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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie with some questions here.
Time to trade the 3.2TL back in to the Acura dealership pretty soon and the wife has her eye on a Blue Cougar, 2001 model maybe 2002.

-Background:
We have been Honda/Acura owner's since the beginning of time so I am a little hesitant to buy anything else other than Honda/Acura, and no, not the little integra ricer's either
. So we are looking at the one of the following vehicles (Cougar, Prelude, CL Type S) for the next vehicle to grace our garage.

-Questions:
So what are some common problems that the Cougar's have engine/tranny mounts, belts, A/C etc? What type of maintenance schedule do they have? What is the general cost of ownership etc?

I just need some general information from people that actually know something about these cars, you know, someone that's not the salesman at the dealership.

Also, in the event that she should want some upgrades(cosmetic/small performance), are they readily available? I'm not talking a turbo or anything, just bolt on type things like cross drilled rotors, calipers etc.

And of course, pro's and con's for any of the three vehicles listed.

Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated.
-Black
 

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Dude, I would go with the Acura TL 3.2 types-S. That car is what I want now but am stuck with the Cougar. 260 horsepower, auto-manual transmission, good suspension that car kicks ass! That is one of the few foreign cars I WOULD buy.

Andy
 

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I would have to agree with Andy on this one. However, isn't the Type-S available only in a coupe? I ask because my next car will be a four door powerful sedan ... utility and sport are a must for me.

As for the Cougar's problems ... the 2001's have reported very few problems that where associated with the 1999's and 2000's, which are quite common on first run cars. However, I would never try and talk someone out of a better car, and to be quite honest, the CL Type-S is a much better car. First off, it is in a different price class, and has been engineered and sold to reflect such. Second, more power, more creature comforts, more of everything ... even the price tag is more
. But, I have always said this and will always believe this ... you get what you pay for.
 

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It depends a lot on what exactly your wife is looking for, but here are some high points and low points of Cougar ownership from someone who has owned one for almost three years now.

First the Cougar is not a straightline screamer. The MTX Cougars are a couple seconds quicker from 0-60 than the automatics which average around a 9 second time, which is still plenty fast enough to get around in. The Cougar does excel in handling. The car is very smooth when entering a turn and on exit. The car is very predictable when and you would be hard pressed to loose this car in a turn beyone the point of recovery. The car breaks loose in a very smooth predictable manner.
Second the Cougar is very easy to live with. I get around 22 mpg in town which is very hilly, and average 36 mpg on the interstate. The Cougar is comfortable, for the most part quiet(although some people have experienced some squeeks and rattles that I have not. The Cougar also has a large trunk with enough room to put things in. I even hauled a 5 ft christmas tree once with the hatch closed.
Some of the downsides

There is not a huge aftermarket for performance parts for the Cougar like the Acura, but there are some options. You can get Intakes from several different companies such as KKM,Injen. There are several options on brakes, exhausts, body kits, and now more recently headers and even a Vortech supercharger. So you do have some room to play. I suggest checking out www.spmotorsports.com, or the performance page on this site or www.newcougar.org for some links.
Dependability wise I have had an alternator go bad(fixed under warranty) and I have had a wheel bearing fail. That is pretty much it mechanically. Cosmetic wise the fit and finish of my Cougar was ex. to start with, but I have had a few nickle and dime things go wrong. I have had to replace a broken headrest button, and the radio stopped working. These again were under warranty. I am sure there are different opinions and different items that have gone wrong on other Cougars, but I am unaware of any major recurring problems with the Cougars. the motors seem to hold up well even to the abuse of heavy footed NECO members.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I can tell you I bought my Cougar in 98 because I loved the look, liked that I had SOME power, and had many perks such as heated mirrors,ABS, traction control,large trunk, 4 airbags,great handling and still drivable in the winter, and all for 20K.
One suggestion for you might be to look at a Cougar C2, a great looking car with a few added frills.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the info.
Yes the CL is in a different price class, something I had planned on, and there is a major difference in Cougar and CL creature comfort and power wise. However, since I will not be the driver of this vehicle and my wife will be she will be the one to choose. So if the Cougar is what she wants, then I am happy for her. However on the maintenance end, that's me, so I thought I would check it out and see what I would be in for.

I appreciate all the info so far and have enjoyed viewing your board. I will continue reviewing this board until the time in which a decision is made so that I can be up to par on everything if it comes down to the Cougar.

Thanks,
-Black
 

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the cougar maintenance wise is very nice actually.... the manual recommend oil changes every 5000 miles not 3000 like most vehicles. I can't remember the actual mileage for the other items like tune-up and such however if i remember correctly it is pretty high also. Gas mileage is also very good, i get 30+MPG hwy and about 22MPG city. I have owned my 2000 mtx cougar for almost a year now and have gotten nothing fixed under warranty because nothing ever broke....
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would probably get the CL Type S if you have the money. The Prelude is nice, but the front is ugly. The Cougar is too slow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My roommate is having alot of trouble with his 2001 CL, but it is very nice. Too much body roll for me, but I'm not much for luxury. The Type S you can now get in the coupe, or the 4-door.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You get what you pay for. CL is a different class car...hands down.

I had a 92 Integra...had far more problems with it in first year than my 10 months with the Cougar. But I loved the Acura.

Integra lasted 119000 miles for me and people i sold it to were very happy.

Cougar is excellent for the price. (i have manual trans)
I would recommend it to anyone.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As others have said, the Cougar and CL are no comparison. ChrisB said "If that's any proof of American quality, I don't know what is."
In my opinion, that's total CRAP. My Cougar has been back to the dealer more often than any other car I have ever owned. Granted, I enjoy driving my Cougar, but this thing has more noises(rattles, creaks and chirps). The only other car that was in the shop the same amount was my '97 Jeep Wrangler. My point? American car companies have a ways to go in order to reach the reliability of Handa and Toyota.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
it sounds to me like she wants a sporty coupe. so what i would recommend is the cougar or the prelude depending on how sporty she likes it. If you can, talk her out of hte type s and save yourself 10 grand, lol. i think hte prelude is quicker and handles better, but the cougar looks nicer and is cheaper. also, i havnt had any major probs with my cougar in over 30000 mi.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've had my cougar for close to 2 1/2 years. I have had no trouble with it except for the sunroof. That is the only time I have had to take it to the dealer to get something fixed. I'd take anyone of the cars you are looking at. The cougar definitley stands alone with its looks when in a crowd. But not the quickest off the line. There are some aftermarket parts, but not Honda/Acura galore. Something you have probably already thought about but maybe not, look into getting a Honda Prelude SH. Very nice ride with more power and handling than a cougar, more aftermarket parts than the cougar and CL, but a less price tag than the CL. Just a suggestion. Hope this helps
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ChrisB:

"I come from the school that "quality" is equal to quantity".

OK, so let me get this straight.......since the domestic cars manufacturers make so many cars, that means the cars they produce are quality. What?????

First let me say that domestic car manufacturers in general do not make terrible cars. But, I DO think many people buy domestic because they are loyal to "US" brands no matter how much better "foreign" car makers build their cars.

ChrisB: Have you ever owned a non-domestic car? ie; Honda or Toyota? Just curious. I have owned the following: Honda(current 1998 Honda Accord), Toyota Corolla(2), Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Jeep Wrangler('97) and my '99 Cougar. What I am trying to say is I have owned and experienced domestic and non-domestic cars and have come to the conclusion that domestics(in general) are not yet up to the quality level of the Japanese. There have been many studies that back my thought process up. ie: JD Power. I think it is very naive for someone to think one car make is better if they personally have never experienced both sides.

Unfortunately, the Japanese still haven't figured out how to make an exciting car like the Cougar at the same price range. Obviously, this is just MY opinion!!!!
 

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I'd go with the Cougar, dude. Quite a few options to buy with. Being a 2001 C2 owner there are only 3 other cars I would even think about driving. And two of them aren't out yet. new Audi TT, a 2003 Nissan Z, or a 2004 Dodge Charger R/T (hopefully this will go into production).

I love my Cougar though and have enough aftermarket options for my purposes. The sport package is really nice and I love the blue/black sport-checked cloth interior. The huge trunk space is nice. And the Coug completely owns turns and curves. Throwin a ball in the huge trunk and then hittin some high-speed Cougar curves is always fun. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Charger may not quite make it, but 2004 LX cars will be RWD. 300N will most likely powered by a 353Hp 5.7L V8. Better than a Charger!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you care at all about depreciation, and it sounds like you trade cars in every few years, I'd stay away from the Cougar. While its been a great car for me, a friend of mine at the dealership said they only offer 11K for a trade-in '99 Cougar.

I wouldn't worry too much about reliability if you trade your cars in before the warranties run out. Personally I'd suggest the Prelude to her. Very classy, sporty, reliable, resellable car. Actually, I change my mind, check the crash test data on these vehicles. I'd think the Acura would be better, because its bigger, and hence safer. The prelude is a tad on the small side and I'm sure you want her as safe as possible.:)
 
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