This car has been a nothing but trouble. Every problem requires a trip to the mechanic because the car is designed so you can't fix anything without special tools and disassembly of the entire engine. The water pump is a constant problem having to be replaced twice as well as the timing belt. Engine is continually running hot because of poorly designed coolant system. Doors creak terribly when opened. The car has terrible fuel mileage compared to its small engine and pathetic amount of power. The only plus to this car is the availability of used parts. You can find several of these cars at almost any junk yard. That is where mine is headed shortly.
I've had this car for almost 10 years now and I really love how it drives. Great styling, power and pretty good mpg. But the build quality and reliability are no so good. I've replace the catalytic converter, rear strut, brakes 3 times (not too bad), 3 tune ups, radiator, water pump, and now the brakes are going again, clutch is going and there is a small oil leak. The car is worth less than a 1000 bucks so I'm sending it to it's grave. 145,000 it's bad for a Ford but there are a lot of fixes
My Contour hit 200,000 miles last night! I've got the V6 5-speed. Though I had problems with it early on--water pumps, numerous recalls and that darn engine light that won't go off--it's been great for the last 120,000 miles. I love the way it handles and it still has plenty of power. I'm curious to see how long it will last!
My favorite feature is its stability. I don't have to slow down when taking bends in the road. It's almost as much fun as my motorcycle.
Getting in and out of the back seat is wicked, but I don't have many passengers.
Car purchased by my wife with 35k miles, she puts 34 miles a day to work and home. Within the first year tires were shot, alignment bad, replaced ball joints, the large belt. Then at 50k to 60k miles front wheel bearings, Brake rotors, calipers. since then alternator, large belt. Now at 120k the front wheel bearings and brake rotors (warped) and now head gasket!
The handling on the road, straight as an arrow.
Wheel bearings do Not! go out at 55k and then at 120k as well as rotors warping. Design, design, design reliability. To late now for Ford
I bought this car slightly used, based on favorable reviews in the car magazines. It is a sporty sedan that packs a lot of value for the money. The engine, suspension and brakes are well-suited for the enthusiast driver. However, this is the most fragile car I have ever owned. With less than 75k on the odometer, I have had to replace the water pump (a flawed design with a plastic impeller wheel), the catalyst, and the starter motor. The check engine light turning on is a quarterly event. The stock CD player would skip if you looked at it cross-eyed. Owning this car makes me believe that when Ford lines up suppliers, it always takes the low bidder. Ford: you have lost this customer.
Performance, gas mileage.
(These comments pertain to current Ford sedans, since the Contour is out of production). The car needs to hold up better after the warranty expires. Long-term durability must improve on Ford products, because if the Contour is any indicator, it is horrid. Will the Fusion be any better? We'll see.