Mercury is the former entry-level luxury brand of Ford. Mercury cars are completely separate from Mercury Marine, the producer of outboard motors. Mercury was positioned between Ford and Lincoln and competed primarily with Buick and Oldsmobile. Mercury cars were popular with the elderly as they tended to be large with soft suspensions.
Most Mercurys were slightly restyled Ford cars with identical interiors. In the 1990s, the Mercury Villager was offered, which was based on the Nissan Quest. Mercury also capitalized on Ford’s 33% Mazda stake with the Mercury Tracer, which was based on the Mazda Protégé platform. In 1999 the Mercury Cougar was launched with innovative styling, critical praise and it garnered some sales success.
The highest selling Mercury was the Grand Marquis, a rebadged Ford Crown Victoria. Other popular models included the Marauder (also a rebadged Crown Vic), the Mariner (rebadged Ford Escape), the Mountaineer (rebadged Ford Explorer) and Sable (rebadged Taurus). In 2010, Ford finally closed down the Mercury brand.