a C.

Sorry I'm horrible with analogies :rolleyes:
There's my 2 cents.

*edit.. I should specify the transmission comments were in reference to the 5spd. The auto performs just about as you'd expect it to, pretty nondescript really.*
 
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