Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Jim Flammang
February 27, 2002
Vehicle Overview A Convenience Group is now standard for Mercurys sporty, front-drive coupe. Two new limited-production, special-edition models the XR and C2 also have gone on sale, each packed with a unique group of equipment. First seen at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2001, the C2 coupe features a bigger rear spoiler than usual, machined aluminum wheels and a blue interior theme. A high-performance Cougar S, which was announced for early-2001 sale, failed to emerge and will not be offered in the 2002 model year.
When introduced for 1999, the Cougar was the first car to display Fords new-edge styling (later used on the Ford Focus), which emphasizes sharp creases and crisp lines instead of the usual curves and rounded shapes. Face-lifted for 2001, the Cougar is based on the same design used by the now-departed Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. Either a four-cylinder or V-6 engine may be installed.
Exterior Distinctive Cougar styling nearly conceals the fact that this is a two-door hatchback and not a coupe with a separate trunk. Though the Cougar is not generally perceived as a midsize model, it has a relatively long wheelbase for a car of its type: 106.4 inches. Measuring 185 inches long overall, the coupe is 69.6 inches wide and stands 52.2 inches tall. Cougars with the V-6 engine get a tauter suspension, and alloy wheels hold 15-inch tires. Extras on the XR edition include a sport suspension, unique hood scoop, machined aluminum wheels and 17-inch tires.
Interior The Cougars four-passenger capacity consists of front bucket seats and a rear seat shaped for two. The 50/50-split rear seat folds down to yield additional cargo space. Owners can access seatback releases from the rear of the vehicle. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, heated power mirrors, power windows and locks, a CD player and remote keyless entry.
Sport models come in base, Premium and Ultimate versions, while the C2 and XR are models dressed up with option-group accessories.
Under the Hood The base engine is a 125-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and an optional 170-hp, 2.5-liter V-6 is available. Both engines work with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are optional.
Driving Impressions Not only does the Cougar look youthful and athletic, but it also performs on that level with its firm ride and commendable grip on the pavement. Its far from the only sport coupe to deliver such traits, though most vehicles in this genre are ranked as compact cars by the cars.com yardstick.
Having a hatchback instead of a trunk gives the Cougar more cargo-carrying versatility than some other coupes on the market. A snug rear seat is part of the price paid for sport coupes of this nature.