CC Capsule: 1991 Mercury Cougar XR7 – The Archetypal 90s Coupe?

1991-93 Mercury Cougar a

I wanted to write about this car mostly so I could say this: the formal, vertical backlight makes the rear wheels look somehow disconnected from the rest of the car’s body.  Market research apparently showed that Cougar buyers preferred the upright roof. Or at least that’s what I remember reading when these were new.

1994 Ford Thunderbird

Ahh, that’s better. The Cougar rode the same MN12 platform as the Thunderbird, which is so pretty in profile. The sloping roof integrates so nicely with the entire rear of the car, as if it’s taking great care to reach for that distant rear wheel. The pinched nose doesn’t work so well, at least in my opinion; I liked the more square front end of 1989-1992 better. The Cougar got a similarly pinched front end starting in 1996.

1991-93 Mercury Cougar c

I think it’s not much of a coincidence that I found an MN12 Thunderbird and Cougar in the same color – I remember this being a very popular color for these cars. Teal was in during the 1990s, especially at Ford. The ’96 Mercury Sable I owned was this color.

1991-93 Mercury Cougar e

I knew someone with a Cougar of this generation. He made a daily hour-long commute in it, reserving his shiny new Mercedes for less punishing duty close to home. I don’t know which Mercedes he had, but he always said he liked driving the Cougar better. Perhaps the grunt from the 5.0 Windsor V8 charmed him.