After a one-year absence from the Mercury vehicle lineup, the Cougar makes a bold return. Departing as a rear-wheel drive large coupe with available V-8 engine power, the 1999 Mercury Cougar is based on the same platform as the Mystique. Designed to enthuse younger drivers, the 1999 Cougar is offered with a four-cylinder and six-cylinder power option. Another substantially updated vehicle in the Mercury lineup for 1999 is the Villager minivan. The second generation Villager adopts a new front grille and boasts the potency of a 3.3-liter V-6 replacing the previous 3.0-liter powerplant. The 1999 Villager also gains a crucial driver's side sliding door. With new rear seats on the 1999 Mercury Mystique, occupants can now enjoy slightly greater leg room. Front side-mounted airbags, back-up warning system and a rear load-leveling suspension have been added to the Mercury Mountaineer for 1999. Minor changes have also been made to the Tracer and Sable for the 1999 model year.