The SVT Contour left such a horrible impression on me, I am now writing this review seven years after owning one. My first mistake was buying a first gen specialty car. Problems became as persistent as the car was fun to drive. Leaking truck, upper reading light console broke, dash started to warp around 62K miles and the first of three transmissions was replaced at 64K miles by Ford dealership. A year later tranny goes out again: $1,800 at Amco. Two weeks later tranny fails again; Amco replaces for free under warranty. Ford denies mechanical failures are due to poor design. Maintenance costs would have yielded a moderately used BMW at the time.
Exhaust tone. Best part was the Mitsubishi engine at least it didn't fail.
Ford process engineering is now much improved. I would suggest reintroducing SVT compact models under stricter quality control. Over all the car was fun to drive when it would drive. I would avoid buying this car now (2008) unless you are a mechanic - trust me. MPG was reasonable at 20/22 city/hwy.
We love the style of the Contour. Wish they would make a newer model. The driving aspect on a scale from 1-10 is a 10. I have no complaints. But one I wish I would've bought one sooner. Ford Motor Company needs to rethink there decision about not making anymore. I would buy new if they would build more. The backspace is more than adequate. We have no problems & my brother in law is 6"8 & he does not complain about the back seat.
I love the headlights & the way the front faces the ground & the bubble shape.
More horsepower & leather seats & a CD player instead of a cassette player.
I fell in love with this model when I worked at a Ford dealership in 1998. I am a family man and could not justify the price of a new one so I put it out of my mind. Last year I saw a nice one on E-bay and placed a bid for $2700. Not only was that the set minimum but 30 minutes later I was the proud owner! I drove 150 miles to pick it up and fell in love all over again! The growl of the engine, the smooth shifting, the elegant interior and the white face gauges. I had it tuned up this year...ouch! It has been problem free and the most fun car I have ever owned. Now I am practical (a 4 door) and cool (so my kids say). When you start this baby and she growls at you, she makes you growl back.
The engine, white faced gauges, mesh front grille and euro-looking headlamps.
The trunk takes in water in heavy rain so I would fix that.
Ford's SVT group did a great job with this car. I've owned this car for nearly 10 years and would easily do it all over again. Sure, I've done a few light mods but it is still my daily driver as well as track car (same tires - Potenza S-03 Pole Position). And in winter, fitted with snow tires (since I have summer high performance tires), beats out 95% of SUVs.
Great gas mileage, fun to drive, balanced on the track, comfortable (but not large back seat).
Typical domestic manufacturer shortcuts - cheap plastic dash, trunk lid strut won't keep the trunk up and causes the lid to slam, bumpers are too heavy for supports so sag a little bit.