5. Mercury Mistake
Another day, another defunct brand. You can think of Mercury as Ford’s scab, a crusty financial wound that never healed – or made much money. Fortunately it was sloughed off a few years ago so the Blue Oval could focus on its own vehicles and maybe Lincoln… possibly… perhaps.
The Mercury Mystique was a small sedan that bowed in North America for the 1995 model year. It was a rebadged version of the Ford Contour, itself a rechristened Mondeo from Europe. These models stayed in production until 2000, at which time they were promptly (and thankfully) dropped… and forgotten.
The Mistake as Mercury’s variant came to be known was smaller than much of its contemporary competition and its quality was suspect. These vehicles suffered from numerous recalls plus their interiors were quite noisy. On the plus side, the Mystique and Contour delivered a surprisingly sporty driving experience (especially the SVT version of the Ford).
Adding insult to injury the Contour came to be known as the Detour for all the same reasons.