Since Mercury is an automobile marquee for entry-level luxury cars under the Ford Motor Company, some Ford and Mercury vehicles share similarities, as with the case of the Mercury Mystique and Ford Contour. These 4-door compact sedans were basically twins, with just a few variations in features and engine size. They were built with a front engine and front-wheel drive system. The Mystique was launched in 1995 as a replacement to the Topaz. In 2000, itwas discontinued as the entry-level luxury car brand favored building larger and more upscale models. This is why the Mystique didn't have a direct replacement. The closest thing it had as a successor would be the Ford Focus. In its five-year stint, it was able to leave a good impression to some car reviewers. Mystique found a spot in the Ten Best List, and it was named All-Star by Car and Driver from 1995 to 1997.
1995: Mercury introduced the Mystique
The Mercury Topaz, available as a two-door coupe and four-door sedan, was replaced by the Mystique in 1995. Manufactured in Missouri and Mexico, the Mercury Mystique began production in 1994 and ceased production in 1999 for the 2000 model year.
The 4-door compact sedan packed a four-cylinder engine under the hood, which could generate as much as 125 hp. The rear provided lots of legroom for two people. However, it wasn't that spacious with the inclusion of a third person on the rear seat. Its twin, the Ford Contour, had three trim levels, while the Mystique was offered in just two trims: the GS, an entry-level trim, and LS, the more upscale trim.
1998: The Mystique received a facelift
A lot of good changes could be seen in the 1998 Mercury Mystique. The interior and exterior were redesigned, which led to enhancements in the auto body. It received round curves and sported angular headlamps and a revised roofline for more interior headroom, as opposed to the plain vehicle body, small grille, and rectangular headlights of the earlier Mystique.
On the inside, one of the remarkable changes would be the more spacious rear, with the more recent models having an added 1.2 inches. A new seatbelt was used for the center seat on the rear, while the seats were altered for better legroom. The dashboard was also refreshed with a new design. The 1999 model got a larger fuel tank and had a standard second-generation airbag, modified transmissions, and aluminum alloy wheels. Engine options included the 2.0-liter I4, the standard engine, and the 2.5-liter V6, which offered more power and came with a 5-speed manual transmission.
With the changes in design, the Mystique scored more points when it comes to luxury and aesthetics compared to similar models under the same marquee. It became a compact alternative to the Mercury Sable.
2000: The final year of the Mystique
Despite the redesigns and enhancements on performance, exterior, and interior, the Mercury Mystique only lived for five years and produced only one generation. Although it was known for its good handling and speed, this didn't translate to a huge sales volume during the time it was produced and sold.