I bought the car used with 57,000 miles. The car now has over 129,000 and its been one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. It's had few problems here and there but what car with that mileage doesn't? I've done all my own repairs and none have cost me over $200. It's never left me stranded, gets great gas mileage for a V6 and after all these years it still shines like new. I've never been big Ford fan until I owned this car. I highly recommend the Ford Contour.
Needs better cup holders, those things are ridiculous.
I bought the car in 2000 with only 30,000 miles on it and only one owner. 3 years later when it reached around 50,000 miles there have been nothing but issues. Transmission went out, all electrical has to be replaced, suspension replaced, constant alignments, $3,000 worth of work to fix a stalling issue. The list goes on. I will never own another contour again.
We've had our Contour for almost 7 years. CARFAX says it was a rental before we bought it. Aside from replacing the alternator last year, we've never had to have major repair service done on it. Rear-ended twice by people going 20+ mph with no real damage. Nice power, turns great, comfortable, decently roomy in the back seat for a small car. Decent gas mileage for its weight and age. We are thinking of selling it (we want a Hybrid) and I will be sad to give it up.
Power! It beats our newer ('02) compact sedan for acceleration on a straight surface, and blows the '02 away on a hill. (Really. We've 'tested' this. ;) )
Bought it at 87K because the salesperson told me it was "Sport Edition" and can't be mistaken with its handling and ride quality. Yes tight handling and way too firm suspension, steering feel is just about as good as a BMW 3 series, interior and trunk space are ample compared to its compact size, nice folded backseat but should offer rear headrest and more rear leg room, road noise can be annoying especially on midwest pavement and jaw-breaking ride which leads to tons of rattles and sqeaks, engine is smooth and strong at highway speeds. Haven't had major reliability issues except once water pump blew up at 96K and minor repairs - right rear window motor and trunk release cable went and now happy at 110K.
All lighting package, leather-wrapped steering wheel, traction control, ABS, sunroof, tight suspension, faster than it looks, immaculate rust coat and paint job, V6 smoothness at highway speeds, reliability.
Dumb and flimsy cup holder (even though didn't use it often), better interior panel assembly, cheap plastic materials,softer suspension, less rubbery shifter, better fuel economy, rough acceleration at low speed (1st to 3rd gear over 2500rpm), seems to lose grip at bumpy corners.
Car at the dealer for repairs six times
in the first two years I owned it: EGR
valves (?), catalytic converter, oxygen
sensors, electrical system issues, and
other stuff I have forgotten. Last 5
years: electrical system shorted out
twice; check engine light on all the
time; right rear suspension link broke,
speedometer/odometer stopped working.
All that being said I LOVE this car.
The engine is powerful and fuel-
efficient, the car is loaded with
options and a joy to drive. Handling
(before suspension problem) was
incredible - like a European
Engine, transmission, seats, moonroof.
Reliability, reliability, reliability,
and the stereo.