I loved this car when I first bought it and I didn't have any problems with it other than the seemed like hundreds of recalls on it. After a year at 98,000 miles i had to put a new engine in it, I've had problems with the brakes which seem to always have a problem, i don't know what they were thinking with those cup holders, and the head rest, which were all broke within the first month, then at 160,000 miles I had to put another new engine in it, and now I need to put rear brake lines on it and you have drop the gas tank and take rear suspension parts out of the way just to get to them. If it wasn't for the price of gas or a new car I would have junked it a long time ago.
Gas mileage, handling, decent performance for a four cylinder
Get rid of the cheap cup holders, make it more user friendly for the backyard mechanic, figure out why the head cracks so easy
I bought my car in 2001. Loved it at first ran great for about 3 years not too many problems. Mid Dec. I did my routine checking of fluids all was great everything good mid Jan. the car just quit I had to replace the engine it had froze up. The mechanic said it was out of oil, but I had no leaks. I fixed that and less than a year later my transmission started going, replace that less than a year later same problem. I bought another Contour for parts and decided that it was cheaper to just use this one. Still the same! full of problems.
I love the gas mileage, comfortable and does well when rearended. I was hit twice in the rear no problems. I love the way this car handles in the snow.
I agree with others the cup holders are no good. The transmission and motors could have been built much better.
I bought my car used first mistake there, it had 60,000 miles on it once it hit 65,000 or 70,000 miles everything started going wrong! My engine needed new parts, my gas gauge doesn't work, my fuel pump went bad, and the headlights fog up really bad. My car also has idling problem, it's an automatic and it stalls out at stop lights, stop signs, or even when you hit the brakes a little hard! I will never own another older Ford ever! I paid 3,000 for it, and paid 8 months of repair bills = 6,000 dollars worth. Now I'm looking at a trade in value of no more than 1,200 dollars! So if you're thinking about getting this car don't! For your wallets safety.
This car is a great car if you find one that has been taken care of. I bought mine with over 100K miles so it wasn't the best condition. The biggest problems was the underhood electrical system which failed in more than one place due to heat, fragile transmission, and dry rotted suspension mounts. The electrical system on certain contours was recalled but mine was over the time/mileage limit. The best part of this car is the 2.5 Duratec V6, especially if you get the SVT. Unfortuneately it doesn't have much low end torque so a 5speed is the best choice for this car. Fuel economy isn't great, just make sure you get one that has been taken care of.
We're the 2nd owner on our 2.0L 4 cylinder GL model. We bought it with about 30K on it and are at almost 121K now. We bought this exclusively as a back & forth to work runner and it's served it's purpose well. We still get 28- 30mpg but it's starting to nickel & dime us a bit. It's really been a great car and the problems we've started having are things you'd expect with a car this old. We've recently had to replace the timing belt, water pump, brakes, and the costly item was the catalytic converter. Wouldn't hesitate to buy another one with lower mileage.
The gas mileage! We've got as high as 38mpg on the highway. Also the big trunk.
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