Complete Ford Cougar lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1998 Ford Cougar (BCV) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1997 - 2002 Ford Cougar CoupeCougar (BCV)4 Trims 131 to 205 Hp

The Ford Cougar is a coupe manufactured and marketed by Ford Europe from 1998 to 2002. It was available in Canada and the United States between 1999 and 2002 as the Mercury Cougar. The car was originally intended to be the third generation Probe, but after rationalization of the three coupés available in the United States, the Probe name was dropped in favor of the Cougar. It is an example of a sports coupé/liftback.

History of the Ford Cougar

The Cougar was Ford's second attempt to reintroduce a sports coupé in Europe, in the same vein as the successful, but long-discontinued Capri – the first attempt having been the Mazda MX-6-based Probe. Just as the Capri had been based on the Cortina, the Cougar was based on the large family car available at the time, the Mondeo. The car went on sale in Europe in December 1998 to mixed reviews, partly due to the then-new and controversial New Edge styling, a crisp style that was subsequently applied to most of the Ford range. Cougar sales levels did not achieve those of predecessor Capri models. Like its (indirect) predecessor, the Ford Probe, the 1998 Cougar was sold and built in the United States. Cars destined to be sold in Europe and the United Kingdom were finished in Ford's Köln plant in Germany, where the cars had European specification lighting installed, Ford badges applied (and in the case of the United Kingdom and Australian cars, converted to RHD). In the United States, it had different branding, in this case being branded as the Mercury Cougar, while in Europe and Australia, it was known as the Ford Cougar. In Britain, Ford unveiled the car in July 1998, at the British Grand Prix, Silverstone. The television advertisements featured the silver model driven by Dennis Hopper due to his appearance in the film Easy Rider. At the same time, Steppenwolf's song from 1968, "Born To Be Wild" played, as this was featured in the film and the same scene the advertisement recreated. After the first two years of production, only 12,000 units reportedly had been sold in the United Kingdom. Released in Australia in October 1999, the Cougar only came with the 2.5 L 24-valve Duratec V6, and sales continued until March 2004.


In 2002, Ford retailed the Ford Cougar with a starting original MSRP of £19,840 for the base model, rising to £21,840 for the top-of-the-line model.
    • Base - £19,840 (£41,294 or $49,647 in 2022)
    • Top-Spec - £21,840 (£45,456 or $54,651 in 2022)
The price range for a used Ford Cougar varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $2,500 and going to $4,800 for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Features of the Ford Cougar

Exterior Features

Ford Cougar was designed and launched in the New-edge trend and combined long, curved lines with sharp angles. The Cougar was just like that, with its sharp headlights and elliptic grille on the lower side of the bumper. The ascending beltline and the curved greenhouse formed another ellipsoid shape from its sides, with triangular rear windows. At the back, the taillights covered the corners with a similar shape.

Interior Features

The interior was more conservative as if the designers didn't have time to develop something new. Even its four-door sibling, the Mondeo, featured a more advanced dashboard. The Cougar was focused on its sporty look, with a smaller instrument cluster and a sloped center stack. The sporty coupe featured bolstered front seats and a bench in the back with very limited legroom.

Release Date

The Ford Cougar was released by Ford Europe from 1998 to 2002. The Cougar was retired from the European market in August 2002, after its withdrawal from Britain, in February 2001.