I bought it new in early 1998 and the first tune-up according to manual was after 10 years. Never had a problem with reliability. I drove it up and down the east coast and into Canada and I must write that it is indeed reliable and low maintenance. The color looks like it is just 3 years old. I am proud of the 97 Ford Contour After 10 years, it still has no rust and the paint is still shiny considering the it is never garaged.
Low maintenance, reliablity, low gas consumption even after 10+ years.