Cougar Town: 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7

This black and white 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7 almost looks like a “black and white”, i.e., a police car. This clean cat is on Craigslist just southeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The seller is asking $4,200.

1988 was the last year for the sixth-generation Cougar and Mercury sold 113, 801 of them. There are only two exterior photos of this car and none that show the grille area, hopefully that’s in the same condition as the rest of the car appears to be in, which is fantastic. This car has 105,000 miles on it, an average of about 3,620 miles a year.

The fantastic condition appears to wrap around inside the car, too. It looks as close to new in here as I can imagine, a true time capsule. Those seats look ridiculously comfortable, and is that an adjustable lower-leg support? I don’t really see a flaw here so far, inside or out. There was no manual transmission available in the 1988 XR7 so an automatic was it.

In 1988, the XR7’s former 4-cylinder turbo engine was no longer offered and the 302 cubic-inch V8 was it, engine-wise. This one has 155 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This Cougar looks like a great car, but then there’s the asking price. NADA lists a “high retail” price of $3,300, $900 below the seller’s asking price. Is this car really that nice? It just may be, what do you think?

Fast Finds


  1. Howard A Member

    While I never cared for what happened to the Cougar after the ’60’s ( especially in the early 80’s, a 4 door Cougar station wagon, for one) this seems to pay homage to what a Cougar was all about, a fancied up Mustang. I had the equivalent Mustang, to this car. An ’88 5.0 Mustang notchback. Aside from the V8, it really wasn’t much of a car ( down right dangerous, in fact) This looks like it has a bit more style, on the inside, anyway, pretty plain on the outside ( some of these Cougars were really nice) Sure hope it doesn’t need a heater core, a nightmare of a project. One thing for sure, you’ll have plenty of power to pass.

  2. jdjonesdr

    That is one ugly car. (And I am a Cougar fan)

    Like 1
    • Andre

      Agreed on both, I like that cougars at least know what they want.

  3. Coventrycat

    Ugh. Black wheels. Hope that fad passes soon.

    Like 1
    • z28th1s

      I give this comment 10 thumbs up!

  4. JW

    My son just picked up a ex Naperville, Illinois police crown vic, white with gray interior in excellent condition. Police interceptor motor heavy duty suspension and cooling system and spotlight. It’s a 2002 with 173K miles but runs excellent for $2750. I think this car is a bit over priced but it looks nice.

  5. Don

    Needs some different wheels

  6. Bill

    One of the ugliest cars to come out of the 80’s. And that’s saying a lot!

  7. Francisco

    How is this a “Barn Find?”

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Are you new here or something?

  8. rando

    At least recondition the wheels and get rid of that black and white. I did like this generation of Cougars. I liked the roof line better than the T bird. Just me.

  9. glenn

    love these years cars they are like a tank and the one i had i wished i never got rid of

    Like 1
  10. jtnc

    This is some of the worst styling I have ever seen, of any era. Just awful.

  11. Darren

    Is that HP ratting correct ? Were these 5.0s down ratted that much from a Mustangs 225 HP? Just wondering as that seems am awfully big drop .

  12. RJ

    This painting alloy wheels fad has to stop.

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