I bought my 10 year old C-SVT two weeks ago and every time I pull out of first gear that gitty grin on my face appears. Talk about cheap thrills! For around 3,000 bucks and the performance you get, it has to be one of the most overlooked cars around, albeit you can find one. Imagine if a Mustang GT and a Miata had a kid, the result would be a Contour SVT. It begs to be redlined, and you'll be there before you know it. The growl out of the Duratec engine is the sweetest sound I ever heard in a V6 and the best handling FWD I've ever drove. I know it's not perfect, but what car is? I know I'll spend money for a water pump, 02 sensor, fuel pump, etc. but it's well worth the price of admission.
Driving position. Smooth strong engine, European handling. Visiblity, linear launches. Rarity, the growl that lets people know it's not your Mommy's Contour. Makes this 35 yr old feel like 18 again.
Needs 91 octane. Some quality issues. Hard for mechanics to lift the car with the side skirts/spoilers. Cup holders are more like a place to put your house keys. Not enough interior storage. Next build a time machine so I can go back to 2000 and smack the person who decided not to make it anymore.