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1996 Mercury Tracer Review
Definitely worth a look.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1996 Mercury Tracer is a compact car manufactured by Ford Motor Company and launched in 1988.Based on the platform of the Mazda 323,it replaces the Lynx, which was more of a European-derived car. It's a part of the second generation, which began in 1991 and based on the Ford Escort, which itself is based on the B platform of the Mazda 323 also. 1996 marks the last year of production for this generation.
Engines: 1.9-liter I-4, 1.8-liter I-4
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mercury Tracer, Mercury Tracer LTS
The 1996 Mercury Tracer gets a modified automatic transmission that makes the base models more responsive. The standard 1.9-liter engine has also been revised so that it can go 100,000 without a tune-up. The integrated child seat that was introduced in the previous year continues, and some new exterior colors are available. This marks the end of the second generation, and a new generation is expected to be launched next year.
The 1996 Mercury Tracer has a very outdated design after five years of production and minimal exterior changes. It has a wheelbase of 98.4 inches and width of 66.7 inches. The wagon model has a length of 171.3 inches and a height of 52.7 inches, the sedan model has a length of 170.9 inches and a height of 53.6 inches.
The 1996 Mercury Tracer has a good fit and finish, but it lacks the necessary amount of insulation from outside elements. Visibility from the cabin is good, and better than the previous generation. While there is also a greater amount of space inside the cabin, it does tend to lose out on a crucial amount of headroom when the sunroof is installed. One of the more noticeable problems is that it has a badly designed instrument panel; the controls are too far from the reach of the driver and is too small and badly marked to be understood easily.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Mercury Tracer base sedan and wagon is a 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 88 horsepower and 108 lb-ft of torque. It's capable of an upgrade to a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 127 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm. This engine comes standard in the Tracer LTS model, which also gets a stiffer suspension and some improved trim and equipment. The base model competes only against bargain vehicles like the Geo Metro LSi or the Hyundai Accent. The only model worth competition is the LTS, and the base engine is a little too noisy and rough, but it does offer adequate acceleration. The LTS sedan, on the other hand, is fun to drive and comes with an improved performance.
The 1996 Mercury Tracer gets a four-star rating for driver and passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Good fuel economy
- Fun-to-drive LTS
- Good value for money
You Won't Like
- Poor dash control layout
- Noisy cabin
- Lack of rear seat room
Definitely worth a look.
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