Cougar XR7 - The Story

As I came to realize the Camaro was on it's last legs, I decided that a newer daily driver was in order. And, Link the Lightning, the Cougar was not my first choice in vehicle. I live in Canada. I need something that's not going to be a problem for the winter time. Something reasonably fun to drive - a car with decent handling, and enough power to get out of it's own way. To me, that means mid-15s, at the most.

I spent a couple of weeks researching the various options, and started to become more serious about an Eagle Talon Tsi. This picture is the actual one I was looking at purchasing, for $12,500 Canadian, after taxes and all the other extra charges. A turbocharged 2.0L, all wheel drive with just over 106,000km. After test driving the car I was thoroughly impressed with it's manners, though the turbo lag would take a little to get used to. Through further research, it appeared as though these cars were prone to all kinds of problems.

The Eagle Talon I almost owned

That's when the Cougar came along. A relative was looking at buying a new car, and was planning to trade in the Cougar against their new purchase. The dealer offered them $5,500 for the car. They said, if I could match that, the Cougar was mine. Ohhh... I hate making tough decisions. The Cougar was substantially less than the Talon, and had slightly less mileage (less than 100,000 km). The V8 felt torquey, which is nice, but it certainly wasn't as quick, or as nimble as the Talon. Both cars get about the same gas mileage, so that's a wash. The Cougar is more comfortable inside, though. It's also s'posed to be more reliable and I know how well it was maintained. The only thing that needs to be repaired is the shocks/struts, which I would have wanted to improve on, anyway.

My old '95 Cougar

Ultimately, reliability and price won out over fun. I could use the savings to pump up the abilities of the car to something more respectable. The 4.6L V8 (pretty much the same out of some Mustangs from the mid 90's) has a pretty healthy aftermarket, too. I now own the Cougar, and am formulating my action plan, to address the power / handling issues that it currently has. Basically, I want a reliable car that can be reasonably fun to drive and cost less than $10,000 (everything included).