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1998 Mercury Mystique

  • 1998 Mercury Mystique Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      125/130
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $13,960
  • 1998 Mercury Mystique GS Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      35
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      125/130
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $16,390
  • 1998 Mercury Mystique LS Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      28
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      170/165
    • ENGINE
      2.5L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,745
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1998 Mercury Mystique Review

Tough competition to its Japanese and European rivals.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1998 Mercury Mystique is a compact car that was based on the first-generation Ford Mondeo. The Ford Contour was another car derived from the globally marketed Mondeo, which is why it was identical to the Mystique. Both cars were based on the CDW27 platform. The Mystique replaced the Mercury Topaz when it was launched in 1994, and it has been compared since then to European cars because of its light weight and nimbleness.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.0-liter I-4, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Mercury Mystique GS, Mercury Mystique LS

What's New

The 1998 Mercury Mystique has had both its interior and exterior revamped. On the outside, the sedan gets a new front end and new wheels. The front-end changes include a redesigned hood, headlights, and grille. The two-liter Zetec engine has been enhanced to include 100,000-mile maintenance intervals. The manual transmission has been worked on for an improved shifter feel, and the air-conditioning system has been improved as well. Inside the 1998 Mercury Mystique, new interior pieces have been added to distinguish the car from its twin, the Ford Contour. An optional rear child-safety seat has been added to the list of features.

Exterior

The 1998 Mercury Mystique's exterior has been restyled according to the recently modified Ford Mondeo that was launched in the European automotive market two years earlier. The new design of the car is a little more polished than the previous version. The 1998 Mercury Mystique has a length of 183.5 inches and a width of 69.1 inches. It has a height of 54.5 inches.

Interior

The 1998 Mercury Mystique offer adequate headroom and legroom for adults to sit comfortably in the front seats. However, the rear seat lacks both headroom and legroom to accommodate anyone who is over 5’8? tall. The dashboard of the car has a modern design but retains its functionality, even though there are some poorly-placed stereo controls that are difficult to use. The trunk offers lots of cargo space, but the trunk opening itself is small, which limits the size of cargo that can fit into it. However, the cargo area is a bit wider at the rear, which balances out the whole situation. A 60/40-split rear seatback can be folded down for more space if needed. The top-end LS model of the 1998 Mercury Mystique has more interior features, including load on air-conditioning, moon roof, power locks and windows, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and a CD player with premium sound.

Performance & Handling

The 1998 Mercury Mystique base GS model has a two-liter Zetec four-cylinder engine with dual-overhead cams. This engine delivers 125 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. The LS model is fitted with a 2.5-liter dual-overhead cam V-6 engine that delivers 170 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual gearbox. The performance of the 1998 Mercury Mystique can truly be compared to European sports sedans. Both models offer a well-balanced and competent ride even over the sharpest twists and turns. The best combination, of course, is the V-6 engine with the automatic transmission. The V-6 engine offers lots of power, while the transmission smoothly and crisply channels that power. Surprisingly, the automatic transmission works just as well with the four-cylinder engine. Although this engine is a little noisier than the V-6, it still offers a lively performance. Road noise is present for both models, but wind noise is low.

Safety

The 1998 Mercury Mystique has dual airbags, height-adjustable shoulder belts, and five-mph bumpers as standard. Traction control and anti-lock brakes are optional. The car received a full five-star rating for driver safety and four stars for passenger safety during frontal impact collision tests conducted by the NHTSA.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercury Mystique: 21/30 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great performance
  • Refined driving experience
  • Good steering and handling
  • Good safety score
  • Comfortable interior

You Won't Like

  • Cramped rear seat
  • Lots of road noise

Sum Up

Tough competition to its Japanese and European rivals.

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