Bought my Contour new in late 1994 and am just about to turn 170,000 miles. Have the 4-cylinder, manual transmission. I've been looking at new cars for about 3 years, but frankly haven't found a need to replace this Contour.The car has been incredibly reliable. Save the expected maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tires, timing belt, etc), I've probably had to put a total of $1000 into it over the last 10 years (and most of that was replacing a couple of engine mounting bolts). Routinely get about 33 mpg highway, and with the manual transmission the 4-cylinder has some pep to it. The car is rock solid and is fun to drive.
Even for a 4-cylinder, the car is fun to drive.
Cupholder design is pretty bad, especially in Contours with manual transmissions (which only have one cupholder). Rated the car a "7" in comfort because back seat legroom is tight if front seats are all the way back. Driver and front passenger comfort is excellent.