Mercury Mystique

The Mercury Mystique was the Mercury adaptation of the North American Ford Contour and the international Ford Mondeo. It was released in 1995, replacing the Mercury Topaz, which was available as a two-door coupe and four-door sedan. The Mystique however was a four door only model. As such, the Topaz sold far better than the Mystique. The Mystique entered production on August 15, 1994 and ended on December 23, 1999. This was on account of poor customer acceptance and mechanical failures. The mechanical problems included constant stalling, which came to baffle technicians. The short life led to the nickname "the Mercury Mistake". It was because of this that a used Mystique can be had for much less than similar used cars from comparable companies, such as the Chrysler Cirrus or the Honda Accord. The disastrous Mystiques were built in Kansas City, Missouri and Cuautitlán, Mexico. While on the market, it was available with a four cylinder and V6 engine, and equipped with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. It offered excellent handling compared to its competition if only it would stay running. Not to mention, it was surprisingly fast with the V6 engine and five-speed transmission. The Mystique was redesigned for 1998 with a new grille, updated interior, larger headlamps and a new rear end. A major downside of the Mystique was its lack of rear legroom, which was beat by smaller cars such as the Honda Civic. Others argue that the main reason the Mystique failed was because its size was too close to the Mercury Tracer, but its price was too close to the mid-sized Mercury Sable. This allegedly led to customers being willing to just pay the extra money to get have more space and have the added comfort of the Sable. But, in reality, it was probably a combination of mechanical and size issues.